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13 Best Red Eye Tetra Tank Mates (With Pictures!)

Red eye tetras are a small but peculiar breed of fish. This tetra is larger than the average tetra fish but is still slightly under three inches long.

It has a lovely silver body, some black markings, and brilliant blood-red eyes. Really, these fish will stand out well in your tank community.

Still, what fish are best suited for the red eye tetra?

And how should you be setting up your red eye tetra community tank?

I’ll be talking about this topic in detail here throughout the post. This way you can find the perfect tank mates for your tetra fish.

Really, you want to find the best red eye tetra tank mates. You can do this here with the information I will provide. 

Zebra Danios

The first tank mate I will discuss is the zebra danio.

Zebra danios are a popular breed of fish and they are one of the best beginner fish out there.

This is because zebras are easy to take care of and relatively peaceful to most fish. Really, you won’t find a hardier and simpler fish to take care of on this list.

Overall, these small fish can live in a range of climates and tank conditions, and they are pretty undemanding.

This makes them perfect as tank mates for a red eye tetra.

Just make sure to get at least five of these fish as they like to live in small schools.


The next fish I will talk about is Platies. Platies are another popular community tank fish choice.

These fish come in all kinds of colors and are usually seen in beginner fish tanks.

You can buy this fish in a pair or buy them alone to put in your tank. But, these fish are social and do like to interact with fish of their own breed or other breeds.

Really, you can’t go wrong with this easy to care for pet.

Just make sure that your water is warm enough for them, and that your tank has some nice vegetation for them to rest behind.


Swordtails are bright, fun, and lovely in a tank setting.

These colorful fish are not hard to handle, and they get along with almost any type of fish or aquatic pet.

But you want to keep them in a group and make sure that you have the right ratio of males and females.

Swordtails aren’t aggressive to other fish, but males can be aggressive to females.

So you want to make sure that you have more female swordtails than male ones, or you can get an all-female school of these fish.

Still, this is a pretty active fish breed, so they will love being in a tank with red eye tetras.

Just make sure they have plenty of swimming room.

Serpae Tetras

Serpae Tetra or Hyphessobrycon eques

Serpae tetras are another tetras type that will work well in your red eye community.

These fish are red and look fairly similar to red eyes.

However, they have more intricate designs and patterns on their body which make them stand out.

Overall, they enjoy the same tank conditions and care requirements as other tetras.

But they are slightly smaller than red eyes. Make sure to keep them in a small serpae school.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras catfish are a great option for large tank communities.

These fish are extremely hardy and are good at adapting to any type of tank environment.

They are easy to care for as well, and they get along well with tetras and other similar sized fish.

Corydoras do like to dwell towards the bottom of their tank.

So, make sure you aquarium is set up well for your pets. They need softer substrate, and you want to give these fish plenty of space to hide and roam.

If you want you can even buy this fish in a pair. This will help your pet feel more at ease.

Again, this is another great choice for your red eye tetras.

Apple Snails

Apple snail by Chapulines (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Apple snails are an ideal addition to community tanks of any size.

Not every tank owner will want a snail in their tank, but if you are a fan of other aquatic pets this is a perfect choice.

Apple snails are nicely sized, and won’t harm your pets.

Best of all they eat debris in your tank and keep your water clean and more sanitary.

Just make sure you have a nice substrate for them to crawl on.

Giant Danios

Giant danios are not massive fish. They only come in at around four inches in total. But they are bigger than your typical tetra.

Still, these are great pets for tank communities.

These fish are peaceful, highly active, and love to swim in a group with danios and other small fish.

However, make sure that you get a much larger tank if you are putting a group of danios in your community.

At least thirty gallons is recommended. And you want to buy danios in a small group of at least six other danios.


Mollies are a great addition to a tank of red eye tetras. But this fish is not hardy or easy to care for in the least.

While these fish will look stunning they can easily die or get sick in your tank.

So, make sure that you have some experience with these fish or other hard to care for fish. Keep this fish in a small school.

But make sure there are more females than males to lower aggression levels.


If you are looking for a colorful fish with a lot of personality, look no further than the rainbowfish.

Rainbowfish come in a wide variety of colors and types.

