Fish Friend Finder: 10 Best Tank Mates for Ember Tetras

Estimated read time 10 min read

Nearly 70% of American households have at least one pet.

Of those, 12.5 million own freshwater fish. But as much as an aquarium houses your pet fish, it’s also a hobby that requires skill and know-how.

For a successful aquarium, you have to know how to house your fish and who to house them with. If you own an Ember Tetra, for example, you should know what fish they can live with and why.

Before choosing based on color and your own personal preference, read this guide to learn about the best Ember Tetra tank mates.


Equipment You Might Need For Your Ember Tetras

  1. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
  2. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light
  3. Fluval M Aquarium Heater
  4. Python Pro-Clean Gravel Washer and Siphon Kit
  5. Marina Algae Magnet Cleaner
  6. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

What Is An Ember Tetra?

Care Level: Beginner
Ideal tank size: 20 liters (5 US gallons)
Temperature range: 73–84 F
PH Range: 6.5-7.5

The Ember Tetra is scientifically known as the Hyphessobrycon Amandae. Discovered in 1986, the Ember Tetra was first named the Amanda tetra by Heiko Blehr, after his mother.

It’s now commonly called the Ember Tetra, dwarf red tetra, fire tetra, and red tetra. The majority of those names derived from is bright, fiery appearance.

Ember Tetras share the same body type as most other tetras, with a bright orange or orange-red coloring on the body and even the eye ounce. They grow to about 0.8″ or 2 cm in length and live between two and three years in a tank.

Tank Set Up

Ember Tetras are among the smallest types of fish kept in tanks. They’re small enough to be kept comfortably in a nano or 5-gallon tank if desired.

The habitat of the Ember Tetra is the Araguaia River basin of Brazil in South America. It lives in slow waters with thick water plants as well as thick vegetation and forest above the water.

Because they reside among such abundant vegetation, the bottom of their habitat is generally covered with leaves and branches. Due to plants above and in the water, their habitat has very dim light.

These conditions should be recreated in the tank in order for your Ember Tetras to thrive and show their best coloring. The tank should contain floating plants, and shadowed areas in which to hide. Java moss, java fern, and Anacharis will help your fish feel safe and comfortable.

To recreate dim lighting, you should have a dark substrate as well. Dry leaves and other vegetation on the bottom of the tank will also help mimic the conditions of a river bed. This will also help to make the water darker.

In terms of the current inside the tank, you’ll want a water filtration that isn’t too strong. This is because Ember Tetras like slow running waters.


Ember Tetras are peaceful fish that are also very active. They’re not timid, even though they’re among the smallest tank fish you can find.

But they do require some time to adapt to a new tank. You’ll notice that their behavior is overly cautious while they grow used to their new home.

Ember Tetras aren’t aggressive with other fish, and they don’t compete either. They’re a perfect community fish that are fun to watch in their own school or as they interact with their tank mates.

10 Best Ember Tetra Tank Mates

Below are the best Ember Tetra tank mates for your freshwater aquarium, with details on their care and why they make great community fish.

1. Pygmy Corydoras

corydoras julii

Care level: Beginner
Max Size of fish: 1.3″
Temperature range: 72-78 F
PH range: 6.0-8.0

Pygmy corydoras are pygmy catfish. They have a mild temperament and gentle nature which makes them a great tank mate for almost any species. They’re not at all aggressive, but sometimes that means they don’t stand up for themselves against fin-nippers or predators.

You’ll notice that your Ember Tetras like to spend most of their time in the mid-layer of the tank. That means they leave a lot of food at the bottom of the tank. For that reason, pygmy corydoras makes a great Ember Tetra tank mate.

Pygmy catfish are only slightly larger than an Ember Tetra. If you’re keeping a nano tank, a pygmy catfish can be housed in there as well. They also like to have dim light, so they’ll feel right at home in a darker tank built for Ember Tetras.

2. Dwarf Gourami

Care level: Moderate
Max Size of fish: 2″
Temperature range: 72-82 F
PH range: 6.0-7.5

These fish require a little more experience caring for fish than the Ember Tetra. But they’re needs are still very moderate and they’re peaceful fish that get along well with others.

Like Ember Tetra’s they prefer lots of floating plants and a dark substrate. You’ll need to keep the tank in a quiet place if you choose Dwarf Gourami‘s as your Ember Tetra tank mates. These fish are easily spooked by loud noises.

3. Discus


Care level: Intermediate
Max Size of fish: 6.5″
Temperature range: 82-88 F
PH range: 6.0-7.0

The Discus is a larger species of fish that’s still relatively peaceful. They’re native to the Amazon, so they share a similar habitat as they Ember Tetra. They’ll feel right at home with floating plants, driftwood, and lower plants or vegetation near the bottom of the tank.

Like your Ember Tetra, a discus also prefers slow-moving water. And they also do well with corydoras, so there’s plenty of room for other tank mates with even a larger discus around.

