40 Types of Tetra Fish Species — The Prettiest and Coolest

types of tetras
Japanese Fighting Fish is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).

Last Updated: September 4, 2023 by Flora Gibbins

Have you ever found yourself mesmerized by the graceful, shimmering school of fish in an aquarium? If so, chances are you were admiring a group of tetras.

These small, colorful fish are a favorite among aquarium hobbyists for their dazzling appearance, peaceful nature, and ease of care. With hundreds of different species of tetras available, there is no shortage of variety when it comes to selecting these little beauties for your tank. From the iconic neon tetra to the lesser-known ember tetra, there’s a tetra species for every taste and skill level.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular and unique types of tetras and explore what makes them such fascinating and captivating creatures. So, get ready to dive into the world of tetras and discover the amazing diversity and beauty of these beloved aquarium fish!

Contents

Tetra Species Traits: What Do They Have in Common?

Tetras are a family of fish that are known for their vibrant colors and peaceful personalities. Although there are many different species of tetras, there are a few traits that most of them have in common.

Most easily observable are that many tetra species also have a distinctive shimmer or iridescence to their scales, which makes them stand out in any aquarium. Some species even have bright colors that change depending on their mood or the lighting in the tank.

It’s interesting to note that most tetras are native to South America, specifically in or around the Amazon river. In the wild, tetras swim in large groups for protection and socialization. This means that they do best in aquariums with other fish and should be kept in groups of six or more individuals.

Another common trait of tetras is their small size. Most Tetras grow to be only as big as a few inches long, with the larger tetras ranging only from about 2 to 5 inches long (5 to 12 cm), which makes them perfect for smaller aquariums (but larger than a 5-gallon one for Tetras), or as part of a community tank. Just make sure to observe the right stocking density and add the right number of Tetras per gallon of available space.

They are relatively easy to care for — as they are able adapt to a wide range of water conditions — and are not fussy with food, as long as the Tetras are feed as often as they should. As for propagation of the species, Tetras reproduce by spawning eggs.

Additionally, tetras generally have a moderate lifespan, with most species living for around 5 to 8 years under proper care.

1. Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

neon tetra school

The neon tetra is one of the most iconic and recognizable species of tetras, known for its stunning electric-blue and fiery-red stripes that seem to glow in the dark. These small fish are peaceful and easy to care for, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Neon tetras are social creatures and should be kept in groups of at least six to ten individuals to thrive.

They prefer a heavily planted tank with subdued lighting and a slightly acidic water pH. Neon tetras are relatively small, growing to a maximum length of 1.5 inches, making them ideal for smaller aquariums.

    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Fish Care Level: Easy

2. Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

cardinal neon tetras in aquarium

The cardinal tetra is another popular species of tetra known for its vibrant, neon-blue and red coloration. Similar to the neon tetra, cardinal tetras are peaceful and easy to care for, making them a great addition to any community aquarium.

They prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and gentle water flow. Cardinal Tetras are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals. One unique characteristic of the Cardinal Tetra is that they have a reflective stripe on their body that appears to glow under certain lighting conditions.

    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

3. Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)

green neon tetra

Green Neon Tetras are a stunning species of tetra that boast a striking neon green stripe along their sides, making them a popular choice for aquarists looking to add some color to their tanks. While they share many traits with other tetras, including a peaceful temperament and preference for well-planted aquariums, their unique green stripe sets them apart.

One interesting fact about Green Neon Tetras is that their coloration is actually a result of a unique layer of cells that refract light, rather than pigment cells. This gives them a unique and almost iridescent appearance, which means their shimmery color shifts and changes when viewed from different angles.

It’s worth noting that the Green Neon Tetra is not as widely available as other tetra species, but their unique coloration and peaceful temperament make them a prized addition to one’s aquarium.

    • Common Names: Green Neon Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or more
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

4. Diamond Tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri)

diamond tetra school

The Diamond Tetra is a stunning and peaceful species that is perfect for any aquarium. They have a distinctive silver diamond-shaped spot on their body that stands out against their dark coloring. This unique characteristic has made them a popular choice for aquarists looking to add something different to their tank.

Diamond Tetras are active swimmers that enjoy plenty of space to move around, but they are also content to hide among plants and other decorations. Fair warning though, they are known for their jumping ability, so do keep the aquarium covered to prevent any accidental jumps out of the tank.

    • Other name: Pittier’s tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

5. Red-Eye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

red eye tetra school

The Red-Eye Tetra is one fish that’s sure to catch your eye! With their silver bodies and bright red eyes, these fish are truly unique.

