Bucktooth Tetra - Exodon paradoxus

SKU: 208475
Manufacturer: That Fish Place
MPN: F90 0022 0521

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The Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) isn't your average community fish. They have rather elongate bodies, lending to their speed and agility. They are tan with a beautiful, green-gold shimmer along the mid-line, two well-defined, rich, black spots, and orange-red accents in the fins. It is said that the fish gets its name from its protruding teeth, though these teeth are not always visible. These are hardy, robust fish that can live for many years in home aquariums.

These are not friendly tetras for your community. These behave in a far more aggressive manner, which is one reason they are perfect for a species only tank. They have a tendency to attack attempted tankmates - even if that tankmate is larger - eating scales and eyes if not more. The Bucktooth Tetra is technically omnivorous, but it likes its meat as can be derived from its not so friendly nature, and foods like freeze-dried and frozen items will suit them well in the aquarium. They seem to eat just about anything while they’re here, from flakes to mysis shrimp, even full sized shrimp that they devour like a pack of piranhas. Live plants will also become food items, though these fish also enjoy the cover provided by plants.

There are several points to consider if you want to try Bucktooth Tetras. They should be kept in a group of no less than six, but do better if there are eight or more. They are a schooling fish so they feel safety in numbers, but they may show aggression towards each other if kept in a group that is too small. When you decide to purchase them, try to get them all around the same size and ideally the same time. Larger or more mature specimens may view smaller fish as prey, and established groups may view new additions as intruders. Due to their max size, active nature, and need for being kept in groups, you’ll need an aquarium of adequate size. A tank of 40 gallons or more will be necessary, even for a minimal group.

Bucktooth Tetras like a planted aquarium, with driftwood and other ornamentation for cover. They will also eat some live plants. Being Amazon fish they prefer softer water with pH of 5.5-7.5 though they are quite adaptable and hardy. In the right aquarium, a schooling group of these fish can be stunning.


F90 0022 0521
That Fish Place
Common NameBucktooth Tetra
Scientific NameExodon paradoxus
OriginSouth America
Max Size (in inches)3
Community SafeNo
pH Range5.5-7.5
Min Tank Size (in gallons)45
Temperature Range75-82
DifficultyModerate to High
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


Ratings & Reviews

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One of the best fish ever


They love to eat dry shrimp & frozen, if you already have a variety of fish in your aquarium only get one to add because they will eat the others, these fish are awesome though if you buy 5 or more they usually only get along together or with medium to larger piranhas.

Great article!


Great article. Thanks for saving me the trouble of not getting these fish. Maybe one day I will try my first nano and try these. I am just not sure I want a really small tank.

can be community tank fish with care


I started with a school of 24 in a 180g. I figured from everything I read it would be the only species I could put in there. Well with some experimentation over the last couple of years, it has turned into a great community tank! Exodons rule the mid and top water, but I've had luck with various plecos, loaches and catfish on the bottom. Even a pair of bolivian rams and my ghost shrimp are breeding in there! Currently there are clown and yoyo loaches, pictus, farawella, bumblebee and banjo cats and 3 or 4 types of plecos and everyone is doing fine together.