Tetra Kerri: Description And Content

This fish is an amazing creature with a delicate lilac color and a peaceful disposition. When you see a kerri tetra in the store, do not worry about its faded color, because in your aquarium it will appear in all its glory.

Tetra Kerri (Latin Inpaichthys kerri, English Purple Emperor Tetra) is a representative of the large family of haracins, originally from the reservoirs of Brazil. Among aquarists, it has many names – lilac neon, due to a bright, seemingly glowing lilac color, false imperial tetra – due to external similarity with its relative, purple imperial tetra – due to the predominance of lilac flowers in the color.

Lilac neon has certain similarities with the imperial tetra (lat. Nematobrycon palmeri), but distinguishing them from each other is quite simple:

  • Tetra Kerri does not have bright blue irises in her eyes;
  • the males of the imperial tetra have luxurious long fins;
  • lilac neon is much smaller than the imperial tetra;
  • the royal tetra, unlike the carry, does not have an adipose fin.

The purple tetra is a small fish, the length of which does not exceed 3.5 cm. It attracts aquarists primarily with its interesting, eye-pleasing color – the back of the males is light purple, and there is a wide, velvet-black strip on the sides. The belly of the fish is silvery-white.

These fish have pronounced sexual dimorphism – females have a more modest color compared to males – their backs are olive with a slightly noticeable purple tint, and their abdomens are more rounded.

Now on sale you can find a selective form of “super blue” (Super Blue). It features bright blue neon plating on the sides.

In nature, tetra kerri fish inhabit quiet tributaries and oxbow lakes with stagnant water. As a rule, the bottom of these reservoirs is lined with fallen leaves, sunken snags and branches of flooded forest areas. The water is acidic, has a slightly brownish tint and is enriched with tannins.

These animals are unpretentious, hardy and have a peaceful disposition, so they are very often recommended for novice aquarists. In a home aquarium, they prefer to occupy the middle layers of the water, moving with them in small jerks. The most beautiful fish look at a school, when several individuals get lost in a massive school and synchronously move around the aquarium.

Tetra Kerri


Taking care of a carry is not difficult at all, and even a beginner can handle this task. In order for your fish to live a long life and demonstrate the full brightness of their color, it is recommended to adhere to a few simple rules:

  • Like other representatives of the haracin family, lilac neons are schooling fish, so they must be kept in a team. A group of 10 or more tails will be optimal, for which you will need an aquarium of 30 liters or more.
  • The fish look most contrasting against the background of bright green spaces, the labyrinths of which they will explore. The lilac color looks spectacular on a green background. You don’t have to worry about the safety of vegetation, because in the gastronomic plan, kerri fish are not at all interested in it.
  • In nature, these animals live in shaded areas, so too bright lighting can irritate the fish, accompanied by spontaneous jumping out of the aquarium. It is better to choose dim lighting, and place many shaded areas in the aquarium itself with the help of driftwood and floating plants.
  • These fish are indifferent to the ground, they do not interrupt it and are extremely rare at the bottom. Therefore, you can choose any substrate that is convenient for you, but it is desirable that it be dark, since fish are more willing to show color on a dark background.
  • To recreate the natural biotope of the haracinaceae, you can try to enrich the water with tannins. To achieve a tea color, special conditioners are used, decoctions of alder cones, tea, or leaves are placed, which must be replaced as they deteriorate.
  • It is recommended to organize filtration in the aquarium, but it is important not to allow too much water flow. If necessary, you need to enrich the water with oxygen using a compressor.
  • Replace 25% of the water once a week.
  • Tetra kerries are not very fond of alkaline water.

Recommended water parameters:

  • temperature: 24-27 ° C;
  • acidity: 5.5-7.0 pH;
  • hardness: 1-12 ° N.


In nature, Tetra Kerris are micro-predators that actively eat small crustaceans, invertebrates and insects that have fallen into the water, swimming in the water.

In captivity, fish are completely unpretentious in terms of nutrition and actively eat whatever they are offered. You can feed lilac neons with various types of live and frozen food. They also eat well dry flaky food.

The main thing is that the food does not immediately fall to the bottom, but slowly sinks, since it is difficult for animals to pick up food from the bottom due to the anatomical structure of the jaws.


Tetra kerri is often bred, so this activity cannot be called difficult. In order to grow large quantities of fry, you will need a separate container with a capacity of about 20-30 liters.

The spawn should be very dimly lit, and the bottom should be lined with a spawning substrate, in the role of which are small-leaved plants or their various analogues, for example, a green nylon washcloth. So that producers do not feast on their own offspring, the substrate can be covered with a separator net, the mesh of which should be larger than the eggs, but at the same time preventing the fish from reaching the clutches.

Spawning water should be soft and acidic:

  • acidity: 5.5-6.5 pH;
  • hardness: 1-5 ° gH;
  • temperature: 24-27 ° C.

Peat-filtered water is very suitable for spawning grounds. To soften the environment, you can dilute the water with distilled water. It is advisable to put an airlift filter in the aquarium, which provides a weak flow and at the same time does not suck the fry into itself.

The fish selected for spawning are separated by sex and fed abundantly with high-protein feed for a couple of weeks. As soon as the males acquire a brighter outfit, and the females feed on a noticeably rounded abdomen, the fish are placed for spawning. Tetras can be propagated both in pairs and in a group, where there are 2 males for one female.

They are resettled in the spawning grounds of producers in the evening, and they start breeding with the first rays of the sun. Tetras are not averse to eating caviar at the first opportunity, therefore, after spawning, the producers are immediately removed from the spawning grounds.

Egg incubation lasts from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature. The first 3-4 days after hatching, the larvae lie motionless at the bottom and feed on the contents of their yolk sac. As soon as the babies start swimming in search of food, you can give them “live dust”.

As the fry grow older, the feed fraction is increased, first by gradually introducing egg yolk into their diet, and then nauplii of brine shrimp and microworm.

In the first months, it is important to organize frequent and regular feeding in small portions – 6-8 times a day, as well as daily small water changes – about 10% per day. Under such conditions, juveniles will grow faster and with less waste.


Tetra kerri is popular with hobbyists mainly due to its peaceful nature. However, it must be remembered that small predators can show themselves as lovers of pinching long fins, so it is better not to keep them with slow fish with veiled tails.

Also, this peaceful fish, when kept in insufficiently large groups, can show itself, not from the best side – single individuals in a state of stress often become cocky and attack their neighbors in the aquarium.

It is ideal to keep these fish with other South American species such as other haracin and dwarf cichlids such as microgeophagus.

Also, catfish are considered obligatory neighbors for tetras, which can eat up the remains of food for the fish, which they are not able to pick up on their own.

You don’t have to worry about shrimps and snails – the lilac neon will not attack them.

But with large, predatory and aggressive species, it is better not to keep tiny tetras, since they perceive small fish only as easy prey.

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