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

x ray tetra

All the curiosities of the x-ray tetra fish

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

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 grow up to 5 or 6 centimetres in length. X-ray tetra fish can be found in South America like Guyana, Venezuela and in the Amazon river in Brazil. They also tend to 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 waters.

Its colouration varies according to the time of year and the place where it is. When winter arrives, they move through 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 of between 5 and 6 years approximately, but it all depends on the care given to it from an early age.

The male is longer and shorter, while the female retains the colour of the tail, making it more striking. Some specimens have a reddish tail and can reach a size between 5 and 6 centimetres. Another advantage is that it can be compatible with any other medium and small schools such as the Guppies Mollysg or tetras family.

Tetra x-ray overview

The tetra ratos x fish has a completely translucent body, and it is distinguished from the other species by having a small black spot behind the gills. Its dorsal and anal fin has three flat bands of different colours: 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.

Aquariums for tetra x-ray fish

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

Fish tanks for x-ray tetra 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 the sharp corners from injuring the tetra ratos x fish while swimming. In the fish tank you choose, no less than 60 litres should fit, and the pH of the water must be between 6.0 to 7.5 so that it remains crystallized.

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

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

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Aquarium elements

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

Types of tetra x-ray fish

There are other types of x-ray tetra fish of the same size within this species but different peculiarities in high demand in a 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 colouration and shape. Among the best known, we find the following:

Black or monitor tetra fish: it is characterized by being elegant and with a striking colour, ideal for decorating community aquariums. It has two black stripes on its elongated body, it has a long anal fin for efficient swimming, and its two fins are black.

Bleeding fin tetra fish: as its name implies, this genus has fins coated in bright red colour, so it seems that it is bleeding all the time. Their body is compressed, and in some cases, they can grow up to 7 centimetres in length, so they require a wide area for nothing to their liking.

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

Caring for your species

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

X-ray tetra fish hatchlings

Reproduction of the x-ray tetra

In this type of species, reproduction is a bit difficult, so before courtship, it is recommended to prepare a fairly large aquarium to avoid parents 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, either artificial or natural; in addition, the soil needs to be densely planted preferably with a cover plant.

You must make sure that the aquarium incorporates plants such as Cabomba Carolina to make the laying much safer. When everything is ready, it is necessary to optimize the temperature by one or two degrees, then two females and three males must be introduced so that the courtship begins, surely the female will lay on the ground cover plants.

In some cases, the female can spawn between 100 to 200 eggs, so once the act is done, removing the parents from the aquarium prevents them from devouring the laying. Now we only have to wait 48 hours for the eggs to hatch, the tetra rat x fish at birth feed on their own sac for life since they cannot perfectly digest their food.

Tips for breeding

During the first three days, the baby 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 should feed them as you usually do with other fish so that their immune system and defences develop correctly.

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x-ray Tetra fish feeding

What does the x-ray tetra fish eat?

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

The diet can be varied from day to day so that the x-ray tetra fish has more appetite and does not get bored with the same routine. Among the foods that they eat the most, we find dried scales, red mosquito larvae, crustaceans, stews, shrimp, frozen foods and fish porridge. With this diet, 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 best thing is to offer them a balanced diet that includes 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 food at a short distance so that they do not steal your advantage and you run out of food.

How to feed them?

Because they have a small organism, they cannot quickly digest supplies, so the x-ray 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 the water being contaminated. On the other hand, you must change the water constantly so that they do not monopolize any bacteria when introducing the food.

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X-ray tetra fish care

Basic care

Because it is 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 fish become stressed, they tend to damage their immune system and therefore weaken their defences. To prevent this from happening, it is important that the aquarium is preferably planted with natural vegetation for efficient swimming.

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

As it is a small species, it is important that the water’s hardness is kept below 16 ° C since they cannot 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 x-ray tetra fish

The x-ray tetra fish is originally from the family of shoals that can survive on their own; however, to stay robust and strike, they are used to living in large spaces to develop their swimming comfortably and without stress. You should also make sure that it has a little current so as not to be dragged from one place to another and cause an injury.

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