Tetra In A Planted Tank- Do Tetra Fish Like Plants?


Hi, all fish lovers out there! How much do you enjoy fish keeping? Well, as for me, I’ve become a fan of fish keeping these days. Among all the fish species, Tetras are the most popular tropical ones in the aquarium fish keeping world. You know that already, don’t you? Well, as you already read by the article topic, we’ll be discussing Tetra in a planted tank.

Tetra comes from an environment that has large numbers of plants around, so it is quite understandable why they thrive in planted tanks. So the answer to the question, Do Tetra Fish Like Plants, is a big Yes. These tetras species, most of them, love to be around plants for hiding purpose to the natural vibe. You can go for java fern, java moss, etc. if you want to mimic tetras’ natural habitat.

Originally belonging to the South American countries (especially from the Upper Amazon region), whereas some species of Tetra belong to the African region as well. Tetras are peaceful schooling fish, so, this fish should be kept in larger groups. I love Tetra fish so much, and I’ve done some research.

So, I’ll try my best to answer some questions like, what is a planted aquarium? Do Tetra fish like plants, and so on. Stick till the end of the article to find out. So, shall we begin?

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Do Tetra Fish Like Plants?

Tetras love a planted aquarium tank, so it’ll be even better to keep lots of plants in the tank.

You also need to know that some larger species of the Tetra might not like plants at all. You need to be careful to analyze which Tetras love plants and which don’t. 

Furthermore, these fish prefer softly acidic water. You can keep Aqua soil in the tank to balance the acidic level in the tank.

This type of soil also allows the proper growth of some aquatic plants in your aquarium. 

What Is A Planted Aquarium?

When you search about the Planted Aquarium in Google, you will find various answers regarding it.

However, I’ll try to sum them all up to make it easier for you to understand. So, what is a planted aquarium?

In simple words, it is just a unique and natural aquarium that you make yourself. You can keep different types of plants that you choose as per the preferences of your specific fish species. 

Furthermore, you try to mimic the natural environment by adding underwater plants for your fish.

On the other hand, a heavily planted aquarium means special plants in the tank. These plants do their jobs in maintaining the nitrate and nitrite levels of the aquarium.

You can either keep one large plant or several small plants to make the tank heavily planted.

More About The Planted Tanks For The Tetras

Like I said earlier, you need to choose the plants as per the requirements of the fish species. The live plants are only kept in the aquarium to add more beauty and to provide shelter to the fish.

However, some fish species may not adjust. Hence, you can only add a few plants to the tank so that your fish will be comfortable.

The main focus should only be on the Tetra fish as too much denseness will not enable you to see them. 

If you are thinking about creating an underwater world for your Tetra fish, then choose the Traditional Dutch Tank. Furthermore, it has dense plants. But it solely depends upon the type of your Tetra. 

How Often Do You Need To Clean The Planted Aquarium?

Clean the new tank very often to prevent it from excessive algae growth. Furthermore, you must also change the water more often in the first 2-4 weeks.

You can reduce the cleaning process once your tank starts to mature. It is because there will be less risk to your Tetra fish. 

How Is The Planted Aquarium Different From Community Tank?

Unlike the planted tank, a community tank has a combination of more than one fish species.

The fish keepers will combine the fish with similar temperaments and water requirements. The fish species that don’t occur together naturally(geographically) are kept together in a tank, making a community tank. 

However, as I said earlier, not all types of tropical fish water fish can stay in a community tank. Some might prefer staying with the same species.

It depends upon the nature of the fish. You also need to check the water requirements of the community fish as they have their preferences. 

More About The Plants In The Community Tank

The aquarium plants in this aquarium are mainly to balance the photosynthesis cycle. In other words, some plants might require daylight lamps to balance the level of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Furthermore, one must not forget to supply some essential water elements like iron in the water and the substrate. 

Some tropical fish might not adapt to that kind of environment and could either eat the plants or remove them. So, chose the best suitable plants carefully as per the requirements of fish. 

What Are The Best Types Of Equipment To Use In Your Planted Aquarium For Tetras?

Proper lighting comes first when talking about the best types of equipment to use in the aquarium.

It is because, when you illuminate the aquarium with lighting, you’ll be able to decide about which plants to use.

Moreover, the lighting must also match with the natural daylight. If I may suggest, you can use the T5 tubes for powerful lighting.

On the other hand, you may throw the cover of the tank and leave it open with a hanging light. 

