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X-Ray Tetra (Pristella Maxillaris) Care guide, Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding

All the curiosities of the tetra x-ray fish

The tetra x-ray fish is among the most demanded species due to its striking characteristics, especially since it is recommended for beginners of this hobby since they will always survive any attempt. However, it needs the company of other specimens of the same size and with the same demands to avoid being hurt by other aggressive genres. Because of his peaceful and sociable behavior, he does not disturb or attack.

x ray tetra
Scientific NamePristella Maxillaris
Other NamesX-Ray fish, Golden Pristella Tetra, Water Goldfinch
FamilyCharacidae
GenusPristella
OriginsSouth America
TemperamentPeaceful
Aquarium LevelMiddle – Top
DifficultyBeginner – Intermediate
ShoalingYes
Best kept asGroups 6+
DietOmnivore
ReproductionEgg-Scatterer
Lifespanup to 5 year
Maximum Sizeup to 5 cm

General habitat

Within their natural habitat they can develop up to 5 or 6 centimeters in length. Tetra x-ray fish can be found in South America such as Guyana, Venezuela and in the Amazon River in Brazil. They also usually live in streams, estuaries and crystallized waters with a lot of vegetation. When the time of drought arrives, they lodge in small streams of soft water.

Its coloration varies according to the time of year and the place where it is located. When winter comes, they move throughout the flooded savannah until they find the estuaries and some shallow ones where spawning is created. In community aquariums it can have a life expectancy between 5 and 6 years approximately, but everything depends on the care that is given from a young age.

The male is longer and shorter, while the female retains the color of the tail so it is more striking. Some specimens have a reddish tail and reach a size between 5 and 6 centimeters. Another advantage is that it can be compatible with any other school of medium and small size such as The Mollysg Guppys or the tetra family.

Tetra x-ray Overview

The fish tetra ratos x has a completely translucent body, it is distinguished from the other species by having a small spot in black behind the gills. Its dorsal and anal fin has three flat bands of different coloration: black, white and yellow. While the ventral fins have black spots that can be seen with the naked eye. In conclusion we can say that this fish in addition to being easy to breed turns out to be a good companion.

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Aquariums for fish tetra x-rays


For proper maintenance of tetra x-ray fish it is important to choose an aquarium that meets the basic needs of this species. They generally adapt to any environment, but if you want them to become your best company for many years you should give them an appropriate treatment so that they feel happy. Within it you can incorporate other genres of similar characteristics to avoid confrontations.

Fish tanks for tetra x-ray fish

In pet stores you can find a variety of fish tanks and aquariums, however in this case you should choose one that is wide and preferably round to prevent sharp corners from injuring the fish tetra ratos x while swimming. In the fish tank you choose, no less than 60 liters must fit, in addition the pH of water must be between 6.0 to 7.5 to remain crystallized.

Ideally, the hardness of the water should be below 16 degrees Celsius and the temperature should be maintained at 23 and 27°C. Because they belong to the group of schools, it is advisable that you introduce at least 8 specimens so that they feel safe and protected. Try the way that they are of similar characteristics because by their size it could become the talk of other fish.

This species needs to be kept in a wide area to properly develop its swimming and to stay out of stress. Sometimes you can feel shy so it requires well-planted areas to hide when you like, the best option is to plant natural vegetation such as tall plants that attenuate light, trunks or non-pointed stones.

Aquarium elements

Try not to overload the aquarium with heavy point elements as this can cause cuts or injuries to the body of the tetra x-ray fish. The ideal is to buy artificial plants or vegetables so that the species has a better displacement and before placing them check that it does not have any damage. With these basic guidelines your fish will remain in perfect condition and they will always thank you.

Types of fish tetra x-rays

Types of tetra x-ray fish

Within this species there are other types of fish tetra ratos x of equal size but different peculiarities that also have a high demand in the trade. This is due to the scientific combination that has been made between its same gender and as a result new generations have emerged with different coloration and shape. Among the best known we find the following:

Black tetra or monjita fish: it is characterized by being elegant and striking coloration ideal for the decoration of community aquariums. On its elongated body it has two black stripes, it has a long anal fin for efficient swimming and its two fins are black.

