The Black Skirt Tetra, scientifically known as Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, is a popular and widely recognized freshwater fish cherished for its striking appearance, ease of care, and peaceful nature. Originating from South America, particularly from the Paraguay and Guaporé River basins, these tetras are a staple in many community aquariums.
Their name is derived from their distinct black coloration along the lower half of their body, resembling a "skirt," which contrasts sharply with the silvery-white or transparent upper portion. Additionally, they feature elongated fins with hints of red or orange at their base, enhancing their visual appeal.
Black Skirt Tetras are relatively small, reaching an average size of about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) in length when fully grown. They have a streamlined body shape and a characteristic schooling behavior, making them an excellent addition to community tanks.
These tetras are peaceful and sociable fish, and they thrive in groups of six or more individuals. When kept in a school, they exhibit lively and engaging behavior, exploring the aquarium together and displaying their schooling instincts. Having a group provides them with a sense of security, minimizing stress and encouraging natural behaviors.
They are versatile and adaptable, tolerating a wide range of water parameters. However, they prefer slightly acidic to neutral water conditions with temperatures between 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C) and a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5. Regular water changes and a well-maintained tank are essential for their health and well-being.
Black Skirt Tetras are omnivorous and typically accept a varied diet. They readily consume high-quality flake or pellet foods and enjoy occasional treats of live or frozen fare, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. A diverse diet ensures they receive essential nutrients for optimal health and color vibrancy.
These tetras are not demanding in terms of tank setup but appreciate a well-decorated aquarium with plants, driftwood, and hiding spots. Providing ample space for swimming and areas for retreat helps replicate their natural habitat and contributes to their overall comfort.
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