Emperor tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)

Emperor tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)

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Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)

The Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri) is a stunning freshwater fish known for its vibrant colors and peaceful nature. Native to the slow-moving rivers and streams of Colombia, this tetra is a favorite among aquarists for its regal appearance and ease of care.

Product Details

  • Scientific Name: Nematobrycon palmeri
  • Common Name: Emperor Tetra
  • Family: Characidae
  • Origin: Colombia


  • Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
  • Color:  Males boast a vibrant blue and purple sheen with a distinctive black stripe running from the nose to the tail, while females are generally less colorful with a more subdued hue.
  • Body Shape: Slender and elongated with long, flowing fins.

Care Requirements

  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons
  • Temperature: 73-81°F (23-27°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Water Hardness: 3-12 dGH
  • Diet: Omnivorous – Flakes, small pellets, frozen, and live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia.

Tank Setup

  • Substrate: Fine gravel or sand
  • Plants: Dense vegetation with floating plants to diffuse light
  • Decor: Driftwood, rocks, and leaf litter to mimic natural habitat
  • Lighting: Moderate to low
  • Filter: Gentle filtration to mimic their natural slow-moving waters

Tank Mates

  • Compatibility:Peaceful community fish
  • Good Tank Mates: Other tetras, rasboras, small barbs, Corydoras, and dwarf cichlids like Apistogramma
  • Avoid: Large or aggressive fish, fin nippers, and predatory species

Behavior and Temperament

  • Social Structure: Schooling fish – best kept in groups of 6 or more
  • Temperament: Peaceful, generally non-aggressive
  • Activity Level: Moderately active, often seen swimming at mid-levels of the tank


  • Breeding Setup: Separate breeding tank with fine-leaved plants for egg-laying
  • Water Conditions: Slightly acidic, soft water
  • Spawning: Males display to attract females; females lay eggs on plants
  • Care of Fry: Remove adults post-spawning; fry can be fed infusoria and baby brine shrimp