As the name implies, the Diamond Tetra, popularly known as Pittier’s Tetra, is a stylish fish you might want to consider in your tropical tank.

These were initially found in the Native American region and have become the serene beauty of home aquariums ever since their emergence.

Most of the aquarists preferring Tetras in their fish tanks turn towards these glittering aquatics, primarily because of their appearance, which looks like drops of diamonds in the water.

Let us dive into the nitty-gritty of this amiable pal in captivity and learn from the basics to keep the Diamond Tetra healthy and happy in the tank.

Species Overview

Quick Species Facts
Scientific Name Moenkhausia Pittieri
Other Common Names Diamond Charchin, Timanttitetra, Brillantsalmler
Family Characin
Origin South America
Lifespan 5 years
Size 6 cm
Type Freshwater fish

Origination and Habitat

The Diamond Tetras come from the fresh waters of the South American continent. These are widely seen traversing the tributaries and lakes of northern Venezuela.

Lake Valencia, located between Carabobo and Aragua, is the primary source of these fish, along with the rivers Rio Bue and Rio Tiquiriti.

They typically prefer shallow, slow-moving waters covered in dense green vegetation.

Though they are not listed as endangered species in the IUCN RED list, their existence remains threatened by urbanization. The fish had reportedly disappeared from Lake Valencia by 2006, though photographer Ivan Mikolji claimed to have captured a group of them after three years.

Interesting Fact: Eigenmann Moenkhausia discovered the Diamond Tetras for the first time in 1920.

Size: How Long Does Diamond Tetra Grow?

Among the relatively ‘dwarf Tetras,’ these are considered the largest in the family.

According to research, this genus has an average size of 1.5 inches and can reach a maximum size of 2.4 inches. As a result, picking the right aquarium size is never a problem.

A notable fact is that there have been instances in the wild where this fish has grown to be longer than its usual maximum length.

Appearance and Physical Characteristics

Diamond Tetras are the most refined and composed schooling fish, that moves quickly in precise formations.

Their common name comes from the fact that they have a silver body and translucent fins with a diamond-like shape. A black midline separates the top and bottom halves of the body.

As the fish matures, the shiny scales reflect various colors such as green, blue, orange, and yellow, giving the fish a stunning appearance.

The fins have a distinct structure, with the anal fin being greater than that of any other Tetra species. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the dorsal and anal fins of this species are violet in color.

The eyes are large and bold, with a glimmer of crimson lining over the top, resembling a brow.

Total Lifespan

The most significant disadvantage of keeping Diamond Tetra fish in captivity is their short life expectancy.

It’s critical to provide your scaly companion with the best possible habitat and nutrients in order for them to live to their full potential.

The fish can survive for up to 7 years if given particular care and kept in perfect conditions, but in home tanks, they only live for 4 to 5 years on average.

Diamond Tetra – Male Vs Female

Gender separation is one of the elements that can be incredibly crucial for breeding but is a bit tricky.

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Thankfully, there are few distinguishing characteristics that can be used to distinguish between male and female animals.


  • Dorsal fins: The males have a longer dorsal fin than the females.
  • Color: The color concentration in the male fish is relatively higher than in the females, who appear in a slightly dull shade.
  • Shape: Since the females are egg bearers, they possess a fuller body than the males.

Sale Price and Availability

Diamond Tetra’s sale price is closely associated with its availability and delivery location. They cost between $6 – $10 and can be found on numerous e-aquariums and fish forums.

When it comes to specialty aquarium stores, they offer numerous benefits while reducing the likelihood of cost differences.

Diamond Tetra Care Guide

Quick Care Facts
Care Level Easy
Socializing Harmonious
Temperament Can be aggressive sometimes
Food Habit Omnivore
Breeding Process Easy

Food Habits

There is almost nothing to be concerned about when creating Diamond Tetra’s feeding plan. They’ve gotten used to eating almost everything in the wild, with mosquito larvae being their favorite.

Since you can bring the fresh, frozen, or dried food to the table, there is a vast array of nutritious food to serve them in home aquariums.

  • Mineral-rich leafy greens like lettuce and spinach should be supplemented on a regular basis.
  • Dry pellets and flakes are the most convenient and optimal choice.
  • They show evidence of being an insectivore and eagerly feed on crustaceans, worms, and insects.
  • Live brine shrimps, daphnia, and bloodworms are excellent for their health.

