10 Best Tetra Glofish Tank Mates
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Tetras make up for one of the 5 official species of Glofish available today, with more being under development as we speak. The other 4 include tiger barbs, bettas, zebra danios, and rainbow sharks.
If you haven’t heard of Glofish so far, here’s a quick summary:
Glofish are genetically engineered fish that don’t exist naturally in the wild. Or didn’t exist before human’s playing with their genetic code, to be more accurate. The reason for the initial genetic modifications was to allow the creation of a fish species that would glow in the presence of environmental pollutants.
This was meant to help us detect dangerous chemicals in the water that would affect the local wildlife. As it’s natural, the fish were so handsome that people started to love and buy them for personal use.
Now, Glofish can reproduce without any human assistance, which led to the creation of Glofish-oriented farms selling them to those interested. Which brings us to today’s article.
Tetra Glofish are the most popular option given this species’ easy-going attitude, adaptability, and teamwork factor, making them ideal for community tanks. But which are the best tetra tank mates available? Let’s have a look at the 10 best options today.
- Friendly demeanor – Although guppy males can grow a bit territorial, their aggressive demeanor is mostly aimed at each other. They do well in community tanks, especially when paired with similar-sized and peaceful fish.
- Similar requirements – Guppies and tetras share the same dietary preferences and enjoy the same water parameters. This allows them to thrive in the same environment, provided they live in a clean and healthy habitat.
- Amazing diversity – Guppies are the go-to species if you want to add a bit of esthetic diversity to your tank. The millionfish offers a seemingly endless pool of color and pattern diversity, guaranteed to satisfy every taste.
Guppies can also breed like crazy, capable of producing around 100 to 200 fry per month, every month. This is great news if you consider expanding the tank.
The Molly fish belongs to the Poeciliidae family, just as guppies, platies, and swordtails. This means that whatever applies to the latter applies to the molly fish as well. This includes behavior, diet, water necessities, overall personality, etc.
Also, just like guppies, mollies display a variety of color and body patterns that have eventually led to distinct categories of mollies. These include:
- Balloon mollies – You can call these the ‘always appearing pregnant’ mollies due to their inflated bodies and bulky bodies. Their appearance is the result of a genetic fault that manifests through a fat abdomen and a slightly curved spine.
- Dalmatian mollies – They typically display 2 dominant colors, generally a white or light blue background and black or dark blue on top. The darker color is spread in a dalmatian-type pattern, easily recognizable and definitely cute.
- Black mollies – They’re not as common as colored mollies, but they do have their fair share of mystery and appeal. You can find them in pure black or color variations with yellow or orange spots, primarily on the fins.
Mollies live in groups, and they are peaceful and sociable, making them ideal for a community tank. Especially one that includes tetras.
Swordtails are some of the most distinguishable tank fish you can find. It’s all due to the males’ caudal fin that takes on a sword-like shape that’s often as long as the fish’s body. Females don’t have that characteristic, which is why it’s easy to separate the fish by gender.
Swordtails are easy-going fish that enjoy peaceful and calm environments and make for great community tank additions. They aren’t shoaling fish, but enjoy the company of other swordtail fish if possible. The only problem is male vs. male aggression. Swordtails display territorial behavior and will compete with other males vs space, food, and females.
Fortunately, they won’t display the same behavior versus males belonging to a different species. So, if you want to pair your tetra goldfish with swordtails, make sure you limit the number of male swordtails to limit their aggression. You can also add more plants to the aquarium and increase the number of females, which will keep the males calm and happy long-term.
Platies are similar to swordtails in appearance. They are short, compact fish, often with round caudal fins and a variety of colors and patterns. They are a joyful, peaceful, and adaptable species, pretty much like guppies, which is natural, seeing that they belong to the same family.
Platies prefer tropical waters with temperatures between 72 to 80 F, with the gold zone being somewhere in the middle. They aren’t fussy eaters and can thrive in a community-type environment, but they dislike poor environmental conditions. You need to perform regular aquarium water changes and keep their habitat clean to avoid diseases and fish stress.
Platies go well with most small fish species that display similar friendly behavior, tetras included.
5. Neon Tetras
This is probably the best choice in terms of compatibility. There’s literally no difference between Glofish tetra and normal or neon ones other than appearance. The genetical, behavioral, and environmental differences between the 2 are non-existent, which is why they work great together.
The 2 species will recognize each other and will thrive in the long term. The only problem worth mentioning relates to mating. It’s unclear whether Glofish will pass on their glow gene to their non-Glofish counterparts, but most likely not. We know that Glofish can reproduce among themselves quite easily, in which case the glow gene does pass on.
