If you’re looking for a colorful and active fish to add to your tank, the silver tip tetra is an excellent choice. These tiny fish are hardy, easy to care for and thrive in communal tanks.

The gorgeous silver tip tetra is considered one of the most desirable aquarium fish for tropical fish keepers. The silver tip tetra belongs to the Characidae family and is primarily found in South American countries like Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. They are indigenous to most of the tributaries, streams, or other freshwater bodies across South America.

Being one of the sturdy and vibrant freshwater fish, Silver Tetras are adaptive to a wide spectrum of water parameters. As a result, they are among the most desired aquarium fish that need reasonable care. Interestingly, they have assorted commons such as copper tetra (due to copper color), silver-Tipped, silver tip fish, and more. These fish are generally small in size and exhibit schooling behaviors.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about keeping silver tip tetras healthy and breeding them successfully. We’ll also recommend some compatible tankmates for your new fish friends. So, read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures!

All about the Species

Quick Species Facts
Scientific Name Hasemania nana
Other Common Names Silver Tetra, Silver Tip Fish, Copper Tetra, Tipped Tetra
Family Characidae
Origin FreshWaters- South America: Sao Francisco River basin, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Lifespan 5 to 8 Years
Size Up to 2 Inches (1.2 Inches Average)
Type Freshwater Fish
Silver Tip Tetra All about this Species
Image Credit: Map data ©2022 Google.INGI – Silver Tip Tetras Origin


Being a member of the Tetra family, which has over 150 different species, silver tip tetras are amongst the magnificent freshwater fish having special traits, unlike others. They are very adaptable to assorted water parameters, making them ideal for fish tanks or aquariums. Furthermore, due to their resilient nature, they can flourish in tropical biotope fish tanks in the community.

However, the larger silver tip tetras are comparatively more aggressive than, the smaller ones. They don’t like any intimidation from the other fish. Also, when kept in small groups or alone, they will become aggressive. These are some exceptions; mostly, copper tetras live peacefully in captivity.

Silver tip tetras are peaceful and display pleasant temperaments. They are found in various vibrant colors, primarily golden-yellowish and copper. Their appearing dorsal fins come with shimmering white tips accompanied by a tail with a black hue on the edge. Silver tetra is an ideal fish for a community fish tank with lots of energy, swimming here and there. However, it can display a little bit of aggressiveness due to hostile or uncomfortable surroundings, i.e., when kept in small groups or alone.


Silver Tetra is an adorable little fish with a slender and torpedo-designed body, the same as the other Characidae family species. Its body complexion is slightly golden with a gleaming silver contour beside the eyes. It also features a thin black stripe that starts from the body’s center to the edge of the tail fins.

Silver tip tetra has a dorsal fin illuminating golden-yellowish color accompanied by a small silver lining on the tip. It also has a vibrant red caudal along with dorsal fins. Further, the anal fin is somehow similar to the dorsal fin, incorporating identical color patterns and design.

Essentially, all these shimmering markings and a blend of classic colorations make silver tip fish immensely desirable for the home aquarium.


Just like tropical freshwater fish, silver tip tetra’s size varies from small to medium. It has a standard body length of 1.2 inches (3cm). However, some wild breeds may grow up to a maximum of 2 inches (5cm). Interestingly, there is a slight variation in the size of the males and females. The females are relatively longer or fuller than their male counterparts.

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Are you looking for the perfect tank size and compatible surroundings for full-grown silver tip fish? Don’t worry; you will learn about every aspect of silver tip tetra care in upcoming sections.

Quick Fact: The growth of the silver tetras depends on various aspects such as a combination of good breeds, wild nature, excellent care, and some natural qualities. 

Life Expectancy

Silver tip tetra has a decent life expectancy of approximately five to eight years. Notably, the lifespan depends on various elements, primarily on health status and genetics. In addition, extensive care and suitable surroundings can also improve life expectancy. So, you should provide adequate care to these small species to live a healthy and longer life.


Speaking about the vital characteristics of the silver tip tetras, they are small-medium-sized fish with unique silver colorations of the tip of the fins. In addition, their elongated body with three dorsal fins makes them more beautiful. The body color is primarily yellowish-brown; however, there is a slight variation in the texture of males and females. Males are pretty vibrant and look more attractive than females.

Silver tip tetras love to swim in the higher level of the fish tank or aquarium. They are known to be energetic species and remain cheerful in their surroundings. However, they prefer to live in large groups and are comfortable exploring the habitat. Silver tip tetra is an active school fish with peaceful and accommodating behavior.

