Big List of 5 Black Tetra Fish Ideas for Your Aquarium

Estimated read time 8 min read

Black colored fish are an excellent way to give a contrast to the colorful scene in your aquarium. If you’re looking for black tetra fish to join your aquarium community, you’re in the right place!

Since the black tetra fish options aren’t as much as the colored ones, you need to find the ideal fit for your aquarium and skill level.

Read on, if you’re looking for the best black Tetra Fish options around!


Suggested Equipment For Black Tetras

Here Are 5 Black Tetra Fish For Your Aquarium

Finding a few black Tetras is pretty easy; however, we’ve managed to narrow it down to a few of the best.

1. Black Skirt (Black Widow) Tetra – Gymnocorymbus Ternetzi

Black Skirt (Black Widow) Tetra

  • Care level: extremely easy (excellent for beginners)
  • Size: about 2.5 inches (6 cm)
  • Temperature range: 68 to 78 °F (20 to 26°C)
  • PH range: 5.8 to 8.5 (wide range)
  • Social Behavior: active, peaceful, and good with other fish
  • Tank size: a minimum of 10 gallons (38 liters)

Overview of the Black Skirt Tetra

These tetras are among the most common black tetra fish that they’re commonly called “the black tetras.”

They’re small freshwater fish that originate from the small tributaries in Paraguay and Brazil rivers.

The black skirt tetras are shy and peaceful fish. They do best when they’re schooled with at least 4 or 5 fish of its kind.

They’re not messy and create minimal waste. Additionally, they tolerate a vast range of temperatures, pH, and water hardness.

Not only that, but they’re also omnivores who accept a wide variety of foods, whether it’s live or frozen.

This makes them an excellent choice for a beginner who wants to enjoy them. For optimal health conditions, supply them with spirulina and vegetable supplements and flake foods.

Make sure that you surround them with a dense plant covering and other colorful fish to make their color stand out.

Males are usually smaller than females with some white spots on their caudal fin and less rounded body.

2. Black Phantom Tetra – Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus

Black Phantom Tetra - Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus

  • Care level: medium or intermediate
  • Size: 1.4 inches (3.6 cm)
  • Temperature range: 72 to 82 °F (22 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Social Behavior: very active, usually peaceful, can pick rivals
  • Tank size: a minimum of 10 gallons (38 liters)

Overview of the Black Phantom Tetra

Similar to the black skirt tetra, phantom tetras are also indigenous to the Guapore river in South America. They also share massive popularity due to their mesmerizing color.

To help the black phantom tetra show their colors, they need a tank that is well planted with floating vegetation and dimmer lighting.

A floor of river sand or other dart substrates will also be great for them. Moreover, make sure that you add a cover to the aquarium, as they tend to jump out of the water sometimes.

Unlike the black widow tetras, these fish are a bit sensitive to substantial changes in pH and poor water quality. However, they’re relatively tolerant to a warmer range of temperatures.

This makes them great for intermediate level hobbyists who are planning to kick things up a notch.

They have a distinctive dark silvery greyish color with splashes of black behind their gills. They’re also originally shoaling fish who live in large groups, so you’ll need to keep 4 or 5 or their kind in your tank.

Luckily, when it comes to feeding, the black phantom tetras will accept any kind of fish food. You can provide them with a diet of freeze-dried food and fine flakes along with brine shrimps.

Males have larger fins and look more blackish than females, while females have some reddish parts around their fins and pelvic area.

3. Black Neon Tetra – Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi

Black Neon Tetra - Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi

  • Care level: easy (suitable for beginners)
  • Size: 1.6 inches (4 cm)
  • Temperature range: 73 to 81 °F (22 to 27 °C)
  • PH range: 5.0 to 7.5
  • Social Behavior: social and gets along with other fish, highly active in large groups
  • Tank size: a minimum of 10 gallons (38 liters)

Overview of the Black Neon Tetra

Neon tetra fish are available in a wide variety of colors. One of its subspecies is the black neon tetras. They’re one of the smallest types of black tetra fish that are successfully bred in captivity.

