Black skirt tetras are known for their blackish appearances, making them a stark contrast inside your home aquarium. They are also relatively easy to take care of and are beginner-friendly.
In case you wish to have some of these lovely fish at home, the guidelines below are for you. Here, you will get to learn everything about this species, from black skirt tetra lifespan to their temperament and tank mates!
Black Skirt Tetra Lifespan
Black Skirt Tetra
On average, a black skirt tetra can manage to live up to 5 years. However, this number fluctuates depending on various factors, including the fish’s diet, surrounding environment, and stress levels.
If cared for properly, black skirt tetras can even live up to 6 years! That said, most captivated fish cannot compare to their wild counterparts in terms of longevity.
Black Skirt Tetra Breeding
Black skirt tetras do not encounter many difficulties during spawning season. As long as there are enough males and females, rest assured that they will start mating and pushing out eggs soon enough.
While they breed easily, you still have to be cautious when it comes to protecting black skirt tetras’ eggs. This is because the fish do not pay attention to their offspring, leaving them scattered around recklessly. Hence, these eggs can fall prey to bigger and more aggressive animals inside the tank.
If you want to ensure the survival of both the eggs and the fry, consider moving them to a separate tank. Fill the breeding tank’s bottom with Java moss and other types of fine-leaved plants, as they help to reduce friction upon contact with the eggs.
Keep the lighting low and pleasant so that the eggs and fry do not get frightened. A slightly higher temperature range of 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit is also recommended since tetras’ eggs do not do well in freezing water.
Usually, tetras’ eggs take a few days to hatch. They quickly turn into free-swimming fry with a rather impressive appetite. Feed them with brine shrimp and brine shrimp eggs, as well as bloodworms and other protein-rich food.
You can go for either live or frozen food, provided they are tiny enough for consumption.
Now, you probably wonder when the best time is to return tetra fry to the original tank. Wait for them until they have grown to three-thirds of their full length, then they can be safely transferred to a community tank.
Black Skirt Tetra Tankmates
Black skirt tetras are pretty gentle and peaceful towards other fish. Thus, they are not selective regarding which fish they can share the same territory. Still, be careful if you want to put black skirt tetras, angelfish, and betta fish together.
For some reason, black skirt tetras are extremely aggressive with these two species, constantly nipping and eating away their fins. Tiger barbs are also a no for black skirt tetras, as they are usually found engaging in direct collisions.
Given their temperament, here are the most suitable tank mates for black skirt tetras.
- Molly fish
- Cardinal tetra
- Neon tetra
- Dwarf cichlids
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Giant Danio
- Kuhli loaches
- Honey Gourami
- Corydoras catfish
- Chili rasboras
- Zebra Danios
Black Skirt Tetra Care Guide
Now, let’s get to the best tips and tricks on how to take care of black skirt tetras.
A typical black skirt tetra is around 3 inches in length, making it ideal for small and medium-sized tanks. You will not need anything bigger than a 15-gallon aquarium to host a group of 3 to 4 tetras.
That said, should you want to set up a community tank where black skirt tetras can live with other fish, something bigger is more suitable.
Mimicking the natural habitat of black skirt tetras is vital to their survival and development. You can start by putting in plants (both live and artificial), which act as both a playground and hiding place for the fish.
Tetras also thrive when the water currents are slow and soothing, so you might want to dial down on the water flow.
Next up, low lighting is a must for tetras, as they tend to develop anxiety being exposed to extreme lighting. You can incorporate some dark-colored substrate or black sand at the bottom of the tank, thus increasing the realness of your tank’s conditions.
Black skirt tetras are not picky when it comes to water conditions. The bright side is that you do not have to adjust the water parameters too carefully. Rather, you only have to stabilize them and keep changes to a minimum.
A kH level of 4 to 8, a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5, and a temperature range between 71 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit will suffice.
The only things that black skirt tetras object to are soy and rice, as they are more like fillers and do not offer them enough nutrition. Black skirt tetras favor anything from flakes and pellets to live foods, as long as they are tasty and nutritious.
It also helps if you can study a bit more about tetras’ diet and see whether it is balanced. Vital nutrients such as fibers, omega 3 and 6, as well as protein must be present in each meal should the fish wish to grow healthily.
Stay away from ready-made fish meals at a cheap price, as they mostly contain fish skin and eyes. Not only do they offer little nutritional value for your black skirt tetras, but they also induce your fish to excrete more.
Now that you have learned about black skirt tetra lifespan and other important facets of this species, it is time to buy some of the fish and see how well they grow! Make sure to follow the tips and tricks closely so that you get the most out of your purchase
Alex is a pet freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. He attended Colorado State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was where he first got some experience in animal nutrition. After graduating from University, Alex began sharing his knowledge as a freelance writer specializing in pets.