Glowlight Tetra Stats InfographicThe glowlight tetra also known as Hemigrammus erythrozonus is a gorgeous fish. With as few as six glowlight tetra, you can have your aquarium bursting with oh-so delightful colors. Surprisingly, this orange neon tetra is quite easy to care for.

Like all endeavors, you must know exactly what you’re getting into. In our article, you will learn of ways to care, maintain, and breed the Glowlight tetra.

Let us get started, shall we?

Glowlight Tetra Stats

Quick stats:

Average size 1.5 inches
Minimum tank size 20 inches
Preferred substrate All
pH 6.0 – 7.0
Hardness Soft to medium. Up to 15 dGH
Temperature 72 – 82℉
Breeding Type Egg Scatterer
Care Easy
Social Behavior Peaceful
Life Expentancy 2-4 years
Common Names Glolight, Fire neon, Glowlight tetra

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Cypriniformes
Suborder Characoidei
Family Characidae
Genera Hemigrammus
Species Erthrozonus


The Glowlight tetra originates from the Essequibo river of Guyana. They were originally called Hemigrammus gracilis, but now, they are known as the Hemigrammus erythrozonus. Glowlight tetras are peaceful and, as such, perfect for schooling. Their mode of breeding is termed egg scatterer, and they are pretty easy to care for.

Let’s jump to the other sections to learn a little more about this beautiful, striped tetra.

– Appearance

Glowlight tetraThe Glowlight tetra is slender and has distinct colors and markings. It is a clear fish with neon stripe markings running down their body from their snout down to their tail. These golden stripes look like glowing filaments from a light bulb and can also be found on pelvic and anal fins.

Most of the Glowlights eye is silver and matches the rest of its body. However, the upper iris has stunning bold colors that further set it apart from all other fishes.

– Gender Differences

There are subtle differences between the male and female Glowlight tetra that can help you tell them apart. We have outlined these gender differences with the hope of helping you tell them apart easily.

The female Glowlights have a much larger body and are plumper than the males. They also have a more rounded belly. However, it may be quite difficult to tell them apart until they are fully mature.

– Average Size

On average, the Glowlight tetra measures 1.5 inches when fully grown. Yes, they are quite tiny when compared to other tetra species.

– Life Expectancy

The average Glowlight tetra has a lifespan of 2-4 years when cared for properly. Yes, that is quite short when compared to other tetra species. However short their lifespan is, you’ll enjoy having them in your aquarium.

Glowlight Tetra Care

Like all freshwater tetra, you must care for your Glowlight tetra appropriately. When Glowlights are raised in poor water conditions and fed poor diets, there will be adverse consequences. Dirty tanks, for one, will result in significant stress for your Glowlight and, consequently, a shorter lifespan.

To keep your Glowlight happy and healthy, you must know how to care for it. You will find clear clues on how to do this.

Let’s start with how to set up a tank for your Glowlight, shall we?

– Setting up the Tank

You must consider certain requirements if you are to have a healthy community of Glowlight Tetra. One is that each tank must contain no less than 10 Glowlights if they are to stay healthy and avoid stress. So if you had ideas of buying just one Glowlight, you could perish them.

Other conditions include:

  • Tank size – For each fish you have, you will need at least two gallons of water for it to swim around. And since you can’t raise only one Glowlight in your tank, you will need, at the minimum, a 20-gallon tank. The bigger the tank, the more the growth of healthy bacteria and regulation of the nitrogen cycle.
  • Filter – you will need to fit a small sponge-like filter into your tank.
  • pH – Keep the pH in the tank between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Hardness – we recommend that the water in your fish tank has a hardness value around the soft or medium range.
  • Temperature – The recommended Glowlight temperature lies between 72 – 82℉.

– Tank Mates

You can keep a Glowlight tetra with other Glowlight tetras without much hassle. Also, thanks to its peaceful disposition, you can keep the Glowlight tetra in a tank with other fish species.

We have made a list of possible tank mates for your Glowlight tetra. You will find them below:

Tank Mates to Avoid

Although Glowlight tetra school well with other fish species, there are a few you should avoid. They include fish larger than them, angelfish, and other predatory species. You might also want to keep exceptionally active fish species separate from a tank of the Glowlight tetra because they can induce stress in your Glowlight.

– Breeding

Glowlight tetras are easy to breed. However, there is a list of things you must know if you are to breed the Glowlights successfully. Top on the list is how to recognize when a Glowlight is ready to be bred. Both male and female glowlights look alike when young; as they reach maturity, they begin to have certain characters that you can use to tell them apart.

a) Setting up a Breeding Tank

Once you have gotten a sexually mature male and female Glowlight, you must set up a breeding tank for spawning. The breeding tank should be capable of holding at least 10 gallons of water.

