7 Reasons Why Your Neon Tetra Is Losing Color and What to Do About It

The 17 Best Neon Tetra Tank Mates

What would you feel if you lived in a home with terrible neighbors who continually interrupted your peace, or if you endured a loud neighborhood?

I believe you will feel uncomfortable and want to move out.

The same goes for fishes in an aquarium. If you do not choose the right tank mates, your Tetra fish may become stressed and die.

Therefore, choosing the right tank mates for your beloved fish isn’t just an option, it’s a must!

In this article, we will show you the best tank mates that you can keep your tetras with.

But before we start, there are some things you should take into account when choosing tank mates for Tetra fish.

What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Tetra Fish?

Tetra fish are tiny species that require a calm and peaceful environment to thrive.

And although they aren’t particularly difficult to maintain, they can die quickly if their demands aren’t met, much like most fish.

Therefore, in this section, we will tell you how to choose the right tank mate for your tiny creature.

1. Temperature 

First of all, you need to understand your fishs’ nature and provide them with the right mates that can survive at a similar temperature as your fish.

Tetras originate in South America, where the water temperature is usually warm.

The ideal water temperature for them is between 72 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 and 24.4 degrees Celsius).

This range of temperature is critical to ensuring a healthy ecosystem and helps your fish live a healthier life.

But, how can you give your fish the desired temperature while also caring for another fish that demands a different range?

It is an impossible task, right?

For this reason, when choosing tetra tank mates, you must take into account the water temperature for both of them. 

2. Water Hardness

Water hardness, like water temperature, is also an important consideration when selecting tankmates for your Tetra fish.

Tetras prefer a pH of 5.5 to 6.2, with a water hardness between 2 and 10 dH degrees.

So, if you have a tank mate that doesn’t meet these requirements, it could lead to one thing from two: losing your tetra or losing the other fish.

For sure, it’s something you don’t want happening, so it’s best to choose wisely!

3. Characteristics

Tetras are peaceful fish that love to live in groups and move through the water looking for little food items.

They are usually calm towards other fish in home aquariums and will not usually attack other fish in the tank.

Therefore, it is very essential to choose a tank mate that has the same characteristics.

Imagine what will happen if you keep a predator or a big fish with these adorable, little species? I don’t even want to think about it!

4. Tank size

As we said before, tetra fish are schooling fish, which implies that the tank you will get will not only contain one fish but a whole school.

What if you decided to include a few more species for the school? won’t you need an additional room?

For this reason, don’t add any new species to your aquarium until you’re confident you have enough room for them.

Anything else will overcrowd your tank and increase the risk of disease and stress in your fish.

5. Biotope

The best way to keep a pet in your house happy and safe is by giving them the natural environment that they live in.

This is where the biotope aquarium kicks in.

So make sure that you choose a tank mate that lives in a similar biotope to that of your tetra fish.

This will help reduce stress and make your fish feel at ease in their new home.

Here Is Our List of Best tetras Tank Mates

1. Zebra Danio

Zebrafish are tiny and calm fish that are considered ideal inhabitants for a community aquarium.

These fish are shoaling fish that need to be kept in groups.

They’re also active fish that may cause problems for your school of tetras from time to time, but they aren’t dangerous.

If you want a small school of both tetras and zebras, consider investing in a 20-gallon tank or bigger.

2. Cory Catfish

Cories are one of the most popular catfish for home aquariums.

They’re friendly, grow up to three inches long, and are hearty little fish.

They are also considered to be an important part of the aquarium cleanup crew since they rummage about the bottom, seeking uneaten fish food, plant material, and anything else they can consume.

For this reason, they’ll mind their own business on the bottom of the tank and will not bother the tetras.

There are a few different kinds, including:

  • Pepper Cory
  • Bumblebee Cory
  • Panda Cory
  • Bronze Cory
  • Albino Cory

All these types are compatible with tetras.

3. Harlequin Rasbora

The harlequin rasbora is one of the most colorful fish in the aquarium industry.

Their vivid red/orange coloring and distinctive black markings on their tails make them highly visible.  

They’re also simple to maintain, which is excellent news for beginners.

You just have to keep them in groups of six or more and, like tetras, you’ll want to keep them away from any fish that might eat them.

4. Hatchetfish

The hatchet fish is yet another tiny, calm fish that comes from the Amazon River Basin, just like the tetra.

These pot-bellied little fish thrive in groups of six or more.

If you choose to keep them, you’ll need a good seal on the top of your tank.

That’s because they occasionally leap out of the water, and they’re good at it.

It’s a natural escape mechanism they employ while in the wild to avoid predators.

Hopefully, you won’t put any territorial fish in your tank.

5. Otocinclus

If you have a tank under 55 gallons and want algae eaters that are appropriate with your tetras, the little otocinclus catfish is an excellent choice.

Otos are sometimes called “dwarf suckerfish” because of their resemblance to the larger plecostomus.

They only reach a few inches in length, and they don’t harm living plants as plecos do.

Otos are schooling fish, so keep at least six of them.

They’ll do best in a tank with natural plants for them to hide in, but artificial plants are fine as well.

As with any algae eater, don’t expect them to clean the tank all on their own.

You must pitch in to help combat algae in your aquarium.

Feed algae wafers to make sure they are getting enough to eat.