They are generally pretty easy to care for, but you want to make sure that you get the right tank size for them.

Depending on the species you have, you might need a smaller or larger tank.

In terms of friendliness, though, this fish gets along well with many types of fish.

Just make sure you have plenty of tank coverage and space for them. Rainbows can be shy fish.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin rasbora by Juan R. Lascorz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Harlequin fish are a type of rasboras fish that come in black and red coloring.

The harlequin are metallic fish that love being in large groups and big tank communities.

You want to keep these fish in a large harlequin school. Most experts recommend keeping eight to ten of these pets together.

But, even in such large numbers they are easy to care for.

Just make sure to get their tank requirements right so they stay healthy.


Plecostomus look similar to corydoras fish, but they have their own unique characteristics.

They are known for their suckermouths, and they can really range in size.

Some plecos can grow up to a foot long depending on what size tank you have.

But there are smaller plecos that you can buy and place in your tank with your tetra and other small fish.

This is not the most colorful fish but they do really add to your tank community.

Just be prepared to care for them and keep them healthy. As these are not beginner fish in the least.

Pencil Fish

Nannostomus eques by Guérin Nicolas (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Pencil fish are long, skinny, and look like a pencil, hence their name.

They have a similar look to zebra danios, but these fresh water fish are smaller and have more unique markings.

You want to be careful about what fish you keep with these pets. As they can easily get swallowed by much larger breeds.

But overall, a small school of these fish can be just what you need to liven up your red eyes tank.

Red Cherry Shrimp

Finally, if you want to add something different to your tank, consider putting cherry shrimp in with your tetras.

Red cherry shrimp are bright, colorful and a perfect fit with your red eye tetras.

They come in red and many other different shades of colors.

Not everyone wants a tank filled with only fish. If you are looking to diversify your community aquarium definitely try these critters out.

They are easy to care for and look quite striking.

Red Eye Tetra Community Tank Size and Tank Mates to Avoid

While red-eye tetra is a smaller fish, they still need a large tank area to live in.

At the very least, you want to put them in a tank that is twenty gallons or above.

In addition, these fish need to be kept in a small school. This way they feel happy and safe in their tank environment.

I’ll talk about the exact number of fish you should keep together in the next section.

However, once you add more fish into your tank, you might need to think about getting a bigger aquarium.

Twenty gallons is okay for a small school of fish, but if you have more fish, get a larger tank.

Thirty gallons and above is better suited for a larger tank community.

And with this fish breed, you want to have lower lighting, slow currents, and plenty of coverage. Plants, whether they be fake or artificial can be good too.

Tank Mates To Avoid

But, what should you not put in your red eye tank?

Which breeds are dangerous to your tetra?

In general, you want to keep peaceful fish in your tank. Tetras are easy to get along with, and love being in the same tank with all kinds of fish.

But you want to keep them away from larger or more aggressive fish. This includes angelfish, beta fish, and fish that are not that energetic.

The red eye moves a lot and likes to stay active. This could disturb more slow-moving fish.

How Many Red Eye Tetras Should Be Kept Together Exactly?

Red eye tetras love to be surrounded by other fish, especially fish that are their own breed.

At a minimum, you need to get at least six red eye tetras. This number will keep your pet happy and healthy.

However, you can increase this number and get more red eye tetras, just make sure that you have a big enough tank.

The more fish you have, the more waste they will create. You don’t want to keep your fix in a toxic and cramped environment so keep this in mind.

In addition, you can keep males and females together. Some fish species are more aggressive and won’t do well in school with other genders.

But you can pair off male and female fish with ease. Just be aware that your fish will breed and that you might need a bigger tank down the line.


Red eye tetras are an energetic and beautiful breed of fish. These pets are not that picky about tank mates.

But, you still want to make sure that you are getting tank mates that are compatible with your fish.

In general, the red-eye likes warmer waters and more neutral water conditions.

Still, this is an adaptable species that can survive in a lot of different tank environments. with different aquatic pets.

So, you have a lot of different options when it comes to your new fish tank community.

I went over some of the best red eye tetra tank mates here. If you are still unsure about what fish or pet to pick, go back and read through the list I provided.

This way you can find an ideal match for your fish and your tank!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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