to Keep Your New Tetras
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Neon tetras -- possibly everybody's' favorite fish and every predator's favorite dish.
Tank Mates. Sure
there are a few exceptions. The
illegal in Des Moines
piranha comes to mind.
(We plan to talk to the new Mayor about that before you read this.)
The bucktooth tetra, pacú,
vampire tetra, and freshwater barracuda also belong on your nasty
list. But on the whole, tetras make the perfect tank
resident for most people.
All our tetra labels say “schools.”
Tetras swim in large groups known as shoals or schools.
Very few tetras enjoy life as singles or even as pairs.
They want to run with their own kind – lots of their own kind.
them in as large a group as possible.
Otherwise, you never see how they interact naturally.
We recommend a minimum of five.
In the wild they would gather in groups of thousands.
won’t school with other tetras of a different species.
Tetras of different sizes and still the same species will school
together. You will see the
various species school in different parts of your tank.
reason they school is for protection against predators.
Most tetras are “bait-size”
and quite tasty.
fit perfectly into the mouth of most cichlids.
The cichlid always gets a few but the school survives to continue
You probably can’t name a picky tetra.
They eat whatever food you give them.
You might not know it, but most tetras have teeth.
They like meaty foods. Most
flake foods appeal to them. They
consider frozen brine shrimp and other frozen “bugs” very special
treats. And they really
appreciate live black worms.
The reds, blacks, blues, and greens in tetras respond quite well to
the various color foods. Color
foods help bring out the full potential of most tetras.
Light colored gravels tend to bleach out most tetras.
Gravel colors to avoid include white, yellow, orange, and red.
The fluorescent gravels also cause them to hide their true colors.
Put them over dark gravels. If
you prefer natural colors, use a darker natural colored gravel.
Some hobbyists feel that darker tanks help bring out their colors.
However, using dim bulbs in your fixture really defeats your
purpose. You can’t see them
in a dark tank. Use a bright
bulb but temper it with plants. You
get the best colors from tetras as they swim into different areas of
Tetras love plants. Some
(like the silver dollars) eat them. But
most like plants because of the security the greenery gives them.
When threatened, they dart to safety in the friendly fronds.
The more places they have to hide, the more time they spend
swimming out front in the open areas.
No one ever complains about their tetras tearing up their decorated
tank -- except pacú keepers. Or
maybe silver dollar keepers. Tetras
are the perfect fish for aquascapers to include in their tanks.
Most plants fare well at pH levels in the slightly acidic to
neutral range. Ditto tetras.
Planted aquaria and tetras belong together.
Yes, most tetras originally came from acidic waters in
Your Water Regularly. Do not try to duplicate their original water conditions unless you
intend to spawn a particularly difficult species.
Tetras get along great in plain old
Tetras usually spawn in groups as opposed to pairs.
A well-conditioned school of tetras probably spawns at least
weekly. The parents and all
other fishes in your tank all enjoy caviar.
You won’t get any babies unless you take several extra steps.
Females are usually rounder in the belly and just slightly less
colorful than the males. Males
color up more, especially at breeding time.
Both sexes become more colorful and active at breeding time.
Using color foods can confuse them. You should probably stop using
color foods, if you decide to breed them.
Separate the sexes if you intend to breed them.
Otherwise they breed at their convenience, not yours.
Healthy males and females separated for two weeks will usually
spawn within 24 hours when reunited. While
they’re apart, condition them on several small feedings daily.
And give them a frozen or live food daily.
Plump them up. When
they start looking as if they already ate before you feed them, they are
ready to spawn.
Put a layer of marbles on the bottom.
Add some spawning mops (made of nylon or Orlon) attached to cork
floats. Fill it half full of
water aged 48 hours. Add
NovAqua and an airstone. Add
your school of conditioned tetras in the evening.
Leave your tank lights off and darken the room.
They will usually spawn in the morning.
Do not feed your breeders. Any
food introduced increases the food sources of all types of bacteria.
You sure don’t need any extra bacteria.
Take out the egg-eating breeders after they spawn.
Use pebble-sized natural gravel in a tank well planted on one end.
Plant with bushy, fine-leaved varieties that will catch the
semi-adhesive eggs. Natural
tanks look better but are harder to keep in breeding condition and
impossible to sterilize. Their
biggest plus is their high content of infusoria
first foods for the fry.
If you do not remove the parents, the newly hatched, eyelash-sized
fry are instant bait. The
babies swim up and attach themselves to the glass where the parents pick
them off like popcorn. Baby
fish are the true natural fish food that most fishes eat in the wild.
If you are not ready with several cultures of
infusoria, all your
work has gone for naught. Most
of your tetra fry will starve. A
few will always survive on the infusoria that naturally grow in every
tank. But if you feed them
right, you will harvest 100-300 babies per female.
They have lots of very tiny eggs.
You need to work out a method of successfully raising infusoria
before you try spawning tetras. Do
not depend upon those so-called egglayer powdered foods or infusoria
powders. Tetra fry will not
eat those until they are at least two weeks old.
By that time most will have starved to death.
September 8, 2013.
September 8, 2013.
September 8, 2013.
Don’t beat your brains out trying to spawn the tougher species
that come from “blackwater” areas.
Their eggs are so light sensitive, you will unlikely ever see one
of their fry. Try some of
these easier spawners:
Head and tail
· Diamond tetras,
· Red-eyed tetras.
a few of these under your belt before trying the neons.
The tetras on this list will usually breed for you without forcing
you to jump through hoops or import water directly from Brazil.
A school of a hundred or so tetras (no matter what species) looks
very impressive -- even more so when you can say you did it yourself.
Tetras never get huge (okay, the Pacú is an exception) which makes
them perfect for small tanks. Ninety
percent of the people that keep fish, keep them in 10-gallon tanks.
These tanks were made for tetras and vice versa.
You don’t need a 55-gallon tank to enjoy a school of tetras, but
you will enjoy them more in a large tank. There were 1,100 neons in
the 55 at the top of this page. The pic blurred a bit because one of
them moved. Note their fat little bellies.
Inexpensive best describes most tetras.
Of course, if you buy 100 or so, even tetras start running into
Most tetras prefer 75-80o water. The black tetras (also
called black skirts and black widows) can take it down to 70o.
But most need tropical temperatures to live and prosper.
This makes them fit right in with other community fishes.
Few tetras (never buy an Exodon paradoxus) beat up on your other fishes.
They get along with their own kind and respect their tank mates.
Snails and tetras get along fine together.
Snails help clean up any food that falls to the bottom.
Tetras basically ignore snails.
You can’t beat tetras in small community tanks.
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