Silvertip tetra (Hasemania nana)

Characteristics & Origin

The distinctive copper colour of the silvertip tetra makes it particularly popular with aquarists, although it is only the males that have this colouring. The females are much paler and tend to be more yellowish-brown to silver. The fish also have white fin tips and a forked fin tail with a black stripe down the middle. However, this species does not have the adipose fin otherwise characteristic of tetras.

Hasemania nana are native to South America, where they can primarily be found in the white and black-water rivers of Brazil. Kept correctly, the tetras can grow to up to 5 cm in length and live to 10 years of age. They belong to the characin family.

Aquarium and water

To create an appropriate habitat, Hasemania nana should be kept in an aquarium with good water circulation and a minimum volume of 100 litres. They can be kept in aquarium water at tropical temperatures of 24°C to 28°C. The water should ideally have a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH value of 6.0 – 7.8. Soft water with a hardness of 2 – 15°dGH is also recommended for this tetra species.

Silvertip Tetra (Hasemania nana)

Keeping conditions

Hasemania nana is a relatively peaceful shoaling fish, which is happiest in a shoal with lots of conspecifics. The fish are well-suited to community tanks although these should be sufficiently large as the males can become extremely territorial during the spawning season. If the aquarium is big enough, silvertip tetras can be kept with other species of fish. Catfish and small tetras that reside in the upper regions of the tank are particularly good choices. Silvertip tetras tend to prefer the middle region of the aquarium.

Planting and decoration

Finely feathered aquatic plants should be loosely (and in some areas densely) planted around the edges of the aquarium. There should also be plenty of space for these active fish to swim around. A dark substrate is furthermore recommended as the tetras’ colours show up well against this.


Hasemania nana are omnivores and can therefore eat various types of small food, but they prefer fine flakes and granulated food, such as TetraMin or TetraPro Menu. To add variety and as a special treat, you can also feed silvertip tetras natural foods such as Tetra Delica.