Top 5 Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Mates

Bleeding heart tetras are an incredibly popular and beautiful freshwater fish, which is why the question of other compatible fish always arises. Many hobbyists will acquire bleeding heart tetra with the intention of creating a busy community aquarium, with their tetra at the heart of it. This is why the importance of compatible tank mates is so high.

Bleeding heart tetra

Bleeding heart tetra, like most fish species, will get lonely and feel isolated if they are on their own for long periods of time. These tetras are so social that they sometimes are totally unable to adapt to a environment that has no other fish or tank mates.

Fortunately, there are tons of perfectly suitable tank mates for the bleeding heart tetra, such as guppies, danios, neon tetra, rasboras, and even goldfish, to name a few.

Fish compatibility is never just determined by whether two fish species have the same personalities or not, it is also about temperature, pH levels, diet, and other tank requirements.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Mate Requirements

If there is a freshwater fish that does not appear on this list, but you want them to be a tank mate for your bleeding heart tetra, look at the list of requirements below and if it matches the criteria it certainly can become a tank mate:

  • Care Experience Level: Beginner
  • Size of Tank Mate Fish: Up to 3.5 inches (9 cm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons (114 liters)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Hardiness: Medium hardiness
  • pH Level: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 80°F (22°C to 26°C)

If you have another fish in mind that is not on this list, it must be able to fit the above requirements to become a suitable bleeding heart tetra tank mate.

5 of the Best Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Mates

Bleeding heart tetra tends to be best suited to peaceful yet active tank mates, making things less stressful and more playful for them. This species of tetra are non-predatory and do not attack or eat other fish, perfect for community tank setups.

This highlights the importance of choosing the right tank mates that are equally peaceful and non-predatory. Let's dive into our list of the best ones!

1. Zebra Loaches

These beautiful bottom-dwellers make for great bleeding heart tetra tank mates as they are peaceful community fish that tend to keep themselves to themselves, and due to their size, they take up barely any room or territory.

They are also considered to be "non-beast eaters", which means that they cannot hunt or eat other fish.

Zebra loach
  • Size: 3.5 inches (9 cm) in length
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • pH Level: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C)

These fish are not just hardy, but they are adaptable to many different water conditions and temperatures too. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about their diet as much as other fish, due to them being bottom feeders.

They will eat all kinds of organic matter, and they also love eating algae. In fact, their relative, the Hillstream Loach even features on our top 5 freshwater algae eaters list!

2. Cherry Barbs

These small fish are perfect tank mates for the bleeding heart tetra, they do not require much room due to their size and they are bright in color, brightening up any community aquarium environment they enter in.

Despite being small fish, they enjoy living in small to large schools of their own kind, so, you will have to own a big enough tank to fit around 5 or 10 cherry barbs, with the addition of your tetra. 30 gallons (114 liters) or bigger is perfect.

Cherry barb
  • Size: 2 inches (5 cm) in length
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • pH Level: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 73°F to 81°F (22°C to 27°C)

Cherry barbs are similar to bleeding heart tetras as they both do not like being alone, preferring the company of tank mates instead. These fish can also eat the same foods as bleeding heart tetra too, making feeding much easier.

3. Dwarf Neon Rainbow

Dwarf neon rainbows are also schooling freshwater fish, needing to be kept in large groups of their own and thriving within large, community tanks.

They are tropical fish that share all of the same requirements when it comes to their aquarium as the tetras do. Their coloration is slightly obvious due to their name, but they are truly a sight to behold.

Dwarf neon rainbow
  • Size: 3 inches (7.5 cm)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • pH Level: 6.8 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 73 to 82°F (23 to 28°C)

Not only are these beautiful fish compatible with bleeding heart tetra, but they can live with most invertebrates such as crabs and snails too. They are the perfect contrasting match for these tetras due to their beautiful coloration, peaceful nature, and adaptability.

