What Do Baby Tetras Eat? (All Food Items)

What Do Baby Tetras Eat? (All Food Items)

Image of a small tetra

Being omnivores, baby tetras eat plant and animal matter. Just after birth, infusoria and green water are the ideal food for baby tetras as they eat only microscopic food at that time. Later, their ideal diet is live brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, freeze-dried daphnia, and commercial flake food.

Since baby tetras are omnivores, they need food with protein and fat to stay strong and healthy. So let’s explore further and understand the ideal diet for tetra fry.

Food Items For Baby Tetras

Baby tetras eat plant as well as animal matter. In the wild, they eat algae, plants, insects, crustaceans, worms, small fishes, and other invertebrates.

Tetra fry need special care as they are tiny. Balanced nutritious food is the key to their optimal growth.

Tetra fry can only eat microscopic food initially.

Once the fry complete a couple of weeks, they can eat food similar to adult tetras. The only difference is that the quantity will be less.

There are a wide variety of foods available for baby tetras. However, you should choose the ones with high protein content.

Their food must also contain essential vitamins like phosphorus for cell growth, calcium for bone strength, and carbohydrates for energy.

Given below are some of the foods that baby tetras eat.


Infusoria are tiny organisms found in freshwater ponds and lakes. They even grow in the aquarium if you have a planted tank.

The good thing is that you can easily culture infusoria at home by adding aquarium water and a small amount of fish food in a jar along with a lettuce leaf.

You should then place the jar near a sunny window for about a week. After a week, the water will turn cloudy with a bacterial bloom.

After that, infusoria will form in a few days. The water will clear out and turn slightly pinkish as the infusoria feed on the bacteria.

Once the water is clear, your infusoria is ready. You can then feed a few drops of the freshly prepared infusoria to the tetra fry.

Green Water

Green water refers to water turning green due to algae growth in the tank.

To culture green water, you have to scrape algae from the tank water using an aquarium vacuum or a siphon hose and place it in a separate container filled with treated water.

You can then place the container near the window for about a week. The water will then get filled with algae.

You can stir the algae every alternate day so that it gets distributed equally in the container.

Once the water becomes opaque with the formation of algae, you can start feeding it to your tetra fry.

Infusoria and green water are food that you can feed to tetra fry just after birth.

However, once tetra fry start growing, they will need a diverse nutritious diet to stay healthy.

You can then add a few varieties to their daily diets, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, egg yolk, flakes, and pellets.


Bloodworms are a healthy option for tetras. You can feed tetras live as well as frozen bloodworms.

These are available at most pet stores. If you don’t have access to a local shop, you can always order some online.

Baby tetras can be fed frozen bloodworms once they are thawed but not before.

Tetras love eating frozen bloodworms. If you don’t want to buy them, you can always freeze your own bloodworms.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are very popular among aquarists as they are ease-to-care and low cost.

In addition, their high nutritional value makes them ideal for use as a dietary supplement.

However, make sure you use only fresh seafood as anything else may contain harmful bacteria, which can cause illness.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk contains cholesterol, fat, proteins, and vitamins. Therefore, it has high nutritional value.

However, it should only be fed occasionally as a treat.

Also, you need to remove any leftover egg yolk from the tank water immediately as it can foul the water.

Flakes And Pellets

Flake food is made out of dried flakes which contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.

Flakes are preferred by aquarists worldwide.

Pellet diets are usually explicitly formulated for tropical fish.

Most pellet feeds come pre-mixed with vitamins, trace elements, and other supplements.

Many people prefer flakes and pellets for their fish.

Besides the food mentioned above, fiber-rich food such as flake food and algae flakes are all excellent choices for feeding baby tetras.

However, remember that this type of food needs to be fed gradually over time.

Micro-worms can also be fed to tetra fry when they grow to about 2 inches long.

The best time to feed these is in the first few months for the optimal growth of tetra fry.

Tips For Feeding Baby Tetras

Baby tetras are delicate and need utmost care until they grow up. Hence, it’s essential to feed them properly while they grow up.

Given below are some tips to feed baby tetras:

  • Always use fresh water when preparing food,
  • Use clean utensils,
  • Never mix different types of foods,
  • Make sure the water temperature remains warm at all times,
  • While feeding live food to baby tetras, you need to ensure that it doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria. Consuming such food can prove disastrous to tetra fry.

How Often To Feed Tetra Fry?

Baby tetras are tiny and hence require less feeding in terms of quantity compared to adult tetras.

As a result, you should feed them about one-third of what you would generally feed adult tetras.

However, the frequency of feeding should be more compared to adult tetras.

You should feed tetra fry two to four times a day. Feed them as much as they can eat in a couple of minutes.

Baby tetras usually start with infusoria and green water and eventually move on to flake food.

Flakes come in different sizes depending on the age of the tetras. Smaller flakes are better suited for younger tetras.

As your baby tetras grow older, they will gradually transition to larger flakes.

Also, overfeeding baby tetras can lead to obesity later.

Tetras need to consume small amounts frequently throughout the day because they don’t store energy well.

If you give them too many calories at once, they might get sick.

What Can You Feed Baby Tetras If You Don’t Have Fish Food?

Baby tetras need a nutritious diet for optimal growth. They also need food at regular intervals.

So, if you run out of fish food at home, you can feed them the following foods:

  • Boiled Lettuce: Boiled lettuce is an excellent food source for baby tetras in the absence of fish food. They also readily accept green leafy vegetables.
  • Carrots: Carrots are packed full of beta carotene and antioxidants. You can make small chunks of boiled carrots and feed them to baby tetras.
  • Boiled Peas: Most of the fish, including baby tetras, devour boiled peas.
  • Cooked Spinach: Boiled Spinach is another healthy leafy vegetable for tetra fry.
  • Fish Fillets: Fish fillets provide Omega 3 fatty acids essential for brain function and growth of baby tetras. They also like to eat frozen fish millets.
  • Egg Yolks: Feeding eggs is beneficial when raising tetras from hatchlings. Tetras fed with egg yolks develop faster. However, it’s recommended that you only feed eggs once every few days as egg yolks are difficult to digest.

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