Compatible Tetra Tank Mates + Incompatible Ones

Compatible Tetra Tank Mates + Incompatible Ones

Image of cardinal tetras

Some of the compatible tank mates for tetras are guppies, mollies, platies, loaches, rasboras, danios, swordtails, corydoras, and African dwarf frogs. Tetras get along well with non-aggressive and similar-sized community fish. Aggressive, slow-moving, and predator fish are incompatible with tetras.

Tetras are schooling fish. So they feel comfortable in larger groups. If you have a bigger tank that can accommodate multiple inhabitants, numerous fish can live happily with tetras. So, let’s delve deeper into the ideal tank mates for tetras.

Compatible Tetra Tank Mates

Tetras are friendly fish that enjoy the company of other non-aggressive and similar-sized fish.

The best tank mates for tetras are other tetra species that thrive in a similar environment.

Although most of the tetra species are non-aggressive, some tetras like Serpae tetra are fin-nippers.

Similarly, Buenos Aires tetras grow large and are very active, which may frighten the timid fish.

There are a lot of factors to consider before finalizing on any fish as tank mates for tetras.

Nonetheless, there are many fish that you can keep safely with tetras.

Some of the compatible tetra tank mates are listed below.


Guppies are one of the popular fish preferred by many aquarists because of their dazzling patterns.

Guppies are often paired with tetras due to their peaceful temperament.

Although guppies are not messy, they produce a lot of waste.

Hence, you need to perform frequent tank maintenance to ensure water quality if you house them with tetras.


Mollies are another fish that you can house with tetras.

Since both the fish have similar tank requirements, they are often kept together in a community tank.

Mollies adapt well to various temperatures, making them a perfect choice as tank mates.

Besides, mollies have a docile temperament and can live harmoniously with tetras.


Just like tetras, killifish are also non-aggressive. Killifish are usually aggressive toward other male killifish only.

Besides, the water conditions for tetras and killifish also match.

Killifish are an excellent choice for neon tetras, rummy nose tetras, and cardinal tetras.

Also, since all of these fish are hardy, it’s easy to keep them together.


Danios get along well with tetras. There are many different types of danios to choose from; each type has its unique personality.

Hence, it’s best to do some research before choosing danios as tank mates.

Since danios are energetic swimmers, they can frighten the shy tetras into hiding.

However, tetras get used to danios over time.

The celestial pearl danios are popular and preferred by many aquarists as tank mates for tetras.


Loaches are another excellent choice as tank mates for tetras. They mostly spend their time in the middle to bottom of the tank.

Though some of the loaches’ species are semi-aggressive, they generally don’t harass the tetras.


Tetras and platies are excellent tank mates. Just like tetras, platies are peaceful, and they both share a similar diet.

Platies are also easy to care for and hence preferred by many beginner aquarists for a community tank.

Both these fish have a striking appearance, and their unique coloration makes a tank look attractive.

While keeping platies, the tank should have a tight lid as they can jump out to escape.

Also, since platies are very adaptable, they get along well with most of the tetra species.


Swordtails are a good companion for tetras as they are peaceful.

Besides, they are easy to care for and hence don’t require much maintenance.

Red swordtails grow up to 4 inches.

So, they can be housed with larger tetras like congo tetras, redeye tetras, and emperor tetras.

You need to avoid placing large swordtails with smaller tetras to avoid bullying.

Mystery Snails and Nerite Snails

Mystery snails are another excellent choice as tetra tank mates in a community tank.

Since mystery snails are peaceful, they don’t bother the tetras. Both of them live in harmony.

Similarly, nerite snails are also good companions for tetras.

Another advantage of having nerite snails is that they can keep the algae growth in check.

African Dwarf Frogs

Tetras and African dwarf frogs can co-exist peacefully in a community tank.

Since both these species are omnivores, you can feed plant and animal matter to them.

You can feed them a varied diet to ensure both of them get the essential nutrients.

While keeping African dwarf frogs with tetras, you need to ensure they are well-fed and don’t starve.


Rasboras are peaceful, colorful fish that do well in a community tank.

Since most of the rasboras’ species grow up to 4 inches, they are ideal tank mates for tetras.

If you have a densely planted aquarium, rasboras are the best choice.

They are happiest in a planted aquarium as it closely resembles their natural habitat.


Corydoras, also known as cory catfish, are ideal tank mates for tetras.

In the wild, you can see tetras and corydoras living together. Hence, housing them in the same tank makes sense.

Just like tetras, corydoras are also non-aggressive and friendly.

Besides, corydoras usually occupy the bottom of the tank, while tetras are active in the middle.

So, they are a great choice if you like a lively tank.

Alright! So, there are numerous fish that are compatible as tetra tank mates.

However, you cannot keep some fish with tetras. Let’s now see which fish should be avoided.

Incompatible Tetra Tank Mates

Aggressive and predator fish are not ideal tank mates for tetras.

Since tetras are tiny fish, they are easy prey for bigger fish.

Also, slow-moving fish are not suitable tank mates for tetras as they are very active and can nip the fins of slow-moving fish.

Given below are the fish that are not compatible with tetras.


Goldfish cannot live with tetras as they are cold-water fish, whereas tetras are tropical fish that thrive in warm water.

Also, tetras are active swimmers, whereas goldfish are slow swimmers.

Besides, goldfish create a lot of waste compared to tetras.

