O fish swimming side by side in an aquarium, one guppy and one tetra, highlighting their contrasting features such as color, size, and shape

Guppies Vs. Tetras: Choosing Between Two Popular Aquarium Fish

Are you thinking of adding some fish to your aquarium? If so, guppies and tetras are two popular species that come with distinct advantages.

In this article, we’ll compare the two to help you make an informed decision on which one is right for your tank.

We’ll discuss their diet and feeding habits, tank requirements, compatibility with other fish, and cost comparison.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Guppies and tetras are both popular aquarium fish known for their attractiveness and ease of care.
  • They have similar diet and feeding habits, mainly eating prepared flake or pellet food but also benefiting from frozen and live foods.
  • Tetras require a larger tank, specific water parameters, and more cover compared to guppies.
  • When choosing tank mates, it is important to consider the breeding compatibility and behavior of both guppies and tetras, aiming for a harmonious environment.

Overview of Guppies

Guppies are a popular aquarium fish that come in a variety of colors and sizes. They’re easy to breed, so they can be found in many home tanks.

Guppies have distinct behavior patterns; they’re social animals who travel in small schools. They also have unique breeding habits, such as the males developing bright coloration when they reach maturity.

Guppies make wonderful additions to any tank, providing hours of entertainment for their owners with their active and playful nature.

Overview of Tetras

You’ve likely heard of tetras, a type of freshwater fish that make an attractive addition to any aquarium.

Tetras come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, from the small two-inch neon tetra to the larger six-inch black skirt tetra.

They are easy to care for and don’t require special conditions or food types; however, they do need frequent water changes and cleanliness in their environment.

As far as breeding differences go, some species will lay eggs while others give birth to live young.

All tetras tend to be peaceful fish with similar care needs.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Tetras are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. They will mainly feed on prepared flake or pellet food, as well as frozen foods such as shrimp, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Live food can be given to breeders to help condition fish for breeding.

Tetras prefer a water temperature of around 75-80°F (24-27°C). Breeding differences should be taken into consideration when feeding tetras because some species require specific diets.

Keep in mind that overfeeding is easy to do with aquarium fish so practice moderation when feeding your tetras.

Tank Requirements

Tank size is important when it comes to housing tetras, as they require a larger space than many other popular aquarium fish. When maintaining a tank for tetras, the pH level should stay between 6.5 and 7.5 and the water temperature should be kept around 74-82°F. Tetras also prefer softer water and do better with more cover in their tank in the form of plants or rocks.

Because of these requirements, it’s best to research extensively before deciding if you want to add tetras to your home aquarium.

Compatibility with Other Fish

When picking fish for your home aquarium, it’s important to make sure they are compatible with each other.

Guppies and tetras have different breeding compatibility requirements and should be kept in separate tanks when breeding.

When choosing tank mates for either guppies or tetras, try to get species that require similar water parameters and don’t become aggressive in small numbers.

Always research the behaviors of potential tank mates before adding them to your aquarium so you can ensure a harmonious environment!

Cost Comparison

Now that you know about compatibility between guppies and tetras, it’s time to learn about the buying options and maintenance costs of these two popular aquarium fish.

Both guppies and tetras are relatively inexpensive compared to other fish, but depending on your budget, one may be more suitable than the other.

Guppy prices vary depending on variety while tetras cost around $2 per fish.

In terms of maintenance costs, both require regular feedings and tank cleaning; however, guppies reproduce quickly so you might need additional supplies to keep up with the population growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I tell the difference between male and female guppies and tetras?

To tell the difference between male and female guppies and tetras, observe their coloration, size, and fin shape. Breeding requirements vary based on tank size and species; research the specific needs for each fish. With knowledge of these differences, you’ll have the freedom to choose which species fits your aquarium best.

What is the average lifespan of guppies and tetras?

You can expect guppies and tetras to live up to three years with proper feeding and tank environment. Feeding habits are crucial, as an unhealthy diet will shorten their lifespan significantly. Be sure to provide a balanced diet for optimal health and longevity!

Are guppies and tetras suitable for children to care for?

When considering a fish tank for children, guppies and tetras can both be suitable choices. Choose the tank size that works best for your family, and decorate it to encourage exploration and enjoyment. With careful monitoring and guidance, these two popular aquarium fish will bring joy to all who care for them.

How often should I change the water in my tank?

You should change the water in your tank regularly depending on the size and feeding habits. Aim for every two weeks or so, but adjust as necessary to keep your tank healthy!

What other fish can I put in the same tank as guppies and tetras?

You can add other fish to your tank, depending on its size. Consider fish compatibility and research the type of fish you’re interested in adding. Be sure to look for any special requirements they may have before making a decision.


Choosing between guppies and tetras for your aquarium is an important decision. Both fish are popular, but they have different dietary needs, tank requirements, and compatibility with other species.

Guppies tend to be more expensive than tetras but can be easier to feed due to their omnivorous nature.

Tetras require a larger tank and may not get along well with certain fish species.

In the end, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each type of fish before making your decision.



Meet me, your dedicated author and fish aficionado. With a deep-rooted passion for all things aquatic, I bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to this fish and aquarium website. As an avid fishkeeper myself, I understand the joys and challenges that come with creating a thriving underwater world. Through my articles, guides, and recommendations, I strive to provide you with accurate, reliable, and engaging content that will enhance your fishkeeping journey. Join me as we dive into the fascinating realm of fish and aquariums, and together, let's make your aquatic dreams a reality.

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