Top 10 Easy to Care Tetra Fish – Perfect For Beginners

easy to care tetras

There is a global demand for pet fish nowadays. You can find fish enthusiasts in every corner of the world. If you ask them to recommend a fish for beginners or for someone with experience, they will surely bring up the name Tetra fish. There are over 150 species of tetra fish, which are easy to care for. Here, I have tried to shortlist the top 10 of easy to care tetra fish that you can easily keep at your home or workplace. 

Tetras have the quality of being bright, small, and colorful. These qualities make tetra fish attractive to different individuals. Not just the appearance, but also the compatibility of tetra fish are remarkable. Tetras are also one of the fish species that adapt to the fluctuating water parameters. These qualities make a tetra fish very easy to care for.

With aquarium having the right water conditions, decoration, substrate, and lightings, you will be able to house a healthy school of tetras. If you do not know where to start, I have some of the best and easy to care tetra fish in this article.

You can read further to know more about your options.

Ideal Environment for Tetra Fish

Tetras are the kind of fish that are peaceful in nature. Hence, you will need to maintain your aquarium accordingly. You need to know about the nature of tetra fish. These fish do not do well in a stressful environment. 

Since the tetras are a schooling fish, you need to keep them in a group of at least 5 to 6. For this as well, you need a right tank. The minimum tank size should be at least 10-gallons. 

Whenever these fish feel like they are in danger or stressed, they like to hide into the plants. There must be good vegetation planted inside the tank. 

Necessary equipment such as water heater, air pumps, and filters should also be installed in the tank to make sure that the water parameters and cleanliness are not contaminated.

Read our article on the tetra tank set-up to know this in full detail.

List of Top 10 Tetras that are Easy to Care

There are too many choices for tetra fish. However, you will need to choose one that is easier for you. If you have difficulties in making up your mind, here is the list of 10 tetras easy to care for that can help you.

If you are a beginner, you can start with the following options. Once you are familiar with the fish and its care, you can explore with other varieties as well.

Neon Tetras

neon tetra

The neon tetras are one of the most popular tetra fish. What better way to start your aquarium than the small tetras having red, blue, and silver coloration throughout their body. 

The neon tetras are familiar even among non-aquarists. Most people are a fan of these tetras because of their friendly nature. Additionally, neon tetras are among the hardiest tetras out there, adapting to most water conditions.

The tank size for these tetras should be at least 15-gallons. This is because the size of adult neon tetras will be over 1.5 inches. You will need to keep tetras in a group of 8 and hence, your neon tetra school will need a good amount of space in the tank.

The pH level for this tetra fish is in between the range of 5.0 to 7.0. You should not let the pH level alter or fluctuate drastically. 

Even if the tetras are hardy, there is a good possibility that they will get sick. You do not need to panic but should be ready to treat the diseased fish as soon as possible.

Neon tetras are mostly likely to have a market price of $1 to $2 per fish. 

You can check out the full detail article on neon tetras to understand better about why this tetra falls under the top 10 list of tetras that are easy to care for.

Cardinal Tetra

If you are a bit critical about the expenses that you may need to face while setting up a tank for your tetras, the best choice for you will be cardinal tetras. That being said, even when you purchase them in a group, the price will fall under $4 only.

cardinal tetra

The cardinal tetras are a bit sensitive than neon tetras and other tetras. Nonetheless, with stable water parameters, these tetras will be able to thrive in your tank.

You can keep around 15 cardinal tetras in a school. The tank mates for these tetras should be small and harmless species that do not have predatory nature.

With the environment that is clean and secure, the cardinal tetras can live up to 2 to 5 years. If you have male and female cardinal tetras in a school, you will have to deal with the breeding as well.

Buenos Aires Tetra

Buenos Aires Tetra
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If you want your aquarium to have a very entertaining and energetic tank, Buenos Aires tetras will be the best choice for you. The price of this tetra can be $2 to $3 in the local store.

These tetras have red-green sheen throughout the body. The tetra’s red fins can represent their assertiveness. It is not a good choice to keep this fish in a busy community tank. 

As well, you should avoid keeping these fish with species that have long fins. This is because these tetras may have the habit of nipping the fins that are long and flowing. 

You should keep Buenos Aires tetras in a tank with species that can match their energy. If you keep slower fish with these tetras, they might be stressed because of Buenos Aires tetras.

