X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris) Shoal

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris) Shoal

The X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris) is also known by tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the golden pristella tetra, X-ray tetra, pristella tetra and goldfinch tetra.  They acquired their name because of their highly transparent body which gives the appearance of an x-ray.

X-Ray Pristella Tetras are found in in large shoals in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, as well as the coastal rivers of the Guianas in both acidic and alkaline water.

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

Although the X-Ray Pristella Tetra has a near transparent body, however unlike true glass fish, their bodies are tinted with a captivating color pattern that gives them another dimension of interest.

Their dorsal and anal fins are colored with yellow, black and white bands and their caudal fin has a pale red to pink color that gives the fish additional interest in the aquarium. Males are thinner and smaller than females.

Because the X-Ray Pristella Tetra is found in areas of varying water chemistry in the wild, they make a perfect starter fish for tropical fish keeping enthusiasts new to the hobby. They are peaceful, hardy, and easy to keep in a community aquarium with other non aggressive species.

X-Ray Pristella Tetras are best kept in an aquarium with a gravel or sandy substrate, some live plants, rock and driftwood to replicate their natural habitat.  Because they are a schooling species, a minimum of at least 6 to 8 specimens should be kept together in the tank.

X-Ray Pristella Tetras have been bred in captivity and are egg layers.  They scatter their eggs in fine leaved plants which should be removed from the breeding tank for hatching. The small eggs hatch in about 24 hours and are free swimming several hours later. The fry can be fed baby brine shrimp or finely crushed flake food.

The natural diet of the X-Ray Pristella Tetra consists of small insects and planktonic animals.  In an aquarium environment, they will eagerly accept micro pellets, flake food, live, frozen or freeze dried brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and tubifex.

Pristella Tetras are readily available in most tropical fish keeping shops a purchase size of 1/2″ – 3/4″.

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

X-Ray Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)









Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Hardy
Water Conditions: 64-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.8-8.5
Max. Size: 2″
Color Form: Black, Clear, Pink, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Good community tank fish
Origin: South America, Farm Raised – USA
Family: Characidae
Lifespan: 5 years or longer
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

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