Black skirt tetras are peaceful community fish that love to have company in their tank. Due to their calm nature, you might think finding black skirt tank mates is a piece of cake.
However, not every animal is a good match for these adorable fishies.
Black skirt tetras are cute and friendly fish that add a touch of elegance to your aquarium. They love to swim around and befriend other fish. However, due to their active nature and small size, they are not suitable for predatory or aggressive fish.
Not just that, but some fish species might make your tank appear dull when kept with monochromatic black skirts.
Whether you wish to try to keep black skirt tetras in a sociable environment or you’re just curious, this article is for you.
Without further ado, here are 17 best black skirt tetra tank mates:
1. Kuhli Loaches
Kuhli loaches, also known as coolie loaches or leopard loaches, are small, eel-like fish native to Southeast Asia. They have elongated bodies with beautiful patterns, typically brown or black.
These loaches are non-aggressive and sociable, preferring to live in groups and explore the bottom of the aquarium. They are also known for their nocturnal habits and can be a fascinating addition to a well-planted tank.
Kuhli loaches can make great tank mates for black skirt tetras. They are peaceful and won’t bother the tetras, and their slender bodies add an interesting dynamic to the aquarium.
2. Neon Tetras
Neon tetras are a popular type of tetras and vibrant freshwater fish native to the Amazon basin in South America. They are known for their striking appearance, with a shimmering blueish-green body and a bright red stripe that extends from their nose to their tail.
Neon tetras are relatively small in size, typically reaching around 1.5 inches in length. They are (mostly) peaceful and shoaling fish, so it’s recommended to keep them in groups of five or more.
Neon tetras are stunning fish that make excellent tank mates for black skirt tetras. They have compatible temperaments and won’t get in fights. Not to mention how good they look together!
Platies are colorful and easy-to-care-for freshwater fish that originate from Central America. They come in a variety of vibrant colors, including red, orange, yellow, and blue, making them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts.
Platies are non-violent and friendly fish, often seen swimming gracefully in groups. They are livebearers, giving birth to fully formed fry instead of laying eggs.
Platies are fantastic tank mates for black skirt tetras as they share a peaceful temperament and add a splash of vibrant colors to the aquarium. They are some of the most compatible fish pairs out there!
4. Cardinal Tetras
Cardinal tetras are yet another type of tetra that goes really well with black skirts. They closely resemble their relative, the neon tetra, but have a more vibrant and striking appearance.
They are friendly and shoaling fish that you should keep in large groups. With their dazzling colors and graceful swimming, cardinal tetras add charm to any aquarium.
Cardinal tetras are ideal tank mates for black skirt tetras as they share a peaceful nature and their vibrant colors create a stunning visual display in the aquarium. In my opinion, they might be an even more beautiful match than black skirts and neons!
5. Corydoras Catfish
Corydoras catfish, commonly known as Cory cats or Corydoras, are small and sociable freshwater catfish. They have a unique appearance with their armored bodies and whisker-like barbels around their mouths.
Corydoras catfish are bottom-dwellers and are often seen scavenging for food on the aquarium substrate. They are sociable and non-aggressive, making them suitable tank mates for a variety of fish species.
They are also a part of the clean up crew, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning your tank as often!
Although not the most beautiful addition, corydoras are excellent tank mates for black skirt tetras as they peacefully coexist and inhabit different areas of the tank.
6. Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf gouramis are small and colorful freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. They come in various vibrant shades, such as red, blue, and yellow.
They are generally peaceful fish but can sometimes display territorial behavior. Fortunately, black skirts are rarely the target.
These gouramis are labyrinth fish, meaning they have a specialized organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the water’s surface. With their beauty and unique characteristics, dwarf gouramis add charm and personality to aquatic environments.
Gouramis and black skirt tetras make good tank mates as black skirts will rarely disturb territorial fish. Not to mention they look stunning when paired together!
Guppies are small and colorful freshwater fish that are popular among aquarium hobbyists. They are native to South America and are known for their vibrant hues and flowing fins, making them bad tank mates for fin nippers such as kribensis.
These small fish are prolific breeders, giving birth to live fry instead of laying eggs. You can end with an entire school in no time!
Guppies are fantastic tank mates for black skirt tetras as they are colorful and friendly. Also, black skirts are not known for fin-nipping behaviors, so they won’t ruin guppies’ gentle tails.
This one probably isn’t a surprise. Molly fish is one of the most popular and gentle fish in the aquarist hobby while being resilient enough not to fall victim to most bullies!
Mollies come in a variety of colors, including black, white, gold, and orange. Just like guppies and platies, they are livebearers.
They are generally non-aggressive, social fish and can coexist well with numerous tank mates. With their hardiness and attractive appearance, mollies are a great choice for both beginner and experienced fishkeepers.
Molly fish love company and they do just fine with many other fish – and this includes black skirts. These two will coexist peacefully, while also giving your tank a stunning appearance.
9. Cherry Barbs
Cherry barbs are small and colorful freshwater fish native to Sri Lanka. They are named for their vibrant red coloration, resembling the shade of ripe cherries.
They are calm and friendly fish, often found in groups. At the same time, they are relatively hardy and easy to care for, making them suitable for beginner aquarists.
