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Characins / Characinae / Bucktoothed Tetra

Black Tetra, Black Widow, Petticoat Fish, Blackamoor
Gymnocorymbus ternetzi


SYN: Moenkhausia ternetzi, Tetragonopterus ternetzi
PD: This fish is somewhat oval-shape. Young are more attractive than adults. The main body color is dark gray to black while the fins are black. Older fishes’ colors fade and their fins and body color become smoky gray. Two black bands extend vertically; one just behind the gill cover and the other in its midsection.
SIZE: To 2.5" (6.4 cm)
SS: None
HAB: South America; in shaded, calm areas with plants thickets in small brooks in rainforest tributaries, of the Rio Negro, Rio Paraguay, and Rio Parana.
S: middle
TANK: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 l). The tank should be well-planted and arranged in dark colors. Use a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting. Leave an open area for free-swimming.
WATER: pH 5.8-8.2 (6.8), 4-28 dH (8), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
SB: A peaceful, schooling fish that is an excellent community fish. Occasionally large, adult males can become aggressive towards smaller fish, but this is not usually a problem in a well-planted tank. Keep in a school of at least five individuals.
SC: Tetras, Corydoras, Apistogramma, Discus, Angelfish, Livebearers, Gouramis, Rasboras, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, aquatic insects; flake.
SEX: Males are smaller and slimmer. Females have rounded dorsal fin and a rounded body cavity when seen against the light.
B: This fish is easiest to breed in a breeding tank with marbles as a substrate or a mesh netting for the eggs to fall out of reach of the cannibalistic parents. Use warm water (84-86°F) to initiate spawning. After courting procedure of the male swimming around females with fins spread, many tiny transparent eggs that fall to the bottom. Parents must be removed or eggs will be eaten. The eggs hatch in 24-28 hours and the fry are free-swimming after 3 to 5 days after. Start feeding with small live and crushed flake foods.
BP: 6. Breeding the Black Tetra is not difficult.
R: The are variants of this fish who have longer, more elaborate fins. These are slightly harder to care for because these fins are often nipped at. A gold variety is also a product of selective breeding. This fish matures in about a year.
DC: 2. A hardy fish ideal for a beginner's community tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com