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The Only Tetra Breeding Guide You Need

Knowledge is power when it comes to breeding tetras.

You must have all the knowledge, resources, and equipment needed for this exciting task.

As we all know, preparation makes everything go smoothly! 

Therefore, in this article, we will give you a complete guide to everything you need to know about breeding tetras – both the resources and equipment for this task, as well as important information about the fish themselves.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the first step.

Select a pairing pair

Before we explain how to choose a pair, let’s start from the beginning and tell you the optimal way to acquire a school of tetras that you can pick your pairing from it.

There are two main ways to get a school of tetras.

1. Buy Young Breeding Stock

‘Young Breeding Stock’ is a school of tetras that are around 3 inches long.

This is a perfect age for breeding as they have a good amount of energy to produce the best results.

On top of that, they will not cost you a fortune as well.

The reason for that is these fish are not labeled “breeding stock” or “jumbo,” so do not command a premium price.

2. Buy Several Fish At Once

This is another way to acquire your ideal school without spending too much money since you will buy a big number of fish, so you will get a good deal.

Moreover, if you buy a lot of fish at once, the chance that they will become a school is high as well.

If one fish comes up with an idea of how to breed, they will spread the idea to the rest of your school.

Then all of them can enjoy spawning tetras.

Another advantage of buying several fish at once is that you have a safety margin in case one or two of them die while growing up.

how to select the breeding pair?

After we figured out how to create a school of tetras fish, we want to know how to choose the pair that would be used for breeding.

You may either select the duo yourself or allow your fish to do it for you.

However, it is better to let your fish choose their partner for themselves, do you like someone to force you to marry someone you do not like? Absolutely not.

Also, it’s preferable not to tamper with nature too much in this process.

The connection between these tetras and their compatibility will be better when breeding; thus, let your fish pick its partner.

So, if you notice two tetras swimming together constantly, then they are probably the right pair.

But what if you wanted to pick your own pair?

In this case, you must be cautious since you must tell the male and female tetra fish apart, which isn’t an easy task.

However, there are certain signs that may help you determine who is male and who is female.

Mature females tend to be somewhat larger than males.

They are also a little more rounded around the belly region and have shorter dorsal and anal fins, as well as no ray extensions on any of their fins.

The colors are also somewhat less vivid.

Mature males, on the other hand, are typically a bit shorter in length and somewhat more slender than females of the same age.

Males frequently have elongated fins or extra rays on their fins.

The colors on the fins and body are significantly more vibrant.

The differences between individuals may not be readily apparent, but when a large group of similarly mature fish is examined, significant variations are frequently evident.

Set up the Breeding Tank

Actually, selecting the pairing pair isn’t the hardest task of the battle, the most important part is still coming.

After you knew your pair, you need to adjust their surroundings to support their breeding.

In this section, we will explain how to create the right environment for breeding tetras.

1. Get a Separate Tank

Tetra pairs must have distinct environmental conditions to reproduce than usual living conditions.

As a result, purchasing a separate tank is not a luxury but a necessity.

After you’ve purchased the tank, you’ll need to set it up and focus on specific essentials such as pH level, lighting, and temperature.

Don’t worry, we’ll go over each of them in detail right now.

2. Provide a Good Water Quality

This may sound obvious, but it is critical to remember.

Remember when we talked about the breeding stock?

The quality of the breeding stock has an impact on the spawn’s viability, and the quality of the breeding stock is directly influenced by the conditions in which it developed.

So, if we replicate these circumstances as closely as possible, we can give the breeding pair the most optimal environment for reproduction with a high success rate.

a. Use aged Water

The most essential element for breeding tetras is water. You’ll need aged water.

If you use tap water, be sure it has been de-chlorinated.

b. Keep an Eye on the Temperature

A temperature of around 77°F should be maintained in the breeding tank.

The water for tetras must be soft, with low mineral content.

Many aquarists utilize a water softener, but we are not comfortable doing so since it will yield a high sodium ion concentration.

Note: As long as the water temperature is between 70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, a heater is not necessary.

c. pH level Is Essential

Only a little amount of acidity is required, with a pH level of 6 to 6.5.

Also, the carbonate hardness in your breeding tank should not exceed 30-ppm.

3. Set a Filtration System

Don’t be too hasty with the filtration system, you’ll need to set it up so that water quality will not drop significantly.

Your aquarium’s filtration system aids in the removal of impurities and germs from your aquarium keeping the water clean.

It also helps protect the tetras from disease.

You do not have to install fancy aquarium filters, a simple sponge or internal filter will do fine.

4.  Imitate the Natural Lighting

The tetra’s natural habitat is vegetation with lots of shade.

As a result, your breeding tank should be kept in a dim or dark environment.

Don’t get my words like you need to have a completely dark tank, for sure not.

Simply put it somewhere where there are little natural lights. You may also drape a newspaper over the surface of the aquarium.

Introduce Tetras in Your Breeding Tank

Now that we’ve gone through the basics of setting up a breeding tank, it’s time to introduce the breeding pair.

When you’re ready to add your tetras to the tank, make sure you have a plastic tray with large holes for the eggs to fall through.

