Information, Freshwater fish, Species

Glowlight Tetra: Complete Species & Care Overview

Photo of author

by Jason Matthews



Glowlight Tetra is one of the friendliest fish species that is also easy to care for. This fish species originates from the Guyana region in South America. Hence, it requires similar conditions as those of blackwater rivers and streams. Glowlight Tetra is known for its beautiful appearance consisting of a unique orange stripe.


Scientific Name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
Common Names: Glowlight Tetra, Glolight, Fire Neon
Life Expectancy: 4 to 5 years
Adult Size: 1 to 1.5 inches


Origin Guyana region, South America
Care LevelEasy
Temperament Friendly and social
Diet Omnivores
Tank LevelMid-dwellers
Water pH5.5 – 7.5 pH
Water Temperature74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
Water HardnessUp to 15 dGH
Tank MatesOther Tetras, Guppies, Loaches, Cory Catfish, etc. 

Fun Fact Corner

  1. Glowlight Tetras attain sexual maturity when they are seven to eight months old. 
  2. Glowlight Tetras have one more variation known as the Albino Glowlight Tetra. 


Glowlight Tetra is native to the Guyana region in South America. More specifically, it originated from the Essequibo basin in Guyana. There are Glowlight Tetras in other tributaries of Essequibo River like Mazaruni and in rivers like Potaro too. 

This freshwater fish is habituated to the blackwaters of Guyana rivers. As the water is exposed to tannins from the decaying plant matter, it becomes quite acidic and soft. You must mimic similar conditions in your aquarium if you want your Glowlight Tetra to thrive. 


Glowlight Tetra is one of the best options if you’re looking for a friendly and social fish. This fish is extremely warm and welcoming and loves moving around in the tank. 

Keep in mind that Glowlight Tetra is a community fish. Therefore, it fares well in a group of at least six other Glowlight Tetras. 

A group of Glowlight Tetras is a sight to behold for those who love to observe their aquarium, as they’ll swim around the tank happily! On the other hand, a single Glowlight Tetra may quickly get scared or nervous and stay in its hide. 

Although Glowlight Tetras move around the tank all the time, they’re not known to cause any trouble to slow-moving fish. 


Most Tetras, such as Neon Tetras, can live up to eight to ten years in captivity. Yet, the same cannot be said for Glowlight Tetras. 

Glowlight Tetra can live for up to two to four years. In the best-case scenario, it may live up to five years, but that is rare. 

Size and Appearance

Glowlight Tetra Appearance
Image: neryx, depositphotos

Glowlight Tetras grow up to 1.5 inches in captivity. Therefore, they’re best for small tanks. Some of them may even grow up to 2 inches, but it is a rare occurrence. 

Body Shape

Glowlight Tetra has a similar body shape and structure as that of its other Tetra mates like Neon and Cardinal Tetra. If you notice it carefully, this fish has a torpedo-shaped body.

Body Color and Markings

The body of a Glowlight Tetra is covered in silver color almost entirely. Moreover, up close, you’ll also find that the base is slightly semi-transparent. 

The most striking feature of a Glowlight Tetra is the bright reddish-orange stripe that runs from its head to its tail. This gives the fish the appearance of a glowlight or a bulb filament. Due to this reason, it gets the name ‘Glowlight Tetra’.

The fins are a darker shade of grey, and the dorsal fin even consists of a red line. On the other hand, the anal fin and pelvic fin consist of white lines towards the edge.

Differences Between Male and Female Glowlight Tetra

There are some apparent differences between the male and female Glowlight Tetra.

CategoryMale Glowlight TetraFemale Glowlight Tetra
Body SizeSmall and slenderSlight larger
WeightLess plumpPlumper
BelliesLess roundedMore rounded


You can breed Glowlight Tetras in captivity if you provide proper tank conditions. It would be best if you took care of the lighting, as the eggs are sensitive to harsh lighting. 

Given below is how you can breed Glowlight Tetras. 

