excellent dither fish for peaceful dwarf
cichlids or small anabantids.
Female H. amandae are notably rounder
than the males and are very prolific.
The eggs are non-adhesive and not light
sensitive. The fry grow slowly, however,
and may take as long as two months to
reach ¼ inch. Softer, more acidic water
will improve the ember tetra’s colors, and it
may also help with the spawning process.
So long as the water is not too hard (above
250 ppm TDS) or too basic (above 7. 4 pH),
this species is not hard to breed.
This beautiful tetra has been a staple in
the hobby for many years. Most of these
fish in stores are wild-caught, but they
are some of the easiest and most prolific
tetras to spawn in an aquarium. A single
female can produce 50 or more eggs in
one spawn. The fry are hardy and grow
very fast. This species is also an excellent
schooling species for planted tanks and an
outstanding dither fish for dwarf cichlids.
Male black phantom tetras Hyphessobrycon megalopterus often engage in territorial displays
with their fins extended.
The emperor tetra is a showy species in
which the males grow larger than 2 inches.
Males defend territories and display for the
attention of the females. The females will
form loose schools, especially in larger
tanks. This tetra makes a good centerpiece
species for planted tanks. It is also hardy
enough to be useful as a target or dither
species for dwarf cichlids that might take
a swipe at it every now and then. Emperor
tetras spawn easily as a pair, and the fry
are fast growers. Juveniles take six months
to grow into their adult glory, but they are
worth the wait.
BLACK PHANTOM TETRA
The subtle beauty of this high-fin
species is best appreciated in large
groups. The males’ long fins are often
extended in territorial display. A school
of a dozen or more is an impressive
sight. The females condition quickly and
can easily produce a hundred eggs in a
single spawn. The fry are very small,
however, and will need green water and
vinegar eels for a little longer before
they can take the larger foods that will
help them grow quickly.
Pristella maxillaris is one of the best species for a beginner’s breeding project.
This robust, colorful, and inexpensive
tetra is one of the best species for a
beginning fish breeder to work with. The
females are almost always in condition to
spawn and more than willing to scatter
eggs. The fry are hardy and grow fast.
No Matter the
Reason, Breed Tetras
How hard is it to set up an extra
5-gallon tank to spawn a small tetra?
A hobbyist with one large community
tank can have a lot of fun building a big
school of tetras from a small purchase of
three or four fish from the pet shop. An
aquarium club member could participate
in their club’s Breeder Awards Program
just by rotating different species from a
show tank through the breeding tank.
Maybe the local aquarium store will take
a dozen fry in for a few tetras of the next
species the aquarist wants to work with.
No matter what the reason, breeding
tetras is easy, fun, and rewarding.
Tropical Fish Hobbyist www.tfhmagazine.com