Black tetra



About Black Tetra

Black tetra, scientifically known as Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, is a popular freshwater fish species that originates from South America. It is widely sought after by aquarium enthusiasts due to its stunning appearance, peaceful nature, and ease of care. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the black tetra, including its physical characteristics, habitat, feeding habits, breeding, and tips for keeping them in an aquarium.

Physical Characteristics

The black tetra is a small-sized fish that typically grows up to 2.5 inches in length. It has an elongated body with a slightly compressed shape and a forked tail. As the name suggests, this tetra has a beautiful jet-black coloration, which extends from its head to the base of its tail fin. The fins of the black tetra are translucent, adding a contrasting touch to its overall appearance. Additionally, males of this species often have longer, more pointed dorsal and anal fins compared to females.


Black tetras are native to slow-moving rivers, streams, and flooded areas in South America, particularly in the Paraguay and Paraná River basins. They are commonly found in areas with dense vegetation, such as marshes and swamps, where they can hide and seek shelter. In the wild, black tetras are known to form large shoals, providing them with safety and social interaction.

Feeding Habits

In their natural habitat, black tetras are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods, including small insects, worms, crustaceans, plant matter, and algae. When kept in an aquarium, they are not picky eaters and readily accept a range of commercially available fish foods. Providing them with a balanced diet consisting of high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods will ensure their optimal health and vibrant coloration. It is also recommended to supplement their diet with occasional treats such as bloodworms or brine shrimp to provide additional nutrients.

Keeping Black Tetras in an Aquarium

Black tetras are relatively easy to care for and are suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here are some key considerations for keeping them in an aquarium:

1. Tank Size: A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended to provide ample swimming space for a small shoal of black tetras.

2. Water Parameters: Black tetras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. The water temperature should be maintained between 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C).

3. Tank Setup: Provide ample hiding places and dense vegetation in the aquarium, mimicking their natural habitat. Driftwood, rocks, and live plants will create a comfortable and secure environment for them.

4. Tank Mates: Black tetras are peaceful community fish and can be kept with other non-aggressive species such as other tetras, rasboras, guppies, or corydoras catfish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping species.

5. Filtration and Water Quality: Ensure proper filtration to maintain good water quality and perform regular water changes to keep ammonia and nitrate levels in check.

6. Lighting: Provide moderate lighting in the aquarium, preferably with a natural spectrum to enhance the colors of the black tetras.

Breeding Black Tetras

Breeding black tetras in captivity is relatively straightforward. To encourage breeding, create a separate breeding tank with soft, slightly acidic water. Introduce a pair of well-conditioned adult black tetras and provide them with plenty of plants or spawning mops for egg deposition. The parents should be removed once the eggs are laid to prevent them from consuming the eggs. The eggs will typically hatch within 24 to 36 hours, and the fry can be fed with infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food until they are large enough to consume crushed flake food.


Black tetras are captivating and peaceful fish that can add beauty to any aquarium. Their stunning black coloration, combined with their ease of care, makes them a popular choice among aquarists of all levels. By providing them with a suitable environment, proper diet, and compatible tank mates, you can enjoy the beauty of black tetras in your own home aquarium. If you are considering adding black tetras to your pet fish collection, visit our website for a range of high-quality aquarium supplies and expert advice on their care.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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