Top 5 Compatible Pristella Tetra Tank Mates (Ultimate Guide)

What are the best compatible pristella tetra tank mates? With its shimmering silver scales and vibrant orange stripes, the Pristella Tetra is a true superstar in the fish keeping hobby.

But even the most dazzling fish needs friends! Finding compatible tankmates for your Pristella Tetras can be a tricky task, especially for beginner aquarists. 

Fear not, fish fanatics! This comprehensive pristella tetra care guide will unveil the top 5 best x ray Tetra Tank Mates for a harmonious underwater ecosystem.

x ray tetra breeding

Imagine a vibrant community tank teeming with life, where your Pristella Tetras thrive alongside peaceful, playful companions.

We’ll delve into the key factors to consider when selecting tank mates for pristella tetra fish, like temperament, size, and water parameters.

Ready to unlock the secrets to a thriving Pristella Tetra community? Dive in and discover your fish’s perfect companions!

Pristella Tetra vs X-ray Tetra: Clarifying the Names

Pristella Tetra and X-ray Tetra are the same fish!

  • Scientific Name: Pristella maxillaris
  • Common Names: Pristella Tetra (most common in scientific circles)
  • X-ray Tetra
  • Golden Pristella Tetra (referencing an albino variety)
  • Goldfinch Tetra (referencing its coloration)

“X-ray Tetra” emphasizes the fish’s translucent body, while “Pristella Tetra” is its designated scientific name. Both names are valid, but Pristella Tetra is more widely used in scientific contexts.

Pristella Tetra Natural Habitat & Tank Mate Compatibility:

Pristella Tetras, also known as the X-ray tetra, are beautiful, small freshwater fish native to Guyana. They are captivating fish species with their yellow and black colors, reaching a small size of around 2 inches.

Within the aquarium, it is essential to provide them with live plants and driftwood to mimic their natural habitat. Pristella tetras are active shoaling fish that prefer to be kept in a small group within a 10 gallon or larger tank.

Regarding tank mate compatibility, they are peaceful omnivores that can be fed flake foods, pellets, bloodworms, and brine shrimp, either live or frozen. They are known to spawn in water hardness conditions with a pH range suitable for most tropical fish.

When it comes to proper care, it is essential to maintain water conditions and conduct regular water changes to prevent fish diseases.

Pristella tetras have distinct dorsal and anal fins, which add to their charm. The female doesn’t swell with eggs until ready to spawn, so it can be challenging to determine their gender until then.

Setting up a tank with a small group of pristella tetras can create a visually appealing aquatic environment that will allow them to thrive and hatch eggs successfully. Infusoria in their diet can help with the growth of their fry.

Temperament, Water Parameters, and Tank Compatibility of the Pristella Tetra

Pristella Tetras are known for their peaceful and schooling behavior. Here’s a breakdown of their temperament and tank compatibility:

  • Temperament:
  • Peaceful and non-aggressive
  • Schooling fish thrive in groups of 6 or more
  • Can be skittish around larger or aggressive tank mates
  • Tank Compatibility:
  • Ideal pristella tetras tank mates: Other peaceful community fish like Corydoras catfish, Rasboras, and Neon Tetras
  • Shrimp and snails (may nibble on some plant species)
  • Avoid housing them with Large or aggressive fish that could view them as prey (Cichlids, Barbs)
  • Fin nippers (Barbs, some Danios)

Water Parameters for Pristella Tetras

Pristella Tetras are adaptable to a wider range of water parameters than some other tetras, but they still have preferred conditions:

  • Temperature: 72°F – 78°F (24°C – 28°C)
  • pH: 6.0 – 7.5 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline)
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderately hard (5 – 15 dGH)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm

Regular water changes and maintaining good water quality are essential for the health of your Pristella Tetras.

Pristella Tetras are beautiful, peaceful fish that can bring life and vibrancy to any aquarium. If you’re a proud owner of these stunning silver-bodied tetras and want to expand your aquatic community, choosing compatible tank mates that will coexist harmoniously is essential.

To help you make the best choices, we present our top five recommended tank mates for Pristella Tetras. Here are the top 5 recommended tank mates for your x-ray Tetras:

1. Corydoras Catfish

  • Peaceful bottom feeders
  • Help clean up leftover food and waste.
  • Come in many peaceful varieties like the Panda Cory, Bronze Cory, and Sterbai Cory.
  • Similar water parameter preferences

2. Celestial Pearl Danio

  • Peaceful schooling fish
  • Relatively small, growing to about 1 inch
  • Prefer cooler water temperatures than some other Danios (around 72°F)
  • Appealing shimmering blue coloration

3. Ember Tetra

  • Peaceful schooling fish with vibrant red bodies
  • Similar size to Pristella Tetras (around 1 inch)
  • Prefer slightly acidic water (pH 6.0-6.8)
  • Active swimmers that will complement the fish

4. Harlequin Rasbora

  • Peaceful schooling fish with a triangular body shape
  • Grow to about 1.5 inches.
  • Thrive in well-planted tanks with hiding spots.
  • Add a splash of color with their red and black markings.

5. Cherry Shrimp

  • Peaceful scavengers
  • Help clean up algae and detritus.
  • Relatively easy to breed, adding a touch of life to your tank
  • Avoid housing with fish that might see them as prey (larger tetras, barbs)

The Best Aquarium Size for X-ray Tetra

The X-ray Tetras are active fish species that can brighten any freshwater aquarium today. X-ray tetras make visually stunning displays with shimmering silver bodies and red markings.

