10 Most Colorful Tetra Fish Species

colorful tetra fish

Who does not like colorful aquariums? Not only is a colorful aquarium attractive to view but it is also a dream come true in your own house. I like vibrant colors myself that makes me feel the fish are in their natural habitat and enjoying, at the same time. In this article, you will learn about 10 different colorful tetra fish species!

Tetra fish are attractive themselves. Colors add a bit of fun to the aquarium which is why colorful tetra fish is a better choice. Choosing the best Tetra fish is essential to make your aquarium look the best. Some of the colorful tetras are neon tetras, cardinal tetras, black widow tetras, and many more.

Today let us learn about colorful tetra fishes that are perfect for your aquarium!

Why Should You Keep Colorful Tetras In Your Aquarium?

The various reasons why you should keep colorful tetras in your aquarium. You might already know some of these but I am here to point them out to you.

Attractive Look

Anything colorful is beautiful. The grandeur of an aquarium is possible only because the fish are pretty and beautiful to watch. So adding some colorful tetras will only make your aquarium look dreamy and something to be jealous of.

Great Community Tank

When you are looking for a community tank, the only way to go is by adding some colorful tetras to it. Colorful tetras do well with community tanks and hype up the way it looks at your home.

Easy To Care For

Most colorful tetras are easy to care for. They require very low care comparing two how they make your tank look. The colorful tetras are hardy except for naming a few.

Good Temperament

The colorful Tetra fish have a good temperament and gel well with others in the tank. Most of them are small and shoaling fish. So, get ready for a quiet and wonderful aquarium at your house.

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10 Most Colorful Tetra Fish Species

Here are some of the most colorful tetra fish species for your aquarium along with the water conditions that they live in.

Black Widow Tetra (Gymnocorymbus Ternetzi)

Swimming Mid and top-level dwellers
Temperament Good community fish


Size 2 inches at maximum
Temperature of water 68° F to 79 °F (20° C to 26° C)
Care level Beginner
pH of water 5.8 to 8.5

The first colorful tetra that you can have in your aquarium is a classic black widow tetra. These tetras are best known in the tetra family for their unique black dorsal and anal fins. Moreover, you can find aesthetic vertical stripes on these fish which instantly attracts anyone looking at your aquarium.

You might also find some color variations from white to pinkish-hued black widow tetras. However, the number of color variations have been increased by captive breeding.

Black widow tetra is pretty hardy and easy to care for. So, you can start with a 10 gallons aquarium with 4 to 6 black widow tetras as they are schooling fish.

To know more about Black Skirt Tetra Profile: Care, Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding, click here.

Blue Tetra (Boehlkea Fredcochui)

Swimming Everywhere
Temperament Generally peaceful,

may nip fins during feeding or when stressed

Size 2.2 inches at maximum
Temperature of water 71° F to 80 °F (20° C to 27° C)
Care level Moderate to Hard
pH of water 6.0 to 7.5
Colors Blue and pink

You can also find blue tetra as Cochu’s blue tetra in the market. These fish are gorgeous blue colored tetras as the name suggests. A slightly higher gallons tank is needed for the blue tetra which resides in a minimum of 20 gallons tank.

Besides, these unique tetras are herbivores but they can resort to fin nipping if you keep them in overcrowded tanks. So, you shall keep them in a properly spacious aquarium with appropriate plants and hideouts.

If you are able to maintain such standards mentioned above and slightly acidic water, you will have a dream aquarium inside your house.

Get into details about Cochu’s Blue Tetra (Boehlkea fredcochui) from our Care Sheet!

Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Anisitsi)

Swimming Mid and top-level dwellers
Temperament Shoaling fish


Size 2.75 inches at maximum
Temperature of water 64° F to 82 °F (18° C to 28° C)
Care level Beginner
pH of water 5.8 to 8.5
Colors Depends on the species

Buenos Aires tetras are extremely easy to care for hardy fish that have a peaceful nature. These tetras do not require any heating or plants. You might as well use fake plants in your aquarium as they are not good with a planted aquarium.

Besides, you might need a medium-sized aquarium of 30 gallons which is easy to clean and maintain. You can also choose from a variety of colors from silver to yellow finned. These tetras are the dream fish for the beginners out there.

However, a tip is to replace at least 25 to 50 percent of the tank water every other week if your tank is densely populated.

Buenos Aires Tetra – Helpful Information for the New Hobbyist. Check it out!

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon Axelrodi)

Swimming Mid and top-level dwellers
Temperament Shoaling fish


Size 2 inches at maximum
Temperature of water 79° F to 82 °F (26° C to 28° C)
Care level Beginner
pH of water 6 to 7
Colors Silver and red

Cardinal Tetras are hardy fish that are very beginner-friendly. These tetras can live in almost any water condition. Not only this, these tetras can live peacefully with other tetras like black Neon tetra as they are peaceful shoaling fish.