4. Barbs


Care level: Intermediate
Max Size of fish: depends on the species
Temperature range: 75-80 F
PH range: 6.8-7.8

There are many different species of barb, and you’ll need to pick the right one for your Ember Tetra tank mate. There are some species that are boisterous and larger than a foot, which are obviously unsuitable tank mates.

Instead, look for the smaller, peaceful species such as Cherry Barbs, Gold, Checkerboard, and Pentazona barbs. These are excellent community fish that share the same river habitat as Ember Tetras. They like their tanks dark, and like Ember Tetras, that’s when they show their best colors.

5. Rasbora

rasbora 4

Care level: Intermediate
Max Size of fish: 1.75″
Temperature range: 73-82 F
PH range: 6.0-7.5

Another great choice for any community tank, rasbora’s can be kept with any species except their predators. They’re never aggressive and they won’t’ nip or fight with other fish species.

But what makes it especially great for an Ember Tetra tank mate is that it likes the same tank bottom. They prefer dry leaf litter on the bottoms of a dark tank, which mimics their habitats all over the forests of South America.

6. Red Cherry Shrimp


Care level: Beginner
Max Size of fish: 1.5″
Temperature range: 77-81 F
PH range: 6.2 – 7.3

Red cherry shrimp make for great Ember Tetra tank mates because of the peacefulness of the later. You can trust you Ember Tetra’s not to hurt even a newborn shrimp because they’re so uncompetitive.

Red cherry shrimp complement the colorings of an Ember Tetra, and they’re small enough to house together in a tank as small as10 gallons. But if you choose red cherry shrimp as Ember Tetra tank mates, don’t choose a discus. Discus will hunt your cherry shrimp because they’re their natural predators.

7. Kribensis Dwarf Cichlids

Care level: Beginner
Max Size of fish: 4″
Temperature range: 75-80 F
PH range: 5.5-6.5

Naturally found in rivers and streams with dense vegetation, Kribensis dwarf cichlids will feel right at home in an Ember Tetra tank with lots of floating plants, dark water, and ground leaves. They also prefer the same calm, slow-moving waters, (though they can dwell just as nicely in fast waters).

Plus, these fish are bottom dwellers. They’ll give your Ember Tetra’s plenty of space up top while maintaining their gentle and peaceful demeanor down below. They share the same algae and plant-matter diet as shrimp, so all three would make great tank mates for your freshwater aquarium.

8. Hatchetfish


Care level: Intermediate
Max Size of fish: 2.5″
Temperature range: 73-80 F
PH range: 6.0-7.0

Hatchetfish need slow-moving waters that contain lots of vegetation. Their tank setup is almost exactly the same as that of an Ember Tetra, with floating plants creating darkness and cover. But they also stop your Hatchetfish from jumping out of the tank.

And while we’ve mentioned a number of bottom-dwelling fish to maximize space for your Ember Tetra and minimize competition, the Hatchetfish is the first top-dwelling fish we’ve included. They inhabit a different part of the tank for a more well-rounded and balanced aquarium.

9. Neon Tetras

Neon tetras

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 1.5”
Temperature range: 70-81F
PH range: 6.0-7.0

Neon tetras are non-aggressive, gentle, and peaceful. You find them in many community tanks for this reason. When housed with Ember Tetras, they share the same swimming space in the middle of the tank.

They like warm, slow-moving water, just like Ember Tetras. This is because they both come from the Amazon River basins in South America. That also means they’ll enjoy the same darker waters with plenty of floating plants and fallen vegetation on the bottom of the tank.

Check out this roundup of the 7 Best Tank Mates For Neon Tetras to give this pretty little fish some company in your tank.

10. Other Ember Tetras

Tangled Roots

The best Ember Tetra tanks mates are actually other Ember Tetras. That’s because Ember Tetras are a schooling fish.

They thrive when they live in a school of eight to ten of their own kind. This is when they behave at their most confident and shine their brightest colors.

How many Ember Tetras should be kept together?

If you want your Ember Tetras to school keep at least 6-8 of them together. This will help them form a school that keeps them feeling safer and ultimately leads to a healthier environment for your Ember Tetras.

Will Ember Tetras school with Neon Tetras?

Ember Tetras can school with other tetras like the Neon Tetra. However, it’s best to have them schooling with their own species as they can become stressed when schooling with larger species.

Can Ember tetras live with Guppies?

Ember Tetras will do very well with Guppies. Both species are very peaceful, have similar diet and water requirements. That said try to keep at least 6 of each species to ensure they feel comfortable and safe.

More Fish Care Guides

The best Ember Tetra tank mates are other small, non-aggressive fish. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for community fish that will get along well with your Ember Tetras and also prefer the same slow-moving, dimly lit, heavily vegetated environment.

Just be sure to keep these gentle fish away from any predatory or aggressive fish, give them plenty of space to swim and hide, and you’ll see their best social behavior and colors.

And for more fish care guides, be sure to check out our blog.

You May Also Like

More From Author