Big List of The 6 Most Colorful Tetra Fish Species for Your Aquarium

Estimated read time 7 min read

Tetras are beautiful omnivores who have been successfully bred in captivity for many years. If you’re looking for beautifully colored tetras, well, you’re in for a treat!

In the following article, I’ll walk you through some of the most colorful tetra fish species for your aquarium.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!


Suggested Equipment For Your Tetra Aquarium

Here Are 6 Of The Most Colorful Tetras For Your Aquarium

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

1. Neon Tetra – Paracheirodon Innesi

Neon Tetra

  • Care level: very easy
  • Size: about 1.2 inches ( 3.0 cm)
  • Temperature range: 70 to 81 °F (21 to 27 °C)
  • PH range: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Social Behavior: extremely peaceful, and good with peaceful fish
  • Tank size: a minimum of 15 gallons (56 liters)

Overview of the Neon Tetra 

Kicking off the list with one of the most popular species of colored Tetra Fish in the world. They originate from South America in the northern and western basins of the Amazon River.

As the name suggests, the neon Tetras are brightly colored with a vibrant glow of blue, reddish-orange, and silver.

They’re most commonly found in blackwater and clearwater streams that are slightly acidic.

However, they don’t prosper in white water conditions. Neon tetras are known for their hardiness as well as their excellent temperament.

They’re straightforward to care for, which is why they’re popular among beginners and novice hobbyists. Yet, they’re sensitive to extreme changes in the water’s environment.

The colorful tetras are non-picky omnivores, so you won’t have a hard time finding the ideal meal for their appetites. However, varying their diet is always essential to maintain their glow and vibrancy.

2. Buenos Aires Tetra – Hyphessobrycon Anisitsi

Buenos Aires Tetra

  • Care level: easy
  • Size: about 2.5 inches (6.35 cm)
  • Temperature range: 64 to 82°F (18 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 5.8 to 8.5
  • Social Behavior: quite feisty and dangerous around smaller and long-finned fish
  • Tank size: a minimum of 25 to 30 gallons (94 to 115 liters)

Overview of the Buenos Aires Tetra Fish

The Buenos Aires tetras are quite large, with characteristic red fins and silvery scales that reflect all colors of the rainbow.

Despite their amazing colors, they might be problematic in communities. Ideally, you should keep them around equally feisty fish that don’t get too stressed easily.

They’re known to be quite nippy, so you should give them ample space to help them move freely with their remarkable energy.

The tank should also be densely planted to simulate their original habitat in rivers of Argentina. Also, make sure that you don’t let them around small fish because they can eat them.

In nature, they eat all kinds of worms, insects, and crustaceans. This means that these omnivores will accept all types of flakes, frozen, and live foods you offer.

3. Congo Tetra – Phenacogrammus Interruptus

Congo Tetra

  • Care level: intermediate
  • Size: up to 3.2 inches (8.12 cm)
  • Temperature range: 73.0 to 82.0 °F (22.8 to 27.8 °C)
  • PH range: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Social Behavior: peaceful and a bit shy around other fish
  • Tank size: a minimum of 40 gallons (150 liters)

Overview of the Congo Tetra Fish

These are among the few colorful tetras that are indigenous to Africa. These tetras are among the largest species of colorful tetra fish in the world. Additionally, they’re quite a catch to the eye with their rainbow shining silvery scales.

Ideally, they prefer an average of 75 °F. However, they can tolerate higher temperatures reaching 90 °F (32 °C) for a considerable amount of time, given that they have decent oxygenation.

Their natural habitat has low lights and is relatively quiet. That’s why they’re easily frightened by loud noises and nippy tankmates like the Buenos Aires tetras.

Brine shrimps and bloodworms are their favorite meals. Yet, they congo tetras will accept all kinds of food you have for them.

4. Colored Skirt Tetra – Gymnocorymbus Ternetzi

Colored Skirt 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 Colorful Skirt Tetra

The colored skirt tetras are the colored variety that developed from the common black tetras. They’re widely available and remarkably easy to raise and care for.

Like the black tetras, they’re also small freshwater fish that originate from the small tributaries in Paraguay and Brazil rivers.

These fish are naturally colored in pink or blue. While they accept a wide variety of food, the more their food’s quality, the more their colors stand out in the aquarium.

They’re known for their hardiness and ability to withstand a range of pH, water hardness, and temperatures similar to the black skirt tetras. They’re also highly active and good with other fish while maintaining peace with them.

5. Lemon Tetra – Hyphessobrycon Pulchripinnis

Lemon Tetra

  • Care level: easy
  • Size: up to 1.5 inches (3.81 cm)
  • Temperature range: 70 to 82.4 °F (21 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 5.5 to 8.0 (6)
  • Social Behavior: active, peaceful, and good with other fish
  • Tank size: a minimum of 20 gallons (75 liters)

Overview of the Lemon Tetra Fish

The lemon tetra fish is a quite offbeat and unique addition to any aquarium. They’re relatively small and peaceful fish that handles a community of equally sized fish pretty nicely.

They come from the basin of South America’s Amazon. They naturally prefer clear water with moderate flow, so they’re an easy fish to raise.

A healthy lemon tetra fish will display a beautiful array of colors on their bodies. This includes their signature black and yellow colored fins as well as the orange eyes.

Despite being small, they’re highly active swimmers. That’s why you’ll need a huge rectangular tank of at least 20 gallons and dense planting to support a whole school of lemon tetras.

They also have a long lifespan of about 6 to 8 years, making them a favorite among fish tank hobbyists.

6. Glowlight tetra – Hemigrammus Erythrozonus

Glowlight tetra

  • Care level: easy to intermediate
  • Size: up to 1.6 inches (4.0 cm)
  • Temperature range: 78 to 82 °F (26 to 28 °C)
  • PH range: 5.8 to 7.5
  • Social Behavior: peaceful and live in groups
  • Tank size: a minimum of 15 gallons (56 liters)

Overview of the Glowlight Tetra Fish

If you’re looking for a peaceful kind of fish that’s fit for communities, all the while looking super colorful, you should keep the glowlight tetra fish in mind.

This South American tropical fish originates from the Essequibo River in Guyana is characterized by its unique color marking.

They have silver scales with a bright red line along the body’s length, which gives a glowing effect. They look like the colored version of the black and white penguin tetra.

One of the great things about these fish is that they’re moderately active so that you won’t need a massive tank. Also, they only need to live in schools of 4 or 5.

They interact nicely with other kinds of tetras, especially the ones of similar sizes. The combination of the glowlight tetras, neon tetras, and colored skirt tetras is common among fish tank owners.

Since they originate from a blackwater medium, they prefer acidic water. They also love to seek hiding sometimes, so you should provide plenty of planting in the tank.

Wrap Up

There you have it—a big list with a wide variety of colorful tetra fish. As you can see, tetras are usually hardy fish that are easy to have in your aquarium without being demanding.

If you’re a beginner looking for a colorful tetra to start with, you should consider the neon tetras or the colored skirt tetras. These are a breeze to have and will give you the vibrancy and beauty you’re looking for!

Looking For More Colorful Tetra Ideas Check Out These Articles:

Most Colorful Tetra Fish Species for Your Aquarium

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