These tetras are known for their skittish behavior, and can be easily startled by sudden movements or changes in their environment. However, with some patience and time to acclimate, they will become more comfortable and confident in their surroundings.

    • Other Names: Yellow-cheeked tetra, Red-eyed characi
    • Adult Size: Up to 2.5 inches (6.5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

6. Glass Tetra (Moenkhausia oligolepis)

glass tetra
Credit: Fernando Dagosta

Glass Tetras are stunning fish with a unique transparent body. As their name suggests, they are almost entirely see-through, making them a fascinating addition to any aquarium. They also have a subtle silver iridescence that catches the light beautifully.

One interesting fact about the Glass Tetra is that they are not particularly social fish, preferring to live in small groups rather than large schools. However, they are still peaceful and can coexist well with other peaceful species.

    • Other Name: Ghost Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

7. January Tetra (Hemigrammus hyanuary)

January or Costello tetra

The January Tetra, also known as the Black-barred Tetra, is a peaceful and active species that can add a pop of color to your aquarium. They have a silver body with a bold black stripe running horizontally across their body, which is a unique feature that distinguishes them from other tetras. Their fins are transparent, except for the dorsal fin, which has a black tip.

These fish are relatively small and do well in groups, so it is best to keep them in schools of 6 or more. They are active swimmers and will benefit from a well-planted aquarium with plenty of swimming space. They are easy to care for and have a peaceful temperament, making them great additions to a community tank.

    • Other Name: Costello Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

8. Beacon Tetra (Hemigrammus ocellifer)

beacon tetra
credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Beacon Tetra is a vibrant and eye-catching species that makes a great addition to any community aquarium. These fish are named for their distinctive ocelli or “eye spots” on their caudal/tail fin, which can vary in size and intensity depending on the individual. This species is also known for its silver body, which contrasts beautifully with its black dorsal fin and bright red tail.

One interesting fact about the Beacon Tetra is that it is not a very social species, and will often ignore the presence of other fish in the tank. This makes them a great option for those who want to keep tetras, but don’t want to deal with the social dynamics of a schooling species.

    • Other Names: Head and tail light tetra, Ocellated tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10-20 gallons
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

9. Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)

glowlight tetra

The Glowlight Tetra is a peaceful and easy-to-care-for species of tetra known for its bright orange coloration and black stripe. These stunning fish add a warm vibe to any aquarium because of their color, and their tiny size makes them perfect for smaller tanks. Glowlights are active swimmers that love plenty of space to move around, but they also enjoy hiding among plants and other decorations.

Glowlight Tetras are known for being sensitive to sudden changes in water conditions. It’s like they have a built-in alarm system to alert you when something’s not quite right in the tank, so do take care to avoid distressing them.

    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 in
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

10. Rummy-Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)

rummy nose tetra

This friendly fish sports a unique coloration, with a bright red “nose” and white “cheeks” that make it easy to identify in a school. Rummy-Nose Tetras are low-maintenance, and thrive in a well-planted aquarium. Rummies are active swimmers that love plenty of space to move around, but they also enjoy hiding among plants and other decorations.

    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

11. Gold Tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi)

gold tetra
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Gold Tetra’s golden-yellow body shimmers and reflects the light, a stunning freshwater fish that is highly sought after by aquarium enthusiasts. With its bright golden coloration and striking red eyes, this tetra is truly a standout in any tank.

What sets the Gold Tetra apart from other tetra species is its unique body shape. It has a streamlined, elongated body that allows it to move gracefully through the water, making it a pleasure to watch. This tetra is also known for being an active swimmer, constantly darting around the tank and exploring its surroundings.

In addition to its captivating appearance, the Gold Tetra is also a hardy and easy-to-care-for fish. It can adapt to a wide range of water conditions and is generally a peaceful community fish. However, it should be kept in groups of at least six individuals to help alleviate any potential aggression.

    • Other Name: Rodwayi Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (4 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10-20 gallons (38-76 liters)
    • Life Expectancy: 3-5 years

12. Threestripe tetra (Hemigrammus tridens)

Credit: Peter Petersen

The Threestripe Tetra is a beautiful and unique species that is sure to catch the eye of any aquarist. As its name suggests, this tetra has three distinctive horizontal stripes that run the length of its body. These stripes can vary in color from bright red to deep blue, depending on the individual and their mood.

The Threestripe Tetra is a very active swimmer, and loves to dart back and forth across the tank. This makes them a great choice for aquarists who want to add some energy and movement to their aquarium.