These tetras are able to thrive in a wide variety of water conditions as well as temperature. This is the reason why you will find it easier to care for them. 

Bleeding Heart Tetra

bleeding heart tetra

This tetra’s name came from its appearance. The fish has a blushing red mark close to the gills. This seems like the tetra has a bleeding heart.

If the water parameters of the tank for Bleeding Heart tetra is stable and you are able to provide them with the entire requirement for the fish’s development, then it is easy to care for them.

The bleeding heart, when purchased in a school, may cost around $4.29.

This tetra displays their brightest coloration when you keep their environment safe and secure. For this, you need to keep the parameters constant.

Bloodfin Tetra

Glass Bloodfin Tetra

If you are looking for a tetra that is quite active, then Bloodfin tetra is a good choice. This tetra has a great appearance as well, which is silver color throughout their body combined with red fins.

You can place bloodfin tetras in a 20-gallon aquarium. You will not have any problems feeding these tetras as they can eat commercially dried foods, live or even frozen as well. 

Bloodfin tetras grow only up to 2 inches. You will have to make sure that no other species in your tank feels insecure when you are keeping this tetra.

Bloodfin tetra can cost $2.59 per fish.

Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra | Breeding Tetra fish

One of the easy to go tetras you can find is Ember tetras. These tetras are mostly favorable to those keepers who want their tank species to feel peaceful. 

These tetras are very peaceful; hence, it does not give their owners any hard time. You will need to keep ember tetras in groups and avoid keeping lager species. 

While purchasing in the group, the ember tetras will cost $2.49 per fish.

Since ember tetras are small tetras, you can start with 10-gallon of the tank. This size of the tank will be enough for them to live happily.

Serpae Tetra

Having bright red coloration, the serpae tetra is one of the popular tetra fish. Serpae is one of the easiest tetras to house. This tetra has a great characteristic of being able to tolerate cool tap water. 

You will not need to heat up the aquarium for Serpae, as you need for most other tetras. The serpae tetras are also easy to breed and resilient to most fish diseases.

The serpae tetra is also known as blood tetras due to their colorations. However, these tetras tend to nip the fins of other species. Therefore, you must be careful when choosing the fish’s tank mates. 

Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetra

One of the attractive and favorite tetra fish among the enthusiasts is Emperor Tetra. These tetras are the perfect aquarium fish for beginner keepers. The emperor tetras will do their best in a community tank.

The emperor tetras are not highly demanding, as you will not have to worry about making mistakes. These tetras are very hardy and can easily tolerate the changing aquarium environment. 

You will need to keep them in a school otherwise you will feel them showing a passive and shy behavior rather than thriving in your tank.

Diamond Tetra

diamond tetra

The diamond tetras are not that much common aquarium tetras. Many look past these tetras because they are not bright looking as other tetras. However, with good care diamond tetras can get very attractive.

The diamond tetras are a very good option of beginner tetra as these tetras are best and easy to care for. You will find these tetras less demanding because diamond tetras do not need a specific temperature or water condition. You can generalize the water conditions according to any tetra’s nature. This is the main reason why diamond tetras are acknowledged as one of the top 10 easy tetras that you can care for.

Like many other tetras, this tetra will also need slightly acidic and soft water. With dense plantation inside the tank, diamond tetras will get their ideal living condition inside the aquarium.

Closing Remarks

Tetra fish are that kind of species, which can bring something special in your tank. Every tetra species are unique and have their own standout characteristics.

Moreover, the level of care that you can give your tetras depends on the nature of different tetras. Hence, caring for tetras can be easy for an individual if they do it in the right way. 

As a tetra owner, you will need to stabilize water parameters, lightings, filtration as well as different species that are in the tank.

One particular tetra can be difficult to manage for someone whereas the same tetra can be easygoing to others. This also depends on the nature of the tank and the way of providing care as well.

Similarly, you also need to consider the expenses or costs that you might need to fulfill while housing the tetras. This is because setting up an aquarium in any home requires some expenses as well.


In this article, I have mentioned the top 10 tetras that are easy to care for. If you are a beginner then, the above-mentioned list of tetras can help you get started to install your first aquarium.

The above-mentioned tetras are only a piece of basic information and if you are serious about keeping one of the tetras, you must conduct thorough research.

It is important to know more about tetra’s nature in detail. This is very significant when caring for the tetras and developing them fully.

You can also read the detail description of the individual tetras in our other articles.

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