Furthermore, the healthy tank may require some extra level of carbon dioxide during the day for photosynthesis.

So, you can keep an airing system to balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Excessive carbon dioxide may respire and use oxygen.

One of the best air pumps is the Tetra APS Air pumps for the night. 

Behavior Of The Tetra

Tetras are famous as social beings who love to stay in groups. In other words, the Tetras will get stressed out or sick and eventually die if kept alone.

Tetras are non-aggressive beings as well. However, you can sometimes see their aggressiveness because of various factors.

Moreover, Tetras are sensitive to water changes and tank conditions as well. 

Learn More About Are Tetras Fin Nippers? Are They Aggressive?

Tetras In A Planted Tank- Do Tetra Fish Like Plants?

Being a tropical freshwater fish, Tetras love to stay in a planted aquarium. Aquatic plants are the best suitable options for the Tetras.

Furthermore, it’ll be even better if you add the soil substrates in the tank to support the aquatic plants. It is because the soil will balance the pH. level and hardness of the water for a while. 

Importance Of The Plants In The Tetra Fish Tank

Both Live and Artificial plants are necessary in the aquarium fish keeping world. The selection of right and I’ll try to explain them more clearly down below:

  • The plants in the Tetra Fish Tank will balance the nitrate and hardness level. 
  • It also produces more oxygen and uses excess carbon dioxide. 
  • It will provide shelter to the fish, i.e., the Tetra fish can hide whenever they feel stressed out or sick. The plants will enable the fish to rest peacefully without any disturbance as well.
  • The live plants will also help to remove the unnecessary wastages from the water.
  • It will also help to control the algae in the water. 
  • The plants will also encourage the growth of some beneficial micro-bacteria and stop the growth of harmful bacteria. 
  • The root systems of the plants will also help to balance the oxygen levels. 

Maintaining The Planted Tank With Tetra Fish- Do’s And Dont’s 

Once you’ve established a Planted Aquarium, you’re less a fish keeper and more a fish gardener.

It means that you should be more focused on cleaning and maintenance of the planted tank of the Tetra Fish.

Cleaning the tank, fish feeding, water testing, water changing, etc. are important things. But, cutting and designing the plants is equally important too. 

You can use the long-handled stainless scissors to cut the dead plants. Cutting them would keep the outgoing plants in their designated place. 


  • Plan how to supply the maximum light in the aquarium.
  • Use substrates with iron planting substrates and dose it regularly with plant fertilizer. 


  • The main thing that you shouldn’t do is add lots of fish to the aquarium. 
  • You must not add herbivores fish to the aquarium as those fish will consume the plants. 

Choose The Best Plants For Your Tetra Fish In Planted Tank

As I said earlier, putting plants in the Tetra Planted tank is important because the fish will be comfortable and feel at home.

Likewise, it will also help the aquarium to look similar to the natural habitat of the Tetra Fish.

Here, I’ll try to name some of the best plants that are suitable for the Tetra Fish in the planted tank.

They are:

You might like to learn more about 10 Best Aquarium Plants For Tetra Fish.

Benefits Of Keeping The Tetras In A Planted Tank

As the natural environments have plants all over, it would be best to keep plants in an aquarium as well. It will make the Tetras feel more secure and like home. 

Problems In The Planted Tank Of The Tetras

Everything in this world comes with both benefits and problems. Here, I’ll share the difficulties regarding the planted tank of the Tetras.

Weak Plant Growth

If the aquarium plants aren’t growing like they have to, then you should check the water and lighting conditions.

Furthermore, you should also check other nutrients and substrates. The lack of these things might hamper the growth of aquarium plants, so make sure to maintain it well. 

Algae Growth

Algae growth can be a problem in the planted aquarium as it can cover the plants. It occurs due to the bad lighting in the aquarium.

Furthermore, it’s usually due to the excess nitrates and phosphate as well. Nitrates and phosphates occur due to fish waste.

Hence, stop overstocking the fish and clean the aquarium regularly as well. 

Here is an article you might like to read  Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet?

What Will Happen If You Don’t Keep The Tetras In A Planted Tank?

Let me make this clear to you. If you have enough other substrates like rocks and caves, then you can skip the planting.

However, as the Tetras are tropical freshwater fish, these fish are habituated in the natural environments with plants.

So, besides all the necessary substrates, keep the plants in the tank as well. Some Tetras may not prefer heavily planted tanks, and those fish will adapt.