    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10-20 gallons
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

13. Pretty Tetra (Hemigrammus pulcher)

Pretty tetra Hemigrammus pulcher
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Pretty Tetra is a striking and colorful species that is sure to add a pop of brightness to any aquarium. This species is named for its vibrant and varied coloration, which includes shades of green, blue, orange, and red. Their fins are often adorned with beautiful patterns, including spots and stripes.

Pretty Tetras are not very social, and will often keep to themselves in the aquarium. However, they do enjoy the presence of other fish, and can make a great addition to a peaceful community tank.

    • Other Names: Garnet Tetra, Black Wedge Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10-20 gallons
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

14. Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)

bleeding heart tetra school

The Bleeding Heart Tetra is a true beauty! With their distinctive red coloration, these fish resemble a heart with a drop of blood in the center. It is a beautiful and peaceful species that adds a striking touch to any aquarium. Bleeding Heart Tetras are easy to care for and are great for beginner aquarists.

However, they are known for their jumping ability, so it is important to keep a tight-fitting lid on their aquarium to prevent them from jumping out. They also have a relatively long lifespan compared to other tetras, with some individuals living up to eight years in optimal conditions.

    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 8 years

15. Serpae Tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques)

serpae tetra

The Serpae Tetra is a colorful and active species of tetra that is known for its bright red coloration and black dorsal fin. The Serpae Tetra is a striking and peaceful species that is typically found in slow-moving rivers and streams. They prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and gentle water flow. Serpae Tetras are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals.

    • Other Names: Red Minor Tetra, Jewel Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

16. Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

red ember tetra with plants background

The ember tetra is a small and peaceful species of tetra that is known for its bright orange coloration. They stay really small and are therefore awesome for those with small aquariums.

    • Other Names: Fire Tetra, Red Dwarf Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 1 inch (2.5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

17. Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis)

lemon tetra school
via Wikimedia Commons

The Lemon Tetra, a bright ray of sunshine, is a peaceful and beloved species in the aquarium world. With its vibrant yellow hue, this fish is sure to catch the eye of anyone passing by. However, if you’re looking for something a little more unique, there are also variants of the species, such as the Lemon Lime Tetra, which feature a subtle green hue mixed in with their lemony coloration.

These active swimmers need plenty of space to move around, but also love to hide among plants and decorations. They are sociable creatures and should be kept in groups of six or more individuals to feel their happiest.

Lemon Tetras can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making them an excellent option for beginner fishkeepers who want to enjoy the beauty of tropical fish without worrying about complicated care.

    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

18. Black Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)

black phantom tetra
via Wikimedia Commons

The Black Phantom Tetra is a beautiful and distinctive species that is easily recognizable by its black body with shimmery blue and green highlights. It has a unique, elongated dorsal fin that starts at the base of its head and extends toward its tail. The anal fin is also elongated, but shorter than the dorsal fin. Both fins have a pointed shape, which adds to the tetra’s striking appearance.

These tetras are generally peaceful, but they may occasionally nip at the fins of other fish, particularly if they are kept in too small of a group, so it’s important to choose tankmates carefully

    • Adult Size: 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

19. Rosy Tetra (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus)

Rosy Tetra Male
via Wikimedia Commons

Rosy Tetras have a unique coloration, with a rosy pink body and a bright red tail and fins. Their small size and peaceful nature make them perfect for community tanks, as long as they are not housed with larger or more aggressive fish.

One distinctive feature of the Rosy Tetra is their swimming behavior. They are known for their rapid, darting movements around the tank, which can be mesmerizing to watch. They prefer well-planted tanks with gentle water flow and do best in groups of six or more individuals.

Despite their beauty, Rosy Tetras are not the easiest tetra species to care for. They require a rather specific water chemistry and a varied diet that includes live or frozen foods.

    • Other Names: Pink Tetra, Ornate Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

20. Flame Tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus)

Flame Tetra Roter von Rio Hyphessobrycon flammeus
via Wikimedia Commons

The Flame Tetra is a small, brightly colored fish with a fiery red body and contrasting black markings on its fins. Their bold colors and peaceful nature make them a popular choice for community aquariums. They are hardy fish and easy to care for, making them a great option for beginner aquarists.

One unique characteristic of the Flame Tetra is their tendency to be top dwellers — fish that swim in the upper part of the water column — creating a striking display of color as they move. They are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of six or more individuals to ensure they feel safe and secure in their environment.

