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17 Emperor Tetra Tank Mates For Your Beautiful Tank

Rearing peaceful, quiet, and beautiful fish is the dream of every aquarist! So, Emperor Tetra is an excellent choice for them. Their reflective rainbow hue attracts millions of people’s attention worldwide. The other best news is emperor tetra is a hardy fish. So, they can adaptable to many environments. If you are a beginner and searching for fish species that are easy to rear and care for, Emperor tetra is a great choice! 

However, before adding emperor tetra to your aquarium, it is important to know some facts, especially suitable tank mates. Due to their peaceful behavior, they can live with many fish varieties. But it does not mean all ornamental fish varieties. So, let’s t check ideally compatible with emperor tetra tank mates. 

Emperor Tetra

Characters for good emperor tetra tank mates

As a schooling fish, emperor tetra does best in five or six with Alpha male fish in the same species. Do not try to rear male fish together because there is a possibility to show aggression. They live smart only when a single male is in the population. Also, other small peaceful fish species are just fine to rear with Emperor Tetra. In addition to that, it is better to select fish species that have the same habitat preference to rear. Then all of them can live healthily and happily. 

Avoid adding large carnivore fish with emperor tetra. Because they may misunderstand your small fish as food. It is also stressful for your tetra fish. Further, when you are rearing any fish in captivity, you should give them enough space to live happily. Also, it is better if you can imitate their natural habitat. Following are some suitable emperor tetra tank mates

Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra gets stressed and bored when they live alone. They love to live with a group of fish and build companionship. Because of that, they are ideal for rearing in a community tank. Yes, Ember fish is a perfect tank mate for emperor tetra too. 

The Ember Tetra

Celestial Pearl Danio

The Celestial Pearl Danios are absolute stunner fish species. Their colorful appearance gives a dream-like aesthetic. Thus most fish lovers want to keep these fish in their aquarium, especially small fish species.  So, the Emperor tetra is a good tankmate for Celestial Pearl Danios. They are compatible and can live peacefully in community tanks. 

Pearl Gourami

Do you want to keep unique and funny freshwater fish with your Emperor tetra? Pearl gourami is one of the good choices. Due to their peaceful behavior, Emperor Tetra can live comfortably with them. The Pearl Gourami will share their tank with any small or large fish until tankmates are not going too aggressive. Generally, they do not pick fights against tankmates. Hence, as an aquarist, you can live without extra troubles.

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Cory Catfish

Cory catfish is an excellent choice for a person who has any level of experience. They are super friendly and fantastic fish species. Cory catfish is a school fish and loves to swim with a group. Not only the same species, Cory catfish school with other fish varieties such as Emperor tetra. So, these small fish varieties can live peacefully in the same tank. 

Kribensis Cichlid Tank Mates

Honey Gourami

Honey gourami is a very gentle small fish variety. They prefer to live with non-aggressive same, size fish. Due to their peaceful nature, Honey gourami can rear with Emperor tetra fish. 

Blood parrot cichlid tank mates

Serpae Tetra

Generally, serape tetra is great when added to the same species. Moreover, this fish is compatible with other fast-moving peaceful fish varieties. So, you can rear Emperor tetra with Serpae tetra. However, they tend to fight with weaker fish in the same group in some cases. Thus, it is better to keep an eye on your aquarium.

Sparkling Gourami

Sparkling gourami’s peaceful behavior makes them ideal for rearing with Emperor tetra. The best thing is both varieties have the same sizes. Hence, these species are compatible. Further, these small fish varieties can add a vibrant look to your aquarium.  


Mostly Emperor tetra lives middle and upper layers of the water column. Hence, you can add a peaceful fish variety that lives in the bottom water column. The Apistogramma mostly lives in the bottom water layer, which is an excellent choice to add to your Emperor tetra tank. 


If you are a fish lover, you definitely have an experience with beautiful guppy fish. Guppies are a stunning fish variety that is easy to rear and care for. So, most beginners start their hobby with this tiny fish. But can you rear Emperor tetra tank fish with guppies? Yes, it is possible. They are ideal tankmates who live happily by sharing spaces. 

fin rot in guppies


Like guppies, Platyfish is also a small peaceful fish variety. They can live with similar size, non-aggressive fishes. So, you can rear Platies with Emperor tetra fish without any doubt. 

