Are Tetras Freshwater Fish? (Can They Live In Tap Or Well Water?)

Image of tetras in freshwater aquarium

The name “Tetra” is commonly used for many small Characiformes. Tetras originate from the Congo basin of Africa and the Amazon basin of South America. So, are tetras freshwater fish?

Yes, tetras are freshwater fish. They are found in the ponds, lakes, and streams of the Congo River and Amazon River. These rivers and their tributaries are covered with dense vegetation and have low currents. These conditions provide the perfect habitat for tetras to thrive as freshwater dwellers.

Now that you know tetras are freshwater fish let’s see if they can survive in other conditions.

Can Tetras Live In Saltwater?

Tetras are native to the freshwater of the tropical climate. They can’t survive if you place them in a saltwater tank. Marine salt is dangerous for tetras as it increases the salinity of the water, which can dehydrate the tetras and lead to their death.

Although marine salt, table salt, and pink salt are dangerous, aquarium salt is usually added to the freshwater fish tank to improve the health of tetras. It enhances gill function by making it easier for the fish to breathe.

Aquarium salt provides vital electrolytes that fish need to reach peak coloration. These electrolytes are lost every time you change the tank water.

Aquarium salt also eliminates parasites and pathogens on the tetras.

You can add one rounded tablespoon of aquarium salt for every five gallons of water.

You can pour the salt directly into the aquarium or dissolve it in a small cup of water before pouring it into the aquarium.

Can Tetras Survive In Lakes?

Tetras live in the lakes of the Amazon Rainforest. In South America, they inhabit the Amazon River basin, made of smaller tributaries, streams, and creeks.

In addition to rivers, rainforests have conventional free-standing lakes and oxbow lakes.

These oxbow lakes are formed as the river cuts through a bend to shorten its course. This causes the old flow to be blocked off and away from the lake.

Additionally, tetras are more comfortable living in water with mild and steady water currents.

If the current is too strong, tetras will get stressed as they will struggle to swim.

Therefore, these lakes provide a perfect breeding ground for the tetras as they prefer mild or stagnant water conditions.

Recommended Further Reading:

What Are The Ideal Water Parameters For Tetras?

Tetras are freshwater fish and originate from the rivers and streams of South America.

The tropical waters are soft and acidic, with a pH between 6.8 to 7.8 and temperatures ranging between 75°F to 80°F.

Although tetras inhabit rivers and streams, they usually occupy the streams where the current is low to moderate.

In the river basin, tetras will mainly inhabit parts of the river where water movement is slow.

Tetras are tolerant to a slight increase in salinity, but sudden and drastic increases can adversely affect them.

Also, a significant increase in salinity can impact their reproductive ability, make them vulnerable, and lead to their death due to dehydration.

Is Tap Water Safe For Tetras?

Tap water is unsafe for tetras as it contains low amounts of chlorine compounds and heavy materials.

Chlorine is usually added to drinking water to prevent bacterial growth while it streams through the pipelines.

However, these chemicals make tap water harmful for tetras, and it’s not a good idea to directly expose them to tap water.

While it’s true that tap water may put tetras at risk, there are water conditioners available that will instantly dechlorinate the aquarium water. They also add vital components to the aquarium water that can benefit the fish.

Now that you know tap water is hazardous for tetras let’s learn more about water conditioners that will improve the water composition and help eliminate the dangers posed to your aquatic pet.

Related Further Reading:

Can You Add Water Conditioners In A Tetra Tank?

Water Conditioners are formulations developed to add to the tap water before using it in an aquarium.

They contain sodium thiosulfate that helps reduce chlorine to chloride, which is less harmful to fish. If the tap water is chlorinated, then use water conditioners that contain a de-chlorinator.

These easy-to-use water conditioners detoxify the harmful ammonia from the tap water and remove or neutralize chlorine, chloramines, and other heavy metals like iron and manganese that create slime.

They also improve the water condition and make it suitable for tetras.

A water conditioner is not only practical but also an affordable option to treat aquarium water.

Additionally, it’s harmless for aquarium plants, thus making the aquarium a healthy place for your aquatic pets.

Can Tetras Live In Well Water?

Well water doesn’t contain chlorine. However, using well water for an aquarium has its risks.

Unlike tap water, well water is uncontrolled and can contain high levels of contaminants depending on the place you live.

Well water can have low levels of oxygen, which could be fatal for tetras. However, you can solve this problem by installing aerators in your tank.

Aeration increases dissolved oxygen levels in the water, allowing the tetras to breathe properly.

Well water has different chemical properties than river water or tap water. While well water does have some benefits over tap water, there are still many risks associated with its usage.

Aquarium owners need to handle issues like low calcium levels, high levels of nitrates, and other heavy metals. Once these issues are addressed, you can use well water in your aquarium.

Interesting Further Reading:

Are Neon Tetras Freshwater Fish?

Neon tetras are freshwater fish but prefer a slightly alkaline environment with low levels of ammonia and nitrite.

If your aquarium is not well maintained or if your tap water has high amounts of chemicals, then it may be best to add a water conditioner to the tank before adding neon tetras.

This will help keep the neon tetras healthy and prevent any stress caused by high levels of chlorine.

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