    • Other Name: Rio Tetra, Roter von Rio
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

21. Red Line Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amapaensis)

red line tetra

Red Line Tetra is a small, but striking species of tetra that is known for its unique, red line that runs horizontally down the center of its body. Their scales are silver and iridescent, which makes them shine brilliantly in the light.

They have a torpedo-shaped body with a forked tail, which allows them to move quickly through the water. One of the unique features of this tetra is their swimming behavior. They have a darting movement, and they will quickly change direction when they sense danger. These fish are also peaceful and make excellent community fish.

22. Panama Tetra (Hyphessobrycon panamensis)

panama tetra
Image Credit: Samuel Valdes

The Panama Tetra is a small, peaceful, and active fish that is a great addition to a community aquarium. They have a distinctive coloration, with a silvery-white body and a series of bold black stripes that run vertically along their sides.

Their fins are transparent and delicately outlined in black, adding to their delicate appearance. These fish are generally hardy and easy to care for, but they prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding places. The Panama Tetra is an active swimmer and requires plenty of open space to swim around.

    • Adult Size: 1.5-2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: 3-5 years

23. Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi)

Buenos Aires Tetra Hyphessobrycon anisitsi

The Buenos Aires Tetra is a hardy and active fish that is easy to care for, making them a popular choice for beginner aquarists. They have a silver body with a distinctive black triangle on their sides, and their fins are transparent with a reddish hue. They are social fish and should be kept in groups of 6 or more.

One unique aspect of the Buenos Aires Tetra is their feeding habits. They are omnivores and will eat almost anything, including live and frozen foods, flake, and pellet foods. They are also known to be fin nippers, so be sure to keep them with other fish that have sturdy fins.

These fish are active swimmers and will appreciate a well-planted aquarium with plenty of swimming space. They have a peaceful temperament and can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish.

    • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches (7.6 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

24. Colombian Tetra (Hyphessobrycon colombianus)

colombian tetra

The Colombian Tetra is a beautiful and striking species with its iridescent blue-green body and red fins. This fish has a unique pattern of black spots and lines that run along the length of its body, making it stand out in any aquarium. Colombian Tetras are peaceful, but they are not suitable for small community aquariums due to their size and active nature. They prefer well-oxygenated water with a moderate water flow and will appreciate plenty of swimming space. Colombian Tetras are generally easy to care for and will thrive in a well-maintained aquarium.

    • Adult size: Up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm)
    • Ideal tank size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life expectancy: 3-5 years

25. Red Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)

Red Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)

Red Phantom Tetras are an eye-catching addition to any aquarium with their bright red coloration and distinctive black markings. They are a relatively small species of tetra, reaching around 2 inches in length, and their peaceful nature makes them suitable for a community tank.

These fish are shy and easily scared, so it’s essential to provide plenty of hiding places in the aquarium, such as plants and decorations. They will feel more comfortable and confident when they have plenty of places to retreat to. They also prefer slightly acidic water conditions and gentle water flow. Also, they jump!

In addition to their striking appearance, Red Phantom Tetras are also known for their playful and active nature. They love to swim in groups and explore their surroundings, but may be easily startled by sudden movements or loud noises.

    • Other Name: Swegles’s Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: At least 20 gallons
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

26. Red Minor Long Fin Tetra (Hyphessobrycon callistus)

red minor long fin tetra - Hyphessobrycon callistus

The Red Minor Long Fin Tetra is a small and active species with a bright red body and a white underbelly. Its dorsal fin is black with a white stripe at the base, and its caudal fin is forked and transparent. They have a streamlined body shape with a pointed snout, and they move in a swift and energetic manner.

These fish are peaceful and enjoy being kept in groups of six or more, preferably in densely planted aquariums with plenty of hiding spaces. They are easy to care for and do well in a range of water conditions.

    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (4 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: 3-5 years

27. Yellow Tetra (Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus)

yellow tetra Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus

The Yellow Tetra, also known as the Two-lined Pencilfish, is a vibrant and eye-catching species that will surely stand out in any aquarium. As its name suggests, its body is primarily yellow, with a distinctive black stripe running from the gills to the tail.

This species is relatively small and slender, with a streamlined body and a pointed snout that is perfect for catching small insects and other invertebrates in the wild. In the aquarium, they are very active and love to explore their surroundings, darting in and out of plants and decorations.

