Although breeding aquarium fish can be challenging, it is possible with the appropriate tank layout and planning. Continue reading to discover the top 5 tetras for breeding and proper breeding techniques.
Small freshwater fish called tetras are available in a variety of hues. Because they are relatively simple to care for and the majority of species get along well with tankmates, these fish are excellent for novices.
Getting tetras to breed may not be as simple as retaining them. Tetras are far more difficult to breed than livebearers like swordtails and guppies, however it is still possible. To protect fry until they are big enough to fend for themselves, a certain tank configuration and committed care are required.
In this article, we'll go over tank setup for tetra breeding and offer advice on how to spawn and care for the fry. A summary of the best 5 tetras for breeding will also be given.
Getting the Tank in Shape for Success
Swordtails, cichlids, and guppies are just a few examples of fish that are simple to reproduce. Tetras are not "easy" to spawn in comparison to these fish. However, some tetra species are easier to spawn than others, and it is possible with the correct equipment and care.
Tetras can lay a large number of eggs in a single spawning attempt, but you need to start with the ideal tank design and conditioning. The ideal course of action is to condition a school of tetras with premium flakes and freeze-dried feeds in a communal tank. Use live meals like worms and daphnia if you really want to hasten the process.
Check to see if the fish are ready to breed after a few days. A few hours after eating, females who are ready to spawn will be loaded down with eggs. Another way to check is to turn on the lights about an hour before feeding and look to see if the fish in the communal tank are courting or spawning.
Tetras need a breeding tank that is 2 1/2 to 5 gallons in size and has a bare bottom. Use an air-driven sponge filter to move the water in the tank after adding water from the communal tank.
A tiny submersible heater will aid in the development of the eggs and fry, but it is absolutely fine if you can maintain the tank's temperature in the mid-70s without one. Place a spawning mop or a sizable pile of java moss that covers at least 3/4 of the tank bottom so that the fish can distribute their eggs there.
Creating and Taking Care of the Fry
The first thing you should keep in mind when mating tetras is that most species scatter their eggs, which is why it's crucial to cover the tank with java moss or a spawning mop. The female should be placed to the spawning tank, where she should be left alone for two days while receiving very little food.
The night before spawning, tetras start their spawning behavior. Perform a 50% water change with aged, slightly cooler water to start spawning, and then add the male to the tank. Turn off the tank lights and place a dark towel over the tank.
Open up the tank in the morning and turn on the lights, but wait a few hours before checking for eggs. Tetra eggs are often tiny and transparent; a flashlight might be necessary to locate them.
Leave the pair alone if they haven't spawned and return after a few hours. Turn off the lights and try again the next day if they haven't spawned by the end of the day. Remove the pair back to the communal tank as soon as the eggs are distributed to prevent them from eating the eggs.
After the fry hatch, keep the tank lights off for about 48 hours, and then stay away from it until they are able to swim freely after another several days.
Add a few ounces of green water to the tank about five days after spawning to feed the fry. You may also use vinegar eels or microorganisms from the tank's sponge filter. The fry will be extremely vulnerable the first week, and they must eat in order to survive.
Whenever possible, eat small meals frequently. To be safe, don't replace the water for at least 7 days, and when you do, only change 10% to 15% of the volume.
The fry should be big enough to ingest baby brine shrimp and processed fry foods after two to three weeks. You must feed them many times per day and perform a daily 30% water change for them to continue growing.
The Top 5 Tetras for Captive Breeding
Tetras are simple to breed at home with the right setup and care. But remember that certain species are simpler to breed than others. Pick one of the five tetra species listed below and learn about their particular spawning requirements if you want to increase your chances of success.
The top 5 tetras for breeding in captivity are listed below:
Black Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus).
The black phantom tetra is a peaceful species that is native to Paraguay and central Brazil. It can reach a length of 1 3/4 inches. These fish were given their name due to their dark pigmentation and black fin edges.
They are schooling fish that thrive in groups of six or more and need a larger tank than certain species since they are so active. The fins of females are tinted crimson, whereas the fins of males are longer. Females can release up to 300 eggs at once while males exhibit complex wooing behavior during spawning.
2. Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus):
This little species, which can reach a length of 1.5 inches, is accustomed to soft, acidic water. These tiny, slender fish have a body that is translucent silver-peach with an iridescent red stripe spanning the length of it.
This species thrives in groups of six or more in a tank that is dark and full with vegetation. It is advised to use soft, acidic water to spawn this species. Keep the spawning tank dark because spawning normally results in 100 to 150 eggs that are highly sensitive to light.
3. Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri):
This tetra grows up to two inches long and has an iridescent body with subtly reflected rainbow hues. Although they can be kept in mating couples, the emperor tetra works best in groups of five or six with an alpha male. This species requires peaceful surroundings, dim illumination, a dark substrate, and thick planting.
Males and females can be easily distinguished for breeding purposes. Males have dorsal and caudal fins that are longer, more pointed, and have an expanded ray in the centre of the caudal fin. Eggs are placed one at a time beginning at daybreak and continuing until between 50 and 100 eggs have been discharged.
4. Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris):
The pristella tetra, commonly known as the x-ray fish because of its translucent body and colorful fins, is unquestionably one of the greatest tetras for reproducing. Although it is incredibly durable and simple to maintain, this tetra should be kept in schools of six or more.
The species' males are leaner than the females, and because of their transparent bodies, you can see the eggs in the females. 300 to 400 eggs can be laid during spawning; the eggs hatch 24 to 36 hours later and become free-swimming three days later.
5. Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
This small, one-inch fish has an amber golden body with orange accents that is more pronounced in the males of the species. In planted tanks with six or more of their own species, these tetras thrive.
The eggs of ember tetras are not light sensitive, making breeding them relatively simple, however the fry grow very slowly and can take up to two months to reach a length of 1/4 inch. Spawning is best done in soft water.
It's crucial to prepare your fish before attempting to start spawning while breeding tetras. The best method to achieve it is to feed high-quality commercial foods and living foods. Check out our guide HERE to discover more about the benefits and drawbacks of live food.