X-Ray Tetra

X-Ray Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

Let’s take a look at the X-Ray Tetra, which captivates the hearts of aquarists far and wide. With its ethereal translucent body, the X-Ray Tetra casts a spell of wonder and enchantment upon all who behold it. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of this mesmerizing fish and enjoy its beauty and charm.

Size and appearance

The X-Ray Tetra, scientifically known as Pristella maxillaris, boasts a modest size of approximately 4-5 centimeters (1.6-2 inches), making it an ideal addition to community aquariums. Its most distinctive feature is its transparent body, which reveals the intricate structure of its internal organs, giving it the appearance of an x-ray image. Adorned with vibrant orange and black markings along its dorsal fin and tail, the X-Ray Tetra shimmers like a jewel in the water, captivating observers with its otherworldly beauty.


Originating from the lush waters of South America, particularly the Amazon basin and its tributaries, the X-Ray Tetra thrives in warm, tropical environments abundant in vegetation and gentle water flow. These peaceful fish are often found darting among submerged roots and aquatic plants, seeking refuge and sustenance in their natural habitat.


Renowned for their gentle disposition and sociable nature, X-Ray Tetras are best kept in schools of six or more individuals. They exhibit a fascinating schooling behavior, where they swim together in synchronized movements, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for onlookers. These agile swimmers enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of their aquarium, bringing life and energy to the underwater landscape.


As omnivorous creatures, X-Ray Tetras have a varied diet that includes both plant and animal matter. In their natural habitat, they feed on algae, small invertebrates, and aquatic insect larvae. In captivity, they readily accept high-quality flake or pellet foods supplemented with live or frozen treats such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia. Providing a diverse diet rich in protein and nutrients is essential for their health and vitality.

How to keep the X-Ray Tetra at home

Creating an ideal environment for X-Ray Tetras requires careful consideration of their habitat and water parameters:

Tank size: Provide a spacious aquarium with a minimum capacity of 40 liters (10 gallons) to accommodate a school of X-Ray Tetras. Ensure the tank is well-planted with plenty of hiding spots and open swimming areas.
Water parameters: Maintain a stable water temperature between 24-28°C (75-82°F) and a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. Regular water changes and filtration are essential to maintain optimal water quality.
Tank mates: X-Ray Tetras are peaceful fish that can coexist with a wide range of community tank mates, including other small tetra species, rasboras, and peaceful bottom dwellers. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping species to prevent stress and injuries.

By providing a suitable environment and a balanced diet, you can create a thriving and harmonious community aquarium that showcases the timeless beauty and elegance of the X-Ray Tetra. With their enchanting presence and captivating charm, these ethereal creatures are sure to captivate the hearts of aquarists and enthusiasts alike, bringing joy and wonder to any aquatic setting.

Scientific namePristella maxillaris
Type of aquariumFreshwater
Size4-5 centimeters (1.6-2 inches)
RegionSouth America, particularly the Amazon basin
Ideal tank sizeMinimum 40 liters (10 gallons)
Ideal water temperature24-28°C (75-82°F)
DietOmnivorous, flake or pellet foods supplemented with live or frozen treats
ReproductionEgg scatterers, breeding occurs in planted aquariums
Life spanApproximately 3-5 years
SchoolingPrefer to be kept in schools of six or more individuals

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