They are also relatively easy to care for, as they can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. However, they prefer soft, slightly acidic water and a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

    • Other Names: Two-lined Pencilfish, Banded Pencilfish
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: 3-5 years

28. Dawn Tetra (Aphyocharax paraguayensis)

dawn tetra

Dawn Tetras are lively and exciting to watch in action. They love to dart and dash around the aquarium, making them great entertainment. Keep in mind, though, that these little guys can be a bit feisty towards slower-moving and smaller fish. As they mature and form a group, they usually become less aggressive.

When it comes to appearance, the Dawn Tetra’s silvery body color is adorned with a beautiful pale green reflection behind the gill plates, giving it a unique and eye-catching look. A full black line runs along the spine, starting from the gills and extending to the caudal fin, and another black band can be found on the anal fin, close to the body. The transparent fins with white patches on the caudal fin are a gorgeous addition to its striking coloration.

Don’t forget to add some floating vegetation since it tends to swim near the surface. And be sure to have a tight-fitting lid for the aquarium, as they can occasionally jump out.

    • Other Names: Paraguay Tetra, Panda Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (4 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

29. Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)

Black Neon Tetra Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
Juan R. Lascorz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Black Neon Tetras are a small, colorful fish that stand out with their neon blue and black stripes. Their black coloration is a stark contrast to their bright blue stripe, which is unique among tetra species. They have a slender body, and their fins are transparent with black or dark blue edges, adding to their striking appearance.

Black Neon Tetras are active swimmers and will do well in a community tank. They are peaceful and non-aggressive, making them a great choice for beginner aquarists. They prefer a well-planted aquarium with hiding places, and a gentle water flow.

They are also known to appreciate slightly acidic water with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0. Black Neon Tetras can live up to five years and grow to be about an inch long.

    • Other Name: Herbertaxelrodi Tetra
    • Adult Size: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

30. Black Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

black tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
via Wikimedia Commons

The Black Skirt Tetra is a popular and easy-to-care-for species that is ideal for beginner aquarists. These tetras are well-known for their dark, almost black, body coloration with a striking white edge on their fins. Variants of the Black Skirt Tetra, such as the Half Black Tetra, have a similar appearance but with only half of their body being black.

Black Skirt Tetras are peaceful and hardy fish that prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and gentle water flow. They are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six, with more individuals being even better. This social behavior not only creates a beautiful display but also helps to reduce stress and increase their overall health.

    • Other Names: Black Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches (7.6 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

31. Penguin Tetra (Thayeria boehlkei)

penguin tetra Thayeria boehlkei
via Wikimedia Commons

The Penguin Tetra is one cool customer! This very chill and peaceful tetra is a great choice for beginner aquarists. It’s visually striking too, with that sleek black-and-white coloration that resembles the markings on a penguin, and is sure to add a touch of style to any aquarium.

They are quite sensitive to water quality though and should be kept in a well-maintained and established aquarium to thrive. But one thing that makes it easy to care for them is that Penguin Tetras are not picky eaters and will readily consume a variety of foods.

    • Other Names: Blackline Penguin Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

32. Adonis Tetra (Lepidarchus adonis)

adonis tetra
via fishbook.com.tw

The Adonis Tetra is a strikingly beautiful fish that is sure to catch the eye of any aquarist. They have a sleek and slender body that is covered in shimmering, iridescent scales with bright red spots. Their fins are long and flowing, with a distinctive pointed dorsal fin that adds to their regal appearance.

These fish are generally peaceful and can be kept in a community aquarium with other non-aggressive species. The Adonis Tetra is an active swimmer and requires ample swimming space. They prefer soft, slightly acidic water with plenty of hiding places, so be sure to include some plants and driftwood in their tank.

    • Other Names: Adonis Characin, Adonis Fish
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: 3 to 5 years

33. X-Ray Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

pristella tetra
via Wikimedia Commons

Also know as Pristella Tetra, the X-Ray Tetra has been so named because you can see through its body and see its organs, just like when you get an x-ray at the doctor’s office. One quirk they are known for is their sensitivity to water parameters, particularly ammonia and nitrite levels.

    • Other Names: X-ray Tetra, Pristella Goldfin Tetra
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Fish Care Level: Easy
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)

34. Silvertip Tetra (Hasemania nana)

silvertip tetra - Hasemania nana
via Wikimedia Commons

The Silvertip Tetra is a small and fascinating species with a body that shimmers like silver. It has black markings on its dorsal fin and is known for its peaceful demeanor. They are a bit more sensitive to water parameters than other tetra species, so it is important to keep their water clean and consistent. Silvertip Tetras will thrive in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (4 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

35. Cochu’s Blue Tetra (Knodus borki)

cochu's blue tetra school - knodus borki

Cochu’s Blue Tetra is a unique tetra species that is notable for its active and playful personality. Unlike many tetras that prefer to school, Cochu’s blue tetra is more of a solo swimmer. They are known for their energetic and erratic movements, which can make them quite entertaining to watch in an aquarium.

