What Do X-Ray Tetra Eat: (Best Pristella Maxillaris Diet)

Have you ever gazed into your aquarium, mesmerized by the shimmering, translucent bodies of your X-ray Tetra? With their seemingly skeletal structure, these captivating fish are a stunning addition to any freshwater tank. But beyond their beauty lies a question that often pops up for new and seasoned aquarists alike: What Do X-Ray Tetra Eat? 

As you might expect, the answer goes beyond just tossing in some flakes and hoping for the best. Understanding the dietary needs of these fascinating, colorful fish is crucial for their health and longevity.

From the essential protein sources to the delightful treats that add variety to their diet, we’ll delve into Pristella maxillaris feeding in this comprehensive guide.

pristella maxillaris

Get ready to learn about the best foods, the proper feeding frequency, and even the occasional snack that will make your X-ray Tetra truly thrive.

X-ray Tetras are small omnivores in the wild, feeding on various small insects, worms, algae, and plant matter. In captivity, they can be fed high-quality flake food, frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and vegetable matter such as lettuce or spirulina.

It is important to vary their diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health and coloration. This article will explore the best diet for X-ray Tetras, including feeding tips and recommendations to help you keep your Pristella Maxillaris happy and healthy. 

What Do X-Ray Tetra Eat in Aquarium?

X-ray tetras, known as pristella maxillaris, are a small species of freshwater fish native to the Amazon River. In the aquarium setting, these tropical fish can thrive on a diet of a variety of food sources. Like many other small species, x-ray tetras are known to eat small freshwater fish, insect larvae, and small crustaceans that live close to the river.

X Ray Tetras Fish

They can also consume aquatic plants, either live or frozen. If kept in a tank with larger or predatory fish, it is essential to provide the x-ray tetras with a separate breeding tank to ensure the safety of the fry.

These non-aggressive fish prefer to live in groups of at least six individuals and co-inhabit the tank peacefully with other finned companions.

X-ray tetras, also known as the golden pristella tetra, are colorful South American fish widely popular in aquariums. Their small size and ease of care make them a favorite among aquarists.

These small fish have dorsal and anal fins that are yellowish in color, adding to their vibrant appearance. In the wild, x-ray tetras are small schooling fish that pose a stunning sight as they swim together in the waters of the Amazon basin.

When feeding these beautiful fish in captivity, offering a mix of pellets and live or frozen food options will help ensure their health and vitality.

The Best Pristella Maxillaris Diet: A Delicious Menu for Your X-Ray Tetra

Here’s a list of the best foods to keep your X-Ray Tetra pristella maxillaris happy and healthy:


  • High-quality Flakes: Look for flakes formulated explicitly for small, omnivorous fish. Avoid flakes with excessive fillers.
  • Sinking Pellets: These offer a good source of protein and nutrients, and they won’t float on the surface, allowing your X-Ray Tetra to eat without competing with surface feeders.
  • Live and Frozen Foods: The occasional treat of live or frozen food will provide essential nutrients and variety.

Live Food Options:

  • Brine Shrimp: A great source of protein and essential fatty acids.
  • Daphnia: A smaller, softer food option that’s easy for smaller fish to digest.
  • Mosquito Larvae (Bloodworms): A high-protein treat that X-Ray Tetra loves.
  • Tubifex Worms: Another high-protein option, but use sparingly as they can be messy.

Frozen Food Options:

  • Brine Shrimp: A convenient and readily available alternative to live brine shrimp.
  • Daphnia: Frozen Daphnia is a good source of protein and essential fatty acids.
  • Bloodworms: A readily available and nutritious frozen option.


  • Blanched Spinach or Zucchini: A good source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Small Pieces of Cooked Shrimp or Fish: A high-protein treat, but offer sparingly.

Important Tips:

  • Variety is Key: Offer a diverse diet to ensure your X-Ray Tetra receives all the necessary nutrients.
  • Feed Multiple Times: Feed your X-Ray Tetra in small amounts several times a day instead of one large meal. This helps prevent overfeeding and maintains water quality.
  • Observe Food Consumption: Watch how much your fish eat and adjust the amount accordingly. If they eat only some of the food you offer, reduce it.
  • Clean Leftover Food: Remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent brackish water quality issues.

By following this list and tailoring the diet to your specific X-Ray Tetra’s needs, you’ll be sure to provide them with the best nutrition possible!

X Ray Pristella Tetra Natural Habitat

X-ray pristella tetra is a small species of tetra fish known for its transparent skin, allowing you to see its bony internal structure. The x-ray tetra is also called the pristella tetra and the water goldfinch.

In its natural habitat, the x-ray tetra can live peacefully with other small fish in water conditions where it can feed on insect larvae and diet with aquatic plants.

This fish species is a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts because of its peaceful nature and x-ray size, making it suitable for community tanks. The x-ray tetra fish is also known to spawn and give birth to live x-ray tetra fry.

Female X-ray tetra are generally larger than their male counterparts and have a yellowish X-ray coloration. The x-ray tetra feels more secure when kept in many fish groups as a shoaling fish.

