Serpae tetras prefer water temperatures ranging from 72-79°F (22-26°C). They will generally do better and show off their best colors in soft, neutral to slightly acidic water. As with any other schooling fish, they thrive in large groups and should be kept in schools of at least 6-10 fish. The tank should be well-planted, which provides shelter and hiding spots.
They have a reputation of being fin-nippers although this is disputed. If any aggression is seen in the fish, it is usually amongst themselves rather than aimed at tankmates outside of their species, especially if they are kept in large groups where they can establish a pecking order (a behavior similar to Puntius tetrazona).