Fish Breeding - Breeding Tetra
Breeding Tetra Fish Successfully
by Linda Paquette
you are keeping tetras, chances are you are breeding tetras,
even if unknowingly. In the wild, tetras normally breed
during the rainy season, but in the aquarium, they may
breed year round. Female tetras are egg-scatters that
typically fill with eggs every ten to fourteen days.
The female tetra indiscriminately sprays her eggs into
clumps of fine-leaved plants. The eggs are adhesive and
stick to the plants. However, tetras as well as other
tank mates often find tetra eggs and small fry an irresistible
If breeding tetras is your goal in keeping them, the best
thing to do is to separate males and females. This allows
you to keep control of breeding and improves your chance
of achieving a successful hatch of fry. Smaller species
of female tetras become sexually active at nine to twelve
months old with larger species ready to breed at 1 ½
to 2 years of age.
Male tetras are generally a month or two older than females
for successful spawning to take place.
Males are typically slimmer and more colorful than their
female companions are. When viewed from above, the female
tetra is distinguishably plumper and rounder because of
the build-up of eggs within her body.
Two weeks before breeding tetras, separate males and females
within the same tank. This is done simply by putting a
clear divider between them, which not only gives you control
of breeding but also stimulates spawning behavior since
the fish are kept within sight of each other. Breeding
tetras is also encouraged during the pre-spawn period
by feeding them with high-quality live foods.
When ready to breed tetras, you'll get the best results
by using a separate breeding tank, prepared with a peat
filter and clean, aged water in which clumps of fine-leaved
plants have been strategically placed. Three ways to complete
your tank for breeding tetras are:
Females should be placed in the breeding tank earlier
than the males, usually the night before breeding. In
addition to allowing her to settle in, it also puts the
male in the position of having to court her on her own
turf. This technique can deter any aggressive tendencies
he may display. After introducing the male to the breeding
tank, it's best to watch his introductory moves.
- Drape the tank with nylon netting to allow the eggs
to fall to the tank floor away from hungry adults.
- Cover the tank floor with marbles to hide the eggs
and protect them from cannibalism.
- Plant fine-leaved plants or artificial spawning
mops in seed trays filled with coarse gravel to trap
the eggs and prevent them from being eaten.
Males often show aggressive behavior during spawning.
If the male attacks a female, remove her and re-separate
the pair. Another female can be tried or alternatively,
two to three females can be introduced to the breeding
tank to keep the male from focusing his attention on only
one. Remove adult fish from the breeding tank immediately
after breeding tetras.
If you are interested in Tetra Fish, on our site we have
a free e-book available about these wonderful creatures.
About the Author
Linda is author of Tetra Fish and Cichilds at aquarium-guides.com