Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Moenkhausia pittieri

Diamond Tetra

Diamond Tetra, Moenkhausia pittieriDiamond Tetra, Moenkhausia pittieri
Photos by Andy Rapson


General Notes:

Diamond tetras are shoaling fish and so keep them in a group of at least five individuals with more females than males. Male diamond tetras will spar with each other but they don't do any harm with their sparing. They are peaceful and make very good community fish but they may nip the fins of guppies, Siamese fighters and the like, they will be fine with a range of small barbs, rasboras and other tetras. Tank bred specimens are generally more adaptable than wild caught fish and will adapt to most tap water provided that extremes are avoided.


Wild diamond tetras feed on worms, crustaceans and insects. In captivity they are quite undemanding and will accept flake, granular and suitably sized pellet food along with a range of live or frozen food such as blood worms, daphnia, cyclops.


Adult females have fuller abdomens, adult males have proportionally larger fins.


Breeding diamond tetras is achieved in much the same way as with other small characins: To breed this fish successfully you will need a separate aquarium with lots of fine leaved plants tied in bunches to act as spawning mops. Spawning can go on for a long time and the parents will eat some of their own eggs but a healthy well conditioned female is capable of laying up to several hundred eggs in a single spawning so the losses are unimportant. After spawning remove the parents and the eggs will hatch after 30 - 36 hours depending on the temperature. When the fry become free swimming they can be fed on using a commercial liquid fry food initially and once big enough they can move on to newly hatched brine shrimps and then finely crushed flake food.

Wild status

Diamond tetras are not facing any immediate threats in the wild, almost all diamond tetras offered for sale will have been commercially bred.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 7
dGH: 5 - 12
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 6cm (2.5in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Diamond Tetra, Moenkhausia pittieri

Origin: South America: Lake Valencia basin in Venezuela.

Habitat: Slow moving streams and lakes with a lot of vegetation


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Moenkhausia
Species: M. pittieri Eigenmann, 1920

Common name:
Diamond Tetra

Synonyms: Opisthanodus haerteli