6. Molly Fish

Mollies are popular community fish that may be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, including the black molly, sailfin molly, and lyretail molly.

They’re a little larger than platies. They are also more active swimmers than your average neon fish.

While they will not likely bother your neons, they do provide a more animated aquarium. If you want to stock them, you’ll need a big enough tank.

7. Plecostomus

The plecostomus (pleco) is a catfish from the Amazon River Basin.

They are popular in home aquariums due to their filtration capabilities.

Unfortunately, the typical pleco grows up to two feet in length as an adult.

While they don’t always get that large in aquariums, they are enormous fish and should only be kept in huge tanks.

Plecos require natural driftwood to rasp on, and it’s a good idea to offer algae wagers so they have enough to eat.

8. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Guppies have been popular in the aquarium hobby for years.

These fish were formerly only available in a single hue, but now there are many different colors to choose from.

Guppies are one of the easiest fish to care for and they reproduce like crazy, so they make a great choice for a beginner.

 Also, they are compatible with your tetras and will make a great addition to your tank.

9. Chili Rasboras (Boraras brigittae)

The Chili Rasbora has captured the attention of the aquarium industry for a long time.

These fish are gorgeous, adorable, and simple to maintain.

The fact that keeping them does not require much expertise makes them a very approachable species!

10. Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

The Dwarf Gourami is a small, peaceful fish that can be found in many colors, including blue, red, and orange.

They reach a maximum size of three and a half inches, so they are compatible with a wide variety of fish.

Dwarf Gouramis do best when kept in pairs, so if you want to add them to your tank, make sure you have room for two.

11. Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

The Kuhli loach (Pangio kuhlii), also known as the Pangie, is a tiny eel-like freshwater fish that belongs to the loach family.

These fish are bold and brightly colored that might be concealed by aquarium décor in the bright illumination of an aquarium.

Despite these fish don’t eat a lot, they are very hardy and can handle a variety of water conditions making them perfect for beginner aquarists.

12. Clown Pleco (Panaqolus maccus)

The Panaqolus maccus is a Venezuelan river fish that may be found in driftwood-entangled riverbanks.

Their typically dark body has a lovely, striped, or wavy pattern that might be golden or brilliant orange in hue.

However, the color of clown pleco may be influenced by a variety of elements, such as age, origin, mood, and dietary habits.

Clown plecoes may provide a little pizzazz to almost any aquarium or planted environment!

13. Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.)

Bristlenoses are ugly and strange fish, which makes them adorable for some reason!

They mostly resemble other plecos, with a flattened ventral side, a suckermouth, and armored scales.

Males have fleshy tentacles on their noses and around their mouths, whereas females may have no or just a few tentacles about their mouths.

Keeping two or more bristlenose plecos together is fine.

Bristlenose plecos are solitary fish by nature.

However, if the tank is big enough, they can cohabit with numerous other plecos.

They can reach a length of 5 inches, so they need a large tank to be happy.

14. Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

Cherry shrimp are the most well-known dwarf shrimp in the aquarium hobby.

They’re beautiful, easy to maintain, and prolific breeders: everything a (new) shrimp keeper could ask for.

When there are plenty of hiding places in the aquarium, shrimp will feel most secure (and thus their coloration will be brilliant and they will act naturally).

15. Nerite Snails 

The Nerite is a tiny snail with a rounded spiral shell and most of them can be found along the coastlines of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

There are several distinct color variations, some of which are almost entirely colored, with dark chevrons spirals, while others have gold and dark brown stripes.

These species generally move about your aquarium eating algae at a leisurely pace and they won’t bother or interact with any other species in your aquarium.

16. Platies (Xiphophorus genus)

Platies are freshwater fish in the genus Xiphophorus that lack a “sword” at the base of their tails and are identified by their name.

Both species are livebearers similar to other Poeciliidae fish like guppies and mollies, which reside on the east coast of Central America.

These species are wonderful fish to have because they are vibrant and long-lasting.

If you want to keep them, avoid putting newborn platy fry with tetras or any other fish since they will devour the fry.

Platy fry must be maintained alone for at least six weeks or until they reach a size at which they can be protected.

17. Swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri)

Only males have this blade-like aspect on their tail fins, though.

Xiphophorus helleri originates in Central America and may be found throughout Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

They are members of the live-bearing tooth carper family.

The males can reach a length of up to 10 cm (not including the sword-like tip) if properly cared for, the females, on the other hand, are somewhat larger.

These species got their name from the “sword” on the male’s tail, which is used in combat with other males during mating.

Note: Swordtails are best kept in a shoal with many conspecifics, as they tend to form groups.

Because male swordtails may be very aggressive toward each other, it is advised to maintain only one male with numerous females at a time.

Do All Tetra Fish Get Along?

‘Yes’ is the correct response most of the time, but there is always an exception.

The Serpae tetra, to be precise, can get nippy from time to time. When the members of a school appear insufficient to them, they act rationally.

The size also has an important part in the tetra’s living together motto.

Large tetras, such as Buenos Aires tetras, terrify and frighten smaller tetras with their active behavior and big form.

Last Words

Whether you’re starting with a few small, hardy fish or working your way up to keep larger and more exotic fish, there’s a perfect community of fish for you.

Just always be sure to do your research, lest you end up with a fish that’s not compatible with the others in your tank.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did.

Do you still have any questions?

If so, please share them with us in the comment section below.