black skirt tetra’s scientific name is Gymnocorymbus
ternetzi. All tetras belong
to the family Characidae
know as Characid. This family includes
776 species in 152 different genera ranging from Southwest Texas to Argentina. Black
referred to as black tetras or black widow tetras.
can be recognized by its characteristic black
“skirt”. There is also an albino version or white
tetra that is
commonly available commercially. These are variations that occur
naturally in the wild. White Skirt tetras are often dipped in pastel
colors and marketed as fruit tetras. This dying process is
counterproductive to the fish’s health. They are much more
illness and have a greatly reduced life span. White skirt tetras have
also been made to change color by being fed dyed foods. These tetras
are generally healthy and will revert to their natural pigmentation
once they start ingesting unaltered food.
skirts display their
strongest coloration when young. As the fish grows older, the black
skirt tetra will become duller and fade to a silvery gray. They have an
average life expectancy of around five years.
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Black skirt tetras are
reach their adult size of about 2.5 inches at about one year of age.
You do not need a
particularly large aquarium to keep them. Any
is large enough to house an entire family of them. They are also the
perfect candidates for
Nano systems have redefined the
world of aquarium keeping in recent years. They don’t take up
much space and
they make great accent pieces for any work space or home
have a docile nature. They function well in community fish
tanks as long as none of the other members of the community are overly
aggressive. The tetras species are shoaling fish. They swim in groups.
Therefore it is a good idea to add multiple tetras to your community
tank. Four to six is ideal.
is indigenous to South America. They inhabit
subtropical river basins in Bolivia, Brazil and northern Argentina
where water temperatures stay between 68 and 79° F. Like most
originate from South America, they are accustomed to soft, slightly
acidic water. Aquarium water can be filtered through peat. Or water
softener can be added to the water. Products such as Tetra's Black
Water Extract can be purchased at most fish specialty stores. This
extract closely approximates the conditions of Amazon River water in
your fish tank.
Because they are a smaller variety of fish native to predatory
waters, the black skirts are hiders by nature. They take readily to
heavily planted environments. Black skirts are prone to swimming in the
middle layer of your aquarium.
tetras are omnivores in their natural habitat. In
captivity they are not picky when it comes to what they eat. Any
tropical fish flakes will do just fine. Tetras have a tendency
to be fin nippers. Caution
should be used when housing
with fish that have long, flowing fins
such as angelfish,
or fancy tailed
especially in a well established group
of tetras. Keeping your
tetras well fed will reduce the likelihood of their
instinctual behavior becoming problematic.
hatch in about 24 hours. Black skirt fry are very
tiny when they first hatch. The fry can be fed commercial liquid fry
foods when newly hatched. When they get a little bigger their diet can
be changed to powdered fry food or newly hatched brine shrimp. Powdered
egg is an acceptable substitute.
laying fish. They tend to scatter their eggs to
increase the likelihood of survival. It is difficult to distinguish the
difference between males and females unless the female is carrying
eggs. In the spawning
cycle the female’s body tends to be
rounder than the males. After spawning, adult fish should be removed to
prevent them from eating their eggs.
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