White Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
The White Skirt Tetra is a genetic morph of the Black Skirt Tetra. As far as care requirements go, the White Skirts are virtually identical to the Black Skirt Tetra.
The White Skirt Tetra is commonly available in fish stores and is an excellent fish for the beginner aquarist. These Tetras are very robust, and because these fish are captive bred, they are customary to various water conditions and are very adaptable to reasonable tank conditions. However, they are prone to develop ich if you keep them in colder temperatures. In addition, these Tetras are easy to breed and make a peaceful addition to a freshwater community aquarium.
The White Skirt Tetra is a schooling fish and will appreciate the company of its own kind. It would be best if you typically kept these fish in a group of 6, although more is better. The larger the group, the happier these fish will be, and their displays will be more effective. This very active and fast-moving fish tends to nip fins. Because of this, you should not keep them with smaller fish or fish that have intricate finnage.
Ideal tankmates for these Tetras would be peaceful fish of a similar size as White Skirt Tetras can be easily intimidated by large or overly active fish. Ideal tankmates could include other species of Tetra, Danios, Dwarf Gouramis, Mollies, Zebra Loaches, and Catfish. There are several more potential tank mates; just make sure you research compatibility before purchasing any. Snails and Shrimp can also make great tank mates.
White Skirt Tetras are very active swimmers. Therefore, they will need an aquarium that is at least 70 litres or more, and they like soft, peat-filtered water. Although dim lighting and a darker gravel substrate will bring out this Tetra's best colouring, these fish prefer a well-lit tank and appreciate aquatic plant cover. They like areas of bunched low vegetation but also need open spaces to swim freely. In addition, you will need to make sure the aquarium is securely covered as these fish are skilled jumpers.
The best setup for these Tetras would be a biotype setup. First, use a substrate of sand, and provide a few hiding places using some driftwood branches and twisted roots. If you cannot get hold of some driftwood, you could use common beech that is dried and stripped of all its bark. Then, add some dried leaves to stain the water a light brown, giving the aquarium a natural feel. However, make sure you remove and replace the leaves every few weeks.
White Skirt Tetra bodies are solid white with transparent fins, giving them a ghostly appearance. Their only bits of colour are their dark, black eyes. Their name 'skirt' Tetra comes from their overly developed anal fin, which runs along the underside of the rear half of their body.
The White Skirt Tetra is naturally coloured and not dyed. However, there are strains with a natural pink or blue colouration called the coloured Skirt Tera. In addition, a Longfinned White Tetra or HiFin White Tetra variety has also been developed.
|Scientific Name||Gymnocorymbus ternetzi|
|Other Names||White Tetra, Gold Skirt Tetra, Gold Widow Tetra, Petticoat Tetra|
|Aquarium Level||All Levels|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||5 - 7 years|
|PH||5.5 - 8.0|
|GH||5 - 30|
|68 - 79℉|
20 - 26.1℃
You will not find White Skirt Tetras in the wild as these fish are simply an albino or non-pigment variation of the Black Widow Tetra and are only bred in captivity. These Tetras are endemic to the Rio Paraguay and Guapore Basins in Bolivia and Argentina in Brazil in South America. They inhabit small, still to slow-moving creeks, tributaries and streams, usually with dense overhanging vegetation where they like to congregate in shady areas. The substrate in their habitat consists of sand, leaf litter and rocks.
Other Tetras of interest
What to feed the White Skirt Tetra
White Skirt Tetras are unfussy and will generally eat all kinds of food. However, to give them a good balance, it is recommended that you provide them with good quality dried food such as flakes and granules as the staple diet, supplementing this with occasional feedings of live, frozen or freeze-dried foods. These can include daphnia, bloodworm and Brine Shrimp.
White Skirt Tetras need several feedings a day; however, only offer them what they can eat in 3 minutes or less.
How to Sex the White Skirt Tetra
It is pretty simple to differentiate between the male and female White Skirt Tetra. The females are generally more significant than the males, and their bodies are more rounded. In contrast, the male's are slimmer, and their dorsal fin is more pointed and narrower than the females. Also, the male's front portion of the anal fin is noticeably wider, while the female's "skirt" tends to run parallel to their stomach line.
How to Breed the White Skirt Tetra
White Skirt Tetras are easily bred, although you will need to set up a separate breeding tank if you want to increase the yield of fry. The breeding tank will need to be dimly lit and contain clumps of fine-leaved plants such as java moss. This will give the fish somewhere to scatter their eggs; spawning mops will work just as well. Alternatively, you could cover the bottom of the tank with some mesh. The mesh should be of a large enough grade so that the eggs can drop through it but small enough so the adults cannot get to them.
You can spawn these fish in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being ideal. Condition them with plenty of live and frozen foods, and spawning should not bestow too many problems.
Alternatively, you can spawn these fish in pairs. However, it would be best to condition the fish in male and female groups on a high-quality diet of frozen and live foods in separate tanks. You will also need to have the temperature a few degrees higher than the main aquarium, and the water will need to be slightly acidic.
When the females are noticeably full of eggs, and the males display their best colours, select the plumpest female and the best-coloured male and transfer them into the breeding tank. The couple should then spawn the following morning.
In either situation, the adults will consume their eggs if given a chance, so you should remove them as soon as any are noticed.
The eggs will usually hatch within 18 to 36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming a few days after that. it would be best if you initially fed the fry with infusoria type food until they become large enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworm
The eggs and fry are sensitive to light in the early stages of life; therefore, you should keep the tank dimly lit.