Rosy Tetra Stats Infographic

The Rosy Tetra looks dainty and seems fragile. Are these little darlings really beginner-friendly? By reading this article, you will uncover many facts about this beautiful species of fish.


Hyphessobrycon rosaceus
Common Names Rosy Tetra, Rosey Finned Tetra, Rosey Tetra, Rosy Fin Tetra, and White Finned Rosy Tetra
Class Actinopterygii
Family Characidae
Genus Hyphessobrycon
Size 1.6 to 2.5 inches
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Lifespan 3 to 5 years
Strata Bottom to middle
PH 5.5 to 7.5
Hardness 5 to 19 dGH
Temperature 75 to 82 F
Care Level Beginner


Rosy tetra tank matesThe Hyphessobrycon rosaceus, previously identified as Hyphessobrycon bentosi rosaceus, is a characin described by Marion Durbin Ellis Guyana in 1909. This species primarily inhabits sluggish, heavily vegetated tributaries that lead to the Rio Essequibo, Rio Corantijn and Rio Suriname of Brazil, as well as the Rio Guapore of Paraguay.

The water in these biotopes is soft but quite acidic and it is stained due to the tannins stemming from decaying plant matter. As a shoaling species, these Tetras congregate and stay close to the safety offered by underwater tree roots and submerged wood.

The Rosy Tetra is not listed on the IUCN Red List. Nowadays, these fish are now mass-produced in ornamental fish farms and most specimens you see in the market are captive-bred. Other common names for this species include Rosey Finned Tetra, Rosey Tetra, Rosy Fin Tetra, and White Finned Rosy Tetra.

Appearance and Distinct Features

Specimens available in the trade are now mostly captive-bred, but the beauty of the Rosy Tetra remains undeniable. This species makes for an excellent show fish to a nano tank or another beautiful addition to a community aquarium.

Rosy Tetras have a semi-transparent silver body with a pinkish tinge from which their name is derived, and their body is accented by reddish finnage. Some specimens may also appear light pink or salmon pink and these fish are stunning either way! Compared to their more popular cousin, the Neon Tetra, these fish have a deeper body.

The dorsal fins have a reddish edge that fades to black and ends with white. That is why some hobbyists call this species the White Fin Tetra, although this characteristic might be more or less marked. Both the pelvic and anal fins feature a similar color gradation to the dorsal fin. The caudal fin, on the other hand, can vary between transparent to black and often exhibits elliptical rosy markings.

A unique feature these fish have is a faint black line running down from the top of their eyeballs through their pupils. And, as with most Tetras, the Rosy Tetra has a tiny additional fin called the adipose fin. While the purpose of this fin is poorly understood, when you see one you can be pretty certain that the fish you are seeing is a Tetra.

– How Big Do Rosy Tetras Get?

The Rosy Tetra is a tiny fish that only grows to 1.6 inches or 4 centimeters in captivity. But, according to studies, the Rosy Tetra size can cap up to 2.5 inches in the wild.

– How Can I Tell if My Tetra Is a Boy or Girl?

Females are plumper and rounder than their male counterparts. Like with most Tetras, males have a longer dorsal fin compared to females. The dorsal fin of the females appears rather squarish than elongated, making it a cinch to sex adults. Moreover, males flaunt a brighter and more vivid coloration than females, especially when spawning approaches. Nonetheless, both sexes appear vibrant and colorful.

Behavior and Temperament

Rosy Tetras inhabit the bottom to middle levels, but they may also traverse the entire aquarium from time to time. When kept in a school, these little fish will be active. Keeping them in few numbers, however, agitates them and as a result, they can become fin-nippers.

Care and Upkeep

– Diet

Rosy Tetras survive on plant matter and live foods, including insect larvae, crustaceans, and worms. As they are omnivorous, they should be given a varied diet. Ideally, 60 to 80 percent of their diet should comprise high-quality flakes or granules, while the remainder should consist of meaty foods, such as:

  • Bloodworms
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Daphnia
  • Brine shrimp

Albeit tiny, these agile fish love to chase after live foods! Be sure to select fish foods, particularly live fare, from a respected source otherwise you might wind up with contaminants.

Moreover, you will want to feed your fish a few times a day for up to three minutes each meal. As with other small species of fish, Rosy Tetras could not survive for long without food. But because they are also prone to overeating, you will want to make sure there are no leftovers for them to forage.

– Recommended Water Parameters

The goal is to provide your fish with a similar water condition as their natural habitat. While the waters these Tetras inhabit in the wild are tannin-rich, you won’t have to go as far as stain the tank water. Aquariums are a closed system, which means toxic chemicals build up rather quickly. You will need to eradicate decomposing organic matter to ensure the water stays pristine and healthy enough for your fish.

Rosy Tetras thrive in temperatures between 75 to 82 F and they are more likely to breed when the temperature is always at the highest recommended temperature. While these Tetras are fine with alkaline water, they are healthiest when you provide them with acidic water, preferably ranging between 5.5 to 7.5. As for the water hardness, the sweet spot is 5 to 19 dGH.

While Rosy Tetras can live in various water conditions, they do not tolerate sudden changes. Take measures to maintain water conditions at a steady level and avoid unnecessary stress in your fish.


Although the Rosy Tetra lifespan is estimated to be five years, beginners may find their fish hardly living up to half their pets’ life expectancy due to various reasons. Disease due to stress, pathogens and parasites are often the leading cause.

What Diseases Can Rosy Tetras Get?

While the Hyphessobrycon rosaceus is considered to be a beginner’s fish, these Tetras could die prematurely due to an illness called Neon Tetra Disease. This fatal disease is so named because it was first observed in Neon Tetras but nowadays it is detected in other Tetra species as well.

