Tetra Fish Species
Updated September 23, 2018
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
There are over 700 known species of tetras. The tetras range from the super small (glowlight tetra) to the super large. (pacu). The smaller tetras are the mainstays of the fishkeeping hobby and still enjoy great popularity with hobbyists.
Many have similar care requirements, like to be in schools (groups of 5 or more) and should provide great visual displays in your tank. They especially like planted tanks but some species can make short work of your plants. If you have a planted tank you'll want to avoid Silver Dollars for example.
Black Neon Tetra
A nice little tetra that can be quite hardy and looks really good in a planted tank or aquariums with darker substrates.
Black Phantom Tetra
A medium sized tetra that does well with similarly sized fish species.
Black Skirt Tetra
A tetra with larger fins so use caution if you plan on stocking them with known nippers.
Bleeding Heart Tetra
Has the signature small red spot (don't think it looks like a heart though) on its sides.
Blind Cave Tetra
The Blind Cave tetras live in deep caves in the wild. They range from Texas to Mexico, with the sighted version from Mexico to Panama. There is no need for eye sight in the pitch black caves, so they have evolved to adapt to these conditions.
A slim lined tetra with red fins, a fast swimmer that does well in planted tanks.
Finding tank mates may pose problems because this tetra is a fish scale eater.
Buenos Aires Tetra
One of the larger tetras, they can also be somewhat territorial with other fish.
The cardinal tetras are very similar to the neon tetra, but the cardinal tetra has more red on its body. This tetra looks fantastic in large schools.
Cochu's Blue Tetra
One of the less commonly available tetras that gets to be about 1.6 inches as adults.
As the name indicates the Congo tetra originates from the River Congo as well as Central African rivers. They are extremely beautiful African characins, growing slightly larger than most of its kind.
It's scales sparkle like diamonds under the right lighting. Gets to be about 2.3 inches (6 cm) as adults.
One of the larger tetras reaching up to 16 inches (42 cm) in size as adults.
They are fairly timid, and should not be kept with overly boisterous tank mates or fish much bigger than them so they don’t get outcompeted for food.
Only gets to about an inch in size so it's one of the smaller tetras.
Has some nice colors and looks really good in a planted aquarium.
Has an orange or red strip running horizontally along its sides. Has a good reputation amongst hobbyists as being quite hardy.
Gold Tetras are slightly delicate, so should be added to an established tank with stable water parameters.
This small characin is a colorful addition to the community aquarium, and shows of it’s colors best in a slightly acidic planted aquarium.
Green Neon Tetra
Looks very similar to the more common Neon Tetra (see below).
Head and Tail Light Tetra
A peaceful little tetra that also does well in schools like most tetras.
A tetra, like others that needs to be kept in schools of 6 or more. A 10 gallon tank but preferably larger is needed.
Has to be one of the most popular of the tetras. This freshwater fish is a very pretty blue and red and appears iridescent. Take your time when acclimating this fish to your tank.
Has a lot of common names including the Blackline Tetra, the Penguinfish and the Hockey Stick Tetra.
Check with your local laws before getting a Piranha. Some municipalities have banned the sale of the Piranha.
Can be considered a good tetra for the freshwater fish beginner due to its hardy and peaceful nature.
Red Belly Pacu
The Pacu gets way too big for most home aquariums and is then sometimes released into local waterways. Ugh. Do not release fish into your local water ways!
Red Colombian Tetra
Another medium sized tetra that can get aggressive with other species
Red Eye Tetra
Another tetra that has been known to nip a fin or two or three. Use caution when selecting tank mates.
Rummy Nose Tetra
These tetras have red heads that can change colors depending on environmental stressors.
Can get a little nippy with other species, keep in small schools to limit the nipping.
An old standby in the hobby, the Silver Dollars are known plant destroyers. They can also be a little skittish in community tanks.
Silver Tip Tetra
They generally prefer a planted aquarium, and should be kept in groups of at least 5-6.
White Skirt Tetra
An albino form of the black skirt tetra with long flowing fins.