Penguin Tetra

Penguin Tetra
Latin name:
(Thayeria boehlkei)

Care Level





White, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

64-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.8-8.5

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

30 gallons


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Are you looking for a vibrant and captivating fish to add a touch of charm to your aquarium? Look no further than the Penguin Tetra, a stunning species that will bring life and energy to your underwater world. With its striking coloration and playful personality, the Penguin Tetra is sure to become a favorite among fish enthusiasts.

Unveiling the Penguin Tetra’s Alluring Features

The Penguin Tetra, scientifically known as Thayeria boehlkei, is a small yet captivating fish that originates from the blackwater rivers of South America. Its name derives from its unique coloration, which resembles the classic black-and-white tuxedo of a penguin. Here are some of the key characteristics that make the Penguin Tetra so captivating:

  • Striking Coloration: The Penguin Tetra boasts a vibrant black body with a contrasting white stripe running from its snout to its tail. This distinctive pattern creates a striking visual effect that is sure to catch the eye.
  • Compact Size: The Penguin Tetra is a relatively small fish, typically reaching a maximum length of about 2 inches. This makes it an ideal choice for smaller aquariums or community tanks.
  • Peaceful Nature: The Penguin Tetra is a peaceful and non-aggressive fish that coexists harmoniously with other species. Its gentle demeanor makes it a suitable companion for a variety of tankmates.
  • Active Behavior: The Penguin Tetra is an active and playful fish that loves to swim and explore its surroundings. Its energetic nature adds a sense of liveliness to the aquarium.

Creating an Ideal Habitat for the Penguin Tetra

To ensure the well-being and happiness of your Penguin Tetra, it is essential to provide it with an appropriate habitat that meets its specific needs. Here are some key considerations for creating an ideal environment for this captivating fish:

  • Tank Size: The Penguin Tetra requires a tank size of at least 10 gallons, although a larger tank is always better. This will provide ample space for swimming and exploring.
  • Water Parameters: The Penguin Tetra prefers soft, acidic water with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0 and a temperature range of 72°F to 82°F. Regular water changes are essential to maintain optimal water quality.
  • Substrate: A dark-colored substrate, such as black gravel or sand, is ideal for the Penguin Tetra. This will create a natural-looking environment and help to enhance the fish’s coloration.
  • Plants and Decorations: The Penguin Tetra appreciates a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places. Live plants, such as Java fern or Amazon sword, provide both shelter and a natural food source for the fish.
  • Filtration and Lighting: A reliable filtration system is essential to maintain clean and healthy water conditions. Moderate lighting is also important, as the Penguin Tetra prefers dimly lit environments.

Feeding the Penguin Tetra: A Balanced Diet for Optimal Health

The Penguin Tetra is an omnivorous fish that enjoys a varied diet. Here are some tips for providing your Penguin Tetra with a balanced and nutritious diet:

  • Live and Frozen Foods: Live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, are excellent sources of protein and essential nutrients for the Penguin Tetra.
  • Flake and Pellet Foods: High-quality flake and pellet foods specifically designed for tetras can provide a convenient and nutritious staple diet. Look for foods that contain a variety of ingredients, including fish meal, shrimp meal, and spirulina.
  • Vegetables: The Penguin Tetra also enjoys eating vegetables, such as blanched spinach, zucchini, and cucumber. These provide essential vitamins and minerals that help to support the fish’s overall health.
  • Feeding Schedule: Feed your Penguin Tetra small amounts of food several times a day, rather than one large meal. This will help to prevent overfeeding and maintain optimal water quality.

Breeding the Penguin Tetra: A Rewarding Experience for Dedicated Aquarists

Breeding the Penguin Tetra can be a rewarding experience for dedicated aquarists. Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Selecting a Breeding Pair: Choose a healthy and sexually mature pair of Penguin Tetras. The female should be slightly larger than the male, and both fish should display vibrant coloration.
  • Setting Up a Breeding Tank: Prepare a separate breeding tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. Fill the tank with soft, acidic water and add plenty of plants and hiding places.
  • Conditioning the Breeding Pair: Feed the breeding pair a high-quality diet rich in live and frozen foods. This will help to ensure that they are in optimal condition for breeding.
  • Introducing the Breeding Pair: Once the breeding pair is conditioned, introduce them to the breeding tank. Keep the tank dimly lit and provide plenty of hiding places to reduce stress.
  • Monitoring the Breeding Process: The Penguin Tetra typically spawns in the morning. The female will lay her eggs among the plants or on the substrate, and the male will fertilize them. Remove the adult fish from the breeding tank once spawning is complete.
  • Caring for the Eggs and Fry: The eggs will hatch within a few days, and the fry will become free-swimming after about a week. Feed the fry with live and frozen foods, and gradually introduce them to a diet of flake and pellet foods as they grow.

FAQs About the Penguin Tetra: Answering Common Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Penguin Tetra, along with their answers:

  • Q: How long do Penguin Tetras live?
  • A: With proper care and maintenance, Penguin Tetras can live for up to 5 years in captivity.
  • Q: Are Penguin Tetras easy to care for?
  • A: Yes, Penguin Tetras are relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner aquarists.
  • Q: Can Penguin Tetras be kept with other fish?
  • A: Yes, Penguin Tetras are peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive species. However, avoid keeping them with larger or more aggressive fish that may prey on them.

Conclusion: The Penguin Tetra – A Delightful Addition to Your Aquarium

The Penguin Tetra is a captivating and easy-to-care-for fish that will bring life and energy to your aquarium. With its striking coloration, playful personality, and peaceful nature, the Penguin Tetra is sure to become a favorite among fish enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced aquarist, the Penguin Tetra is a delightful addition to any aquarium.

So, if you are looking for a vibrant and captivating fish to add to your underwater world, look no further than the Penguin Tetra. Its beauty, charm, and easy-going nature will make it a beloved member of your aquatic community.