Also, plant some fine-leaved plants or java moss; it’s the ideal habitat for them.

The best time to introduce your tetras into a breeding tank is at night, so they will feel more comfortable in the dark.

As a result, your breeding pair will feel safe and be less likely to escape their new home.

Also, it is recommended to leave the breeding pairs in the tank for roughly a day or two after you’ve added them.

This is due to the fact that tetras are known to breed following this period of time.

Provide Them with a Good Quality Food

The greater the variety of foods fed, the more vitamins and amino acids a fish can obtain from them as they grow and mature into adults.

And while companies that make ready meals give high-quality products, their claims that these meals contain all a fish needs should be taken with a grain of salt.

It is safer to provide additional types of foods than it is to give less than is required.

Any potential breeding fish should include live foods in its diet.

Vitamins, minerals, and trace elements found in live foods might make all the difference in a breeding program.

Spawning Process

Up to this point, we were trying to create a breeding tank that was as natural and close to the wild environment of the tetra and at the same time, we were trying to provide optimal conditions for the spawning.

Now it’s time for your pair to do what they were born to do.

The spawning begins only when the females accept a male tetra’s proposal

This is evident when you observe the female tetra trailing behind the males to their selected spawning site.

After the female tetras lay eggs, they roll or tumble around the spawning area.

This procedure is repeated until all female tetras have deposited all of their eggs and fertilization has occurred.

Remove the Parent

After your breeding pair has completed the spawning process, remove them from your breeding tank.

As the breeding process is lengthy, it burns a lot of energy from tetras.

As a result, tetras have an insatiable hunger to recover their energy.

Tetras are inclined to consume everything from tiny organic substances to even eggs, depending on what they can get their hands on.

Yes, the parent tetras have a propensity to consume their eggs.

In nature, the movement of the eggs down streams and rivers prevents this.

On the other hand, there is no water flow in the breeding aquarium.

The only way to prevent the parent tetras from eating their eggs by removing them from the breeding tank.

Maintain the Tank for the Eggs

After removing the parents, replace at least 50 percent of the water with some of the surplus water from the breeding tank.

This is done to remove any waste products produced by breeders or any extra milt produced by the male in his spawning attempts that might decompose and harm the eggs.

After doing the water change, cover the tank with a cardboard box for at least 36 hours.

This step is essential since all tetra eggs are susceptible to light and too much light can damage an entire spawn.

Wait for the Eggs to Hatch

After 36 hours, remove the panel from the cardboard and inspect it for fry.

They’ll appear to be tiny glass splinters that spiral around the tank or cling to the side.

If you don’t notice them right away, replace the panel for another 12 hours and then check again.

After three inspections, if no fries are discovered, carefully remove the lid and check the eggs for signs of deterioration.

The eggs may be covered with fungus or have a milky-white appearance, if this happened then they are infertile or dead and must be discarded.

However, if the eggs are black or there is an embryo visible inside, put the cardboard cover back on the tank and resume your periodic inspections until they hatch.

Feeding the Fry

Watching the eggs hatch and seeing tiny fish fry swimming around is an exciting moment in any fish keeper’s life.

However, it is critical that you don’t lose them to neglect or carelessness.

After hatching, they need proper care Just as we take care of newborn babies.

You must provide them with high-quality food, fortunately, there is commercially produced baby tetra food available in pet stores.

But you need to keep in mind the amount of food you’ll be feeding them and feed them only after about a day or two since they are born carrying their meals inside their bellies.

As the fry are tiny, you can give them tiny portions.

This may be either microscopic live foods known as “infusoria.” It’s simple to cultivate and comes in a variety of strains, allowing you to offer the fry with a varied diet.

If you’re feeding live foods, such as brine shrimp, to your fries, it’s best to prepare them ahead of time.

Another excellent food for fry in the early phases is “Micro worms,”.

Newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii are the most frequent food in this category.

Maintain Right Water Quality for the Fry

The goal is to keep the water temperature at a steady level.

This may seem like step three again, but there’s a difference.

Although the problem is the same, the degree of severity has increased because to the additional number of fish.

You should change the water as frequently as possible and carefully siphon any accumulated rubbish from the bottom.

A sponge filter can be quite beneficial in this configuration.

Remove the Fry to a Larger Tank

When your fry are able to eat freshly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms, transfer them to a larger aquarium.

Since there are so many of them, you may have to do this several times.

A larger tank will help them to grow quite rapidly, smaller and crowded tanks, on the other hand, will affect their development.

Therefore,  provide them with a larger tank at the earliest possible time.

How often Tetra Breed?

The majority of tetra species reproduce throughout the rainy seasons in the wild.

This is when it happens naturally, and on an aquarium, you can’t expect it to rain.

However, in a controlled environment, such as an aquarium, you can breed adult and mature tetras every two weeks.

Last Words

Nothing is more exciting than seeing your fish lay eggs, but it can also be a test of willpower.

So, if you want to breed your fish, make sure you do it properly and provide them with pristine conditions for reproduction.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did.

If you still have any questions, share them with us in the comment section below.