Tetra fish is a popular choice among both advanced and beginner hobbyists, partly because of their active behaviors and bright colors.
They gained this name because of their unique teeth shape.
Colors and size vary widely among the various species.
With proper diet and ideal aquarium setup, tetra fish are hardy; lasting up to ten years in a healthy aquarium.
Common tetra fish species
The most popular species are the cardinal tetras, glow light tetras, and neon tetras.
Other common ones include black skirt tetras, red-eye tetras, glass tetras, and rosy tetras.
Most tetra fish are docile, but others like the serape tetra are prone to squeezing fish using their long tails.
Therefore, you ought to ensure that the species you keep inside the aquarium cohabit well.
Setting up an aquarium
The larger the tank size, the better.
Although tetras are only a few inches long, larger tanks are easier to maintain.
For those who want to start small, you can keep 10 tetras in a 20-gallon aquarium.
Tetra fish do well in warm climates. Therefore maintain the aquarium temperatures between 23-26 degrees Celsius.
If you give them anything above or below these temperatures, tetra fish have a higher metabolism and become stressed easily.
Therefore, you will require a heater and a thermometer to regulate as well as monitor the water temperature.
The water’s pH should be between 5.5 and 7. However, if you are rearing tank bred tetra, find out their ideal pH as it could be less or above the recommended one.
Thus, inquire from the vendor before purchasing.
Hardness- the relative water hardness should be 4kH-8kH.
This is a replica of the relatively soft conditions as those found in the Amazon, where most tetra fish originate.
Ammonia- tetras tend to be sensitive to ammonia spikes, as they may breathe rapidly and lose their color
Nitrite- nitrite levels must be maintained at 0ppm
Nitrate- nitrate levels should be as close as possible to 0ppm.
Any reading beyond 40ppm is not suitable for rearing tetras.
Elevated levels may be lowered by adding aquatic plants as well as increasing the number of time you change the water.
Salt-too much salt is unhealthy for tetra fish.
However, controlled quantities are essential in preventing mild infections
Lighting and hygiene
Place the aquarium on a sturdy stand far from windows.
Remember to set up an aquarium light on a timer for about ten hours daily.
Put an inch or 2 of gravel sand at the tank’s bottom, as it will help break down the uneaten waste, dead plant parts and fish waste.
If you will not have the gravel, ensure you clean the tank often.
Decorate the aquarium with plants, pirate ships, castles, pebbles and so on, so as to enhance its beauty.
Place these decorations as close to the bottom as possible, so that they can help keep the gravel in place.
However, avoid having excessive decorations as they will reduce the area that the fish can swim in, and this will consequently increase their stress levels.
If you want to include many pieces, ensure that they are all of different heights consider having real plants instead of artificial ones.
Live plants are instrumental in maintaining the nutrients inside the water.
Adding tetra fish into the aquarium
1. Before bringing the tetras home, ensure that you have tested the aquarium water for all the above named parameters.
2. Next, float the unopened plastic bag into the aquarium for an average of 10 minutes.
This will ensure that the water inside the bag reaches the same temperature as that inside the tank.
The bags are usually filled with oxygen to lower the chances of suffocating the fish during the ten minutes.
3. After ten minutes, cut a side of the bag and slowly pour a cup of water from the aquarium into the container, and let it sit for five minutes.
Continue doing this for about three other cups.
You might have to wedge or clip the bag at the side to prevent it from toppling over.
4. Next, use a soft net to collect the fish from the bag and place them gently into the tank.
Once all the fish are out, dispose the water from the pack.
Following these steps will increase the survival of your tetra fish significantly.
What do tetra fish eat?
For optimum coloration and health of the fish, it is essential for you to feed them on a variety of foods.
Tetra fish love eating live food such as insects and small warns.
Considering that they are toothed fish, their diet should primarily consist of meat such as spirulina flakes, mainly when you first introduce them into the tank.
As they adjust to the artificial surrounding, you can gradually include live food into their diet.
It is recommended that you feed the tetra fish with a blend of live, frozen and packed meals.
Feeding the tetra fish
When feeding the tetra fish, it is important to note that they catch their feed from the water surface.
Usually, they like staying at the tank’s middle area; therefore, they are likely to ignore food that is at the bottom of the tank.
So, it is more appropriate to feed them frequently with food that they can consume in about three minutes rather than to give them huge quantities at once.
If you give them large amounts of food at once, they will not finish it at a go.
This means that the feed will settle at the bottom f the tank; thus increasing the biomass.
In case a proper filter method is lacking in such an aquarium, the fish might get infected, therefore fall sick.
Tetra fish diseases
Tetra fish tend to be highly susceptible to diseases and infections.
A well maintained aquarium will however prevent these incidences.
If you note any of these signs, the fish might be infected and they require attention:
- Discoloration of fish skin or skin color dullness
- Irregular swimming patterns that make them seem drunk
- Fish that are unstable, or show restlessness
- Fish body that look imbalanced-could be a sign of bent spine
- Lumpy body that is accompanied by cysts on the skin
Fishtankanswers.com will come up with details about these diseases.