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How to Breed Diamond Tetra Fish
The Diamond Tetra fish, better known to aquarium enthusiasts as Moenkhausia pittieri, is a member of the Characidae family and was originally found in Venezuela’s Lake Valencia and a few select Venezuelan rivers. Male species of fish can grow between 2 and 12 inches, but females are generally smaller. Although not a brightly colored fish, the Diamond Tetra is silver in color with greenish highlights and is distinguished by its beautiful reflective scales. In baby Diamond Tetras, the shimmering effect of its scales has not yet developed, but it will become evident as it ages.
In terms of aquarium environment, the Moenkhausia pittieri should always be part of a school with a minimum of six fish. These should include other fish of their own species, and fish of other species should be about the same size. Within this school, a male will always be the dominant one. This male tolerates others, but is always in control. Diamond Tetras have an ideal pH range of 6.6 to 7.0 and a temperature preference of 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 28 degrees Celsius), and if kept outside of this range they can take on a different appearance. In addition, these fish like to have a lot of plants in their aquarium and are fortunately not very picky when it comes to feeding times. Moenkhaussia pittieri will love you for offering live food, but can eat anything from flakes to frozen foods. After learning a little more about this type of fish and its basic requirements, it is now possible to take steps to breed it.
Diamond Tetra Fish Farming
The most difficult process of breeding Diamond Tetra fish is getting the right pairs together. Mature males have longer fins than females, especially when it comes to the dorsal fins. Although females are probably smaller than males, females ready to breed often appear to have a stockier shape. Once the selection of a pair of Diamond Tetras is complete, they should be separated and conditioned with good food. During the conditioning phase, they should be fed their favorite live foods and also frozen foods. This should last around 10 days.
While conditioning is in progress, a separate spawning tank should be prepared. It doesn’t need a very large tank, but should include plenty of plants, especially those with dense leaves. The conditions in this tank should be similar to the tank the other Diamond Tetras live in, although initially there should be no lights in the spawning tank. Soft water should always be used over hard water. Gravel is not necessary, but a net should be included towards the bottom of the tank. It should be low enough to give the breeding pair enough room to swim. The holes in the net should also be large enough for the eggs to fall to the bottom of the tank. The spawning tank should also be placed in a quiet area of the house where there can be no disturbance to the fish.
Once the allotted time for conditioning has expired, the selected pair should be placed in the spawning tank in the evening when it is dark, and again no lights should be used near the tank. In the event that the pair of Diamond Tetras are compatible, spawning may occur immediately after placing the fish in the spawning tank or may not occur for a day or two afterwards. Sometimes the lighting present in the environment where the tank is located will help to speed up the process. Although the male may spend most of his time following the female, when it is time to lay the female releases the eggs at the same time as the male releases the sperm. The eggs must then be fertilized, in which case it is useful to have fresh water in the tank. The netting is very important here, as Moenkhaussia pittieri tends to eat its eggs, and to avoid this the eggs must fall through the netting, separating the eggs from their parents. After spawning, both male and female fish should be removed from the spawning tank and returned to their usual aquarium.
Although the eggs may see movement within 36 hours, it can take up to a week before the baby fish are able to swim around their spawning tank. The fry will be very hungry, but in an aquarium with lots of plants, they will find food for the first few days. After that, fried foods are fine, and once they’re big enough, appropriately sized live foods are good for them. It is very important to keep the spawning tank clean while the fry are developing. Because they grow so quickly in their first few weeks, baby Diamond Tetras quickly resemble adults, albeit smaller. Their coloring will be simple at first, with their breathtaking shimmering scales being fully developed by around 9 months of age. Once they have reached a size that will not endanger them, they can be moved to the adult tank and the spawning tank can be reused with a new pair of adult fish.
Keeping Diamond Tetras can be a challenge, mainly because it can take several tries to find a compatible pair of male and female fish. It is important to keep the adult Diamond Tetra environment healthy so as not to harm their well-being and their ability to reproduce in the future. Likewise, the spawning tank should be kept clean, and the temperature, pH, and sweetness should be checked regularly. Sufficient time and resources should be devoted to the conditioning part of the selection process, as it is of great importance. Keep different types of food, including fried foods, on hand at all times, even if you doubt spawning may occur. Within weeks or months you will be rewarded for all your hard work watching the eggs hatch and seeing your fry grow and gain those beautiful, shimmering scales the Diamond Tetra is known for.
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