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Bleeding fin tetrafish: As the name implies, this genus has bright red coated fins so it seems to be bleeding all the time. Their body is compressed and in some cases they can grow up to 7 centimeters in length so they require a large area for nothing to their liking.

Red tetra fish: belongs to the group of caracids so it is recommended to beginners. In this case the head is usually larger than the body so its swimming is not as efficient, in addition its lower jaw is more developed than the upper jaw.

Care for your species

For the tetra x-ray fish to always remain healthy and with a robust coloration, it is necessary to keep it in a large aquarium, with a lot of floating vegetation, with an adequate temperature and with a good filter that provides the oxygenation necessary for its survival.

Baby fish tetra x-rays

Reproduction of the tetra x-ray

In this type of species it is a bit difficult to reproduce, so before courtship it is recommended to prepare a fairly large aquarium to prevent parents from having any confrontation with other genera. Then the first thing you should do is cover almost the entire surface of the aquarium with floating plants, whether artificial or natural, in addition the soil needs to be densely planted preferably with an upholstery plant.

You need to make sure that the aquarium incorporates plants like Cabomba Carolina to make the laying much safer. When you have everything ready it is necessary to optimize the temperature one or two degrees, then you must introduce two females and three males so that the courtship begins surely the female will do the laying on the upholstery plants.

In some cases the female can get to shed between 100 to 200 eggs, so once the act is done it is necessary to remove the parents from the aquarium to prevent them from devouring the laying. Now it only remains to wait 48 hours for the eggs to hatch,the tetra-time x-born fish feed on their own life sac since they can not perfectly digest their food.

Tips for breeding

During the first three days the calf will not be able to feed on live food so it is recommended to give them small portions of egg yolk, as up to five days they begin to swim it is necessary to throw the food at a short distance. After this time you must feed them as you usually do with other fish so that their immune system and defenses develop correctly.

Feeding the tetra x-ray fish

What does the tetra x-ray fish eat?

It depends on food that it comes to live several years. Because it belongs to the group of shoals, it is an omnivorous species so it does not present any difficulty when it comes to its feeding because they accept almost everything. However, it is necessary to have a diet rich in nutrients for the correct development of your immune system or you can also buy special products for fish in pet stores.

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The diet can vary from day to day so that the tetra x-ray fish has more appetite and does not get bored of the same routine. Among the foods that most often eat we find: dried scales, red mosquito larvae, crustaceans, stews, shrimp, frozen food and porridge for fish. With this food your fish will always be kept in perfect condition.

It must be taken into account that the most important thing in this case is not the quantity but the quality that is given to these animals. The most convenient thing is to offer them a balanced diet that involves commercial food and sometimes live foods with a lot of protein. To avoid confrontations with the others in your group it is important to throw the food at a short distance so that they do not steal your advantage and you are left without eating.

How to feed them?

Because they have a small organism they cannot quickly digest the supplies, so the tetra fish should be given small portions of food once or twice a day. In this way you will avoid leaving residues inside the aquarium or that the water is contaminated. On the other hand you must change the water constantly so that when introducing food do not capture any bacteria.

Care of tetra x-ray fish

Basic care

Being a gregarious genus it is necessary to keep it in groups between 5 and 6 specimens,in this way they will feel safe and protected all the time. When tetra x fish become stressed, they tend to damage their immune system and therefore weaken their defenses. To prevent this from happening it is important that the aquarium is preferably planted with natural vegetation for an efficient swim.

It is recommended that the middle zone is free since most of the time is spent there, in addition to the background of being prepared by dark gravel to attenuate the clarity. For optimal maintenance it is best to opt for an aquarium where at least 60 liters fit. The water must have a pH between 6.0 to 7.5 so that the species has a better oxygenation.

Being a small species it is important that the hardness of the water is kept below 16° C since they are not able to withstand sudden changes. To avoid creating pests or bacteria that can harm the fish it is important to change the water at least once a week, surely your species will appreciate it.

How to care for tetra x-ray fish

The tetra x-ray fish is native to the family of schools that can survive on their own, however to remain robust and striking they are accustomed to living in large spaces to be able to develop their swimming comfortably and without stress. You must also make sure that it has little current so as not to be dragged from one place to another and cause any injury.

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