12 Colombian Tetra Tank Mates: The Best And The Worst

Colombian Tetra Tank Mates

Keeping 1 tetra fish in the tank is never a good call and of course, it won’t even make the tank attractive. Colombian tetra is one of the most beautiful tetras to look at. And those silvery bluish color with the hint of red alongside the fin is what makes them so adorable to keep in the tank with no further ado. For can, you keep Colombian tetra alone? Well, no, Tetra fish tends to get lonely when they are kept alone in a big tank. So, let’s talk about tankmates here. What is the best Colombian Tetra Tank Mates? And which one should you never keep together with Colombian tetra?

Colombian tetra belongs to the aggressive side of tetra fish. So, you need to keep them with some aggressive, nippy yet active tetras like Serpae tetra, blind cave tetra, etc. Also, Corydoras, mollies, platies, swordtails, zebra danio, Plecostomus, silver hatchet, etc. will be great tank mates for Colombian tetra.

However, you need to keep smaller tetras as well as other small-sized fish away from these Colombian tetras. These aggressive tetras will bully small and defenseless fish leading to fatal consequences.

In this article, we will talk more about the best as well as worst tank mates for Colombian Tetra Fish. I know questions don’t end with the names of tank mates.

So, let’s dive in.

You might like to read a full article on 12 Best Tetra Fish Tank Mates And Fish To Avoid.

12 Best Colombian Tetra Tank Mates

First and foremost, you need to understand the type of fish you need to look for Colombian tetra. You see, these tetras aren’t quite friendly to smaller tetras or smaller fish.

You need to find fish with similar temperament, size, and of course, with the same water parameters requirements.

I have listed a few of the best tank mates for Colombian tetra given that the temperament and water parameters need to match with these tetras.

Black skirt tetra

The first one in the list of tank mates for Colombian tetra is of course another tetra. There are no doubts that tetras with a similar temperament and the same natural habitat will contradict each other in terms of tank mates.

Black skirt tetra will be a great addition to the tank with Colombian tetra. But remember to keep a school of both of these tetras.

You see, tetras are schooling fish so when you keep them alone, away from their kind, they might end up feeling lonely.

Loneliness can kill and if it doesn’t other fish present in the tank will stress the alone fish enough to bring death.

Also, a school of at least 5 to 6 Black skirt tetras will disperse the fin nipping nature. These tetras don’t do well with aggressive fin nippers; however, they surprisingly get along with Colombian tetra when kept in a school.

Serpae Tetra

Well, the best thing about Serpae tetra is its similarity in the water parameters as well as the nature same as that of Colombian Tetra.

You see both of these tetras prefer slightly acidic water as well as soft or medium water. Also, thanks to the bigger size of Serpae tetra, they will not fit in the mouth of Colombian tetra.

Since they won’t fit, they won’t get eaten by their tank mates, Lucky Serpae tetra! Similarly, let’s talk about the school size.

Alike Colombian tetra, Serpae tetra prefers to stay along with their school and will be stressed if you keep them alone.

So, again similar to Colombian tetra, Serpae tetra will do well with 6 members in a school. This will prevent them from getting bullied as well as stress.

Likewise, Colombian tetra can bully Serpae tetra when they find Serpae tetra alone and vice versa. So, keep the school of 6 for both the tetras in the tank.

Or else your tetras will turn nippy and show extra and overloaded activities during the feeding time. Loneliness is a curse for anyone.

Here you go, this specific Serpae tetra along with its beautiful color and vibrant nature will bless your tank with beauty and peace along with Colombian tetras swimming on the other side of the tank.

And of course, these Serpae tetras won’t even disturb Colombian tetra as these tetras will remain in the bottom or the middle part of the tank.

Thank God for Bottom-dwelling fish like Serpae tetra. You can easily keep them in the tank with Colombian tetra without a second thought.

Blind Cave Tetra

I know, I am adding another tetra to the list of tank mates. But I can’t help it. Most tetras that are similar in size as well as temperament do well together and are quite compatible.

I was quite surprised back then when I discovered blind cave tetra can also be an ideal tank mate for Colombian tetra.

They say, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and it is truer every time I come across such instances.

Blind Cave tetra will be an ideal match for Colombian tetra as the heightened senses of these blind cave tetras will protect them from any other danger.

They will barely disturb Colombian tetra and are big enough to not fit in the mouth of Colombian tetras. I guess living in a community tank with a similar type of tetra is quite easier for tetras.

Buenos Aires Tetra

Okay yeah, another tetra to the list. I know you might be wondering how many tetras are compatible with Colombian tetra?

Well, let’s start with the word ‘many’. Now coming to another tank mate for Colombian tetra: Buenos Aires Tetra.

These tetras are aggressive in nature just as Colombian tetra and are quite bullying towards smaller, slower, and long-finned fish.

But you don’t need to worry about Colombian tetra, now do you? But remember to keep both of these tetras in a school of 6 at least.

