Blue Tetra Care Guide: Tank Setup and much more – 2021

blue tetra


Tetras are undoubtedly the best ones to add to a tank for beginners looking for easy schooling fishes. But what does tetra mean? Are they only tiny fishes with neon effects? No, not at all! There are blue tetras, which are another very gorgeous type of fish species. Blue tetra is the most beautiful one among all the other tetras with its light and bright color and a funny temperament.

Blue tetra is the native of the Amazon rainforest basin. They grow to 1.6-inches and live up to 2-3 years subject to proper care. These fishes are peaceful but prominent fin nippers. They are easy to care for and thus best kept with other small friendly fishes in a group of 6.


Category Rating
Level of care Easy
Appearance Bright shiny blue with a slight pink hue
Temperament Fin nippers
Life expectancy 2-3 years
Size 1.6-inches
Diet Omnivores
Family Characidae
Tank size 25-gallon
Tank Environment Soft acidic water with bright lighting and lots of plants
Tankmates Peaceful

About Blue Tetra


Unlike the common types of tetras, Boehlkea Fredcochui or Blue tetra is relatively less popular. They are usually native to the rivers and streams of the Amazon rainforest basin in Southern American regions.

Their blue color and smaller size make them an excellent choice for your aesthetically decorated aquariums. However, they are quite comfortable and easy to care for, even in non-planted tanks. 

Blue tetras are usually schooling fishes; thus, it is better to keep many specimens together in the tank.

Cochu’s blue tetra comes with a streamlined body shape. And in terms of size, these fishes grow up to only 1.6-inches. An adult Cochu will show its vibrant blue color with a slight hue of pink coloration on its body.

However, their color usually varies from a dull sky-blue color to a darker one. Also, the blue color on the tetras’ body is pretty shiny. But do you know where this luster comes from? Well, the shine is based on their health condition.


Blue Tetra Temperament


Blue tetra is usually a very peaceful one for your tank. They are gentle enough and will not at all harm the other mates in the aquarium. As they are schooling fishes, they naturally prefer to stay in a group with others of their own kind.

However, Blue tetras are known as famous fin nippers. They frequently nip the fins of other large or slow swimming tankmates. This behavior is primarily seen in them when they do not get enough space for swimming.


Blue Tetra Tank Requirement


Blue tetras are very easy to care for. But you need to ensure that you are offering them an appropriate level of care with a proper tank set-up.

Though Cochu’s tetras are small in size, they produce a lot of waste. So, never make the mistake of keeping them in a small aquarium owing to their size; instead, ensure to keep them in a generous capacity of the tank.

The water quality of the tank also plays a vital role in maintaining the good health of tetras. They are hardy enough and dwell in a variety of water parameters.

However, the tank needs to balance water hardness, pH level, and temperature. Also, it is recommended to add a top-notch filtration unit to the tank of your blue tetra.

While deciding the substrate for your tank, opt for a darker one. Dark gravel will be fine for your tiny tetras.

Now, for facilitating the best care, the tank of blue tetras needs specific assortments. This species of tetra usually prefers moderate or bright lighting in the tank, along with dense vegetation. Thus, make sure the aquascape is shady enough so that they can have proper places to hide.

For added decoration, you can merely incorporate many artificial plants into your aquarium. Also, adding plenty of plants and driftwood pieces will be fine for the tank.


Blue Tetra Tank Set-Up


For offering the best level of care to your blue tetra, you need to ensure that you are creating a very top-notch tank set-up. And this is why you need to take all the measures to make the tank have the best aquascape.

So, here is how you can facilitate a proper tank set-up for your bright blue fishes.

  • For taking care of tetras, you need to opt for a large tank. Tetras are best kept in a group of 6 specimens. Thus, you can keep the Cochu’s tetras in a 25-gallons tank.
  • This species of tetra loves to dwell under bright lighting yet in shady places. And such a requirement makes the tank set-up quite tricky. So, what to do? You can either keep many live plants or opt for some fake plants to offer your fishes adequate places to hide.
  • In Cochu’s blue tetra tank, the water temperature needs to be proper. In the wild, they usually stay at a moderate temperature, like 72-82℉. However, in the aquarium, it is better to maintain 78℉ of water temperature.
  • Cochu’s generally prefer a bit soft to intermediate water. Hence, make sure to maintain the hardness level of water between 5-12 dGH.
  • Also, maintain a pH range of 6-7.5 in the aquarium water.
  • For facilitating proper filtration in the tank, you can pick a filter that adds a low level of current to the water. Hang-on-the-back or sponge filters are usually preferred.
  • These tetras prefer dwelling in a darker substrate. So, add dark-colored gravel or aquarium soil to give them the proper level of care.