Hence, if the tank water quality is not maintained, tetras can have difficulty coping with the polluted water.


Most of the cichlids are known for their territoriality and aggressiveness.

Hence, tetras cannot co-exist with aggressive cichlids. Also, smaller tetras are easy prey for the bigger cichlids.

Since cichlids show predatory behavior, tetras will be under constant stress if they are kept together.


Another fish to avoid with tetras is angelfish. Since angelfish have long fins, tetras can nip their fins and cause damage.

Besides, angelfish are semi-aggressive. Adult angelfish can look upon the smaller tetras as a food source.


Oscars are bad tank mates for tetras. Oscars are predatory fish. They will not hesitate to make a quick meal of the tiny tetras.

Even if the tetras succeed in hiding, oscars may terrorize them, making their lives miserable.


Some aquarists keep barbs with tetras. However, most barbs are aggressive. So, tetras can get stressed due to their bullying.

Some of the aggressive barb species include tiger barbs and rosy barbs. They are lousy tank mates for tetras. 

Cherry barbs are the only species that you can keep with tetras.

Flowerhorn Fish

Male flowerhorn fish are highly aggressive and territorial. They can’t be kept with docile tetras.

Their large body can be intimidating to the smaller tetras.

Besides, flowerhorn fish are not companion fish. They are best kept in an isolated tank.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Serpae Tetras?

Serpae tetras are fast-moving and peaceful fish that get along well with similar fish.

Serpae tetras are known to nip the fins of other fish, so they shouldn’t be kept with any fish with longer fins.

You should also avoid keeping slow-moving fish such as angelfish and bettas with Serpae tetras.

Similarly, they shouldn’t be housed with smaller fish as they tend to bully them.

The most compatible tank mates for serape tetras are:

  • Cardinal tetras,
  • Neon tetras,
  • Loaches,
  • Corydoras catfish,
  • Giant danio,
  • Bristle-nose plecos, and
  • Barbs.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Cardinal Tetras?

Cardinal tetras are active fish that prefer living in a community tank.

Since they are non-aggressive fish, they get along well with peaceful fish.

You can choose fish with similar living conditions so that all the tank mates can live in harmony.

Since cardinal tetras are tiny fish, any large and aggressive fish that can look upon them as potential prey should be avoided.

The ideal tank mates for cardinal tetras are:

  • Neon tetras,
  • Guppies,
  • Mollies,
  • Dwarf Gourami,
  • Loaches,
  • Corydoras catfish,
  • Zebra Danios,
  • Rasboras, and
  • Invertebrates such as snails and shrimp.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Glofish Tetras?

Glofish tetras are peaceful when kept in large groups of at least six or more.

They are mostly compatible with other peaceful and active fish of similar size.

Some of the suitable glofish tetra tank mates are:

  • Neon tetras,
  • Cardinal tetras,
  • Danios,
  • Rasboras,
  • Small barbs,
  • Guppies,
  • Dwarf cichlids, and
  • Plecos.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Congo Tetras?

Congo tetras are schooling fish. They can get anxious if kept in smaller groups of less than 6 of the same species.

Since congo tetras are peaceful, they usually get along with fish of similar temperaments.

Some of the ideal tank mates for congo tetras are:

  • Guppies,
  • Neon tetras,
  • Ember tetras,
  • Mollies,
  • Platies,
  • Corydoras,
  • Dwarf Cichlids,
  • Rainbowfish,
  • Rasboras, and
  • Barbs.

While choosing tank mates for congo tetras, avoid aggressive fish species that can bully them.

Also, avoid fin nipping tank mates as they may harm the fins of the congo tetras.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Ember Tetras?

Ember tetras are peaceful freshwater fish that do well when kept in large groups.

Although these fish are tiny, they are very active.

Due to their gentle temperament, they get along with a wide variety of tank mates.

These fish are middle-dwellers and don’t usually venture at the top of the tank.

Hence, while choosing their tank mates, you need to keep fish that don’t cross their paths often.

Some of the best tank mates of ember tetras are:

  • Guppies,
  • Rasboras,
  • Neon tetras,
  • Discus,
  • Barbs,
  • Kuhli Loach,
  • Shrimps like blue tiger, ghost, amano, blue pearl, red cherry, and others,
  • Mollies, and
  • African Dwarf Frogs.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Black Skirt Tetras?

Black skirt tetras get along with most of the tropical fish.

They are a bit aggressive toward slow swimmers compared to other tetra species.

Black skirt tetras tend to nip at fish with long fins.

Hence, you should avoid fish such as angelfish because black skirt tetras may bully them.

Some of the ideal black skirt tetra tank mates are:

  • Cardinal tetras,
  • Neon tetras,
  • Corydoras catfish,
  • Loaches,
  • Dwarf Gourami,
  • Honey Gourami,
  • Zebra Danios,
  • Mollies,
  • Chili Rasboras, and
  • Harlequin Rasboras.

What Fish Are Compatible Tank Mates for Lemon Tetras?

Lemon tetras are tiny peaceful fish.

They get along with similar-sized fish with peaceful temperaments in a community tank.

Some of the compatible tank mates for lemon tetras are:

  • Other tetra species,
  • Smaller rasboras,
  • Small danios,
  • Corydoras,
  • Snails,
  • Plecos,
  • Cory Catfish,
  • Discus, and
  • Shrimp.

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