Black Skirt Tetra: Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

Discover all the secrets of the Black tetra (monjita fish)

The Black tetra (monjita fish) has become a popular species of aquarium, it is distinguished from the others by having a black skirt and by not needing very bulky tanks. There is also an albino adaptation of this family quite common in animal stores known as the white Black tetra (monjita fish) , a fish that is obtained by crossing it with other genres of pastel tonality that has come to be sold as another species.

black skirt tetra

General characteristics of the Black tetra (monjita fish)

Black tetra (monjita fish) are easy to recognize as they have a black dorsal and fins. They have a fairly compressed body laterally, their profile is oval, they can measure up to 5.5 centimeters and it is golden with vertical stripes above black. Their adult size is achieved from the first year, from that moment is when they begin to show their strongest coloration.

At the moment that the fish grows it looks more tired and its placement fades reaching a silvery gray color. As the years go by, in the case of females you can notice their dorsal fin less pronounced while the males lean the front edge towards the back reaching extending through the tail.

In this case you can distinguish females from males by the very different shape of their bodies, the female is usually fatter than the male. On the other hand, the males of this species will almost always show off noticeable white dots on the caudal fin.

OriginRio Paraguay, Rio Guapore, Bolivia
SocialPeaceful, good community fish
Tank LevelMid dweller
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
DietOmnivore, eats most foods
BreedingEgg layer
pH5.8 to 8.5
Hardnessup to 15 dGH
Temperature68 to 79 F (20 to 26 C)

Your behavior and types

The Black tetra (monjita fish) when alone maintains a calm and shy behavior, when they are in small groups they have to be more expressive. However sometimes it will remain stressed so most of the time it will remain hidden in its habitat.

When these fish maintain stress for many days they themselves will most likely contribute to the weakening of their immune system, this means that their body is more prone to hoarding diseases. To avoid this type of inconvenience it is best to place fine plants so that they can swim to their liking.

Black tetra (monjita fish) aquariums

To breed a Black tetra fish it is important to choose a spacious aquarium so that they can swim perfectly and so that they can reproduce at the time they wish. The design of the fish tank is essential when maintaining this wonderful species, being a tropical fish tends to unfold in small groups so they are confused between the vegetation of roots, stems and tall leaves

Fish tanks for the Black tetra (monjita fish)

This type of species can live up to four years depending on the care given to it, so it is recommended to opt for a high aquarium since in many cases they execute vertical displacements between the thin leaves. At least 38 liters of water must have the container to have at least five fish of the same species.

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There are fish tanks that are made especially for Black tetra fish, they are ideal for placing plants in all side areas since their material allows it. In this way it is possible that they swim to their liking and that they can reproduce eggs by hosting them in the vegetables to prevent the other fish from eating them.

It is also recommended to place in the fish tank some floating plants such as the fern Ceratopteris who allows to create dark areas to the taste of this species. Broadleaf plants turn out to be your best ally since it prevents the monita fish from spawning on a stone while swimming or on some side of the pointed glass.

Aquarium maintenance

To prevent this species from catching any disease, it is important to constantly keep the aquarium clean. This means that you must change the water from time to time with room temperature since their small body does not resist sudden changes. You should also avoid placing large or pointed objects as much as possible because this only makes it difficult for them when swimming.

It is necessary to remove the remaining food from the aquarium after a few days to prevent it from being ingested again, the food may already be past and the only thing that will get is that they become seriously ill by not digesting it correctly their stomach.

Care of the Black tetra (monjita fish)

The Black tetra fish turns out to be an excellent species for a beginner aquarium since it does not need much care to survive, however it does not mean that it is not prone to suffer from some diseases. In some cases it usually suffers from white point so you must change the water constantly to avoid all kinds of bacteria.

How to care for the little fish

It is characterized by having an integrated black skirt,it can also measure 5.5 centimeters so it must be kept in a small fish tank so that it swims perfectly and without complications. Aquarium water needs to have a ph between 6 and 8 along with a temperature of 20 and 26 degrees for it to live healthily.

The Black tetra fish can live up to five years but it all depends on the care given to them. One of the advantages of buying this genus is that it adapts perfectly to fish tanks with dim light or those that are well lit. Most of these fish like their habitat with tall natural plants such as cambomba and dark base.

To prevent the Black tetra fish from tripping when swimming, sharp objects should be avoided, it is best to opt for natural plants for greater comfort. In addition, a medium filter is required to generate an average current to prevent it from swallowing it until it causes death.

Basic care

This species is resistant and does not need constant care because it is native to subtropical waters. The best thing is that it can survive a wide range of situations, however you should avoid sudden changes or extreme conditions to prevent them from getting sick.

Derived from the carnivore family, these fish must be fed mainly by worms, insects and small crustaceans to strengthen their body. The ideas are to give them small portions of seaweed and vegetable food to eat a balanced diet. Best of all, they do not bother and are very passive so you have nothing to worry about when it comes to raising them.