The tank should be completely dark and house plants like the Java moss and Guppy grass. Once you have achieved this, you will need to allow the tank to settle.

b) Preparing the Fish for Breeding

The next step after setting up a breeding tank is preparing the male and female species for breeding. Feed them with small portions of high-quality flakes and freeze-dried fish as often as five times a day. You can also include worms in the breeding diet.

c) The Breeding Dance

Once all the other elements have been taken care of, mating proper can begin. Place the sexually mature Glowlight tetras in the breeding tank. In no time at all, courtship should begin. The female will expel her eggs into the water in a process known as spawning.

During this process, it is important to ensure that the breeding tank is left utterly dark.

d) How Many Eggs Does the Female Glowlight Tetra Lay?

On average, the female Glowlight tetra can lay as much as 500 eggs or as little as 50 eggs. The actual number of eggs it lays depends on how old the female is and its reproduction level.

e) After Laying the Eggs What Next?

After laying the eggs, the male Glowlight tetra fertilizes them. The unfertilized eggs should be removed from the breeding tank to prevent contamination. On the other hand, the breeding Glowlights must be moved to a separate tank immediately to allow the eggs to hatch.

Removing the breeders is important because they are egg eaters, do not care for the laid eggs, and often feed on them.

f) How Long Does It Take Glowlight Fry To Reach Maturity?

It takes a day for the eggs to hatch and three days after that for them to become free-swimming. Three weeks after the eggs are successfully fertilized and have hatched into fries, they will start to take on the resemblance of the adult Glowlight.

That means that about two weeks after they are hatched, their bodies will take on a silver coloration, and at the three weeks mark, they will have the trademark reddish-gold marking.

They will reach adulthood in four months, and the female fry will be ready to breed after nine months. However, we advise that you wait for at least a year before starting to breed them.

– Diet

The Glowlight tetra is an omnivorous fish; thus, it will eat any variety of food.

We have compiled a short list of all the possible things you can feed your Glowlight tetra to ensure it stays healthy:

  • Flakes
  • Freeze-dried food
  • Frozen or fresh brine shrimp
  • Fleshy greens, etc

a) Frequency of Feeding

Since Glowlights have to be fed in small bits, the feeding must be regular. Thus, you may have to feed them up to 4 times a day. In the early stages, you’d have to monitor how fast they eat. Start with feeding them small bits they can finish in less than 3 minutes.

Overfeeding can induce stress in your Glowlight tetra, which can make it susceptible to several illnesses.

b) Feeding the Glowlight Tetra Fry

In the preceding sections, we have listed what you can feed adult glowlights and how frequently you should feed them. Now, it is time we looked at how to feed the newly formed fry at the critical stage of their growth.

Fries can only eat microscopic food; thus, a smart idea would be to ground up the food and feed it to the fry via a bottle. You can feed them flakes and baby brine shrimps as often as eight times a day. The actual amount of food you give depends on the number of fries in the tank.

– Common Diseases To Look Out For

Glowlight tetras are at no greater risk of suffering from any disease than any other fish species. They do not have specific ailments that affect only their species. However, you will need to keep an eye on the common diseases that plague freshwater fishes.

1. Ich

Ich is the most widespread fish disease that affects freshwater fishes, including Glowlight tetra. Ich is highly contagious and is caused by a parasite. A telltale sign of Ich is the appearance of a white spot across the glowlights body.


When dealing with Ich, a smart move will be to quarantine the affected fish immediately to curtail its spread. Once the diseased fish has been quarantined, the next step is to provide the appropriate treatment.

2. Neon Tetra Disease

Neon tetra disease is highly contagious and is incurable. The neon tetra is caused by a parasite known as Pleistophora Hyphessobryconis. It is spread when a healthy Glowlight consumes an infected fish. Pleistophora Hyphessobryconis eats your fish from inside out.

Common symptoms include cysts, loss of color, strange swimming patterns, loss of appetite, and curved spine.


There is no treatment for the neon tetra disease, and as such, once your fish gets it, it will die. A smart move will be to separate the infected fish from the healthy ones to limit the chances of exposure.

3. Dacrtlogyrosis

This disease is one of the common diseases that affect the Glowlight tetra. It is caused by a parasite that drills into the skin of your fish and exposes it to a secondary infection.

Common symptoms of dacrtlogyrosis or gill disease include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Accumulation of mucus on the gills
  • Reddish skin that turns pale in the later stages
  • Reddish gill


You can treat the affected Glowlight fish with a strong anti-worm medication or antibacterial medications.

You can prevent many of these Glowlight tetra diseases by setting up a tank with the required water conditions (pH, temperature, hardness, etc.) and a proper diet. A blend of this will help prevent your Glowlight from experiencing significant levels of stress.


  • Glowlight tetra also known as hemigrammus erythrozonusGlowlight tetra originates from the Essequibo river of Guyana
  • They are colorful, fun to watch, highly active, and easy to care for
  • With proper care, they can live for up to 4 years

The glowlight tetras are one of the freshwater species every aquarist dreams about. Caring for them is easy; you just need to mimic their natural habitat and feed them a balanced diet. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hand at breeding fish, you will find this species low-maintenance.

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