However, some Tetras require plants for their comfortable living. If you do not keep those fish in a planted aquarium, they will stress out and get sick. 

Match The Tetra Planted Aquarium With The Natural Environment

Like I’ve mentioned so many times, Tetras are tropical freshwater fish. These fish live in the dense water streams with plants. So, it’ll be great if you try to mimic their natural environment. 

You can match the water into soft acidic water just like the Amazonian environment, or harder/rocky substrate like Lake Tanganyika.

Furthermore, you can also learn about the world’s greatest tropical rivers and try to match the aquarium-like them too.

Many habitats around the world match with the habitats of the Tetras, so you have many options.

Some of the options that I’ve known are Flooded forests, tropical grasslands, rivers, lakes, and streams, etc. 

Other Things That You Need To Know:

Just as setting a planted aquarium is not that easy for beginners, maintaining other things might sound difficult as well. But, trust me, you can do it!

Maintain The Diet Of Your Tetra In The Planted Tank

Just like we humans require a healthy diet to keep ourselves immune, the same is the case with your Tetras.

Think about what will happen to us if we don’t consume our required diet every day? Well, our digestive system will weaken, and we will fall sick.

The same thing will happen to Tetras. Lack of diet will lead to the loss of the digestive system and will produce more fish waste. So, it’s necessary to give these fish a properly balanced diet. 

There are various kinds of fish foods that are available in the market. However, you need to realize the nature of your specific Tetra before buying them.

TetraPro Crisps Food, TetraPleco Wafers, Tetra FreshDelica, TetraNatura Gel foods, TetraCichlid Floating Cichlid Pellets, and TetraDiscus Foods are the best available options.

Here is an article on Top 10 Best Food For Tetra Fish And Why?

Providing Good Water Quality

Every being on this planet deserves to consume clean water. You and I will get sick if we drink polluted water.

Likewise, the Tetras are sensitive to slight water changes as well. You must make sure to clean and maintain the water every once in a while.

It is to keep the Tetras comfortable, happy, and healthy. There are various ways to check if the water in your aquarium is clean. You can always have Water testing meters to check the water parameters. 

Here is an article on Water Parameters for Tetra Fish: Stable Water Condition. This guide will give you an clear idea of dos and don’ts with water parameters.

Use Of The Water Conditioners For Clean Water

You can also use harmless water conditioners. It will help to reduce the wastage of particles like Chlorine, Nitrate, and Phosphate permanently.

As a result, algae formation will reduce and may not even develop further. Not only that, but it will help to balance the Ph and KH levels.

Such water conditioners also support the fish to cope up with stress and maintain the vitamins in the water.

The best water conditioners for the Tetra Planted Tank are AquaSafe, EasyBalance, and SafeStart. Those products will be available in the fish stores or departmental stores near you. 

On the other hand, water can be cloudy at times. Understand that it is due to overfeeding and the wastage produced by the Tetra.

Other factors affecting the water are inappropriate woodcrafts, improper cleaning/filtration, overstocking of the fish, etc.

The solution for the cloudy water is Tetra Crystal Water Purifier. Using the product will suspend the harmful particles by clearing them.

You will see the effect after 2 to 3 hours and a total result after 12 hours. 

A Marine Aquarium 

Do you have an idea about the Marine Aquarium? Well, don’t worry if you don’t. I’m here to help you. I’ll try to explain it briefly, and I hope you will understand. 

You already know that the Freshwater aquariums consist of plants and animals from the freshwater geographic, i.e., rivers and lakes.

On the other hand, a marine aquarium consists of plants and animals from the salt-water bodies, i.e., Seas and Oceans. The water in these water streams is salty, with a higher level of salinity. 

Some Tetras might be from the Marine water streams, and hence, will prefer salty water. During such cases, it might not be possible for you to reach out to the sea for the seawater. So, it will best if you use the Instant Ocean Sea Salt  for your aquarium.


Briefly, now that we are at the end of this article, you already know that the Tetras are best to be kept in a planted tank. Being a tropical freshwater fish, Tetras would love dense plants in their aquarium. However, some Tetras might have a different nature, i.e., they might not like plants at all. So, you must analyze the features of the particular fish you choose while choosing the best suitable plants for them. 

Enjoy Fish Keeping! 

Recommended Articles:

  1. How Often Should I Clean My Tetra Fish Tank?
  2. How To Set Up Breeding Tank For Tetras?

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