– What Is Neon Tetra Disease?

Rosy tetra water requirementsNeon Tetra Disease occurs when a Tetra consumes fish carcasses or live foods that serve as an intermediate host of a parasite called Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. Once a Tetra ingests this parasite, it will eat your fish from the inside.

In Neon Tetra Disease, you are likely to observe symptoms in this order:

  • Restlessness
  • Loss of coloration in one part of the body
  • Cysts in the muscles develop
  • Difficulty in swimming
  • Fin rot and bloating

Unfortunately, this disease is irremediable; the affected fish will die. Quickly separate the affected fish to avoid spreading the disease. As the disease is highly contagious, you will want to keep tabs on the others and see if the same symptoms are manifesting in other fish as well.

The 10 Best Rosy Tetra Tank Mates

The Rosy Tetra is a shoaling species by nature and thus, it is recommended that you purchase at least eight of these fish. These little guys will cruise around the aquarium as a shoal and they thrive much better when kept in a large group.

Here are excellent tank mates for your White Finned Rosy Tetra:

You can also keep peaceful cichlids, such as the likes of the Angelfish and Discus. Rosey Tetras make fantastic community fish as they don’t have aggressive tendencies towards other species, but it is ill-advised to have predatory species living among them.

Tank Setup

– What Is the Right Tank Size for a Rosy Tetra?

A 15-gallon aquarium is a sufficient size for a group of six to 10 Rosey Tetras. Better yet, opt for a larger tank if you are planning to add a few compatible species.

– Substrate and Decorations

A planted tank would suit the Hyphessobrycon rosaceus best. Given the Rosy Tetra size, you can expect your fish to feel a little uneasy when there is no vegetation to break up lines of sight. When adding plants, you will want to furnish only the sides and back of the aquarium. There should be plenty of swimming space at the front. Provide a few hiding spots, too.

Since you are aiming for a planted tank, aquarium soil would be best. The substrate layer should be at least two inches deep to allow the roots of your plants to grow sufficiently. Having a dark-colored substrate will also provide a beautiful contrast to your bright fish.

– Equipment

Rosey Tetras prefer sluggish waters, hence a powerhead won’t be needed. You will, on the other hand, need to install a good-quality aquarium filter. An aquarium vacuum cleaner is also handy when removing debris on the bottom of the tank.


Some say that beginning aquarists may find it a challenge to breed Rosy Tetras but as long as you meet the ideal conditions required, even a novice has a high chance of success.

– Signs That Your Rosy Tetra Are Ready for Breeding

The difference between males and females becomes more evident as the breeding season arrives. Female Rosy Tetras will look swollen as they become ripe with eggs. When a female is finally ready to reproduce, she will swim around the tank vigorously. Her mate will chase her and bump against her, encouraging her to lay her eggs. The male will then fertilize her eggs as they are being laid.

New fishkeepers are often unaware of these signs and that is why they often miss the chance to breed their fish in their home aquarium.

To optimize breeding success, you will want to condition your fish prior to breeding by restricting their diet to meaty live foods. Then choose mature females with a nicely rounded belly and males with the most vibrant coloration. You can breed the White Finned Rosy Tetra as a pair or as a small group comprising at least six fish of each sex.

– Aquarium Setup

Did you know that Rosy Tetras leap above the water surface during breeding? Therefore, it is advised that you cover your tank lest you risk losing some of your fish.

As for the tank capacity, you will want nothing less than 20 gallons and it should be filled with mature water with the following parameters:

  • pH: 6.0 to 6.8
  • Hardness: 18 dGH
  • Temperature: 78 F

The Hyphessobrycon rosaceus are egg scatterers and thereby, you will need a spawning mop to catch the eggs and to provide them with a level of protection while the other fish are still breeding. Carpet plants like Dwarf Baby Tears are also ideal.

– Fry Care

A single female Rosy Tetra can lay up to 100 eggs for the male to fertilize but, unfortunately, Rosy Tetras don’t display good parental behavior. As the eggs are viscous, they would stick to plants or fall to the substrate. You will have to take the adults out of the breeding tank after they are done breeding to prevent them from eating their offspring.

The eggs will hatch in a day or two and become free-swimming in around three to four days, depending on the tank temperature and conditions. You will want to keep the tank dark and unlit for the first week. Tetra eggs and newly hatched fry are extremely sensitive to light.

The fry will survive on their protein-rich yolk sac, but you will have to feed them infusoria as soon as they become free-swimming. After four days, you can add baby brine shrimp to the fry’s diet. Make sure the juveniles have grown big enough not to be considered as a snack before you introduce them into the community tank where they will join the existing school.


Rosy tetra how to take care ofKeep all your Rosy Tetras in the best possible condition at all times by keeping these points in mind:

  • Keep Rosy Tetras as a group of at least six fish, though a shoal of 10 is highly recommended.
  • Ideal tank mates are other small to medium-sized peaceful species.
  • The best Rosy Tetra diet consists of high-quality dried flakes and granules alongside live bloodworms, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Occasional feedings of live foods would prove beneficial for the health and wellbeing of these Tetras.
  • Install a good-quality aquarium filter and always change 10 percent of the water every week. Likewise, maintain the recommended temperature, pH, and hardness of the tank water by using water test kits.
  • When breeding, you will want to select the healthiest pairs and transfer them into the breeding tank.
  • Prevention is your only fight against Neon Tetra Disease.

Hopefully, this article has answered your questions regarding the Rosy Tetra. Are you ready to add them to your collection?

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