They originate from the small tributaries of creeks of the Paraguay basin in the Southern Brazil region. While females are a bit larger, it’s hard to distinguish male and female black neon tetra fish.

Their original home is highly acidic and muddy colored waters in these forests. However, they can adapt to a decent pH range, making them tolerant fish an easy one for beginners. The real challenge is raising their extremely tiny fry.

Due to the vibrancy of their color, they’re a fantastic contrast fish. Their black iridescent color characterizes them with hues of greens, whites, and blacks. You can also find an albino variant that gives similar color tints.

Despite being extremely small, they’re highly energetic fish. Also, they need to be kept in schools of 6 or more. For that reason, they suit small aquariums of 10 gallons or larger.

They get along with most kinds of peaceful fish and those of similar sizes. However, you should avoid keeping them around larger fish types, as they can eat the small black neon tetras.

In theory, black neon fish are happy omnivores who will eat just about anything they’re offered. However, to keep their colors vibrant, you need to vary their diet between vegetable supplements, algae filaments, and live invertebrates.

4. Blackline Tetra (Penguin Tetra) – Thayeria Boehlke

Blackline Tetra (Penguin Tetra) - Thayeria Boehlke

  • Care level: intermediate level
  • Size: 1.5 inches (3.2 cm)
  • Temperature range: 72 to 82 °F (22 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 6 to 7.5
  • Social Behavior: good community fish, interact with others, avoided with rivals
  • Tank size: 20 to 25 gallons (75 to 95 liters)

Overview of the Blackline (Penguin) Tetra

As the name suggests, these tetra fish rocks the white and black colors of a penguin. Despite being an excellent community fish that interact with the environment, you need a great deal of care when raising them in an aquarium.

The South American fish originate from the Araguaia River region in Brazil as well as the upper Amazon river basin in Peru. Their natural habitat is filled with vegetation among slow-moving waters.

They’re very hardy fish if kept in good condition with little care. You should make sure to keep them in remarkably larger than usual groups of 8 to 12 fish.

Anything below that will induce a lot of fin nipping. Also, avoid keeping them with other fish that have large flowing fins like guppies.

They’re omnivores, so you won’t have a hard time providing them with a variety of crustaceans and algae filaments. Female penguin tetras are usually fuller with a more rounded abdomen.

5. Black Morpho Tetra (Black Darter Tetra) – Poecilocharax Weitzmani

  • Care level: intermediate to advanced
  • Size: 1.5 inches (3.2 cm)
  • Temperature range: 75 to 82 °F ( 24 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 6.5 to 7.2
  • Social Behavior: generally peaceful, but gets aggressive in smaller groups.
  • Tank size: minimum of 10 to 15 gallons (38 to 56 liters)

Overview of the Black Morpho Tetra

Last but not least, the black morpho tetra is an uncommon tetra with an astonishing set of colors that’ll keep your aquarium on another level.

They’re found in the black waters of South American basins where the water is warm and shallow with lots of fallen leaves and branches.

The adult male darters have a remarkable dorsal fin that looks like a sail along with blackish purplish scales. They’re generally peaceful if kept in optimum conditions, which are a bit uneasy to maintain.

Despite being small, they need to live in large groups, and they stake out vast territories. That’s why they prefer large tanks.

Morpho tetras are micro-predators. This means that you need to feed them small bloodworms, cyclops, daphnias. They’re unlikely to eat dried food, that’s why they need a lot of care.

Wrap Up

With that said, you have 5 of the best black tetra fish options that you can find out there. Most of these fishes are quite affordable and easy to care for.

However, if you’re a beginner, I recommend you start with the famous black skirt tetras. They’re quite hardy and can tolerate a wide variety of temperatures.

Looking For More Colorful Tetra Ideas Check Out These Articles:

List of 5 Black Tetra Fish Ideas for Your Aquarium

You May Also Like

More From Author