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Lemon Tetras - the

fish with the

long body and big eyes

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Lemon Tetra - a Perfect addition for your Community Aquarium
Hans Dekker

Lemon Tetra

Glassily transparent, the lemon tetra could appear to be
just a sunbeam flashing through your community tank if not
for background elements like plants and driftwood.

Another member of the large characin clan, the
lemon tetra has a fairly elongated body like its smaller relative
the neon tetra and like neons and other characins, the lemon
tetra does best if kept in small schools of six to eight fish.

One of the most distinguishing features of the lemon tetra is
their large eyes. The upper part of the lemon tetra’s eye is
brilliant red, which is a sharp contrast to the yellow pastels it
displays in its body colors. Actually, though, the lemon tetra is
quite colorful on close inspection. Body coloring is a delicate
pale yellow, flanks are silver, and the leading edge of the anal
fin is shiny-bright-yellow and sharply divided from the other
rays, which are black. In the male, the rest of the anal fin is
broad and fringed in black, a characteristic that is missing in
the plumper female. As many male characins do, the male lemon
tetras also have tiny hooks on their anal fins. Both males and
females have the tetras’ characteristic adipose fin, which is
also pale yellow in color.

Although omnivorous and able to exist on a diet of flaked food,
the pale yellow color of the lemon tetra displays best if the
fish’s standard diet is well supplemented with live treats. The
lemon tetra is an egg-scatterer. However, breeding can be tricky
since females often have a problem expelling their eggs and after
spawning, the lemon tetra like many others of its species, is
quick to cannibalize its eggs if not removed from the breeding
tank. However, eggs will hatch in about 24 hours after spawning.
Fry should be fed a live diet and if they survive, they’ll be
about two inches long as adults.

Hans is author of Tetra Fish and Cichilds sections on  For more reviews visit our site.

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