Each of them will mind their own business when they are kept in a school of their kind. Also, when these Buenos Aires tetras get the hint of danger in the tank, the school goes into hiding behind the plants.

Silver Tip Tetra

Coming to the 5th tetra of the list, the Silver tip is what you will need in the tank if you are looking for similar colored fish.

These silver tip tetras will have a silvery glow in their body similar to the Colombian tetra. Similarly, their temperament serves well when it comes to the compatibility with another tetra like Colombian.

Both of these tetras will, like other tetras, need a school of each and needs to have at least 6 members in that school.

Silver tips are shoaling tetras and ask for their type in the tank. And these fish can turn into fin nippers. If you have ever kept them or research them, you will know that.

But they will stay away from Colombian tetras and you don’t have to worry about their aggression or fin-nipping nature if you give them their family in the tank.

They will not disturb each other as long as they are not alone. When one of the fish finds the other one alone, there is a high possibility of aquarium war.

Corydoras Catfish

Here, how can we leave behind a bottom dweller like Corydoras when we are talking about tank mates for active fish like Colombian Tetra?

You can guess why I am suggesting you keep Corydoras with Colombian tetra in the tank. Colombian tetra will not even bother them because these tetras barely reach down to the bottom of the tank.

And Corydoras will politely stay in the bottom of the tank without coming in the way of Colombian tetra. Also, please feed these Catfish sinking pellets, or else they will die off hunger.

You see Colombian tetra will eat any food before it can reach Corydoras. Hence sinking pellets will be a good idea as they will go directly to Corydoras catfish.

Likewise, of course, the number of Corydoras you need to keep in the tank: Keep at least 2 to 4 of them. They won’t die when kept alone but these catfish will feel lonely sitting by themselves in the bottom of the tank.


Don’t be surprised to see a name such as mollies in the list of tank mates for Colombian tetra. You see mollies are passive-natured hence they will act similar to Colombian tetra when the time is right.

Although these mollies will stay calm and peaceful when they are within their own circle, their temperament changes as soon as they enter the community tank.

They will weirdly act aggressively towards other fish present in the tank if these fish start to annoy or bully them.

So, full points for the defense mechanism of these mollies, and congratulations on making it to the list of tank mates through that very nature.

Remember they don’t like over-crowed tanks but they need their own circle. So, keep in mind both things while setting up a community tank housing both Colombian tetra and Mollies as tank mates.


Well, this is a risk you need to willingly take. Platies as tank mates for Colombian tetra in a community tank might sound absurd. But it isn’t, trust me.

Platies are quite peaceful yet deal for a tank with other fish that will not eat them. Thanks to the size of platies, they will not fit in the mouth of Colombian tetra.

And of course, you need to keep a few of them along with the school of Colombian tetra. This way each of the schools will mind their own business and will not start a never-ending aquarium battle.


Bottom-dwellers are best when it comes to choosing tank mates for active yet aggressive fish like Colombian tetra.

So, I present you another bottom-dweller with the capacity to fight off Colombian if and when they are attacked. (not that they will meet to attack each other.)

These Plecos are quite peaceful when they are juveniles. But by the time male plecos reach puberty, the aggression comes out of them like it was always there.

Not that these fish will be aggressive towards their female mates, no domestic violence here sir. However, they will kill if they find another male member in the tank. Ouch!

Do not underestimate the exoskeletons and extensions of Plecos, they can easily win over other fish while leaving other fish injured in pain without breaking a sweat.

But, these plecos won’t come in the way of Colombian tetra. These tetras won’t go towards the bottom of the tank and plecos won’t come up.

So, no fear of the aquarium war and hence no disturbance will give you a calm and soothing tank with both active top-dwellers and passive bottom-dwellers.

Silver Hatchet

Okay, let us talk about the most beautiful silver-colored fish you can ever have in the tank along with Colombian tetra.

Although the color of both fish is quite similar, you will be surprised to see the contrast in the color of whitish silver hatchet from silvery reddish Colombian tetra.

I am no Ed Sheeran but I am in love with the shape of you, silver hatchet. Okay jokes apart, have you seen Silver hatchet?

With the irregular and unusual shape of their body and the texture of their color, God they are beautiful. And thanks to their peaceful nature I guess, Colombian tetra weirdly leaves them alone.

But remember to feed Colombian tetra first and on the different side of the tank. This top-dwelling fish might be shy and peaceful but they can disturb Colombian tetra.

And disturbing someone while they are eating is a blunder even human beings should avoid. Also, keep them in a school of at least 8 members.


Here we are, in the list that is about to end in this article but there are more options to choose from.

But out of the very few that made the list of tank mates for Colombian tetra, Swordtails are definitely one of them.

They are quite compatible with Colombian tetra and barely messes around to start a fight. Both of these fish will mind their own business until and unless you give their family.

Keep a few of these swordtails along with a school of Colombian tetra to avoid bullying and stress in the tank.

Also, the addition of this unique fish in the tank will serve the purpose of making the tank more attractive along with the charming activities of Colombian tetra.

