Showing posts with label African Long-finned Tetra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label African Long-finned Tetra. Show all posts

2016-12-17

Breeding the AFRICAN LONG-FINNED TETRA

Sexing
The sexes of the African Long-Finned Tetra () are easy to distinguish. To me the most obvious difference is in the dorsal fin. In the males it is longer and more pointed while in females it is shorter and rounded. The males grow a little bigger than the females, and the body of the males tends to be deeper than that of the females. The anal fin of the male tends to be convex and edged in white while that of the females to be straight or concave.

Brycinus longipinnis.JPG
"Brycinus longipinnis". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.


Some observations suggest that in the wild an African Long-Finned Tetra school may breed over an extended period, laying a few eggs each day over plants. It is a reasonable guess that this versatile fish has several different breeding strategies in the wild adapted to the wide range of habitats it lives in.

Breeding in an Aquarium
The African Long-Finned Tetra can be bred either as a school or in a pair. This is not an easy tetra to breed but people who make a serious attempt may succeed. The parents need to be very well conditioned on high protein foods. The water in the breeding tank should be soft and acid. Plants, preferably fine leaved ones, need to be present. The fish may not spawn the first day, but with luck will spawn within a few days. As with many fish, the most common time for this fish to spawn is the early morning. The actual spawning may be stimulated by the early morning light. I suggest that the breeding tank be situated to allow this light to fall on the aquarium.

About 200-300 eggs are laid per female. The eggs are 2-2.5 mm in diameter and are orange. The parents have been reported to not eat their own eggs. There have not been enough reports of this to be sure if this is normal. Certainly if they do not eat their own eggs this is unusual behaviour for an egg scattering tetra. The eggs hatch in 4-6 days. The babies are about 7 mm long. This is bigger than the fry of most egg scattering small fish.



Raising the Babies
Despite the large size of the African Long-Finned Tetra babies they have small mouths and need infusoria (protozoa) for the first few days. After this they can eat newly hatched Brine Shrimp and other tiny live food. The live food of suitable sizes can be supplemented with liquid and dry fry foods.

The fry need frequent feeding and plenty of space to grow. Great care needs to be taken with the water quality, avoiding any build up of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. For the early stages, an air operated foam filter may be the safest type to use.