They love to live with small and non-aggressive fish, i.e., other tetras, livebearers, and others.

When these fish are kept in small groups or alone, they behave more aggressively and live in constant fear, which indirectly reduces the lifespan of these beautiful creatures.

Gender Identification

However, the male silver tetras are more observable and appealing than their female counterparts. On the other hand, the female silver tip tetras lack lively corporations, look gloomier, and have a fuller body compared to the male fishes.

Moreover, the males start reproducing white tips on their scales with passing time, while females retain silver color on their body scales throughout their lifetime. Also, the male tetra has a coppery color, and the female has a slightly grey shade. Both of them have a notable yellow-tipped anal fin. 

Talking about body shape, the female tetras have a larger and rounder belly than the males for storing eggs. So, one can easily distinguish the sex of the silver tip fish through a simple glimpse.

Care for Silver Tip Tetra

Quick Care Facts
Care Level Moderate Care Required
Social Temperament Peaceful (Occasionally aggressive due to hostile environment) 
Diet Omnivore
Breeding Egg Layers. Relatively easy if kept in suitable surroundings.

Diet and Feeding

Silver tip fish are known to be omnivores, and they consume insects, algae, plants, living foods, and very much anything that can be found in the surroundings. In the wild, they devour small insects, daphnia, tubifex worms, and brine shrimps.

Inside the aquarium, providing high-nutritious food with sufficient variations is essential. In addition, the tank should be cleaned routinely to create favorable conditions free from any sort of pollution or contamination.

The primary meal should include high-quality flakes or dry granules for nutritional sustenance. Silver tip tetras also love bloodworms, protein snacks, and various meat-based stocks. They need a couple of meals with appropriate nutrition to stay energetic and healthy for a long time. Typically, feeding is a simple task for the silver tetras, as they will wear down whatever is offered to them in the diet.

Author Tip:  We advise you to provide rich and nutritious food for better health. Insufficient or improper diet will result in discoloration of the body and also lessen the average life expectancy.

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Temperament and Social Behavior

As we know, copper tip tetras are shoaling fish and prefer to live in groups of six to eight fish. Their behavior mainly depends on the fish present in the surroundings. They are peaceful and popular community fish that prefer to live in a school of small-medium size fish.

The silver tetras are more hostile than other tetra family species. They have a habit of annoying other fish by their nipping fins. So, a large tank assists in mitigating the risk of conflict and creating a peaceful territory.


Silver tip tetra’s breeding behavior is simple. Notably, the silver tip fish can be bred comfortably inside a tank with the required water parameters.

You will need warmer water with a temperature between 82-86 °F (27 – 30 °C), a slightly acidic pH of 6 – 6.2, and a hardness magnitude between 2 – 4 DH. Also, the silver tetra eggs and fry are quite vulnerable to light; therefore, the captive habitation should be dimly lit to make them sustainable and comfortable. Alternatively, you can shroud the bottom with java moss and clusters of small plants to create a suitable mesh that allows fish to deposit their hatched eggs.

The silver tip tetras generally breed in pairs. So, it is recommended to have 3-4 pairs of males and females inside the breeding tank and stimulate the spawning process. Importantly, the silver tip fish’s breeding behavior is not very much admired in the fish community. They lack parental instincts and are known as egg scatters; therefore, it is advisable to keep them in separate tanks to prevent cramming down their own eggs.

The laid eggs will hatch in 24 – 30 hours, and after three or four days, the fry will be able to swim freely in the tank. At that time, it is necessary to provide rich and nutritious foods for better health. After five or six months, the silver tip fish will reach sexual maturity and start breeding.

Common Diseases

Similar to other freshwater fish, silver tip tetras are also susceptible to common freshwater diseases. They don’t have any specific ailments and fall sick with common tropical infections or maladies. However, most of the fish are affected by ich infections that result in small white spots on the fins or gills.

Along with ich infections, there are various other ailments such as fin rot, parasitic infection, and velvet diseases. All these diseases can be cured with required counter medication along with the necessary quarantine.

The best way to protect the sturdy silver tetra from various infections is by providing clean water and routinely maintaining the balance of the water. They have great immune power and resist infection very well. However, due to unfavorable surroundings, they fail to fight for a long period. So, regularly examine all the required water parameters to create suitable and prosperous surroundings for healthy living.

Tank Recommendations

Quick Tank Facts
Minimum Size (Individual) 5 Gallons (18 liters) or more
Water Temperature 72°F to 82°F / 22°-28° C
Water Hardness 5 – 19 dGH
pH Level 6.0 to 8.0

Ideal Tank Size

Silvertip tetra requires at least 20 gallons of aquarium size to survive peacefully. Tetras are often termed as schooling fish, a group of fish that needs a family to live. Therefore, one has to keep a lot of fish in the tank and buy a tank large enough to give them enough swimming space.

