Black skirt tetras are colorful and beautiful species of aquarium fish. Most features of Black skirt tetra are exclusive, and they add to the uniqueness of the species. They show certain characters when they are ready to lay eggs.
How to Tell If Black Skirt Tetra Is Pregnant? First off, it is essential to note that black tetras don’t get pregnant; they law eggs. Some of the features that indicate when black tetras are ready to lay eggs include becoming fatter and bulgier, the dark spot around the belly of the fish, and visible eggs in bag-like space.
Aside from the features listed above, some physical changes occur in the body of the fish. The fertilization process in black skirt tetras is external.
Breeding Behavior in Black Skirt Tetras
As aquarists, it is essential to be able to tell when your fish is ready to breed. This knowledge is crucial in preparing the tank for the arrival of the fry. Also, you might have to alter some tank conditions to suit the female tetra.
The first breeding sign of black skirts tetras is moving out in pairs. Once pairing starts to occur in the tank, you should know it’s almost breeding season for them. The couples swim away from the group and start schooling.
Pairing usually starts like 7-10 days before the breeding process. Once the pairing starts becoming very noticeable, you can separate them into the spawning tank.
Also, there will be a noticeable change in the feeding pattern of black skirt tetras when it’s time to breed. They usually feed heavily on live and frozen foods. Therefore, you need to pay attention to their feeding quantity and quality at this stage.
Likewise, Black skirt tetras usually exhibit brighter colors and become fatter. These are some of the signs that call the attention of male tetras to females ready to spawn.
Once the males notice these signs, they start chasing the female tetras around. Therefore, if you are separating them into a spawning tank, it is advisable to introduce the males a night before the females. This technique will allow the female to adapt before the introduction of the males.
However, if the chasing becomes too aggressive, you can separate them and reintroduce the males later.
Black skirt tetras can lay thousands of eggs in a single spawn. The eggs can be scattered all over different surfaces in the tank; hence, highlighting why you might have to separate the school of your spawning fish.
Fertilization Process in Black Skirt Tetras
After all the breeding stages are completed, the next process is the fertilization of the eggs. The fertilization process in black skirt tetra is external.
External fertilization means that the female tetra will lay the eggs before allowing the male from the pair to fertilize it. Without proper fertilization, the eggs will be sterile, and it wouldn’t produce any fry.
Once the female tetra releases the eggs and milts and the fertilization process is complete, the best thing is to evacuate both male and female tetra from the spawning tank. This evacuation is the first protective mechanism for your coming fry.
This evacuation is necessary because adult black skirt tetras can eat their eggs. They can even feed on new hatch fry before they become noticeable.
The hatching process of the fertilized eggs begins 24-36 hours after fertilization. The fry would also become very visible in the tank after 12-24 hours.
Tank Preparation for Black Skirt Tetras during Breeding Season
The tank conditions you keep black skirt tetras often have a massive effect on their breeding pattern. Therefore, it is essential to properly prepare your tank towards the breeding season of your fish.
The best thing to do is to prepare a spawning tank for your fish. This spawning tank is where you would isolate and keep male and female black tetras once pairing begins.
Separating them into the spawning tank will allow you to optimize the tank conditions to enhance the breeding process. Also, it will enable you to prepare the container to suit the coming fry adequately.
The pairing behavior of black skirt tetra shows they don’t like to breed around other tank members. Therefore, separating them is essential.
Also, black skirt tetras usually scatter their eggs around the tank. You would find the eggs attached to several surfaces within the aquarium. Some of the eggs can even find their way to the base of the fish tank.
Thus, the ideal tank for breeding black skirt tetras is a bare bottom fish tank. This setup means including sand or other substrates at the base of the spawning tank which might not favor their breeding, and substrates give the eggs more space to hide.
Likewise, black skirt tetra might find it more comfortable to breed in a tank with few plants and decorations. Adding only a few plants will reduce the stress of spawning for female tetras.
Similarly, keeping female tetras in fish tanks with low light level also favors their breeding. Leaving dim light will make them comfortable in their environment and reduce stress.
Blacks skirt tetras also prefer to have warm heaters and low pH in their breeding tank. These conditions will provide them with an enabling environment.
Black skirt tetras are very prolific with their breeding. They can lay thousands of eggs in a single spawn when they find themselves in an enabling environment. Black tetras exhibit apparent signs and body changes when it is time to breed.
However, it is worth noting that black tetras are not livebearers. They lay eggs rather than give birth to young ones alive. Also, adult tetras can feed on their eggs if you leave them together in the spawning tank.
Aquarists often take necessary steps and precautions once the black tetras are ready to spawn. These steps include tank preparation, isolating pairing fish to the pawing tank, and improving the quality and quantity of food.
Therefore, for aquarists to identify when to take these steps, it is essential to know their fish’s breeding signs.