You can keep cardinal neon tetras in a group of 6 to 8. Moreover, you will find this tetra swimming across in top and middle sections of your tank. They are white fish with gorgeous red body.

Cardinal tetras look pretty much like the Neon tetras which is why many people get confused between these two. So, I have written an article on Neon v/s Cardinal Tetra – The Difference.

The good thing is you do not need to spend on a substrate for these tetras. However, you can use plants to decorate the tank. It would be best if you are able to maintain a slow current in the water.

More about Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) – A Complete Care Guide.

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon Innesi)

Swimming Mid and top-level dwellers
Temperament Shoaling fish


Size Up to 2.5 inches (average of 1.5 inches)
Temperature of water 70° F to 81 °F (20° C to 28° C)
Care level Beginner
pH of water 6 to 7
Colors Silver, blue and red

The neon tetra is a hardy tetra fish that is beautifully silver with a tint of red. The colorful tetra is attractive as well as easy to care for. This makes it quite favorable for beginners to have in your aquarium.

Moreover, these fish are schooling fish that live in a group of 6 to 8. You must have a minimum tank of 10 gallons to keep neon tetras. Similarly, you will require to give them extra care if you think about breeding.

You can make neon tetra happy by adding hideouts and plants in your aquarium as they love to hide from predators and bright light.

More about Neon Tetra: A Complete Care Guide For Beginners.

Diamond Tetra (Moenkhausia Pittieri)

Swimming Bottom level dwellers
Temperament good community fish


Size Up to 2.4 inches
Temperature of water 75° F to 82 °F (26° C to 28° C)
Care level Moderate
pH of water 6 to 7.5
Colors Orange and White

The Diamond Tetra is a peaceful fish with a lifespan of 3 to 6 years of age in an aquarium. These tetras are gorgeously set with silvery-violet scales that feature green and gold or orange iridescent.

Moreover, the name comes to it because you will definitely see the diamond effect on its body as it matures. It is a beautiful sight to see as an aquarium, I must say.

These tetras are attractive and stockily-built with a remarkable red spot on top. Besides, these fish are moderately hardy making them perfect for beginners in the fishkeeping world!

You can get more information on Diamond Tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri) Care Profile: Everything You Need To Know

Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus Interruptus)

Swimming All level dwellers
Temperament Schooling fish


Size From 3 to 3.5 inches
Temperature of water 73° F to 82 °F (22.8° C to 27.8° C)
Care level Moderate
pH of water 6.0 to 6.5
Colors Blue, red, and gold

Congo tetras are the tetras that prefer still water with low light levels. These are beautiful luminous rainbow-colored fish that enjoy dark substrates.

You might achieve congo tetras desired tank by adding some floating plants and dim aquarium lights. Besides, these tetras are pretty hardy if you maintain them correctly.

Adding to it, you might find these tetras nibbling on bottom-growing plants. So, for their better health, you might add carefully filtered water with lots of space.

Learn in detail about Congo Tetra: Everything You Need to Know.

Flame Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Flammeus)

Swimming All level dwellers
Temperament Good community fish


Size Up to 1.6 inches
Temperature of water 72° F to 82 °F (22° C to 28° C)
Care level Easy
pH of water 5.5 to 7.5
Colors Combination of bronze to red/ shiny silver and black

Flame tetras are colorful community tank fish which were the popular choice back when aquariums were first introduced. They are the trendsetter till now.

These tetras are beautiful red and silver-colored creatures that add sassiness to your tank. You will be able to see how hardy this fish is as it can survive in temperatures as low as 64 and as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Likewise, fish can live in very low light situations which pushes the tetra’s best coloring. You can top it up with some plant cover and dark gravel. And, if you plan on keeping dried leaves to the sand, replace them every few weeks.

Get into the details about Flame Tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus): Care Tank Setup, Lifespan, Disease.

Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus Rhodostomus)

Swimming All level dwellers
Temperament Good Community Fish


Size From 2 to 2.5 inches
Temperature of water 75° F to 84 °F (23° C to 29° C)
Care level Moderate
pH of water 6.2 to 7
Color Silver Body, Red Nose, Black/ White Stripy Caudal Fin

Rummy nose tetras are famed in the aquarium world for their unique appearance. So, it will attract you with its interesting color and patterns across their body.

From plain silver to deep red and a zebra-like designed tail, the rummy nose tetra stands out pretty well.

Not only this, you can choose from three different species each having their individuality of length. You can prep their tank by keeping their water slightly acidic and choosing a substrate that is soft and sandy.

