Do Tetras Like Current? – Must-Know Things And Valuable Tips

Tetras are pretty peaceful fish that don’t require much care. When the environment they live in is closely similar to their natural habitat, these vibrant fish thrive. That’s why you should pay attention to setting up the tank for them.

Indeed, in addition to its preferred water parameters and temperature, you might wonder: Do tetras like current? A suitable current level can help them live happily and swim stronger. Continue reading to find out the ultimate answer!

Do Tetras Like Current?

Tetra species determine whether they enjoy the current or not. Although they are native to streams and rivers with running water, most tetras don’t like it. It is because if the current is too strong, tetras need to struggle to swim and become agitated.

Let’s take a closer look at some common tetra species to know whether they enjoy the water current or not.


Cardinal Tetra

Cardinal tetras are distinguished by their vivid blue-green stripe and red streak. These fish are small and peaceful. Like other species, they frequently swim about the tank in schools and are very active.

So, do cardinal tetras like current?

No, they don’t like it. Strong currents bother cardinal tetras. If you place them in water that is moving quickly, they will stay in the distant corners. On the other hand, these fish can become active when the water flow is decreased and maintained at a reasonable level.

Ember Tetra

Ember tetras feature a bright shade of orange or red. They are little fish with lengthy bodies and fins that have black gradations.

Do ember tetras like current? No. Although they are powerful, they dislike strong currents.

They live in a calm and slow-moving water nature. Thus, they will love a similar environment in their tank. Select a water filter system that produces moderate water currents like those in a river that is moving slowly.

This tetra species also likes much flora, including hornwort, Java moss, etc.

Glofish Tetra

Tetras have been genetically modified to have a fluorescent color called Glofish. Their habitat requirements are comparable to those of other tetras because these species have the same physiology.

The Glofish species do not enjoy swiftly flowing water. They will thrive in waters with low to moderate currents.

Ensure their aquarium has lots of places to hide. If the Glofish tetra gets weary of struggling with the stream, it will provide them a chance to rest.

Congo Tetra

As its name implies, the Congo tetras are native to the African Congo basin and have vivid hues and distinctive shine. They are frequently spotted in rivers, marshes, ponds, and streams.

In the wild, Congo tetras inhabit a murky environment. However, they require efficient filtration and water movement in tanks to remain healthy.

They live in water regions that move extremely slowly. Thus, they won’t like strong currents. Your tetras will love their time in a tank if you keep the water flow low to moderate.

Neon Tetra

The neon tetra is a popular aquarium fish. They are distinguished by a blue-green stripe and red coloration at the base and love swimming.

However, constantly strong currents are not their cup of tea. Although they may occasionally play in the current and have fun, they like moderate and stable currents.

neon tetra is a popular aquarium fish

What Are The Best Water Current Settings For Tetras In Fish Tanks?

Your fish will remain happy if the water flow is appropriate. Indeed, tetras will experience extreme stress if they have to swim against the current all the time. You should strike a delicate balance to provide your fish with the best possible living circumstances.

Your tetras will fare better if you lower the water flow (use a proper filter). When the current is too strong, tetras will also retreat to various hiding areas.

They search the tank’s planted places for resting spots, which explains their preference for dense plant life in a tank. It not only resembles their natural habitat, but it also offers them several areas to unwind.


How Do You Tell If The Current Is Too Strong For Fish?

Here are some visible signs to identify a strong current for your fish:

  • Your fish have difficulty swimming or swim more strangely than usual.
  • Instead of swimming around the tank throughout the day, your fish like to hide.
  • It’s challenging for your fish to establish equilibrium.
  • The current messes with the eating habits of your fish.
  • The top of the fish tank experienced significant turbulence.
  • Plants begin to be crooked (while this is natural for some plants, it is unnatural for others).

How To Tell If The Current Is Too Strong For Fish

How Can I Reduce My Aquarium Current?

Many methods can reduce the current in the tank. Yet, we will recommend two approachable ways to do it:

  • Add caverns, rocks, and plants. Although your filter may occasionally be the proper size, it still can generate a flow that is too direct.

Surrounding the aquarium with these decorations can change and slow down the tank current. Moreover, these elements will produce nooks where your fish may hide to rest.

  • Utilize the filter’s flow regulation. Some filter versions come with a dashboard that helps you better control the water flow. You may use this option if you need to lower the water flow.

For instance, you can choose to do it at mealtimes to ensure that your fish have easy access to food.

Do Tetras Like Heavily Planted Tanks?

Yes. Since most common tetra species like soft and acidic water like many aquatic plants do, they are perfectly suited for a planted aquarium.

Also, these fish thrive in aquariums with substrates made of soil. For a time, the soil maintains a pH level in an acidic range and hardness.

Do Tetras Like Heavily Planted Tanks?


Do tetras like current? After this article, you have the ultimate answer to this question. Depending on the tetra species, they will have different preferences.

A proper current can help them live happily and expand their lifespan. The best way to have a suitable flow is by adding tank decorations (caves, plants, or rocks) and using the adjustable filter.

Moreover, please notice if your fish have some abnormal swimming signs!