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf gourami shows very friendly attitudes toward other fish species. Also, the fish dwell at the bottom of the tank, ideal to rear with them. So, Emperor tetra is a good choice to rear with Dwarf gourami. However, when you add fish to the community tank, make sure space and food are not competitive. Then your little ones do not have reasons to fight with each other. 

Dwarf Gourami


Danios are the most popular fish variety in most aquariums. Especially beginners tend to rear danios because of easy to care. These tiny schooling fish love to live as a group. Also, they can live in a range of water conditions. So, the Danios are the same as Emperor tetra fish. Both of them can live same water quality conditions. Hence, you can rear both species in the same community tank.

zebra danios


Rasboras are another hardy fish that are born with peaceful behaviors. These tiny fish have a reddish-orange color body, which is decorated with black spots. However, silver, black and yellow varieties can be found. Generally, these schooling fish live great with ten or more groups. They get stressed when they are alone and in small groups. Hence, Rasboras are ideal for keeping in community tanks, especially with small, non-aggressive fish varieties. So, Emperor tetra is a good tankmate for them. If your tank has plenty of space, it will be the happiest aquarium in the world. 

Kribensis Cichlid Tank Mates


The small Corydoras are easy to rear. Also, their beautiful appearance catches most aquarist attraction. When we consider the water quality parameters Corydoras, the pH range varies from 7-7.8. And they can live 72oF to 78oF temperatures. The Emperor tetra preferred parameters are also the same as above. Hence, you can keep both species together in a community tank.

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Small Plecos

Plecos are bottom feeders. Their major duty is cleaning the debris from the tank environment. They have very low-profile personalities. Hence, it is easy to keep them with most fish species. Especially Emperor tetra and small plecos can live well as good tankmates. However, some plecos can grow a few inches. So, try to select varieties that are not grown over 4 inches. Your Emperor tetra may have to compete for space and food if not. 

Dwarf cichlids

Dwarf cichlids grow around 3 inches. Also, they are easy to care for and good for a community tank. So, you can add them with Emperor tetra. On the other hand, Dwarf cichlid mostly lives in the bottom water column. But Emperor tetra lives in the middle and upper water column. So, both varieties can share the same tank without any competition. 

Other Emperor Tetras

The same fish species can rear in the same tank in most cases. But, this may differ in the breeding season and when one fish try to dominate. However, the Emperor tetra is a peaceful schooling fish. So, if tank space is enough and food is not limited, you can keep other tetra varieties with Emperor tetra. Generally, these tetra varieties have exact water quality requirements. Also, their behaviors and biology also relatively the same.

Thus, Emperor tetra can live comfortably in a tetra fish aquarium. It will reduce the hiding behavior and encourage free and relaxed behaviors. However, there are some exceptional cases. The male tetras need to be dominant in the school. So, if you add some other males, they may become a bit aggressive. If you notice that kind of situation, you can control it by doing three things. The first solution is to increase the tank space or territory. If not, you can reduce the male-to-female ratio. If not remove the fish that shows aggressive behaviors.

Is Emperor tetra aggressive?

No, Usually emperor tetra is a non-aggressive freshwater fish variety. That’s why most community tanks are filled with this fantastic peaceful fish. However, there are some exceptional cases in some conditions. The male Emperor tetra fights and tries to be dominant in the small tanks. They highly consider the space and territory boundaries. But this fighting does not result in significant bodily harm. 

Sometimes, Emperor tetra will nip the fins of other fish varieties. It is a common behavior of almost all tetras. So, do not keep delicate fish that has long fins like fighter fish with them. However, you can minimize this behavior by adding six fish schools to your home aquarium. 


We all love to live in our comfort zone. So, it is the same for the Emperor tetra. They live as a gang or group. So, this peaceful fish is compatible with most non-aggressive small fishes. Therefore, it is your duty to provide ideal conditions for your pet. If you give love to them, they will send back the millions of love to you and your kids by decorating the long aquarium period!

Credit to : Lazarus the fish boy
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.