General Behavior

The occasional aggressive behavior of any species is a concern when adding them to the aquarium.

The Diamond Tetra is a cheerful, non-territorial species with no obnoxious characteristics.

During the day, you’ll find this bunch of fish contentedly swimming in the mid-depths of the water. They demonstrate friendliness to the other aquatics in the aquarium with their unique body language.

Male Tetras have been known to exhibit hyperactive behavior by biting the fins of other members. However, this isn’t a huge problem because this type of playful conduct is rare, and the fins generally grow back.

Reproduction – How Does it Occur in the Diamond Tetra?

Breeding the Diamond Tetra isn’t as difficult or stressful as it is for the other Tetras. It’s one of the reasons they’re so popular with breeders.

However, putting together an eligible pair with the same size and maturity level is challenging.

There are a few conditioning elements that help speed up the process. You must follow the essential conditions before introducing the fish into the aquarium and moving on to the next phase.

Note: You must carefully select the breeding pairs that match compatibility, or the complete attempt may go in vain.

Water Parameters for Breeding

Set up your tank with the following alterations.

  • Get a separate tank of volume 75 liters.
  • Make the water more acidic with a pH ranging from 5.5 – 6.5.
  • Set the temperature between 26 – 29 Degrees Celsius. It is optimal for breeding conditions.
  • You may use plants like java moss, a layer of mesh, or artificial spawning mops for collecting eggs spawned by females during mating.
  • Keep minimal lighting in the tank.
  • Ensure that the water is not hard, ranging below 4 dGH.
  • Put a sponge filter for cleaning and smooth water flow.


You should initially feed the potential partners with nutritious live food for about ten days. Now you can select up to 5 – 6 suitable pairs and induce them into the breeding tank with properly adjusted parameters & settings.

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It is advised to keep any disturbances away for a higher success rate.

The mating procedure might take anywhere from 24 – 48 hours, depending on the amount of light and temperature.

The Diamond Tetras spawn in the open water, usually in the morning. The males start following the females. The females scatter the eggs in the spawning process, and males release sperms to fertilize them.

Note: For Choosing the best mating partners, look for females with rounded bellies and males that appear more vibrant.


The incubation period is about 1 – 2 days, after which the fry comes out of the eggs. The babies of Diamond Tetra can be seen swimming in the next 3 – 4 days.

Feed the fry with rich foods such as Artemia nauplii and micro-live foods. The juveniles soon form the structure of adults, but it takes almost 9 – 10 months to achieve the prominent glare.

Note: It is imperative to separate the fry from the tank as the parent fishes can consume them.

Health and Diseases

The best part about petting Diamond Tetra is that they can thrive in a variety of environments and are rarely influenced by negative circumstances.

But they often catch up with some of the common freshwater health issues in fishes, which are treatable.

The most common disease that it catches is Ich, which forms white secretion on the eyes, fins, and mouth. Lumps or swelling in their bodies, as well as unpleasant motions, are other visible changes.

The fish’s other problems are bacterial diseases & infections, parasitic infestations, and skin flukes.

The prominent reason behind illness in the Diamond Tetra is overfeeding and over-crowding.

You can avoid such situations by providing a healthy diet and clean environment that resembles the natural surroundings of freshwater.

Note: The primary reason for the death of Diamond Tetra is ignorance of early symptoms.

Tank Care

Quick Tank Facts
Minimum Size 15 gallons
Water Temperature 72 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit
Water Hardness 2 – 15 dGH
Water Ph Level 5.5 – 7.5
Water current Low
Brackish No
Lighting Low
Substrate Any

Ideal Tank Size

The tank’s size is a depiction of the natural surroundings of the fish. As a result, make sure it’s appropriate for your species’ mobility and length.

The Diamond Tetra requires a minimum of 60 liters of water in their aquarium.

There are a variety of tanks available, but a container with an 80 cm depth is the most suited.

Tank Set-Up

It is an easy-going fish that creates a dazzling view in an imitation of natural habitat like an Amazonian biotype. You can enhance the view by adding some essential and non-essential items into the tank.


Coming from a tropical environment, the Diamond Tetras will feel quite at home with a lot of foliage, whether it’s floating or rooted.

You can also add a variety of living plants and flora to the tank, as the fish like to be among the greenery for food and hiding. Marsh and aquatic plants are usually the primary options here.