Just remember that breeding Glofish with the purpose of selling or trading the fry is prohibited. That being said, you can breed them for your personal use.
The Cory fish is a wise addition to pretty much any community tank, no matter what other fish species you have available. This catfish species will spend most of its time lurking near the substrate since that’s where the fish looks for food, hiding, and resting. As a bottom-dweller with scavenging behavior, the Corydoras is great for maintaining water quality.
They tend to feed on food residues sinking in from the water’s surface that other fish will miss. This makes them a vital addition to the environment, as they will prevent food decay and maintain the water’s chemistry within safe parameters.
They will not only gather the food accumulating on the substrate but even use their mouths to die through the gravel to find hidden food particles. They are peaceful and shy and won’t interact much with other fish species unless they come near the substrate.
One major problem with Corydoras is that they tend to eat more than they should. Overfeeding is always a problem with bottom-dwelling species that already eat what other species miss. Pay attention to this issue in particular and only feed your catfish moderate amounts of food, only what they can eat within 1 or 2 minutes.
Also, don’t rely on Corydoras to keep the tank clean. Regular water maintenance is still necessary to prevent ammonia buildup and dangerous levels of nitrates. Corydoras are particularly sensitive to nitrites, which may cause them to experience health issues long-term.
7. Bristlenose Pleco
Since we’re in the ‘tank maintenance fish’ category, it is only natural to discuss the bristlenose pleco. This is another species of catfish that likes to live on the substrate and feed on plant matter and algae. The bristlenose pleco is, in some ways, even more, effective at cleaning the tank than the Corydoras.
On one hand, the pleco grows up to 5 inches, which is fairly large for a tank catfish. On the other, this species is herbivorous, so it will feed primarily on algae. Adding the bristlenose pleco to your tank is a great way of controlling the algae population with minimal effort.
You only need to feed the pleco some additional spirulina tablets, along with granules, flakes, and even bloodworms and regular vegetables once or twice per day as supplements. Zucchini, lettuce, and spinach are all good options, providing the pleco with essential minerals and vitamins.
Just remember to avoid pairing this catfish with any other bottom-dwelling algae eater to prevent food competition.
8. Zebra Danio
This school-oriented fish species does best in groups of 5-6 individuals minimum. Although they are peaceful and relatively shy, they will become more daring and inquisitive when in larger groups. Zebra danio are well-known for their predilection towards nipping at other fish’s fins, which is why they are poor tank mate options for guppies, bettas, or goldfish.
They will, however, make for excellent tank mates for tetras since these don’t display large and fluffy fins. Other than that, zebra danios are easy to grow and breed since the female can lay several hundred eggs in one go.
As an interesting note, zebra danios are monogamous, which you don’t see that often among fish. The male and female danios will mate for life and continue to produce offspring over the years.
This is an iconic tank fish species, thanks to its unique appearance and personality. The angelfish comes in a variety of colors and makes for a great addition to your community tank, given certain tweaks. There are 2 main problems that I should mention here:
Territorial behavior – Angelfish can grow quite territorial, especially males and especially during their mating phase. This will turn the angelfish into a threat against all fish species, including its own. This is natural behavior that you can mitigate by introducing more plants to the tank, breaking line of sight between the fish, and allowing for more safe spaces.
Feeding and hunting behavior – Angelfish will grow up to 6 inches and tend to eat anything that swims nearby and fits their mouths. This includes tetra fish, especially since many species don’t grow larger than 1.5 inches. So, you need to pair angelfish with larger tetra specimens to avoid unwanted accidents like this.
Given these 2 issues, you need to prepare a plant-rich community tank that would allow tetras to seek shelter when necessary.
10. Dwarf Gourami
The dwarf gourami looks dangerous, but it’s not. Its dorsal fin makes the fish look like a predator, which probably plays a crucial role in the wild. This species is a sweetheart in captivity, going along just fine with other friendly and peaceful fish species. Dwarf gouramis only grow up to 2 inches in size and like to live in schools of 6 individuals or more.
They are omnivorous and like to spend most of their time in the mid-to-top area, primarily due to their unique breathing mechanism. Just like the betta fish, gouramis have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric oxygen. This means that the fish needs access to the water’s surface.
As an interesting note, dwarf gouramis don’t appreciate the presence of brightly-colored fish. It puts them in a foul mood and may cause them to attack and bully their tank mates.
Tetras are easy-going fish and are most compatible with fish species displaying similar behavior. No matter the tank mates you choose for them, always decorate the tank with a lot of plants and other esthetic and practical components.
These are necessary additions to any community aquarium, providing the fish with necessary hiding spaces and creating the illusion of a thriving natural habitat.