Before getting Rummy Nose Tetra, look at our Care Sheet: Tank Mates, Lifespan, Size, Breeding

Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Amandae)

Swimming All level dwellers
Temperament Good community fish


Size From 0.6 to 0.8 inches
Temperature of water 68° F to 82 °F (19° C to 28° C)
Care level Easy
pH of water 5.5 to 7
Colors Bright Orange to Bright Red

Ember tetra is distinguishable through its bright red or bright orange appearance. Even these tetra’s eyes can catch a little orange rim to it.

The ember tetra is quite easy to care for as they can adjust themselves in a wide variety of temperatures. Similarly, you do not require a specific substrate to keep them happy.

Just heavily plant your aquarium and these tetras will be more than happy with you. The planted tank will create the required amount of water movement for ember tetras. Besides, it will also keep the aquarium aerated without disturbing them.

Is Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) – The Right Tetra For your Aquarium? Learn more!

Care For The Colorful Tetra

To care for your colorful tetras, you have to take the following into account.

Colorful Tetra Tank Setup

Tetras are tropical fish. So, to create an environment that is similar to their natural habitat, you will need an aquarium heater. A submersible heater like hygger 50W Mini Submersible Digital Display Aquarium Heater for Small Fish Tank, Compact and Fast Heating Thermostat, with External Controller and Built-in Thermometer.

Similarly, you can add some plants to the aquarium. This will help to regulate the oxygen and keep the low lighting system if the tetras require to do so.

Adding to this, you will have to maintain the tank conditions and water conditions properly. Even though some colorful tetras are hardy, they will lose their color if you push them to their limits. This is not something you want, do you? If not, maintain the water conditions properly.

You can learn more from ‘How to Set up an Aquarium for Tetra Fish‘.

Filling the Colorful Tetra Aquarium

Filling an aquarium with only one color will not be as attractive as you wish it to be. However, this does not mean that you will add any colors that you like. While filling a tetra aquarium, you must keep in mind that you should fill it with complimentary colored fish.

Besides, also keep in mind that most tetras are schooling fish. So, the number of species you can keep in an aquarium automatically reduces if you have a small aquarium.

If you want a community tank, adding variety to your tank is the way to go as an aquarist.

Neon Tetra Disease

Neon tetra disease can take over any fish rather than just neon tetra. Especially this disease can affect your colorful tetra more as it will take away the colors slowly.

The microsporidian, Pleistophora hyphessobryconis is a parasite that causes the disease by producing spores. It spreads pretty fast and results in the ingestion of food with spores that cause infection eventually.

The parasite then eats up your fish little by little through their intestines and muscular tissue. The parasite can even cause secondary infections such as fin rot or bloating as it starts to gain hold.


You can see the following symptoms in order as the disease progresses.

  • Unusual behaviors, especially not following their school.
  • The colors start fading away slowly. Starting from one patch and then later the rest of the body.
  • The growth of the cysts causes lumps to form which make the fish look fat.
  • The trouble with standard swimming patterns and dwelling area.
  • Abnormal curvature of the tetra’s spine in some advanced cases.


There is no exact cure for the neon tetra disease. However, you can do the following things to make sure your fish has the least problems:

  • Recognize the signs mentioned above as early as possible.
  • Remove infected fish from the aquarium before the spores hit the water.
  • Use Euthanasia for the infected fish and dispose of it in an effective way.
  • Put up an isolation aquarium.
  • Clean and disinfect your aquarium thoroughly!
  • Quarantine your healthy fish before you clean the tank!

Do not forget to take swift action as soon as you see the symptoms! You can learn in detail about Neon tetra curved crooked spine or neon tetra disease here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Tetras Kill Other Fish?

If your fish is secure and settled, the tetras will never physically damage other species. However, some species like Serpae Tetra will nip fins regardless of how secure they are.

Similarly, other tetras may also start showing aggressive behavior and become fin nippers if they come under stress or are kept in an overly populated tank.

Can Different Types Of Tetras Form A School?

There is no actual science on whether you should or should not put different types of tetras in the same aquarium.

However, the question is do different types of tetras school together? It is always fun to have different fish types in a single aquarium and as a hobbyist, you might be stuffed with questions like this.

Unfortunately, different tetras only form a school together if they feel insecure or in danger in the aquarium. You can definitely keep different tetras in different schools though.

I have written in detail about ‘Can different types of tetras live together?‘ here. Check it out!

Last Words

Hence, these are the top 10 colorful tetras that you can have in your aquarium to make it bright and attractive. A good lighted colorful aquarium is a mood for aquarists. And, with all these options you have everything you want just a few steps away.

I hope you were able to choose the best colorful tetra for your aquarium and make sure to check all those water parameters as well as the best tank mates before you set your aquarium. Happy fishkeeping!

Make sure you let us know your choice of colorful tetra fish in your aquarium in the comment section below!

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