Feeding the Black tetra (monjita fish)

The Black tetra (monjita fish) are characterized by being an extremely peaceful species that do not require greater care to live for several years. However, they need an adequate diet to develop healthily, because they are beginners carnivores most of the time they are fed with small crustaceans, insects and worms. They also accept any other type of food provided to them.

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How to feed it

To keep them healthy it is better to eat a varied diet, that is, they should be given small intakes of fresh, live, dry, frozen and fragmented foods. To make it easier for you, you can use premium tropical fragmented supplies and then mix it with shrimp, worms or spirulina to make it more nutritious.

Due to its accelerated organism, the Black tetra fish adapts perfectly to dry food in flakes and to make its color more revived, it is important to give it live food frequently among the most important are: cyclops, nauplius of saline artemía and larvae of flies. All of these foods have enough nutrients that this species needs to stay healthy.

As we mentioned before, these fish do not need more care but are always exposed to suffer from their own diseases so they need to be well-fed to have the necessary defenses. Therefore, it is recommended to give them food in their clean habitat to prevent it from being contaminated by any accumulated bacteria.

What do the Black tetra fish eat?

The monita fish has the ability to adapt to a varied diet since its body works quickly, but the ideal is to have a balanced diet to avoid any anomaly in your body over the years. Generally this species feeds on:

  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Vegetable materials
  • Small crustaceans
  • Live food
  • Fresh food
  • Fragmented meals
  • Larvae of vinegar flies
  • Cyclops
  • Among others

All these foods can be used in small amounts at least thirteen times a day to prevent them from getting soaked and can go uncambiated. If you want your little animals to be your best company for several years now you know how to take care of them, surely you will not fail in the attempt.

Young Black tetra fish

The Black tetra fish in addition to living in an aquarium with tall natural plants likes to be accompanied by other fish of the same or another similar species, this is because it is very active and peaceful at the same time so it is suitable to survive in community fish tanks. Because they are very prolific, they have a minimum family that can be reproduced only twice in a time of less than 15 months. If you want to have more of these fish inside your aquarium you can breed this genus in captivity, this means that you must provide them with a wider space that is completely populated with tall and thin leaves so that the eggs are protected.  Black tetra fish is an egg-laying family that prefers to lay them among plants of this type to safeguard them from any danger.

Tips for breeding Black tetra fish

During the laying period the male will claim his territory and defend it so that no other fish can eat the eggs. However, to ensure reproduction while it is born, it is best to place them in another larger aquarium separated from the parents since this species can feed on the eggs once they have been fertilized.

Half-released eggs can hatch properly within 24 hours. After that time you can observe the breeding of the monita fish and the ideal is to feed them with egg yolks pieces of shrimp. As the fish grow, you can give them shrimp or worms in larger portions.

Reproduction and breeding

The body of this species is characterized by being flat and tall, with the mouth up and with large eyes resistant to light. Because it belongs to the oviparous family, it is easy to reproduce eggs and breed. It is a species derived from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay that can live up to four years if given the necessary care it requires during its development.

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For the eggs to be well protected they need to be set aside to prevent their own species from feeding on them, they must also be supported with special products to prevent them from getting sick and dying.

Diseases of the Black tetra

The Black tetra fish is an ideal species for beginner aquariums since for its correct development it does not require so much attention. Like all fish, it is always exposed to several diseases ranging from the mildest to the most serious which can cause its death. For this reason you should suck that this good whenever you can. This species in stores is achieved by crossing them with other fish with pastel tones so that later it can be marketed as another species. However, this process can harm the health of Black tetra fish by exposing them to diseases and gives them a fairly short life expectancy.

Tips for your health

This type of fish is one of the most common species in pet stores and they turn out to be a good alternative for beginners because they are not very demanding in terms of their care. But this does not mean that you will neglect them, to prevent them from getting sick it is important to put into practice some tips:

Know your fish well: in order for it to grow in a natural habitat it is important to surround it with large and thin leaves so that its development is healthier. It should also be bred in a large aquarium in the company of other fish of the same or similar species.

Place a heater: being a tropical fish it is best to have them in a fish tank heated to a temperature of 23° C. Many times they catch diseases because they do not resist the sudden change of water so it must always be at a correct temperature.

Provide a balanced diet: it is convenient to give your Black tetra fish special foods that contribute to its proper development. By giving them the necessary nutrients you will prevent this species from getting sick because of its low defenses.

How to avoid diseases of the Black tetra fish

To prevent this genus from getting sick and dying, it is necessary to change the water from time to time to prevent pests or bacteria from being created inside the aquarium that can penetrate their small body. In case of being sick, remember that in some specialized shops there are chemical products to cure them during the first phase.