Breeding tetras is not typically very difficult. They are well-suited for reproduction in a home aquarium environment. In fact, if you have kept tetras for any length of time, it is likely they have already been breeding. This article will cover techniques to help induce breeding and to increase the chances of the fry making it to adulthood.
In the wild, tetras typically breed only during the rainiest time of the year. In a home aquarium setting, tetras will often breed year round. Tetras are an egg laying species. The female will scatter her eggs in and among plants. Female tetras can lay eggs every ten to fourteen days.
Because female tetras lay eggs so frequently, they are not overly careful of where the eggs are laid. Although spawning occurs so often, fry are not nearly as common in a standard community tank. The reason for this is simple: these eggs are more often than not eaten by adult fish in the aquarium.
In order to increase the chances that a successful egg laying results in abundant and healthy fry a little control must be exercised. Begin by seperating the males and females with a tank divider. This will allow you to select two individuals for placement in a breeding tank. It can be a little difficult to determine the sex of tetras, but with a little knowledge and a good eye it is certainly possible. Males tend to be more slim and brighter in color. Females tend to be plump, particularly when viewed from above.
Male tetras are generally a month or two older than females for successful spawning to take place.
It is better to keep the fish in the same tank so the sight of the opposite sex will help induce spawning. Make sure the males and females are kept seperate for at least two weeks before selecting individuals for your breeding tank. Set up a seperate breeding tank with a peat filter and clean tank water from the main tank. Provide plenty of plants with fine leaves.
There are a few different methods that can be used to help prevent egg cannibalism. These methods are as follows:
Females should be transferred to the breeding tank before the males. The ideal time to transfer the females is the night before the males. This allows the females to sort out territory and get comfortable in the new environment. It also has the added benefit of putting the female on her own turf when the males are introduced. The fact that it is her territory will help reduce the chances of the males becoming overly aggressive
Once the males are introduced to the females it is important to observe their behavior. Overly aggrssive males should be seperated back into their tank. Females that reject the males and attempt to attack them in return should likewise be returned to their side of the divided tank. Once all of the pairs have laid eggs, remove them and put them back in their original divided aquarium. If all went well, you should have fry swimming in your tank in no time!