How do I Take Care of My White Skirt Tetra?

By Lauren Corona

White skirt tetras are a strain developed from black skirt tetras, so their care requirements are similar. When buying white skirt tetras, beware of any colored versions being marketed at blueberry or strawberry tetras. These fish have usually been dyed, which is harmful to them. With proper care, your tetras can live up to seven years.

Aquarium Setup

Your white skirt tetras will need to live in an aquarium with a capacity of at least 20 gallons, although larger is preferable, especially if you want to keep a large school or mix them with other species. To replicate their natural habitat, it's advisable to keep their tank stocked with plenty of large plants, rocks and driftwood branches for them to hide amongst. They prefer subdued lighting and a gravel or river sand substrate in a neutral color.

Water Conditions

As hardy fish, white skirt tetras can adapt to a fairly wide range of water conditions. However, you should avoid any sudden changes. Keep their water temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the pH between 6.0 and 8.0, and the general hardness between 5 and 20 degrees. Change 25 to 50 percent of the tank water every other week to maintain sanitary conditions.

Feeding Time

As omnivores, white skirt tetras need to be fed a range of foods to have a balanced diets. They're generally good eaters, who will accept live, frozen and dried foods. Start with a high-quality flake food as a base to their diet and feed this every day. Feed other foods -- such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and algae flakes or other plant foods -- occasionally to give them some variety. You should feed your fish several times a day, giving them no more than they can eat in three minutes.

Tank Mates

White skirt tetras are schooling fish, who need to be kept in groups of six or more. Those kept alone or in small groups are likely to become shy, stressed and generally unhappy. These tetras are usually peaceful, but should be classed as semi-aggressive due to their tendency to fin-nip. Avoid housing them with slow-moving fish who have long, flowing fins, such as angelfish or guppies. They generally get along with other tetras, rasboras, danios, corydoras and some dwarf cichlids. If they show aggressive behavior toward other fish, this can often be remedied by adding more white skirts to the tank to create a bigger school.

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