Tetra Fish Breeding

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Tetras, or Characins, is a popular group of fresh water fish to keep them in home aquariums. They originate from South America and Africa and are considered to be quite “sociable” and not very requiring fish. These characteristics make them attractive for aquarists. Tetra fish species are numerous; you could count hundreds of them from small penguin tetras and glowlight tetras to very large pacu that could reach up to 70 cm. Most tetras are bright and glowing and stick together in groups, if your aquarium is not too big for them. Otherwise, you can lose your tetras hidden somewhere in greens. But probably you can solve the problem of their quantity by breeding them.

Tetra Fish Breeding Process

When it comes to tetra fish breeding, tetra lovers fall into two camps: those who find tetras fish easy for breeding and those who consider them difficult to breed. But easy or difficult, tetra fish breeding is possible. Some amateur aquarists even say that your tetras can breed on their own without your knowing. But for breeding tetra fish successfully and keeping fry, you need to adjust conditions and put your efforts on controlling the process.

Another thing you have to keep in your mind having the intention to enlarge you tetras population that some species are known as easier to breed in captivity whilst the other are not so. In any case, you have a chance for success even with a “wrong” kind of tetra but look here to find what tetras are the most perspective for spawning in your home tank.

Tetra Fish Species Easy to Breed

  • Emperor tetra
  • Glowlight tetra
  • Neon tetra
  • Pristella tetra
  • Splashing tetra

Above list is not exhaustive and you may find your own tetra dish easy to breed. But it is reasonable to start with a single species but not try to have a collective marriage. By the way, Neon tetra is considered to be one of the best tropical aquarium fishes!

7 Easy Steps to Tetras Breeding

Once you considered on tetras breeding and chose your breeding species take your time for preparations, if you wish breeding tetra successfully. Follow below step-by-step instruction how to breed tetras and you will get there.

  1. Have a separate tank.

It is not so difficult to make tetra fish spawning but you can rarely keep fry in a community aquarium as with a high probability eggs or babies will be eaten by other fishes. So you need to prepare a safe breeding space. Some people advise that it is enough to split your common aquarium with a transparent septum but we are not sure that is a good idea. You have more chances to have your fry alive if you breed them in a special tank.

The size of your new tank depends on the specie you have chosen to breed. Based on fish size it may range from 5 to 20 gallons. You will need some plants in the tank as tetras mostly hide their eggs. Java moss is perfect for the purpose or you may put yarn spawning mop. Some stones to cover the bottom are also good. Fill the water from community tank as it is already conditioned well. The temperature in breeding tank may vary depending on your kind of tetra. At average, it should be 70-77 Fo. Prepare infusoria culture in advance; you will need it later. Place the tank in a dark corner.

  1. Choose a pair.

You may also decide more effective strategy is to have bigger breeding stock but, in any case, you need at least one couple. It is easy to say but not to do. The most common mistake of hobbyists when breeding is selecting a pair of the same sex. It we do not blame them, as male and female tetras look so similar.

Normally, females are bigger than males and more round. Other important features allowing distinguishing a sex of tetras are fins size and color. Males have longer fins, especially the adipose fin, and their colors are more vivid.

  1. Separate the pair chosen.

It is better to move a female fish first and let her to investigate an environment and sort out the territory. A day after you may transfer a male too. Have your time observing how they do. Sometime the male can behavior in aggressive manner, so you probably need to take him back; and same with the female which do not allow the male to come closer. When you, finally, see that everything goes smoothly have a rest.

  1. Let the tetras spawn.

You could not help, just let it be. They will do it naturally. Normally, tetras spawn at a first daylight, so if you are going to observe, you have a chance to see them dancing. But keep in your mind that it should be literally “at daylight” and nothing with happen if you do not have light coming, does not matter is it natural or not.

  1. Separate the parents and wait.

When you see eggs were laid, remove the parents as they could eat the eggs. It is recommended to change a part of water in the tank to avoid the waste could be produced during spawning that might decompose water. You need 24-36 for hatching the eggs.

  1. Take care of fry

So, do you feel now as everything has been done and you won a battle? If your answer is ‘yes’, you are completely wrong! It is only the beginning. The main challenge of tetra fish breeding is keeping fry. You should create special conditions for babies if you do not want to lose them.

  • Keep them in the dark at least 5 days after hatching as the babies of tetras are sensitive to light.
  • Give them special food. After you found them hatching start adding your infusoria culture to the water or use a “sponge grunge” which is the best source of microorganisms. It will be fry food for the first days. After 5 days they will be able to eat baby brine shrimps and special baby fish food from a pet shop.
  • Maintain the environment in your tank carefully. The water quality is very important for survival of the fry. After 5 days you even can move them to another tank of larger size but if you do not have one, you simply change water as frequent as possible.
  1. Introduce you young tetras to other fishes.

After three months after successfully breeding you can move your tetras to the community tank. Enjoy them swimming in colorful flocks among the green plants and marble rocks. You have done well.

Hope you found useful and inspiring own tips on tetra fish breeding and have courage to try it on practice. Good luck to you. Breeding of tetra is not that difficult as some people said. Really, you will succeed.