Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillanris)
Native Location: South America
Size: 5cm (2 inches)
Temperature Range: 24 – 28℃ (75 – 82℉)
Preferred pH Range: 6 – 8
Minimum Aquarium Size: 38L (10 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Guppies, Molly, Platy
Care Level: Easy
Pristella Tetras are a species that can withstand changing conditions, making them a resilient breed in your aquarium.
The best foods for a Pristellas diet are commercial flake or pellet foods, but they are not picky eaters. They will consume most foods you drop into their tank. High protein snacks like live or frozen bloodworms will be tasty treats. They will need to eat two or three times a day with all they can eat in three minutes. Pristellas are great community tank fish and pair best with fish of a similar size and temperament. They will not survive or be happy with aggressive or larger fish. School infighting can be present, but it’s normal and should not amount to anything serious. The smaller the school, the more likely infighting will be present. When kept alone, they become skittish and stressed. Pristellas, though physically hardy, are very easily spooked.
These are great beginner fish as they are easy to care for. They will live in brackish and soft waters. Pristellas will need plenty of hiding spots in their tank, so add live vegetation, driftwood, and rock caves. A layer of sand substrate will work best. Try plants like Java Moss and Amazon Swords. Keep the centre of the tank clear, so these active fish have room to roam freely when they please.
Pristellas bodies are silvery and almost transparent. Females are typically rounder than males by a slight margin. You will be able to see her eggs develop when they spawn. Pristellas will breed willingly. In their natural habitat, they would migrate to flooded savannahs to breed. This environment is pretty easy to recreate in a separate tank. You will need to stock it with fine-leaved plants; this also gives the fry somewhere to hide. Cover any inlets with sponges. The one trouble with breeding Pristellas is that they can be picky when choosing a mating partner. In pairs, if the female doesn’t swell
with eggs in a couple of days, switch her out with a different female to try a different combination. In a suitable pair, a female will lay 300 to 400 eggs. Remove adults once spawning is complete.