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Maximum size : 6 cm

White Skirt Tetra - Gymnocorymbus ternetzi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Indulge in the allure of the White Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi), a captivating genetic morph derived from its illustrious counterpart, the Black Skirt Tetra. Sharing comparable care requirements, the White Skirt Tetra appeals greatly to both novice and experienced aquarists. These remarkable Tetras boast robustness and adaptability, owing to their captive-bred lineage, making them well-suited to diverse water conditions and capable of thriving within reasonable tank environments. However, it's essential to note that they are susceptible to developing ich if exposed to colder temperatures.

Breeding these Tetras is a straightforward endeavour, while their peaceful disposition positions them as a splendid addition to any freshwater community aquarium. As natural schooling fish, White Skirt Tetras revel in the companionship of their own kind. Therefore, keeping them in groups of at least six individuals is recommended, with a larger group size being even more favourable. The collective presence of these Tetras cultivates a sense of contentment and amplifies their mesmerizing displays.

While they exhibit remarkable agility and swiftness, it's important to consider their propensity for fin-nipping. Hence, avoiding housing them alongside smaller or delicate-finned fish is advisable. Optimal tankmates for the White Skirt Tetras include peaceful species of similar size, such as other Tetra varieties, Danios, Dwarf Gouramis, Mollies, Zebra Loaches, and Catfish. As always, thorough research on compatibility is vital before adding any new inhabitants to the aquarium. Additionally, snails and shrimp can serve as delightful tank companions.

Creating an ideal habitat for these dynamic swimmers necessitates an aquarium with 70 litres or more capacity, providing ample space for their energetic movements. They exhibit a preference for soft, peat-filtered water, and while dim lighting and darker gravel substrates accentuate their vibrant colours, they also thrive in well-lit tanks adorned with aquatic plants. Striking a balance between vegetation and open spaces is crucial, enabling these Tetras to explore and navigate freely. It is worth noting that due to their impressive jumping abilities, a securely covered aquarium is essential to ensure their safety.

For an exquisite biotype setup, begin by using a sandy substrate and incorporate driftwood branches and twisted roots to create secluded hiding spots. In the event that driftwood is unavailable, dried and bark-stripped common beech can serve as a suitable alternative. Next, to enhance the natural ambience, introduce dried leaves that gently tint the water a light brown hue, providing an authentic touch. However, replacing these leaves every few weeks is important to maintain optimal water quality.

Behold the captivating beauty of the White Skirt Tetra, adorned with its mesmerizing ghostly appearance. With their pristine white bodies and transparent fins, these Tetras exude an otherworldly allure, with only their dark, black eyes offering a touch of colour. Their unique moniker, "Skirt Tetras," is derived from the prominent anal fin that elegantly flows along their undersides. Rest assured, the White Skirt Tetra's gorgeous hue is entirely natural, devoid of artificial dyes. Furthermore, captivating strains with naturally occurring pink or blue colouration, known as coloured Skirt Tetras, have also been developed. Additionally, the Long-finned White Tetra or HiFin White Tetra variety showcases distinct fin characteristics, adding an extra dimension to their captivating appeal.

White Skirt Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female White Skirt Tetras is a relatively straightforward task, as they exhibit noticeable physical disparities. Typically, females possess more significant and more rounded bodies compared to males. In contrast, males display a slimmer physique, with narrower and more pointed dorsal fins. Further distinguishing characteristics include the wider front portion of the male's anal fin, which differs from the female's anal fin, which runs parallel to the stomach. These gender-specific traits contribute to the overall elegance and distinctiveness of the White Skirt Tetra species.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameGymnocorymbus ternetzi
Year Described1895
Other NamesWhite Tetra, Gold Skirt Tetra, Gold Widow Tetra, Petticoat Tetra
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 8.0
GH5 - 30
68 - 79
20 - 26

Natural Habitat

Discover the captivating story behind the White Skirt Tetra, a unique and enchanting fish that can only be found in the realm of captivity. Originating as a result of an albino or non-pigmented variation of the esteemed Black Widow Tetra, these Tetras have been meticulously bred under human care to showcase their mesmerizing beauty. While absent from the wild, their lineage can be traced to the Rio Paraguay and Guapore Basins, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil in South America.


To maximize the yield of fry, a separate breeding tank is recommended for successfully breeding White Skirt Tetras. Creating an optimal environment in the breeding tank is essential, characterized by dim lighting and the inclusion of clumps of fine-leaved plants such as java moss. These plants serve as ideal surfaces for the fish to scatter their eggs, although spawning mops can also be utilized. Alternatively, covering the tank bottom with mesh can provide a suitable substrate. It is important to select mesh with a large enough grade for the eggs to drop through while preventing access by the adult fish.

Breeding can be conducted in a group setting, with an ideal configuration consisting of approximately half a dozen individuals of each sex. Condition these fish with a nutritious diet consisting of abundant live and frozen foods, facilitating the breeding process. Alternatively, pair spawning can be pursued. In this case, conditioning male and female fish separately in separate tanks with a high-quality frozen and live foods diet is recommended. The temperature of the breeding tank should be slightly higher than that of the main aquarium, and the water should be slightly acidic. Once the females exhibit noticeable fullness of eggs and the males display their most vibrant colours, carefully select the plumpest female and the male with the best colouration, transferring them to the breeding tank. The spawning process typically occurs the following morning. Therefore, it is important to promptly remove the adults after spawning, as they may consume the eggs if given the opportunity.

Eggs usually hatch within a span of 18 to 36 hours, with the fry becoming free-swimming a few days thereafter. Initially, feeding the fry with infusoria-type food is recommended until they reach a size suitable for accepting baby brine shrimp and microworms. Maintaining a dimly lit environment in the tank during the early stages of the eggs and fry's development is crucial, as they are sensitive to light.

By implementing these carefully planned breeding strategies and providing appropriate care, you can foster the successful reproduction of White Skirt Tetras and observe the delightful journey of their eggs hatching into free-swimming fry.

Diet & feeding

White Skirt Tetras possess an adaptable and versatile palate, readily consuming various food types. However, maintaining a well-rounded diet regimen is advised for optimal nutrition. Establishing a foundation with high-quality dried food, such as flakes and granules, serves as the staple diet. This should be supplemented with periodic feedings of live, frozen, or freeze-dried food options. In addition, consider incorporating nutrient-rich options like daphnia, bloodworms, and brine shrimp into their occasional meals.

White Skirt Tetras require multiple feedings throughout the day to ensure their well-being. However, it is important to offer them an amount of food that can be consumed within a span of three minutes or less. This portion control approach prevents overfeeding and minimizes unnecessary food waste, promoting optimal health and water quality within the aquarium. By adhering to these feeding guidelines, you can provide a balanced and satisfying diet that caters to the nutritional needs of these captivating tetras.

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