Cherry barbs are a good match for black skirts as both fish species are rather peaceful and love the presence of others. And let’s face it – red and black always look so good together!
10. Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Bolivian ram cichlids, as their name suggests, come from Bolivia and Brazil. They have a stocky body with beautiful coloration, typically exhibiting shades of blue, gold, and pink.
Bolivian rams are known for their non-violent nature, making them suitable for community tanks with other friendly fish species.
They prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and subdued lighting. Don’t even think about putting them in the sunlight!
They are also known for having some of the most unique behaviors, such as digging and creating their own territories.
Bolivian ram cichlids make great black skirt tetra tank mates as they are both friendly fish that will love to engage in swimming together. They also look really good next to each other.
11. Pygmy Corydoras
Pygmy Corydoras are yet another small and peaceful freshwater catfish. They are the smallest species of Corydoras, typically reaching a size of only 1 inch.
These fish have a unique appearance with their elongated bodies and striking patterns, featuring a mix of silver, black, and white colors. They are well-suited for community tanks, as they are social and non-aggressive.
Pygmy Corydoras are bottom-dwellers and prefer soft substrate and ample hiding places in the aquarium. They are active and social fish, often seen in schools. Also, they make a great addition to smaller tanks. You might be able to fit a few of them in 5 gallons!
Pygmy Corydoras are perfect tank mates for black skirt tetras. They inhabit different areas of the tank, so they’ll rarely get in contact. When they do, this won’t get out of hand.
12. Harlequin Rasboras
Harlequin rasboras are small freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. They have a striking appearance with a silver body, black triangle-shaped patch, and vibrant red-orange tail.
Harlequin rasboras are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in groups of at least six or more. They are known for their peaceful temperaments and get along well with other non-aggressive fish species – such as black skirt tetras.
Not only do these fish look nice, but their temperaments are also compatible with non-aggressive black skirts. In fact, the two will ignore each other most of the time.
13. Celestial Pearl Danios
Celestial pearl danios, also known as galaxy rasboras, are named for their striking appearance, with iridescent blue and red scales that resemble a celestial galaxy.
They are peaceful fish, often found in small groups in their natural habitat. These danios prefer densely planted aquariums with gentle water flow. They are relatively hardy and adapt well to various water conditions, making them great for beginners.
While celestial pearl danios are not the most social fish out there, they won’t cause any trouble. This, combined with their amazingly good looks, make them an excellent choice for black skirt tetras.
14. Chili Rasboras
Just like many other fish from this list, chili rasboras own their names to their appearance. They are known for their fiery red coloration, resembling a chili pepper.
They are friendly fish, often seen in large schools in the wild. Chili rasboras thrive in densely planted aquariums with soft, slightly acidic water. When combined with red aquarium plants they give your tank a striking appearance.
They are relatively hardy and suitable for small aquarium setups. Also, they are great for beginners, as they can withstand most water parameters.
Due to their small size and well-behaved personality, chili rasboras make great black skirt tetra tank mates. You shouldn’t expect any trouble when combining these two!
15. Horseface Loaches
Horseface loaches are named for their elongated snout, resembling the face of a horse. They are bottom-dwelling fish that prefer sandy or soft substrate and ample hiding spots.
These fish are generally peaceful, but they can become territorial as they mature. They are known for their scavenging behavior and can help keep the aquarium clean by consuming leftover food and detritus, making them another member of the clean up crew.
Luckily, as they don’t share the same area of the tank, black skirt tetras will rarely trigger aggressive behaviors in these loaches. This is why the two can coexist, although some monitoring is advised.
16. Cherry Shrimp
Fish are not the only good tank mates for black skirt tetras. These are some of the few fish species that can live with small crustaceans, such as dwarf shrimp!
Cherry shrimp are small freshwater shrimp that have become popular in the aquarium hobby. They are named for their vibrant red coloration, which varies in intensity among individuals.
These shrimp are excellent algae eaters and can help maintain a clean and balanced aquarium. Also, they are relatively hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water parameters.
Just like with some of the fish I’ve mentioned, cherry shrimp and black skirt tetras will create a gorgeous combination of black and red.
However, while black skirts won’t eat adult cherry shrimp, younglings might be in danger, so I advise you to keep them in a 40-gallon breeder tank.
17. Nerite Snails
Black skirt tetras can live with snails, as well – and nerite snails are probably the most popular option.
These snails are efficient algae eaters and help to keep the tank clean. Also, they are among animals that can coexist well with most fish and other tank inhabitants. They are relatively hardy and adaptable to various water conditions.
Many fish keepers will be happy to hear that nerite snails do not reproduce in pure freshwater aquariums, so they won’t overpopulate the tank. You won’t have to learn how to get rid of snails with these pets!
Due to their size, nerite snails are not found on the black skirt tetra’s menu. You can keep the two together with no worries!
Every responsible fish keeper should do their best to make sure their fish are happy. This doesn’t include just taking care of water parameters, but also ensuring the fish’s social needs are met.
Black skirt tetras are social fish that love having other animals in the same tank. However, this doesn’t mean you can just put any fish with them. Any aggressive fish is a huge no-no, as well as large animals that might consider these small tetras a good snack.
Hopefully, this list helped you pick the best black skirt tank mate, while also helping you decide on the new pet.
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.