silver tip tetra

Silver Tip Tetra Care Guide: Complete Overview On Lifespan, Tank Mates, And More!

Silver Tip Tetras are both beautiful and hardy freshwater fish that are often overlooked by aquarium hobbyists. If you know how to provide a suitable environment for it, owning these fish is a joy.

In this guide, we’ll cover every aspect of silver tip tetra care – from their tank mates, diet, lifespan, and tank setup. Let’s dig deeper into understanding this species and learn more about them.

silver tip tetra
The image of Silver Tip Tetra showcasing its iridescent scales and shimmering fins.

Species Summary

Silver Tips are highly resilient and can adapt to most tropical biotype aquariums with ease. They are native to South America and are commonly found in streams, tributaries, and both white and blackwater environments of the São Francisco basin in Brazil.

These fish have a unique appearance – they are semi-transparent with a coppery sheen that reflects light beautifully. Males are usually more vibrant with deep copper hues, while female silver tips come with a less vivid body color that looks close to silver.

Furthermore, these fish possess golden-yellow fins punctuated with bright silver at the tips. The base of their tail fin is also a standout feature since it carries an unmistakable black mark flanked on both sides with a touch of yellow.


With proper care, the typical silver tip tetra lifespan can range from five to eight years. As with any other fish, genetics and the level of care provided will play a huge role in determining their lifespan.

Therefore, adequate husbandry is essential to ensure these fish stay free of stress and remain healthy.

Average Size

Silver Tip tetras are not particularly large and are typically around 1.2 inches in length. That being said, there have been instances where adult silver tips have grown up to two inches in length with good genes, proper care, and some luck.

Silver Tip Tetra Care

Silver Tip tetra care is quite easy and these fish don’t require specific conditions to stay healthy. They are capable of surviving in standard tropical conditions and won’t cause too much hassle in terms of maintenance.

That said, this species does come with some preferences and behavior quirks that should be acknowledged when providing care. Here are some guidelines that you should follow for the successful care of silver tip tetras.

Tank Size

It is conceivable to keep a small group of Silver Tip tetras in a 10-gallon tank, but for better results, we would recommend a tank size of at least 20 gallons. This would provide sufficient space for a small shoal and for every adult tetra, about three gallons should be provided. Additionally, factor in the other occupants

Water Parameters

Silver Tip tetras are typically tropical fish and prefer warm water temperatures. The suggested range is between 64°F to 82°F with an optimum temperature of 72 to 74 degrees. pH levels should be kept stable at 6.0 to 8.0, while hardness should be within the range of 4 to 8 KH.

Failing to maintain good water parameters will negatively affect the well-being of your fish.

Hence, having the right equipment is of paramount importance.

What To Put Inside Their Tank

When creating a tank for silver tip tetras, the natural habitat should be replicated as closely as possible. A dark substrate is ideal for recreating the kind of environment these fish would find in the wild and adding a layer of plant detritus will add tannins to the water for better health.

At the same time, you can also include a few plants as Silver Tip tetras don’t really encounter a lot of vegetation in their natural habitat. Having some coverage will make them feel more secure, so choose fast-growing species such as Anubias, Java ferns, and Hornworts.

It’s also important to incorporate hiding spots and pick appropriate tank mates with careful consideration. A refuge can be made with driftwood, rocks, and clay flower pots that act as shelter for the fish when stressed.

As for tank mates, look for other peaceful fish such as Congo tetras, guppies, Corydoras, or Black Widow Tetras. As a safety tip. Take your time and make sure everyone is compatible before adding them to the tank.


Silver Tip tetras have a typical omnivorous diet, which means they will accept both live and flake foods. It is important to incorporate some frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and artemia into their diets.

Additionally, high protein pellets also make a great snack while feeding them every other day is recommended.

Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for silver tip tetras, the most important factor is to replicate the natural habitat as closely as possible. Since these fish are native to South America, a darker substrate like sand or gravel is ideal for creating the kind of environment these fish would find in the wild.

Moreover, adding a layer of plant detritus will add tannin to the water and give it the tea-like hue found in its natural habitat. Also, having a few plants in the tank as well as hiding spots like driftwood and rocks will help create a sense of security for the fish in the tank.

Caring for Silver Tips

Once you have set up the tank and introduced the fish, it is essential to maintain consistent water parameters. Silver Tip tetras prefer warm water temperatures between 64-82 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level of 6.0-8.0.

In addition, a proper filtration system should be installed to ensure that the water is free of toxins and pollutants. Furthermore, regular tank cleanings should also be done to get rid of excess debris.

Aquarium Decorations

When decorating the tank, it is important to keep the silver tips in mind. Having a dark substrate and a layer of plant detritus will add tannins to the water for better health while adding a handful of fast-growing plants such as Anubias, Java ferns, and Hornworts will give the fish additional coverage and hideouts when stressed.

Rocks, terracotta pots, driftwood, and roots can also be used to create an intricate aquascape for the fish to explore.

Swimming and Aggression

Silver tips are active swimmers and love to explore their tanks. As such, having plenty of open swimming space and hiding spots is essential. It is also important to note that silver tips can be quite aggressive towards each other, so it is best to introduce a school of 6 or more to avoid any bullying.

Proper Tank Mates

Silver Tip Tetras (Hasemania nana) are peaceful, active fish that do well in a community setting with other small and peaceful species. Here are some suitable tank mates for Silver Tip Tetras:

1. Other tetra species: Other tetras, such as Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, or Ember Tetras, are good companions for Silver Tip Tetras.

2. Rasboras: Species such as Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, or Dwarf Rasboras make good tank mates for Silver Tip Tetras.

3. Guppies: Guppies are active and colorful fish that are also peaceful and get along well with Silver Tip Tetras.

4. Corydoras: Bottom-dwelling species, such as Bronze Corydoras or Peppered Corydoras, make good tank mates for Silver Tip Tetras.

4. Shrimp: Shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp or Ghost Shrimp, can also make good tank mates for Silver Tip Tetras, as they will help keep the aquarium clean and provide a different type of movement and behavior.

It’s important to note that Silver Tip Tetras are known to nip at the fins of slow-moving or long-finned fish, so care should be taken when selecting tank mates. It’s always a good idea to research the compatibility of different species before adding them to the same aquarium.

Note: Failing to properly research fish before introducing them to the tank might result in aggression and could harm your silver tips.

Growth and Breeding

The growth rate of silver tip tetras will depend on various factors such as genetics, water conditions, and diet. Under the right conditions, silver tips are capable of reaching two inches in total length.

As for breeding, silver tips can prove to be a challenging species to breed in captivity, but it is not impossible. To succeed in breeding them, you need to pay close attention to water parameters and provide the right diet and plenty of hiding spots to get them into spawning mode.

Health Concerns

Overall, Silver Tip tetras are quite resilient and hardy fish. As long as proper care and maintenance are provided, they won’t suffer from any major health issues.

That being said, they are susceptible to some common maladies such as bacterial infections, parasites, and Ich disease.


In conclusion, Silver Tip tetras are a beautiful and hardy species that can bring life to any aquarium. With proper care and maintenance, these fish can stay healthy and provide years of enjoyment and entertainment.

By understanding their needs, providing them with the right diet, and offering plenty of hiding spots, you can foster a thriving, healthy environment for them to thrive in.