The Ruby Tetra is an exceptionally small and colorful tetra that is similar to many microrasboras and is an excellent candidate for the planted or nano aquarium!
The Ruby Tetra (Axelrodia riesei) is an very small tetra that has recently become more popular among aquarists due to its elegant appearance, peaceful disposition, and very small size. While it is a tetra, it shares many similarities with the popular microrasboras in the aquarium hobbies. This shoaling fish can be the highlight in many peaceful community aquariums and it is a particular standout in the planted aquarium.
The Ruby Tetra typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is typically safe with other peaceful, small fish. Unlike many tetras, it is shoaling rather than schooling. Due to its extra small size, it can be viewed as similar to microrasboras as far as its compatibility with dwarf shrimp. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. The Ruby Tetra must be kept in groups of at least 6 or more. Its natural habitat contains slightly acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. It requires very clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark, sandy substrate and slow-flowing water, especially where floating plants are present. It should not be kept with overly boisterous tankmates that will out-compete it during feeding.
While not a picky eater, the Ruby Tetra will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of mostly carnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.