If one can invest more space, it is better to go for 25 gallons of aquarium size. This tank size will make the fish feel comfortable in the artificial tank as good as its natural habitat. The size of the tank must also be rectangular as the height can remain average, but there must be sufficient width. The schooling behavior of Silvertip Tetra is stunning to watch in a larger tank.

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Tank Setup, Décor, and Plants

The fish tank decor for silvertip tetra must be wild and dense. Tetras prefer dense plants, twisted branches, and rocks. For the bottom layer and substrate of the aquarium, use good-quality sand clay. Top the sand layer with big and small pebbles, rocks, and plastic bushes. Design the corner sections of the tank with twisted branches, dense plants, and driftwood. For a more natural setup, use some floating plants and twigs in the water.

Silvertip Tetra requires dim lighting in the tank. The shining bodies of Tetras look mesmerizing in dim-lit aquariums. Bright lights can cause stress to tetras, given their own bodies are glossy. The dense plants will uplift the overall look of the tank. One must opt for this well-balanced setup of aquariums to provide a pleasing atmosphere to silvertip tetras.

Water Parameters

Water parameters must be ideal for silver tip tetra to survive in the artificial habitat. One must choose the premium quality of water and change it at least once every 2-3 months. Maintaining the pH level of the water along with its ammonia and nitrate content is essential to secure the healthy living of the fish. Since Tetras are cold-blooded animals, the water temperature must also be stagnant and ideal to suit them.

Pro Tip: We recommend examining all the water parameters for a secure and stable environment. Maintaining proper water level is one of the crucial aspects of silver tip tetra care.

Silvertip tetra will do best in 23 to 28 celsius of water temperature. The pH level of the water must be between 6.0 and 7.8, whereas the hardness must not be below 5H and over 10H. To control the increasing pH level of the water, try using aquarium or sea salt in the tank. Use a water meter to check all these parameters.

Compatible Tankmates

Special Tip: We advise you to never put any large or aggressive fish in the tank. It will make the surroundings hostile and vulnerable for silver tip tetras. They cannot overpower the larger fish and may become food easily. 

In addition, some bottom-dwellers like Loricariids and Corydoras also live well with the Tetras. Also, ensure avoiding slow-moving species with tetras as they can fascinate them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is silver tip tetraaggressive in nature?

Silver tip tetras are contemplated as peaceful and community fish. However, occasionally, it has been witnessed that they become aggressive when kept in small groups. The silver tip tetra chases each other and torments them with their nipper fins. 

Can silver tip tetra and angelfish live together?

Yes, both silver tetra and angelfish are well-known community fish and have peaceful nature. Therefore, they can comfortably survive and live freely in the same surroundings, which is why Angelfish makes incredible tank mates for them.

Are silver tip tetras fin nippers?

In general, Silver tip tetras are a very friendly and peace-loving fish remaining active in the tank. However, they are not considered aggressive, but also they don’t like taking any intimidation from their fellow species. When kept in small groups or faced with bullying, silver tetras become slightly aggressive and use their fins for nipping.

How many silver tip tetras should be kept together in a tank?

It is recommended a silver tip tetra school should consist of a minimum of 6 species. Usually, they prefer large groups and like spacious habitats to swim freely. Importantly, when silver tetras are kept in small groups or alone, they become aggressive.

Are Tetra Fun Tips tablets good or bad?

Tetra FunTips are nutritious food tablets for vitality and refining coloration. They are popular freshwater or tropical fish treats, offering numerous health benefits and essential sustenance. These two-colored adhesive tablets consist of vegetable and animal constituents such as fats, shrimps, algae, daphnia, and more. So, they are reliable for your fish’s diet.

Final Remarks

Silver tip tetra is a nice-looking, striking, stiff, shoaling, and outstanding community fish that accommodates exceptionally well with other aquatic species. Its lustrous and vibrant scales will light up your home with splendid coloration. It is also a popular choice for aquarists from beginner to experience. You can get silver tip tetra from the market for $2- $4. So, make this illuminating fish an addition to your attractive aquarium.

About the Author

Shelby Crosby

Shelby is a passionate fishkeeper who has been writing about fish for over 5 years. She is a pro aquarist and holds a BSc Honors Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries. She creates her own beautiful aquarium layouts and loves to share her knowledge of tropical fish with other hobbyists. Career Highlights: Has worked with several…

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