Emperor tetras are small fish that present themselves most effectively in a larger group. They are perfect for freshwater aquariums with numerous casts and dense vegetation. They are often confused with other species of tetras, though wrongly. Check if the reproduction of imperial tetra is difficult and what conditions this species requires.
Imperial tetra – origin
Imperial tetras are freshwater fish found naturally in South America. They live mainly in the rivers of Colombia. They live in large shoals. The hobbyist’s aquarium requires the same conditions. They will not feel well bred individually. Go for at least a couple of imperial tetras, if not a larger herd.
Imperial tetra – black or blue? The appearance of the fish
Adult caesarean tetras are about 6 cm long, with males larger and slightly longer fins. The sex is easily recognized by the color of the iris, which is green-yellow in females, and blue in males. Imperial tetras have an elongated body with a horizontal blue-green belt. With appropriate, not too intense lighting, they slightly shine.
The imperial tetra is a fish with good immunity. It is durable, therefore it is also recommended for beginner aquarists. Without excessive stress and under optimal conditions, it can survive up to five years.
Imperial lip gloss and other varieties of tetra
It is worth knowing that the Imperial Black Tetra is actually the name of… a non-existent species. The imperial tetra is not completely black. On the other hand, the black tetra is nothing else than a fish also known as the common mourner. She is characterized by a slightly different body shape, as well as a dark coat with characteristic vertical black stripes.
Another species is also the blue tetra. This fish is called a marina. It belongs to the same family as the imperial tetra. It is distinguished by a completely blue color with a more or less intense shade. This species is relatively rare, difficult to access for beginner aquarists.
How do imperial tetras behave?
Imperial tetras are mild, but quite territorial within their species. This mainly applies to males. For this reason, it is important that the reservoir has the right structure – with dense vegetation and numerous hiding places.
Imperial tetras do not attack other fish, on the contrary – they tend to be victims of aggression. Due to the herd lifestyle, it is recommended that they live in a shoal of at least 10 animals. Males should be proportionally smaller.
This fish successfully lives in a multi-species aquarium. You just have to remember that due to its mild temper and small size, it often falls prey to carnivorous or more aggressive species. For this reason, carefully choose the cast of the tank, deciding on species that live e.g. in other parts of it.
A characteristic feature of the imperial tetra is the way of swimming. It moves rather slowly, even in a school. Its head is usually slightly downward.
Imperial lip gloss and its needs
Due to the fact that the imperial tetra lives in shoals, it also requires a sufficiently large aquarium. The minimum tank capacity for this fish is about 80 liters, assuming that the stock only consists of ten Emperor Lip glosses.
Imperial tetra – reproduction
The species is oviparous, meaning it spawns. In order for the breeding of imperial tetra to be successful, it is worth catching a pair in a separate tank. Leaving two individuals of the opposite sex in a so-called breeding aquarium with properly prepared conditions has a better chance of success.
Spawning in imperial tetra requires a suitable water temperature, oscillating around 28 ° C, and a pH of approx. 7.0. You can determine the water parameters thanks to special diagnostic strips. Even a novice aquarist can easily recognize the spawning process itself. When it’s done, it’s a good idea to catch a couple of adults back to the main tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.
Emperor tetras hatch within a few days after the end of spawning. You will notice them as tiny, moving points about a week after hatching. It is worth leaving the fry in a separate tank so that they have access to good-quality food in the right size. It will also keep him from being eaten. Remember that young imperial tetras have more stringent requirements, such as regular water changes.
Imperial tetra – conditions in the reservoir
Imperial lip gloss needs a large reservoir densely planted with vegetation. For a group of ten individuals, an aquarium with a capacity of at least 80 liters is preferable. These fish feel and look especially well in low light and darker ground. The water should be rather soft, slightly acidic, above 24 ° C.
Imperial tetra does not require special care for the purity of the water. It is worth replacing about 10% of it regularly. It is very important, however, that it is well-oxygenated. It is recommended to use a filter or heater.
Nutrition of imperial tetra
The imperial tetra, although omnivorous, does not eat plants planted in the tank. She successfully eats dry food. However, it will also not disdain living, especially zooplankton. For fry, the food must be sufficiently small.
The imperial tetra is also among the many species of freshwater fish recommended for beginner aquarists. She is relatively disease resistant and does well in the company of members of the same species. It looks great especially in a large reservoir filled with vegetation. Choose it if you are starting your adventure with fish farming.