To create a healthy environment for these fish, it is recommended that they be kept in a larger tank setup with plenty of hiding spots. X-ray tetras get along well with a wide range of water parameters, making them compatible with various tank mates.

X Ray Tetras Fish

In terms of tank size, a 20-gallon tank is sufficient for a small school of X-ray tetras. However, a larger tank may be necessary if you plan on having a larger group or adding other fish species.

When breeding X-ray tetras, it is best to use a separate breeding tank to increase the baby fish’s chances of survival. 

The female will lay eggs that the male will fertilize, and the fry can be fed baby brine shrimp or freeze-dried/frozen foods. X-ray tetras are native to the rivers of South America and are used to living in waters with a pH range of 6-8.

Overall, X-ray tetras are an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced fish keepers, offering a visually stunning display in any freshwater aquarium.

Substrate and Decorations for the Pristella Tetra Tank

Creating a vibrant and engaging environment for your Pristella Tetras is crucial for their well-being and happiness. The suitable substrate and decorations enhance the visual appeal of your tank and provide essential hiding spots, spawning sites, and a sense of security for your fish.

Substrate: The Foundation of Your Aquarium

  • Gravel: A popular choice, gravel offers a natural look and is easy to clean. Opt for fine-grained gravel in a neutral color like brown or gray, allowing your Tetras’ vibrant stripes to stand out.
  • Sand is a soft and natural alternative that provides a more natural environment that mimics the Pristella Tetra’s native habitat. Fine-grained play sand is ideal, but ensure it’s aquarium-safe and free of harmful chemicals.
  • Plant-Based Substrate: Adding a layer of plant-based substrates, such as Eco-Complete or Fluval Stratum, provides essential nutrients for live plants and creates a natural, thriving environment.

Decorations: Bringing Your Tank to Life

  • Driftwood: A must-have for any Pristella Tetra tank, driftwood provides hiding spots, enhances water quality, and adds a natural, rustic touch.
  • Plants: Live plants beautify the tank, improve water quality, offer hiding spots, and provide natural spawning sites for your tetras. Consider easy-to-care-for options like Java Fern, Anubias, or Amazon Sword.
  • Rocks: Smooth, rounded stones add a natural look and provide hiding spots for shy or spawning Pristella Tetras. Avoid sharp or jagged rocks that could injure your fish.
  • Hollow Logs: Large hollow logs offer excellent security for Tetras pristella, particularly during spawning. They also add visual interest to your tank.
  • Cave-like Structures: Terracotta pots or ceramic caves provide security and are ideal for spawning.

Tips for Success:

  • Variety is Key: Mix and match different substrates and decorations to create a diverse and stimulating environment for your Tetras.
  • Safety First: Avoid sharp edges and ensure all decorations are adequately secured to prevent injury to your beautiful fish.
  • Consider Hiding Spots: Offer plenty of hiding spots, especially when acclimating your fish to a new tank.

Creating a visually appealing and functionally diverse environment with suitable substrate and decorations will give your Tetras a thriving habitat they’ll love.

What are good tank mates for tetras?

Peaceful fish similar in size are good tank mates for tetras. Avoid larger fish, like angelfish or barbs, that could view tetras as prey. Consider Corydoras catfish, Rasboras, or other tetras!

How many Pristella tetras can you have?

How many tetra fish should be kept together? The ideal number of Pristella fish for a 10-gallon tank is 6-8. They are schooling fish and thrive in groups for a healthy environment.

What kind of fish can I put with my tetras?

Peaceful community fish like Rasboras, Corydoras catfish, or dwarf Gouramis are good tank mates for x ray tetra. Avoid large or aggressive fish that could bully your tetras.

How long do Pristella tetras live?

With proper care, they can live for 4-5 years in a freshwater aquarium. This includes maintaining good water quality, feeding them a balanced diet, and keeping them in a peaceful community tank.

What is the behavior of a Pristella Tetra?

Pristella maxillaris tetras are peaceful schooling fish that thrive in groups of 6 or more. They’re active swimmers and will dart throughout the tank in mesmerizing displays. These tetras are generally shy around larger fish and prefer calm environments.

Are tetras aggressive to other fish?

Tetra aggression varies by species. Most are peaceful but may fin nip slow or long-finned fish. Please keep them in schools and with compatible tankmates.


So, What are the best x-ray tetra tank mates? Tetra pristella maxillaris, with their shimmering bodies and vibrant red stripes, are a captivating addition to any freshwater aquarium. But these little shoaling stars thrive best with compatible tank mates. Opt for peaceful fish that occupy different tank zones. Lively Corydoras will keep the bottom clean, while peaceful Rasboras or celestial pearl danios can share the mid-water area. Cherry barbs add a splash of color, but avoid fin-nippers like some barbs or larger tetras—research potential tank mates to ensure harmonious co-existence. With the proper companions, your pristella tetras will create a dazzling school, their vibrant colors a constant source of wonder in your thriving underwater world.

Ready to welcome a school of Stella tetras into your tank? Researching pristella tetra tank mates is the final step to ensuring a happy and healthy community for all your finned friends!

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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