Zebra Danio

Now, let’s talk about another unique fish apart from the tetra family that will bless you with their company in the tank with Colombian tetra.

Although these Zebra Danios don’t come from the same natural habitat as most tetras, they sure are compatible enough to live in the same water parameters as Colombian tetra.

Similarly, you need to keep at least 6 of them in the tank, their school size of course, along with the 6 members of Colombian tetra.

Now, apart from the similar school size, let us take a moment to thank the size of zebra danios which make it hard for Colombian tetra to go against them.

Likewise, the bottom-dwelling nature of Zebra danios steals the show so easily and smoothly. These danios won’t come in the way of Colombian tetra.

Hence, no disturbance, no violence. Trust me same water parameters and same temperament are always cherries on the top when it comes to making two different fish tank mates.

Tiger Barb

Okay last but not least, let’s talk about the final one that made to the list of tank mates for Colombian tetra.

And I cannot be any less excited for this one too. Tiger barb with a similar temperament and similar need for water parameters sweep away the opportunity of being one of the best tank mates for Colombian tetra.

Although you have to keep a few of them along with a few Colombian tetras, you will not regret the decision once you see these two living together making your tank more attractive than before.

I know I am babbling about the good things these barbs will bring to the tank. But you need to trust me here.

Tiger barbs will be great tank mates to Colombian tetra with no doubt or queries. You do have to take care of the diet and living conditions of both fish equally.

Thanks to the similar temperament and living conditions of both tiger barbs and Colombian tetra, you can go with them with no confusion.

Worst Colombian Tetra Tank Mates

Okay, now we are done with the best tank mates for Colombian tetra, it is high time to cancel out the worst ones from the list.

You can not compromise with the lives of these tetras and place them with fish that are not even compatible with each other.

You see, some fish will stress Colombian tetra while Colombian tetra will bully some. These tetras might be hardy but they will make the life of smaller and calm fish, hell.

I will list some of the fish that you need to keep away from Colombian tetra or else dead fish will be waiting for you in the tank:

  1. Neon tetra
  2. Goldfish
  3. Cardinal Tetras
  4. Guppies
  5. Ember Tetra
  6. Pristella Tetra, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have put together some of the most asked questions about tetras that you might have in your mind too. Hope this helps.

Can You Put Different Types Of Tetras Together?

Oh yes, you can keep different types of tetras together in the same tank. And trust me that will be one the prettiest tank you will come across.

Similar size and temperament play a key role in deciding which tetras are ideal as each other’s tank mates. There are few aggressive tetras that will not do well together with smaller peaceful tetras.

So, research well before keeping any of the tetra fish together. Compatibility with all tetras doesn’t mean you can keep all of them together without worrying about the consequences.

How Long Does Colombian Tetra Live For?

Now, we are talking about the lifespan of hardy fish Colombian Tetra. If you are careful and caring enough while raising a Colombian tetra in the tank, then the well-maintained tank will make these tetras live for 3 to 5 years happily.

But various negative factors like overstocking, overfeeding your fish, fluctuation in the temperature, filter malfunction, aquarium ammonia poisoning, etc. will kill your Colombian tetra before they can live their average lifespan.

Do Tetra Fish Get Lonely?

Oh absolutely. Yes, Tetra fish do get lonely when they are kept alone in the tank. You see, tetras are schooling fish that prefers to stay within the circle of their kind. The ideal school size of any tetra fish will be happier than any single tetra in the tank.

Loneliness and stress are a real thing even in the fishkeeping world. So, whenever you plan to get a tetra tank, remember to purchase the ideal school size of tetras rather than buying just one.

There are few tetras that will not make a dent in your wallet even if you buy a few of them. But do not keep tetra alone in the tank.

They will get stressed and develop diseases that might lead to the death of your favorite fish. Now you don’t want that, do you?

You might be interested read about Can Neon Tetra Fish Live Alone In A Small Fish Tank?


In conclusion, Colombian tetra will do great in a community tank until and unless you give them a reason not to. They will be fine with the mates that are similar to them in size as well as behavior. Smaller fish will end up getting bullied by our very own Colombian tetra. But when you keep these Colombian tetras with tank mates like Serpae tetra, silvertip tetra, blind cave tetra as well as mollies, platies, etc. the tank would be the most beautiful one with the variance of color.

Make sure to keep the school of these tetras in the tank before adding any tank mates. Schooling fish tend to bully less compared to the lonesome ones.

Please do not overstock your tank just so you can have all types of fish together in the tank. Act wisely and carefully when you are getting a community tank.

The bigger the tank, the happier your Colombian tetras will be along with their tankmates. And something comes up, ping me up in the comment section.

Good Luck!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!

Recommended Articles:

  1. 47 Types of Tetra Fish [From A to Z] | A Complete Tetra Species Guide
  2. 10 Reasons Why Tetra Fish Are The Perfect Pet
  3. Black Widow Tetra Tank Mates: Best and Worst
  4. Black Neon Tetra Tank Mates: Best And Worst

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