I've been interested in getting a vampire tetra. If I got one what fish would be compatable with it and what size tank would it need?
You're talking, one suspects, about Hydrolycus scomberoides or one of the other Hydrolycus species. H. scomberoides gets up to 46" long, though 30" is more usual. It's an open water, deep river predator. Actually, Tropical Fish Hobbyist featured it in the Top of the Food Chain column last year.
THIS IS A GAME FISH, NOT AN AQUARIUM FISH.
You're looking at a tank well over 500 gallons (1000 or more would be better), with a strong current from one end to the other turning the tank over 10 times an hour (so 5000 gph of pumping capacity minimum). Minimal to no decor. You could have multiple fish, but only of this type. Even large catfish are contraindicated because their nocturnal activities can spook the tetras and send them careening off the glass. They are jumpers, so the tank must be well covered. Water quality must be very good, so you're looking at a weekly water change in the 200 gallon range. On the plus side, lighting should be low, and spot lighting is a good way to go, so at least you're not going to jack up your power consumption to the point that serious looking men with firearms want a word with you about your possible horticultural activities.
Unless you have a ton of money burning a hole in your pocket, get something else. Consider one of the pike cichlids if you have a yen for a South American predators.
Now that I know how large these get and how big of a tank they require, I don't think I have the right amount of space in order to house one of those. In fact my LFS has some juvis that are like 6-7" for $39.95
Thanks by the way
Just an FYI; this guy may know what he's talking about but there are a few species rather than just one. Some max out at 10" while others max out around 20". The ones that max out at about 4'. Until I know the price you bought yours for I won't know which one you have. Hydrolycus scomberoides and the Rhaphiodon Vulpinus or whatever it's called should be the bigger ones. The smaller species are the Cynodon Gibbus which max out around 10". Hope this helps you!
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