Which Tetras Can Live Together? + Form A School?

Which Tetras Can Live Together? + Form A School?

Image of tetras living together

The majority of tetra species can live together as long as each species can form its own school. Same-sized tetras can be kept together in an aquarium, like neon tetras, cardinal tetras, diamond tetras, etc. Buenos Aires tetras require cooler water and hence cannot live with other tropical tetras.

If you wish to build an aquarium with different tetra species, you need to be careful about certain things. Let’s talk about them now.

Can All Tetras Live Together?

Most of the tetras can live together. Tetras are generally peaceful fish and don’t bother their tank mates unless stressed.

Similar sized and similar temperament tetra species can live in harmony in the same tank.

Being docile fish, tetras usually don’t fight with each other.

However, they may fight if there is space constraint or they feel threatened.

Tetras may also become a little aggressive towards each other if they get stressed due to unfavorable water parameters.

Although most of the tetra species get along with each other, there’s always an exception.

Serpae tetras can sometimes display aggression and resort to fin nipping, particularly when they are kept in a small group.

Besides, Buenos Aires tetras grow big compared to other tetra species.

They can grow up to 3 inches, whereas most of the other tetra species grow to a maximum of 2 inches.

Due to their bigger size, Buenos Aires tetras can intimidate the smaller tetras.

Hence, it’s best if you avoid keeping bigger-sized tetras with smaller ones.

Types of Tetras that Can Live Together

Tetras being peaceful fish, usually don’t bother their tank mates. They get along well with most non-aggressive fish.

The crucial point to remember is that tetras can live with other species of tetras, provided each species has its school.

Besides, the tank condition should be favorable in terms of water parameters to accommodate different tetra varieties.

Given below are some of the tetras that can live together comfortably:

  • Neon tetras can live with cardinal tetras as they both originate from the same habitat. Also, both these species look very similar and are of the same size. Hence, you can even see them forming a school in the tank.
  • You can even house cardinal tetras and congo tetras together. While keeping them together, you should ensure a minimum of 6 fish of the same variety. Congo tetras need to be a part of a school, or else they may get scared.
  • Even neon tetras and diamond tetras can live together.
  • Similarly, you can house serpae tetras with cardinal tetras. They both are similar in terms of behavior. An added advantage of keeping them in a community aquarium is that they have the same dietary requirement. Serpae tetras are known for their fin nipping behavior. However, if you keep them in an appropriately-sized group, they don’t exhibit aggressive behavior.
  • Neon tetras can live with rummy-nose tetras. Although neon tetras are slightly smaller than rummy-nose tetras, they can still live together as they have similar temperaments and prefer the same water conditions. While keeping them together, you need to examine the neon tetras closely. If they start fin nipping, it’s better to separate them.
  • Buenos Aires tetras are larger compared to some other tetra species. Hence, they get along well with larger tetras, such as black widow tetras. It’s best if you avoid long-finned tank mates for Buenos Aires tetras. Otherwise, they may nip their fins. Similarly, you must avoid small-sized tetras with Buenos Aires tetras as they may get bullied.

That sounds great. So, quite a few tetra species can live together without much difficulty.

But, can different tetra species form a school?

Can Different Types Of Tetras Form A School?

Tetras in their natural habitat are adapted to living in a school. Hence, they prefer the same in a home aquarium too.

In the wild, tetras usually school in larger groups of similar species to safeguard themselves from predators.

It’s always difficult for a predator to attack a big group.

Besides, similar tetra species with the same body features confuses the predator.

Although there is no fear of predation in captivity, tetras cannot change their adaptability.

Tetras usually school with the members of their species. They don’t prefer different species to school together.

However, there can be certain instances when tetras can go against the norm and school with different tetra species for no apparent reason.

Tetras with similar size, appearance, and nature may school together when kept in the same tank.

Neon tetras and cardinal tetras are the best example of different variety of fish schooling together.

Their resemblance to each other in terms of appearance, size, and features gives them the compatibility to school together.

You may even sometimes find neon tetras forming a school with ember tetras.

Selective breeding is another reason for different varieties of tetras schooling together.

Diamond neon tetras and golden neon tetras are an example of this.

Despite having different features and colors, both form a school with neon tetras.

Another reason why different tetra species can form a school is when they are threatened.

When not in sufficient numbers, small tetras can school with different species to feel secure in a larger group.

3 Factors that Determine Which Type of Tetras Can Live or School Together

Each species of tetras is distinct. You need to closely study their behavior, water conditions, diet, and other requirements before keeping them together.

Given below are some of the factors that determine which tetra species can live or school together.

However, you should not entirely depend upon these to determine if you should keep various tetra species together.

It’s always better to watch their behavior and decide whether they can live in harmony with each other.

1. Size and appearance.

Size and appearance are the primary factors that determine whether different species of tetras can live or school together.

Small tetras mainly rely on size and appearance to trust other tetras.

The best example of this is cardinal tetras that look similar to neon tetras.

Both these tetra species often live and school with each other due to their striking resemblance.

However, similar sizes and colors do not always work for all tetra species. The exception is glowlight tetras.

Although they look similar in size and shape to cardinal and neon tetras, they don’t school with them. They generally school with their own species.

2. Tank size.

Tank size is another factor that determines whether you can keep different types of tetras in the same tank.

Tetras need to be kept in a group of at least six or more for optimal growth.

If you have a small tank, then keeping only a single species of tetra is advisable.

You need to either settle for a single tetra species or get a larger tank to accommodate different species of tetras.

3. Water conditions.

Most of the tetra species are tropical fish that prefer warm acidic water.

Hence, they can be kept together without much difficultly. However, there’s always an exception.

Buenos Aires tetras prefer cooler water, so they cannot live with other warm water tetra varieties.

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