Bucktooth Tetra Care

Bucktooth tetras come from the Amazon River.
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The bucktooth tetra is a bit more challenging a pet than more commonly kept tetras. However, by knowing their background, providing them with right tank and feeding them right, you certainly can achieve success with this species. With a bit of homework, it's far from impossible get them to thrive.

The Fish

Bucktooth tetras are on the larger side, for a tetra, at around 3 inches. They have two spots along the lateral line, one on the base of their tail and one halfway down their body against a silvery background. They also have pronounced teeth. The teeth are not quite as dramatic as the name would imply, but the teeth are visible and this tetra possesses powerful jaws.

The Tank

Bucktooth tetras need to be kept in groups. They also need lots of swimming room, so you should house them in a tank of at least 55 gallons. They require a slightly lower pH of 6.2 to 7.4 since they come from the Amazon. While bucktooth tetras prefer to swim in open area, a few hiding places will help them feel secure.


Bucktooth tetras are adapted to live meaty foods. They will readily accept flake and pellet foods, but you should feed them mostly meaty fare, such as frozen and freeze dried foods, like bloodworms, mysid shrimp and beef heart. These tetras also greedily take live foods, like brine shrimp and guppies. They are great hunters. You might want to "gut-load" any live foods. This means that you feed the food animals veggie flakes before feeding them to your tetras. This is a great way to get more nutrition to your tetras.

Tank Mates

Bucktooth tetras do their best in large groups. While some sources recommend keeping them in groups of ten or more, you sometimes can be successful with only six or so. You will have your best luck if all of the fish are similar in size. Unlike other tetras, they do not get along well with other fish. Smaller fish will be eaten outright, and larger fish will be bitten and harassed. Even aggressive fish, like cichlids, cannot stand up to a school of bucktooth tetras.

the nest