Buenos Aires Tetra – Species Profile & Facts

Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. – read more

If you are looking for a fish that is not demanding and easy to breed, then you might be interested in the Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Anisitsi). It is rather easy to set up the proper tank conditions for this species and they are not demanding when it comes to their diet either.

They have mostly silver body coloring with a little olive and brown that turns into yellow or red at the abdominal, dorsal and anal fins. As adults, the Buenos Aires Tetras can grow as long as 2.8 inches and their lifespan is approximately 5 years.

We can absolutely recommend them to beginner fish keepers who want to keep things simple while learning a thing or two.

Perhaps the only thing that made this fish less popular is its tendency to nibble on plants. However, this isn’t such a big issue given that you set up your aquarium properly.

In this article, we are going to share a few tips with you on how to take proper care of the Buenos Aires tetra fish. You will also learn how to set up the perfect fish tank for them, the types of food they like to eat and other useful information.

In the end, you will be fully prepared to keep one or more of these beauties at home!

Buenos Aires Tetra Natural Habitat

This species called the Buenos Aires tetra fish originates from the city it got its name after. Around Buenos Aires, the heart of Argentina, there are plenty of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds where this species can be found in huge numbers.

The two rivers, Uruguay and Paraná give home to the most Buenos Aires tetras in that area. Other places such as southeastern Brazil and Paraguay are also pretty good places to find this species.

Since these are all freshwaters, they require clean and completely salt-free water in order to thrive.

By their nature, they group up and live in schools. Their diet out in the wild consists of various plants, crustaceans, insects and worms they can find in these waters. They became widely popular thanks to ichthyologist Carl Henry Eigenmann who discovered them back in 1907.

Buenos Aires Tetra Fish Tank Requirements

If you put any soft and delicate plants into the aquarium, then the Buenos Aires tetra fish is definitely going to nibble on them. The other important thing to note is that you need to keep the fish tank closed with a lid on top.

Otherwise, they will jump out and you don’t have much time to save a fish that jumped out.

They are not demanding at all when it comes to the tank lighting and substrate. Just make sure that the lighting is not too bright or too dim but rather somewhere between reasonable limits. You can buy whichever substrate you want as long as it’s a good quality pack.

Fortunately, there are some plants that are less desirable for eating by the Buenos Aires tetra. You can always get some Anubias, Java Fern and Java Moss if you want to make the tank more decorative with plants.

However, you will still need to feed them with plant-based food throughout the day if you want to ensure that your plants remain untouched.

It is completely up to you whether you want to include plants in the tank or not. You can always use rocks, plastic plants and driftwood as decoration.

We recommend you to keep a school of at least 7 Buenos Aires Tetras. You will need to buy a tank of at least 25 gallons of size in order to make them comfortable.

Buenos Aires Tetra Water Conditions

The Buenos Aires Tetra is one of those fish that allow you for a lot of freedom regarding water conditions. This will also enable you to choose from a wider range of potential tank mates. The most important thing when keeping this species is to prevent phosphates and nitrates from building up in the tank.

As long as you can keep the water clean from those contaminants, your fish are going to be healthy and thriving. The best way to do this is to simply replace 25 to 50 percent of the water biweekly.

Thus, you ensure a constant supply of clean water in the aquarium. They are not sensitive to water temperature either, which can be anywhere between 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should also check the water acidity from time to time, which should be 6.0-8.0 pH. As the water evaporates day by day, it causes the leftover water to become harder. Ensuring the abovementioned water change is a great way to counter this. An optimal hardness range for the Buenos Aires Tetra is 2-30 dGH.

Buenos Aires Tetra Diet & Feeding Schedule

When we talked about the natural habitat of the Buenos Aires Tetra, we have mentioned that they mostly eat plants, insects, worms and crustaceans out in the wild.

Therefore, we can conclude that they are omnivores. The easiest thing to do is to buy some flakes that contain all the nutrition they need at the pet shop.

You can give small amounts of that to your fish each day. If you want to introduce some variety to the diet, then you can also give them frozen or live foods from time to time. These include daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp.

The flakes contain all the vitamins and nutrients they need. However, it is still a great idea to prepare some blanched spinach for your little pets. Feel free to feed them a few times every day. Give them a portion of fish food that they can eat within 3 minutes.

If you hit a good balance by feeding them a combination of the abovementioned foods, their colors will become more vivid, showing good health.

Buenos Aires Tetra Tank Mates

The Buenos Aires Tetra is a well-known fin nipper, which is not a good sign if you want to put it in a community aquarium. Many fish keepers keep them in schools in single species aquariums.

If you don’t want them to be aggressive, then make sure to get at least 7 of them. Keeping them in a school makes them feel more secure and less stressed.

Since there is always the danger of fin nipping and aggression, you should look for tank mates that are of similar size or slightly bigger. Look for more energetic ones instead of slow drifters.

Species such as Angelfish, Guppy and Goldfish should be avoided because those are rather sluggish compared to them.

Although Neon Tetras are popular among aquarists, they are too small for the Buenos Aires Tetra.

Other fish such as Tiger Barbs, Rosy Barbs, Serpae Tetras and Zebra Danios, on the other hand, are quite active throughout the day. They can be the ideal tank mates taking their size and temperament into account.

Also, it is rather risky to keep them together with long-finned species because of the fact that they are habitual fin nippers.

Buenos Aires Tetra Breeding

We have good news for those who are interested in breeding the Buenos Aires Tetra. Even beginner aquarists had overwhelming success breeding this species. As many other fish, this one also needs to be placed in a separate aquarium.

Things can become complicated in a community aquarium because the parents tend to mercilessly eat their fry once they are hatched. In a separate tank, it is easier to monitor and remove them once the fry is out and swimming.

An aquarium of 10-20 gallons is perfect for this project. It should be planted with java moss or something similar. The female needs places like that since those are perfect for laying down eggs. You can even use a layer of mesh that allows the eggs to fall down while the adults can’t get through it.

The perfect water conditions are dim light, a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.5-7.2 pH acidity. Also, you should install a weak sponge filter that doesn’t generate as much water flow.

You can put as many adults in the separate aquarium as you want as long as the females outnumber the males.

There is a very high chance that your Buenos Aires Tetras are going to spawn at dawn given that you have followed our instructions. You should also feed them with some high-quality live food before that. Once the eggs are down, remove the parents and wait patiently until the eggs hatch.

It takes up to 36 hours for that to happen and then the fry will be able to swim after up to 4 days. Then, raise the young by giving them infusoria-type foods at first. After that, switch to a microworm and brine shrimp nauplii diet.


As you can see, Buenos Aires Tetras are rather hardy fish that are easy to take care of. It takes little effort to set up a neat aquarium for them and to keep them healthy.

This species is very energetic and can live up to 5 years, meaning that you are going to have a lot of fun with them.

Hopefully, this article got you motivated to set up your own aquarium with the Buenos Aires Tetra and maybe a few other fish in it. If you follow our advice, then it is going to be a breeze to keep them healthy and thriving.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *