What Do Black Skirt Tetras Eat in Aquarium: (Top 5 Foods)

With their dramatic, flowing fins and playful personalities, Black Skirt Tetras are a staple in many aquariums. But what do black skirt tetras eat to keep them healthy and happy? These fascinating fish aren’t picky eaters; a proper diet is crucial to their well-being.

Imagine a group of Black Skirts darting through the tank, their black silhouettes a mesmerizing dance against the vibrant backdrop of your aquarium. But their vibrant energy isn’t just for show!

They require a balanced diet to fuel their active lifestyle. From high-quality flakes to nutrient-rich frozen foods, there’s a world of options for satisfying their appetites.

how many black skirt tetras in a 10 gallon tank

This guide delves into the top five foods that will keep your Black Skirts thriving. We’ll explore the best options for each stage of their life, from fry to adult. Get ready to discover the secrets to feeding your Black Skirt Tetras a nutritious and delicious menu!

What Do Black Skirt Tetras Eat in Home Tank?

What do skirt tetras eat? Black skirt tetras eat various foods in a home tank, including flakes, pellets, frozen foods, and live foods like baby brine shrimp. They are omnivores and will eagerly accept most foods offered to them.

In a community tank, a balanced diet is essential to meet all nutritional needs. When setting up a tank for black-skirt tetra breeding, consider adding hiding spots and driftwood for the females to lay their eggs all over the tank.

How Many Black Skirt Tetras in a 10 Gallon Tank

Having a separate breeding tank to prevent other fish species from eating the eggs is also a good idea. Live food like infusoria can be helpful for black skirt tetras fry, as they are tiny and need small prey to eat.

Keeping black skirt tetras happy and healthy in your fish tank requires paying attention to their diet and environment.

TOP 5 Best Foods for Black Skirt Tetras Fish

Black Skirt Tetras are omnivores and aren’t picky eaters. They will readily devour a variety of foods. However, to keep them healthy and thriving, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet that mimics what they would eat in the wild. 

Here are the top five foods for Black Widow Tetra fish:

  1. High-Quality Flake Food—This should be the staple of your Black Skirt Tetra’s diet. Choose a flake food specifically formulated for tropical fish and containing spirulina, algae, and plankton.
  2. Frozen Brine Shrimp– Brine shrimp are a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the health of your Black Skirt Tetras. Feed brine shrimp a few times a week as a treat.
  3. Frozen Bloodworms– Bloodworms are another great source of protein for Black Skirt Tetras. They are also a good source of iron, which can help improve your fish’s color. Feed bloodworms sparingly as they are high in fat.
  4. Micropellets—Micropellets are an excellent alternative to flake food. They are a complete food containing all the nutrients your Black Skirt Tetras needs. They also tend to sink slower than flakes, which allows bottom feeders to get some food.
  5. Daphnia– Daphnia are small, freshwater crustaceans that are a good source of protein and essential fatty acids for Black Skirt Tetras. You can find daphnia frozen or freeze-dried at most pet stores.

Black Tetra Fish Feeding Tips:

  • Feed your Black Skirt Tetras a small amount of food two to three times per day.
  • Vary their diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
  • Refrain from feeding your fish. Overfeeding can lead to water quality problems.
  • After a few minutes, remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent it from decomposing and polluting the water.

Black Skirt Tetra Care & Tank Set-Up

Black tetras are a great fish to keep in a freshwater tank, but there are some essential things you need to know about their care and tank set-up. A good rule of thumb is to keep them in groups of at least six, as they are schooling fish.

A 40 gallon tank would be suitable for a group of black skirt tetras and other peaceful fish, such as neon tetras or cherry shrimp.

When setting up a new tank for your black skirt tetras, cycle it properly to establish the necessary water conditions. Monitoring levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate is recommended to keep the water parameters stable.

You may also need a separate tank to prevent aggression from fish like angelfish or betta fish towards your black skirts.

When feeding Black Skirt Tetras, provide a varied diet, including flake, pellets, and live or frozen foods like fried food. They are omnivores and will eat just about anything you offer.

Maintaining quality and maintaining regular water changes are essential for the tank. Water changes regularly. Black skirt tetras live near the bottom of the tank, so the substrate must be kept clean, and plenty of hiding spots and plants should be provided for them to explore.

If you need advice on setting up and caring for your black skirts, do not hesitate to ask your local fish store or do some research online.

Black Skirt Tetra Tank Mates

Black Skirt Tetras are active, schooling fish known for their unique, flowing fins. Choosing compatible tank mates is crucial for their well-being and the overall harmony of your aquarium.

Consider these factors when selecting companions:

  • Temperament: Black Skirts are peaceful but can be nippy towards smaller or slow-moving fish.
  • Water Parameters: They prefer soft, slightly acidic water conditions.
  • Size & Activity Level: Choose fish of similar size and activity levels to avoid bullying or feeling overwhelmed.
  • Schooling Behavior: Black Skirts thrive in groups of 6 or more, so consider adding other schooling species.

Here are some recommended tank mates for Black Widow Tetras:

Peaceful, Schooling Fish:

  • Other Tetras: Neons Tetra fish, Cardinal Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Glowlight Tetras
  • Danios: Zebra Danios, Pearl Danios, Giant Danios
  • Rasboras: Chili Rasboras, Red-Line Rasboras, Harlequin Rasboras
  • Barbs: Cherry Barbs, Odessa Barbs, Gold Barbs
  • Loaches: Kuhli Loaches, Yoyo Loaches

Larger, Semi-Aggressive Fish:

  • Rainbowfish: Boesemani Rainbowfish, Red Irian Rainbowfish
  • Corydoras Catfish: These are excellent bottom dwellers and can be kept in groups.

Peaceful Bottom Dwellers:

  • Ghost Shrimp: They add a nice contrast to the tank and are peaceful.
  • Nerite Snails: Help control algae growth.
  • African Dwarf Frogs: These are slow-moving but can be nipped at by Black Skirts if there are too few.


  • Aggressive Fish: Cichlids, Bettas, Gouramis
  • Slow-Moving Fish: Guppies, Platy, Mollies (can be nipped at)
  • Fin-Nipping Fish: Angelfish, Silver Dollars (may nibble on Black Skirt’s fins)

Important Considerations:

  • Tank Size: A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for Black Skirts, but a larger tank is ideal for multiple species.
  • Plant Cover: Adding plants provides hiding places and a sense of security for the fish.
  • Water Changes: Regular water changes are crucial for maintaining stable water conditions.
  • Quarantine: Always quarantine new fish before introducing them to your established tank.

Remember, the best tank mates thrive in similar conditions and have compatible personalities. Do thorough research before adding any fish to your Black Skirt Tetra tank.

Breeding Black Skirt Tetras

Breeding Black Tetras can be a rewarding experience for freshwater fish hobbyists. These petticoat tetras are also known as black widow tetra due to their dark coloration and graceful fins.

When breeding black-skirt tetras, keeping two black skirt tetras together, one male and one female, is best. Feed the fish various dry foods to ensure they live longer and healthier lives.

These fish live in poor water conditions in their natural habitat in the Paraguay River, so they are relatively hardy. They spend most of their time swimming around the tank and generally get along well with other fish, although they may become aggressive towards other fish during breeding time.

As a general rule of thumb, keeping them in at least a 10-gallon tank is recommended, with five fish being the optimal number for a 24- to 36-hour cycle. To breed black skirt tetras, it is best to set up a separate tank specifically for breeding, with a 15-gallon tank being the best bet.

When breeding black skirt tetras, try to avoid fish that may prey on the eggs or fry. Keep the water clean and well-maintained to ensure the success of breeding.

It is essential to provide everything you need to know about the fish regarding water quality, temperature, and diet. Black skirt tetras sink to the bottom to lay their eggs, which hatch in 24 to 36 hours.

The fry should be fed small food particles and kept separate from the adult fish until they are large enough to fend for themselves. Your black skirt tetras can thrive and reproduce successfully in a fish-keeping environment with proper care and attention.

What is the best food for black tetras?

Black tetras thrive on a varied diet of high-quality flake food, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

How often do you feed skirt tetras?

How often should I feed my black tetra fish? Feed Black Skirt Tetras twice daily, offering only as much food as they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding might lead to water quality issues.

What is the lifespan of a skirt tetra?

Black Skirt long-finned Tetras have an average lifespan of 5-10 years, though they can live longer with proper care, a healthy diet, and a clean, well-maintained tank.

How many black skirt tetras should be kept together?

Black Skirt Tetras are schooling fish and thrive in groups of at least six individuals, ideally eight or more.

What to feed black tetras?

Black Skirt Tetras are omnivores, feeding on flakes, pellets, and frozen foods. Offer a mix of high-quality flakes, sinking pellets, and occasional treats like bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Should I feed my tetras every day?

It’s best to feed your tetras once daily, in the amount they can consume within two minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and health problems.

How long can tetras go without food?

Tetras can go without food for a few days without harm. However, feeding them regularly is best to ensure their health and wellbeing. Aim for daily feeding for optimal nutrition.

Should I turn my tetras light off at night?

You should turn off your tetras’ light at night to mimic natural day and night cycles. You can also use subdued lighting to help them relax and sleep.

Are black widow tetras fin nippers?

While Black Skirt Tetras can be territorial, they are not typically fin nippers. However, they may nibble at long flowing fins like a caudal fin, so ensure tank mates have suitable anal fin sizes.

How to identify widow tetra male or female?

It can be tricky to distinguish between male and female Black Skirt Tetras. The most reliable way to distinguish them is by observing their breeding behavior, as only males will have a prominent breeding tube.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it—a comprehensive guide to answering the question of what do black skirt tetra fish eat and ensuring they thrive in your aquarium. Remember, variety is key! By offering a diverse range of foods, you’ll provide your Black Skirt fish with the essential nutrients they need to flourish.

Feel free to experiment with different options and observe their preferences. You’ll notice their vibrant colors intensify, their playful personalities shine, and their graceful movements become even more mesmerizing. A well-fed Black Skirt Tetra is a happy Tetra, adding a touch of captivating elegance to your underwater world.

As you’ve learned, the answer to “What do black skirt tetras eat?” extends beyond just a few staples. It’s about creating a balanced and stimulating diet that encourages their health and happiness. With a bit of attention to their dietary needs, your Black Skirts will reward you with years of mesmerizing beauty and active companionship.

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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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