You can even add floating plants such as Salvia to create a comfortable space for them.

Decomposed or organic matter and some branches are suitable for replicating their habitat.


The Diamond Tetra does not prefer to be in the bright light region, and most mostly hideaway in branches. Hence, there is no major constraint when choosing light bulbs.

It is advised to create low to medium visibility using small LEDs, which will spectacularly intensify the color shades on the fish.

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The optimum substrate to choose is a blend of sand and stones. Driftwood or dried-out tree branches can also be used to provide a safe and stress-free resting area for the fish.


It is necessary to add a filtration system that doesn’t sabotage the oxygen level and generates a minimal ripple in the tank.

A standard system will be sufficient to clean the water while keeping the nitrate and ammonia levels towards zero and oxygenating the water.

Decorative Items

The Diamond Tetra prefers natural environment and feels safe and at ease when surrounded by lush greenery. As a result, you’ll need to fill the tank with plants.

Therefore, no further decorations are required. Yet, if the tank has enough room, you can always add some miniature objects with holes to give hiding place while also attracting the attention of the onlookers.

Water Parameters

The Diamond Tetra is a hardy aquatic and sustains a wide range of environmental conditions while in captivity.

Experts, on the other hand, continue to advise keepers to control water parameters as much as possible, eliminating any risk of illness or insecurity for the fish.

The ideal way to enhance their appearance is to use warm water with a low acidity level. You can use the parameters shown below.

  • The optimum water temperature is between 22 – 28 Degrees Celsius.
  • A bit of acidic water with a pH level between 5.5 – 7.5 is best.
  • Soft water is preferred and can range between 2 – 15 dGH.
  • Salty water is not suitable for this fish.

Tank Mates of Diamond Tetra

If you want to keep Diamond Tetras in a community tank, keep in mind that they do best in groups of 5–6 species.

So, the aquarium must have enough space to accommodate all the aquatics with easy mobility.

These fish can sustain themselves in a friendly manner with other medium-sized, peaceful, bottom-dwelling tank mates.

Aggressive, large-sized, or smaller ones, should not be kept together to avoid any potential threat to each other. The compatible tank mates are listed below.

Note: This lively creature is prone to diseases due to loneliness in the tank. Hence, be sure to add the appropriate number of tank mates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Diamond Tetra live with Neons?

The Neon Tetras are commercially bred into Golden Neons and Diamond Neons. Such sub-species of Tetra fishes can comfortably live together in a community fish tank.

Can they eat shrimps?

The baby shrimps are considered a suitable diet for the Diamond Tetras. However, the adult shrimps may stay safe because of their larger size compared to the fish.

How many times a day should you feed them?

These are omnivorous fishes and do not pose any difficulty in consuming food of various types. You can feed them 2 – 3 times a day for not more than 2 minutes at each schedule.

Do they have teeth?

The Diamond Tetra fish has been characterized in the Tetragonopterini tribes. The fishes in this classification have a row of five or more teeth on each side of the mouth.

Can they live with Goldfish?

Both of them are glamorous and ornamental categories of fish. Often, fish lovers tend to keep the beauties together to grab the attention of various shimmering colors.

But a concerning fact is that if the Diamond Tetra ever got infected with a disease, it will easily transmit to the Goldfish.

This will ultimately trouble both of them and ruin the tank environment. Therefore, you must not keep these species together.


Tetras have always been desirable among the fish keepers because of their low maintenance and high adaptability to the environment or other tank mates.

The Diamond Tetra is an extraordinary fish due to its terrific looks. Their tiny size, design, and colors with exquisite movements in school make them appear classic &cute at the same time.

These are suitable fish for home aquariums and aquarists who wish to breed them for commercial purposes as they are not overly expensive and have a consistent demand.

About the Author

Victoria Lamb

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets.

Career Highlights:

  • Has worked with several aquarium manufacturers as a consultant
  • Organized and hosted workshops on freshwater fish keeping at retail stores, educational facilities, and libraries
  • Released content for the amphibian community through her writings

Educational Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare

  • University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK (2014-2018)

Writing Experience

Victoria has done ghostwriting for many aquarium and pet websites in the past. She has also worked for Canada's largest natural health magazine- ALIVE, with 300,000 monthly circulations as a freelancer. She had six published articles on animal behavior and welfare during her graduation for her thesis.

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