4. Platies

Platies are one of the best fish for beginner hobbyists due to their hardiness and peaceful nature. Like the bleeding hearts, platies need peaceful and small tank mates that are not going to overpower your community.

They are brilliant jumpers and can leap incredibly high, sometimes even out of your tank, so be careful, and make sure you keep a lid on it!

Platy fish
  • Size: 2.8 inches (4.4 cm)
  • Temperament: Peaceful and shy
  • pH Level: 6.8 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 70 to 82°F (21 to 28°C)

Platies originate from South America, preferring the warmer waters with weak currents. They are colorful tropical fish who love living amongst other schools of fish, such as the bleeding heart tetras!

What makes them great too is that they are not fussy when it comes to diet either, you can feed them veggies, meat-based items, and flakes to keep things balanced.

5. Rasboras

Rasboras fish are social fish that have an overall peaceful nature, they tend to prefer living in groups of 6 or more and make for the perfect bleeding heart tetra tank mates.

They have the same diet and similar tank requirements, which makes their compatibility seamless. Rasboras are non-carnivore and also non-predatory fish that will not cause any problems within your community tank.

Rasboras overview
  • Size: 1.5 inches (4 cm)
  • Temperament: Peaceful (occasionally aggressive)
  • pH Level: 5 to 7
  • Temperature: 70 to 85°F (21 to 29°C)

Rasboras, despite being of peaceful nature, can be a little aggressive at times, but usually, this is derived from not being looked after properly. Typically, they are calm and peaceful fish that make for excellent tank mates.

They have similar amounts of energy to the bleeding heart tetra, which is great and provides stability for the tetra, making them feel comfortable.

Bonus Tank Mate: Other Bleeding Heart Tetras

Not only can you, but you probably should keep bleeding heart tetras with other bleeding heart tetras. They are schooling fish, so it is recommended to always keep them in groups of their own kind, never being left alone. You must keep bleeding heart tetras in schools of at least 6 or more to make them feel happy and comfortable.

Other Tank Mates

Due to there being so many different compatible matches for the bleeding heart tetra, we have listed the fish that unfortunately didn't make it onto the Top 5 List! All of the fish listed below are certainly compatible tank mates with the bleeding heart tetras:

  1. Cory
  2. Crabs
  3. Snails
  4. Shrimps
  5. Neon Tetras
  6. Lemon Tetra
  7. Mollies
  8. German Blue Ram
  9. African giant filter shrimp
  10. Zebra Loach
  11. Guppies

Fish Types Not To Keep With Your Bleeding Heart Tetra

Tank mates are typically great for most fish as it adds a sense of realism to their marine environment, mimicking their natural home and bringing extra energy and faces to liven things up. However, there are certain fish who possess various traits that are simply incompatible with others, and the bleeding heart tetra is certainly one of those.

Whilst there are loads of brilliant tank mates for the bleeding heart tetra, there are some incompatible fish types as follows:


Predatory fish are very big and enjoy hunting and feeding on smaller fish, which is why they are best avoided when picking bleeding heart tank mates. Jewel cichlids, serums, rainbow sharks, bichir, and red devil cichlids should all be kept well away from these tetras.

Red devil cichlid care


There are some fish, such as flower horn cichlid, bucktooth tetra, tiger barbs, and more that are considered "chasers", which is where they chase around their tank mates, bullying them and causing an abundance of unnecessary stress.


Aggressive fish are pretty common, some of these include angelfish, fancy goldfish, Bala shark, clown loaches, Texas cichlids, and tiger barb. They will all cause a lot of misery for non-aggressive tank mates, such as the bleeding heart tetra. They will attack other fish too by nipping at them and barging into them!


There are an abundance of brilliant, colorful, and most importantly compatible tank mates out there for the beautiful bleeding heart tetra. You just have to ensure that all of the tank requirements are being met and that you look after your entire fish community, making sure that your tank is constantly clean, stocked with hiding places, and is generally a happy and healthy environment.