Tim's Tropical Fish



Fish Care

Our Site


Tetra Aquarium Fish

Black Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra - Coloring

Black Skirt Tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
Black Skirt Tetra

The Black Skirt Tetra originates from South America. They are extremely hardy and therefore good for beginning aquarists. They are also known as the Black Widow and the Black Tetra. The Black Skirt Tetra is not the same as the Black Neon. Their distinctive feature is an anal fin that forms a broad skirt. The tail fin is translucent, while the dorsal and anal fins are black. There are black vertical stripes across the body. The black "skirt" can vary from black to translucent depending on mood and breeding activity. The black stripes tend to lengthen with age. In addition to the Black Skirt Tetra, varieties include the White Skirt (see below), Gold Skirt, and Long-Finned.

White Skirt Tetra, Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
White Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra - Aquarium Setup

A planted tank with floating plant cover, hiding places and open swimming space is preferred. Tall plants should also be provided for this mid level swimmer. They are a typical schooling tetra and should be kept in groups of at least 6. They are also very active and may not provide a good mix with some of the slower moving tetras only because they tend to disturb the peaceful pattern in the tank. They eat flake foods, freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Black Skirt Tetra - Compatibility:

The Black Skirt Tetra is compatible with Corydoras Catfish, Large Active Tetras such as the Buenos Aires, Serpae and Silver Tip Tetra; also Mollies, Platies, Plecostomus, Swordtails, Zebra Danio

Black Skirt Tetra - Breeding

Females are broader but are difficult to distinguish from males. Larger males will usually establish a territory as an indication of readiness to spawn. Soft, slightly acidic water is best for breeding and lighting should be greatly dimmed. Tetras have adhesive eggs, so fine leaved plants should be used to catch the eggs. The parents should be removed after spawning. The fry will hatch within a couple of days and will survive several days on their yolk sac. The fry should be fed brine shrimp and then finely ground flake foods.

White Skirt - Dyes

The White Skirt variety is frequently dipped in dyes of various colors. This results in the following Mixed-Fruit varieties: Strawberry Tetra, Blueberry Tetra, Grape Tetra, and the Painted White Skirt. At Tim's Tropicals we don't promote the sale of dyed fish. For more information about campaigns against dyeing, refer to the Glass Fish.

Black Skirt Tetra - Profile

  • Scientific Name: Gymnocorymbus ternetzi

  • Family: Characin

  • Temperature: 20 - 28 C; 68 - 82 F

  • pH: 6.0 - 8.0

  • Size: 5 cm; 2 inches

  • Life Span: 5 years

  • Breeding: Difficult, Egg Layer