Cochu’s blue tetra has a distinct silver-blue coloration that can vary in intensity depending on its mood and surroundings. They have a relatively small body size, making them a good option for smaller aquariums.

It’s worth noting that Cochu’s blue tetra is a relatively short-lived fish, with a lifespan of around 2 to 3 years. Despite their short lifespan, they are a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists who appreciate their active personalities and unique behavior.

    • Other Names: Borki’s tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches
    • Ideal Tank Size: At least 10 gallons
    • Life Expectancy: 2 to 3 years

36. Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

congo tetra

The Congo Tetra – a fish that’s as striking as it is peaceful. With their stunning blue and red coloration, these fish are sure to turn heads in any aquarium. Their colors become even more vibrant during breeding season. It’s like they’re putting on a show for all their aquarium buddies! Congos are active swimmers that love plenty of space to move around, but they also enjoy hiding among plants and other decorations. They are a sociable fish and should be kept in groups of six or more individuals.

    • Other Names: Congo Tetra Blue, Congo Tetra Gold
    • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches (7.6 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 30 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

37. Glass Bloodfin Tetra (Prionobrama filigera)

glass bloodfin tetra
via Wikimedia Commons

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are small, peaceful fish with a translucent body and a distinctive red band at the base of their tail fin. They get their name from their clear, glass-like body that reflects the colors of the tank and other fish. They are a shoaling fish, so they do best in groups of six or more.

They are active swimmers and are always on the move, so a well-planted aquarium with plenty of open swimming space is ideal. Glass Bloodfin Tetras are a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but they prefer slightly acidic water with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.5. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and frozen foods. Glass Bloodfin Tetras can live up to five years and grow to be about an inch long.

    • Adult Size: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

38. Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)

Emperor tetra Nematobrycon palmeri
via Wikimedia Commons

In the wild, Emperor Tetras live in areas with brownish water that is acidic. This is because they come from a place where there are a lot of trees and leaves that fall into the water, which makes the water brownish and acidic. To make your aquarium feel more like home for your Emperor Tetras, you can add wood or leaves to the water to make it brownish and acidic.

    • Common Names: Emperor Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Fish Care Level: Easy

39. Green Dwarf Tetra (Odontocharacidium aphanes)

green dwarf tetra
Credit: P. and M. Hoffman

The Green Dwarf Tetra is a small, peaceful fish that has a distinctive, striking appearance. With its metallic green and red coloration, it’s a true beauty in any aquarium. The fish is generally very active and loves to swim around the tank. They prefer aquariums with lots of plants and plenty caves and rocks for hiding.

They are generally considered easy to care for and do well in most community aquariums.

    • Other Name: Odontostilbe aphanes
    • Adult Size: Up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

40. Silver Tetra (Ctenobrycon spilurus)

Silver Tetra - Ctenobrycon spilurus
Credit: Yuri Hooker

The Silver Tetra is a visually striking fish with its bright silver color with a hint of blue on its back. They have a small mouth with enlarged lips, making them unique from other tetras. The dorsal fin is fairly short, which adds to their distinct appearance. Males have an additional feature of red coloring in the rear portion of their anal fin. The black at the base of their tail fin is also a distinguishing trait.

These tetras are active swimmers that prefer a moderate water current, and they will appreciate some open swimming space in the aquarium. Their peaceful demeanor makes them an excellent addition to community tanks with other calm fish species.

It’s important to provide hiding places in the aquarium, such as rocks or driftwood, as they can be skittish at times. They also appreciate areas with gentle water flow to simulate their natural habitat.

    • Other Name: Silver Dollar Tetra
    • Adult Size: Up to 2.5 inches (6.4 cm)
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
    • Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years

Conclusion

Tetras are some of the most popular and diverse species of freshwater aquarium fish. With so many different varieties to choose from, they offer a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes. One of the things that make tetras so appealing is their peaceful and sociable nature. They are excellent community fish and can be kept with a variety of other peaceful species. Tetras are also relatively hardy and adaptable to different water conditions, making them an ideal choice for beginner fishkeepers.

Plus, they’re gorgeous and so fascinating to watch. From the shimmering scales of the green neon tetra to the distinctive black line of the threestripe tetra, each species has its own stunning display of colors and patterns.

Do you have a favorite tetra fish?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *