Black Skirt Tetra Fish 101: A Comprehensive Beginners Guide!

Are you thinking about starting an aquarium but need help figuring out where to begin? Look no further than the Black Skirt Tetra fish, a popular choice for beginner aquarists! These stunning and easy-to-care-for fish are a great addition to any tank, adding beauty and vibrancy to your aquatic world.

This comprehensive beginner guide will cover everything you need about Black Skirt Tetras, including their habitat, diet, behavior, and tank requirements.

You will learn to care for these fish properly, ensuring they thrive and remain healthy in your aquarium.

Black widow tetra

Whether you are a seasoned aquarist looking to add a new species to your collection or a novice just starting, this guide will provide all the information you need to care for Black Skirt Tetras successfully. 

So dive in and explore the wonderful world of these captivating fish! 

Black Skirt Tetra Fish Species Profile:

The Black Skirted Tetra is a vibrantly colored freshwater fish native to the calm, warm waters of South America’s river basins, predominantly in Brazil and Paraguay. A popular choice for beginner aquarists, it is known for its striking appearance, peaceful temperament, and ease of care.

Physical Description

The Black Skirt Tetra is a slender fish with a silvery body and a prominent, flowing black skirt that extends from its midsection to its tail. Two thin, vertical black bars run along the silver portion of its body. When kept in a well-maintained aquarium, Black Skirt Tetras typically grow 2-3 inches long and have a 3-5 years lifespan.

Temperament and Behavior

Black Skirt Tetras are schooling fish, meaning they thrive in groups of 6 or more. They will peacefully school together in a community tank, adding a dynamic and eye-catching element to the aquarium. They are generally peaceful fish but may fin nip at slow-moving or long-finned tankmates.

Black-Skirted Tetra Fish Tank Requirements

  • Tank size: 20 gallons or more for a school of 6 fish
  • Water temperature: 68°F – 78°F (20°C – 26°C)
  • Water hardness: 5 – 19 dGH
  • pH: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Filtration: Moderate water flow
  • Substrate: Gravel or sand
  • Decoration: Live or artificial plants to provide hiding places

Black Widow Tetra Diet

Black Skirt Tetras are omnivores and readily accept flake foods, pellets, frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. For optimal health, offer a varied diet that includes plant-based and meaty foods.

Overall, the Black Skirted Tetra is a hardy and easy-to-care-for fish that makes a great addition to a community tank. Its beautiful coloration, peaceful demeanor, and active swimming make it popular with aquarists of all levels.

Are Black Skirt Tetras Peaceful?

Black Skirt Tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) are known to be peaceful fish that make excellent community fish in aquariums. Originating from South America, specifically Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, hobbyists often seek these characidae species for their striking appearance.

With their black fins and petticoat tetra-like black stripes that cover half of their body, black skirt tetras are a popular choice for tropical fish enthusiasts. These shoaling fish tend to school together and swim gracefully in groups, adding beauty and movement to any aquarium.

They are generally hardy and can thrive in a wide range of water conditions but prefer slightly acidic water parameters. Black skirt tetras are omnivores and will eat a variety of high quality foods, including flake foods, frozen foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp, live foods like daphnia, and even small insects.

They may also nip at angelfish and other long-finned fish, so caution is advised when keeping them with such species.

When it comes to breeding, black skirt tetras are relatively easy to spawn in a breeding tank with plants or driftwood for egg-laying. The eggs will hatch in a few days, and the fry can be fed on tiny live foods until they reach maturity.

Please note that while black skirt tetras are often sold as glofish, the species may not look identical to the image provided, as color and fin length variations can occur.

Overall, black skirt tetras are peaceful and attractive fish that can be a great addition to a community aquarium if given the proper care and attention they need.

Black Skirted Tetra Freshwater Fish Colors and Markings

The Black Skirted Tetra is an attractive aquarium fish with a unique appearance. As the name suggests, this species has a black “skirt” covering half of the body, making it a petticoat tetra.

These fish are commonly referred to as the Blackamoor due to their dark coloring. The body of this fish looks nearly translucent but has a hint of a rounder shape with a distinctive dorsal fin and anal fin.

In terms of color, the Black Skirted Tetra is usually black with a hint of silver or gold, but the exact shade of black may vary from specimen to specimen.

They are peaceful species in the aquarium that can be kept in a small group. It is important to note that this item may not look identical, especially regarding the black coloring. These fish are relatively easy to care for and can live up to two years of age if provided with the proper care.

The Black Skirted Tetra is known to scatter its eggs among vegetation and feed the fry with baby brine shrimp or micro pellets. The fry reaches sexual maturity at around one year of age.

Tips for Keeping Black Skirt Tetras In the Aquarium

Black skirt tetras are popular freshwater fish that are relatively easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginner aquarists. Here are some tips for keeping them healthy and happy in your aquarium:

  • Tank Size: Black skirt tetras are schooling fish, which means they prefer to live in groups of 6 or more. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a school of 6 black skirt tetras.
  • Water Conditions: Black skirt tetras prefer slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water (pH 6.0-8.0) with a hardness of 5-19 dGH. The ideal water temperature for them is between 72-80°F (22-27°C).
  • Tank Setup: Black skirt tetras are active swimmers who appreciate hiding places. A good tank setup for them would include a combination of live plants and driftwood to provide both swimming space and hiding spots.
  • Filtration: Black skirt tetras are relatively clean fish, but they still need a good-quality filter to remove waste products from the water. A filter rated for a tank size larger than your actual tank is an excellent way to ensure that water quality stays good.

Following these tips, you can create a happy and healthy home for your black skirt tetras in your aquarium.

Black Skirt Tetra Tank Mates

Black widow tetras sometimes called black skirt tetras, are generally peaceful fish, but they can be fin nippers with larger or more aggressive fish. Here are some good tank mates for black widow tetras:

  • Corydoras Catfish: Corydoras catfish are peaceful bottom feeders that are a great addition to any community tank. They eat leftover food and algae, helping to keep your tank clean.
  • Neon Tetras: Neon tetras are another popular schooling fish and a good choice for black widow tetras. They are small and peaceful and will add color to your tank.
  • Rummy Nose Tetras: Rummy nose tetras are peaceful schooling fish similar to neon tetras. They have a red spot on their nose, which is how they get their name.
  • Harlequin Rasboras: Harlequin rasboras are peaceful schooling fish that are a good choice for smaller tanks. These colorful fish are active and will add much life to your tank.
  • Celestial Danios: Celestial Danios are peaceful schooling fish that are a good choice for beginners. They are easy to care for and relatively inexpensive.

Fish to avoid keeping with black widow tetras:

  • Tiger Barbs: Tiger barbs are known fin nippers who can harass black widow tetras.
  • Angelfish: Angelfish can be aggressive, especially when they are significant. They may nip at the fins of black widow tetras.
  • Bettas: Bettas can be aggressive towards other fish and may nip at the fins of black widow tetras.

By choosing suitable tank mates, you can create a peaceful and harmonious community tank for your black widow tetras.

Breeding the Black Widow Tetra

Breeding the Black Widow Tetra can be a rewarding experience for aquarists looking to add a unique and striking fish to their tanks. These fish originate from the Paraguay River basin and the Guapore within species and are known for their distinctive coloration and tetragonal shape.

When breeding Black Widow Tetras, it is essential to note that they may exhibit some aggression towards other fish. Therefore, it is recommended to provide plenty of hiding spots in the tank, such as caves and taller plants. Breeding these fish can be relatively simple, as they are known to spawn quickly in a home aquarium.

Once the eggs are laid, the keeper can use freeze-dried vegetable matter to feed the fry and encourage growth. Breeding Black Widow Tetras can be fascinating for those interested in expanding their knowledge of fish genetics and behaviors within the aquarium trade.

How many black skirt tetras should be kept together?

Aim for a school of 6-10 black skirt tetras. They thrive in groups and will be less stressed and more colorful.

How big do black skirt tetras grow?

Black skirt tetras, reaching around 2.5 inches (6 cm) in length, are on the larger side for tetras. Your aquarium must be at least 20 gallons to comfortably house a schooling fish like this.

What does a Black Skirt Tetra eat?

Black Tetras with skirts are omnivores. In the wild, they eat insects, worms, and small crustaceans. Aquarium tetras thrive on a varied diet of flakes, frozen brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

How often should I feed a skirt tetra?

Ideal feeding for skirt tetras is 2-3 times daily, with a small amount of food each time. To avoid overfeeding, they should finish the food in 2 minutes or less.

How many black skirt tetras are in a 10-gallon?

A 10-gallon tank is too small for a healthy school of black skirt tetras. They grow to 2 inches long and thrive in larger groups, so they need at least a 15-gallon tank.

What is the lifespan of a black skirt Tetra?

The average black skirt tetra lifespan in a well-maintained aquarium is 3 to 5 years. A spacious tank, clean water, and a good diet can help them thrive longer.

What is the temperament of a black tetra?

Black tetras, or black skirt tetras, are generally peaceful schooling fish. They thrive in groups of at least five and do well with other peaceful community fish.

What is the average size of a Black Skirt Tetra?

Adult Black Skirt Tetras reach about 2.4 inches (6 cm). You’ll typically find them around 0.5 – 1 inch (1.3 – 2.5 cm) purchase size at pet stores. Remember, they need a school of at least six fish!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Black Skirted Tetra is an extraordinary addition to any aquarium, captivating beginners and experienced fish enthusiasts alike. Its striking black coloration and playful nature make it a standout choice for those seeking a visually stunning and active fish species. The ease of care and compatibility with various tank mates further enhance its appeal.

Whether you’re a novice aquarist or a seasoned pro, the Skirt Tetra offers endless fascination and enjoyment. Watching these graceful creatures glide through the water, their vibrant fins trailing behind, is a delight. They will thrive and bring life to your aquarium with proper care and attention to their needs.

So why wait? Dive into the world of Black Skirt Tetras and witness their mesmerizing beauty firsthand. Create a thriving aquatic ecosystem, and let these enchanting fish become the centerpiece of your tank. Explore the wonders of the Black Skirt Tetra and experience the joy it brings to your aquatic journey.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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