Predators find it much harder to spot these X ray fish due to their transparent bodies, providing them with protection in the wild. The x-ray tetra fish also have a keen sense of hearing, which helps them detect potential environmental threats. Regarding diet, the x-ray tetra likes to eat flakes, pellets, and small live animals and plants they can find in their habitat.

Lifespan & size of the X-ray fish

When considering these radiant fish for your tank, it’s essential to understand their lifespan and size to provide them with the best care possible.

In terms of lifespan, X-ray fish typically live for about 3 to 5 years in captivity. However, with proper care and a conducive environment, some individuals have been known to live up to 7 years. It’s important to note that water quality, diet, and overall tank conditions can significantly impact their lifespan.

In regards to size, X-ray fish is a small species of fish. They typically reach a maximum size of around 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters) in length. Their petite stature makes them suitable for smaller aquarium setups and community tanks.

By understanding the lifespan and size of X-ray fish, you can plan accordingly and create an optimal environment to ensure their well-being and longevity. Remember to provide them with a balanced diet, maintain excellent water quality, and offer suitable tank mates for a thriving aquatic community.

Pristella Tetra (X-Ray): Care, Tank Mates & More!

The x-ray tetra is one of the more colorful tetra species and can make a beautiful addition to any aquarium. These small fish are generally peaceful and can live in a tank peacefully with other small fish like neon tetras or guppies.

Tetras are generally peaceful and can thrive on a diet of fish flakes and pellets. Females are generally larger than males, and the female will lay eggs on plant leaves or other surfaces in the tank.

When it comes to tank mates, avoid keeping them with larger fish that may see them as potential prey. If you’re considering adding Pristella Tetras to your aquarium, here’s a comprehensive guide to their care, tank mates, and more.


Pristella Tetras are relatively low-maintenance fish, making them suitable for beginners. They thrive in a well-maintained aquarium with stable water parameters. The ideal temperature range for these tetras is between 72°F and 79°F (22°C – 26°C). Maintain a pH of around 6.5 to 7.5 and provide clean, well-filtered water.

Tank Mates:

Pristella Tetras are peaceful and social fish that do well in community tanks. They can coexist with peaceful species such as other tetras (like Neon Tetras or Cardinal Tetras), Rasboras, Guppies, and Corydoras catfish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping species.

In conclusion, Pristella Tetras (X-ray Tetras) are captivating fish that can thrive in a well-maintained aquarium with suitable tank mates. You can enjoy their stunning colors and peaceful nature by providing them with proper care, a spacious tank, and a balanced diet. So, if you want to add a touch of elegance to your aquarium, consider the Pristella Tetra and watch these magnificent fish gracefully swim through your aquatic haven.

What are the best adaptable species of Tetra?

Neon Tetras and X-Ray Tetras are highly adaptable tetras for beginners. They thrive in a range of water conditions and are peaceful community fish.

Are X-Ray Tetras easy to breed in captivity?

Yes, X-ray tetras are considered easy to spawn in captivity. They scatter eggs in a well-conditioned tank with soft, acidic water. The challenge lies in raising the tiny fry, who require specialized food and pristine water conditions.

Is X-Ray Tetra compatible with other peaceful fish species?

Yes, X-Ray Tetras are peaceful community fish! They thrive with other calm fish like tetras, rasboras, and corydoras catfish. Avoid large or aggressive tankmates.

Are X-ray tetra relatively easy to care for?

Yes, they are generally easy to care for. They adapt to water conditions, are peaceful community fish, and aren’t picky eaters.

What fish can live with X-ray tetras?

Peaceful community fish like neon tetras, ember tetras, dwarf Gouramis, or Corydoras catfish are good tankmates for X-ray tetras. Avoid large or aggressive fish.

Are X-Ray Tetras schooling fish?

Yes, X-Ray Tetras are schooling fish! They thrive in groups, swimming together for safety and visual spectacle.

Are X-Ray Tetras hardy?

Yes, X-Ray Tetras are hardy fish! They can thrive in various water conditions, similar to their natural habitat’s fluctuations during the rainy season. This makes them adaptable for beginner aquarists.

Where are X-ray tetra found?

X-ray tetras hail from the coastal waters of South America, particularly in Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela.


So, what do x ray fish eat? In conclusion, the diet of X-ray tetras is a fascinating aspect of their natural behavior. These shimmering fish, known for their translucent bodies and captivating appearance, have specific dietary requirements to maintain their health and vibrancy. Through our exploration of their feeding habits, we have discovered that X-ray tetras are omnivorous, meaning they consume both plant matter and small invertebrates. This diverse diet allows them to obtain essential nutrients while adapting to their environment.?

Whether in the wild or community aquariums, X-ray tetras feed on various foods, including small insects, crustaceans, algae, and some fruits. Their ability to consume multiple food sources ensures their survival and well-being. If you’re considering keeping X-ray tetras as pets, providing them with a balanced diet that mimics their natural feeding habits is crucial. This includes commercially available fish flakes, frozen or live foods, and some fresh vegetables.

So, if you’re wondering, “What do X ray tetra eat?” remember that they are opportunistic feeders, enjoying a mix of plant and animal-based foods. By catering to their dietary needs, you can create a thriving and visually stunning aquarium environment for these captivating fish.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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