The Blue/Purple Emperor Tetra (Inpaichthys kerri) is a very attractive shoaling fish for the community aquarium. Its distinctive coloration consists of a mostly cream-colored body that is highlighted by a thick horizontal black stripe and yellow edges along its fins. Adult specimens also display a very noticeable blue/purple sheen especially when displaying breeding behavior. Females are generally smaller and thicker in size. The Blue/Purple Emperor Tetra typically breeds in pairs and must be kept in shoals of at least 6 to 10 fish. Males will posture and compete for females, but this aggression is not a problem in aquariums with ample space and plenty of décor. Smaller shoals of this fish may result in fin-nipping of other species in the tank.
The Blue/Purple Emperor Tetra typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe to keep with other peaceful, small fish. Though it has a relatively robust, larger body than many smaller tetras, it has a very small mouth. Adult dwarf shrimp are possibly safe tankmates as well, but adult Blue/Purple Emperor Tetras may eat small dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. Since it is tank-raised, the Blue/Purple Emperor Tetra is fairly adaptable, but its natural habitat contains soft, acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. It does not fare well in water with a pH above 7.0.
While not a picky eater, the Blue/Purple Emperor Tetra will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried tubifex and bloodworms will all be readily accepted.
- Elegant coloration, especially in males
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Very active and noticeable fish in any aquarium
- Hardy and adaptable
- Fascinating shoaling behavior.
- Temperature: 76° - 80° F (24° - 27° C)
- pH: 5.5 - 7.0 (acidic water is preferred)
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons for a school
- Diet: Omnivorous. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods
- Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to South America
- Average adult size: 1.4 inches (3.5 cm)
- Average purchase size: .75 - 1 inch (1.9 - 2.5 cm)