  1. First, have a separate breeding tank. Keep leafy plants and spawning mops in the tank. 
  2. Ensure that the water isn’t too hard. It should be up to 6 dGH only. You can darken the water (making it resemble blackwater conditions) by adding peat as well. 
  3. Turn off the light of the breeding tank and add the Glowlight Tetras to it. You can slowly increase the lighting (keep it dim). 
  4. After spawning occurs, the female Glowlight Tetras will release 100 to 150 eggs. 
  5. Remove all the adult Glowlight Tetras from the tank as they may try to eat the eggs. 
  6. Keep the tank lighting dim and let the eggs hatch. This may take up to one day. 
  7. Provide the fry with finely-crushed flakes or infusoria
  8. Once they can fend for themselves, transfer them to the original tank. 

Nutrition and Diet

Glowlight Tetras are typically omnivorous in nature. Therefore, they will feed on almost everything. Yet, as they’re small, you need to opt for food that actually fits into their mouth. 

Given below is a quick table for the best food options to feed your Glowlight Tetras.

Frozen or live (occasionally)Tubifex, freshly-hatched brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, Daphnia
Commercial options (regularly)Micropellets, small flakes

You need to provide them food at least two to three times a day. But, keep the feedings light and don’t overfeed them. Also, Glowlight Tetras aren’t bottom feeders and won’t venture there to feed on any remaining food. So, overfeeding can cause the water quality to deplete. 

Tank Requirements

Glowlight Tetras are mid-level dwellers. As they belong to blackwaters, you need to provide similar conditions. 

Tank Size

Glowlight Tetras are quite small in nature. Therefore, they don’t need huge tanks to live. In fact, you can easily keep five to six Glowlight Tetras in a 10-gallon tank without any difficulties. 

Water Requirements 

The one slight problem with Glowlight Tetras is that they belong to particular water conditions. They’re familiar and can thrive well in slightly acidic and soft water, as they belong to blackwater conditions. 

However, the good part is that this fish species is quite tolerant. Still, here are the best possible water requirements you should follow for your fish. 

  • Water Temperature – Glowlight Tetras belong to South America, where the climate is typically tropical and warm. So, the best temperature ranges between 74 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Sticking to 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the best option. 
  • Water pH – As mentioned above, Glowlight Tetras prefer slightly acidic pH. Try to keep the water pH between 5.5 and 7.5
  • Water Hardness – Glowlight Tetras can endure hardness up to 15 dGH. 
  • Water Flow – The water flow for Glowlight Tetras should be kept between slow and moderate. This fish might get disturbed by harsh and strong currents. 

Decoration and Plants 

There are no specific requirements regarding decoration when it comes to Glowlight Tetras. You can keep various decoration items such as driftwood and plants. 

The best plants for Glowlight Tetras include Java Fern, Java Moss, Hornwort, and Amazon Sword. You can throw in some tiny rocks and stones as well. 

For substrate, you can keep a thin layer of sand. This will mimic the natural living conditions of a Glowlight Tetra. 


Glowlight Tetras don’t require special light. Any sort of ambient light from your room is sufficient for them. Keep the tank lighting dim if you want to see their extraordinary colors

Best Tank Mates

Glowlight Tetra is a highly peaceful community fish. It won’t have any problem coexisting in harmony with other fish species. So, the best tank mates for Glowlight Tetras include:

Keep in mind that Glowlight Tetras are tiny fish. They can easily become prey to large fish species. For instance, Angelfish is known to feed on Glowlight Tetras. So, don’t keep them together in a tank.

Common Diseases in Glowlight Tetra

Glowlight Tetras are susceptible to all the common fish diseases observed in freshwater fish. These include:

  • Ich 
  • Fungal infections 
  • Fin rot
  • Parasitic infections 
  • Bacterial infections 

Try to avoid these by providing clean tank and water conditions and keeping them in check every few days. 

IUCN Status

According to IUCN, Glowlight Tetra is considered as the ‘Least Concern’.


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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