Blue Tetra Tank Mates


Blue tetras are usually best kept with fishes of the same species as they are con-specific. But since they are peaceful enough and not aggressive, you can easily keep them with other peaceful fishes.

You can also keep the Cochu’s tetras with other species of tetra. But blue tetras are prominent fin nippers. So, they will nip the fins quite often when other fishes come closer to them. It might be a distinct defense mechanism for them, but make sure not to keep them with such feeble fishes that might get easily hurt due to fin nipping.

So, are you wondering which fishes would be the most compatible with your blue tetras? Well, check out the list below.

  • Ember tetras
  • Other tetras
  • Small cichlids
  • Discus


What Does Blue Tetra Eat?


To take good care of your blue-colored, tiny aqua pets, you need to make sure that you offer them the proper amount of diet to grow.

These fishes usually require a highly nutrition-rich diet. Though they are omnivorous by nature, in the wild, they were usually scavengers. And owing to this nature, these blue tetras generally feed on everything they find in their way. They eat dead plants, leaves, and even fruits hanging close to the water.

Nevertheless, these tiny fishes love to consume a lot of plant-based food. So, it is better to feed them with pellets having a higher composition of plant content, fulfilling their hunger craving rightly.

Care for Blue Tetra


Caring for blue tetra is not at all a hectic task. Instead, these fishes are very easy to care for in your tank.

While taking proper care of your tetras, you need to ensure 10% of water change every week. Besides, you may vacuum the substrate only once a month; it will be enough for them.

Also, you need to keep checking the water parameters once in a while to ensure that you are providing good quality water to your pet fish. It is vital to keep the aquarium water clean to prevent harming your fishes’ health.


Blue Tetra Breeding Guidelines


Do you want to welcome baby blue tetras to your tank? Well, breeding this species of tetra is very easy. But make sure to offer them a separate breeding tank to make your tetras stay calm and reproduce well.

A proper tank set-up for the breeding purpose will maximize the chances of getting better success in breeding.

So, for the breeding aquarium, it is better to pick a densely planted one. Add smooth and long-leaved plants to the tank with a lot of hiding spots. Ensure that the water pH is slightly acidic and soft, as, in such conditions, blue tetras have better hatching of their eggs.

You can also add floating plants to ensure better breeding of the tetras. Put in plants like Amazon Sword to offer them proper places to stay and hide.

During breeding, the filtration rate also needs to be very top-notch. You can add a small sponge filter to the tank. But make sure you are not adding too powerful filters.

Also, in the breeding season, offer your tetra nutrition-enriched foods. Give them a high protein diet, which will encourage their breeding.

So, are you excited to learn about tetras’ breeding mechanism?

Well, the female blue tetras lay their eggs on a smooth surface over a plant. After that, the male counterparts fertilize those eggs openly. Post fertilization, remove the parents immediately from the tank to safeguard the fries from being eaten away.

In the beginning, you need not feed the fries, as they sustain on egg yolk. But as they grow and the egg yolk gets depleted, you can offer them baby brine shrimps to nourish them well.


Interesting Facts About Blue Tetra


Do you want to know some fun facts about blue tetras? Well, here are a few interesting facts about them.

  • They nip the fins of other fish species whenever the teras sees them roaming in their territory.
  • They are schooling fishes and show the best color when kept in a group.
  • Blue tetra loves to swim around in open spaces.
  • They love a constant water flow in the tank.
  • Their color is best shown and pops up vibrantly in the bright light.


Where to Buy Blue Tetra?


Cochu’s blue tetras are not so common, unlike other tetras, which are easily available in the market. But this particular species of tetra is not rare. You can find them in any major fish store.

However, if you do not get these tetras in your usual fish stores, you can find them from the hobbyist stores. Blue tetras are also easy to find in the online fish stores, from where you can easily order them.


How Big Do Blue Tetra Get?


Blue tetras usually extend up to 1.6-inches. As adults, they can also grow up to 2-inches if they receive the proper level of care.


How Long Does Blue Tetra Live?


In the wild, the Cochu’s blue tetras live for about 5-6 years. However, in a fish tank, when they live in captivity, they hardly live up to 2-3 years subject to proper care and the right diet.


Is Blue Tetra Suitable for Aquariums or Tanks?


So, now you know what does tetra mean! They are fun and beautiful, isn’t it? Also, blue tetras are very suitable to be cared for in a tank. They are gentle enough and not at all demanding. If you provide them good tank water quality and adequate amounts of food, they will live happily with you.

With their best behavior, they are simply a good choice for many beginners. All you need to ensure is a proper tank set-up that mimics their natural habitat and lets your blue tetras stay stress-free and happy in the aquarium.