X-Ray Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

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X-Ray Tetra

Pristella maxillaris1.jpg
X-Ray Tetra

Pristella maxillaris

57 Litres (15 US G.)

2.5-5.1cm (1-2 ")




6.0 - 8.0

24 -28 °C (75.2-82.4°F)

6-20 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

3-5 years



Additional names

X-Ray Tetra, X-Ray Fish, Goldfinch Tetra, Pristella Tetra, Signal Tetra

Additional scientific names

Aphyocarax maxillaris, Aphyocharax maxillaris, Holopristis riddlei, Pristella riddlei


Males can be distinguished from females by being smaller and thinner than the females.

Tank compatibility[edit]

A shoaling fish that should be kept in groups of 6 or more. Does well in peaceful community tanks. Should not be kept with slow-moving long-finned fish as these Tetras may fin-nip. You can put them with Oscar’s and other large fish. Don’t put them with other tetras or other fish of a similar size because they are and aggressive fish.


In the wild they feed on worms, small crustaceans and insects. Will eat flake, bloodworm, daphnia, brine shrimp and micro-pellets.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Prefers a laterally spacious tank with open swimming space as well as hiding places.


Peaceful, active and a good community fish. Will school in groups of 6 or more. Other fish use this fish as a spotter fish; that is, if there is a predator about these fish will spot it first. Therefore, other more timid fish will come out into the open more if you put these fish in your tank. Useful also to the aquarist as an indicator fish. If they are closely packed together, then they are alarmed and feel threatened. Usually if they are settled, they will disperse over your tank.


An attractive and popular Tetra with an almost transparent silvery body. The body is a similar shape to other popular Tetras such as the Serpae Tetra. Colour on this fish is found in the fins, the caudal fin is a vibrant red while the dorsal and anal fins have yellow, black and white bands. A golden variety has been seen which has a silvery transparent body and yellow in the fins and some red in the caudal fin, it lacks any black colouration.


Poo 💩


External links[edit]