The Black Skirt Tetra guide

The Black Skirt Tetra is one of the most popular tetra fish variety in freshwater fish tanks. There are a lot of different tetra fish varieties that we can add to our fish tanks.

Same as the Black Skirt Tetras, there is another popular variety of tetras called the White Skirt Tetra. Yes, you got it right they look similar but in two colors.

In this post, I am going to mainly focus on the Black Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi). The content of this article is going to give answers to mostly asked common questions about this fish.

Common things about the Black Skirt Tetra

Under this topic, you can get an idea about the basic and comment details about this tetra fish variety.

This fish is a well-known tetra fish for more freshwater aquarium owners. They are easy to found and also an easy variety to keep in a fish tank.

I will list down the basics of Black Skirt Tetras below.

  • Care-level: Easy
  • Max-size: About 2 inches
  • Life Span: 3-5 years
  • Temperament: Peaceful (in general, can be semi-aggressive)
  • Aquarium size: 20-Gallons
  • Water condition: Freshwater with 6-7.5 pH

Now let’s talk about each of these points in more detail. This will help you to get a clear idea about this cute little tetra fish.

Caring for the Black Skirt Tetras is an easy task. They are not hard to keep and raise in your freshwater fish tank. This fish also a perfect fish for aquarium beginners.

This fish will grow a maximum of 2 inches. They have a round shape tail, which makes them the name Skirt tetra. These fish also are known as Black Tetra.

The Black Skirt tetra will be live around 3 or 5 years. They will be a good tank mate for your fish tank during their life span. That is the Black Skirt Tetra lifespan.

Most Tetras are generally a peaceful fish, and this is the same for the Black Skirt Tetra. Even though they are peaceful they can be aggressive over some fish varieties.

As the minimum aquarium size for this fish will be a 20-gallons tank. It’s nice to have enough space for them because they are fast swimmers, most of the time.

Finally, this is a freshwater fish and will be one of the best fish for your freshwater fish tank. They need to have water condition with a 6-7.5 pH level.

If you’re a beginner for aquariums and fish tanks, I can recommend this fish for you it’s nice to add 4 – 5 fish in the same tank usually.

The most asked questions about Black Skirt Tetra

Q: How big does a black skirt tetra get?

A: I have seen most people asked how big a Black Skirt Tetra can get, I have answered this in the previous section of this article also. Let me go in more detail about it here.

Basically, A Black Skirt Tetra can get grow until 2 inches, which is around 5 cm. But this size can be different. This is the max size they will get, and maybe your Black Skirt Tetra is smaller than that.

Having a healthy fish with the required conditions is ensure that they will grow to their usual size. So caring for them will is essential.

Q: Is a black skirt tetra aggressive?

A: This is another most asked question on the internet. The answer to this is very simple. The temperament of this fish is peaceful.

Which means, they are not an aggressive type of fish. They are good community fish living in a friendly environment. Adding them to your community tank will not be harmed.

Q: Can betta fish live with black skirt tetras?

A: Most of us love Betta fish. So you might have this question that a Betta fish and these Tetras can live together?

This question doesn’t have an exact answer, but you can guess if it OK to have to together. Usually, Betta fish is kept alone. There are not community fish, Betta fish is semi-aggressive while Black Skirt Tetra is a peaceful fish.

They may live together but it can be different from the situations and tanks condition environment they are living. So there is a chance a Betta fish can be aggressive over a Tetra fish. So it would keep them separately.

Q: Can black skirt tetras live with guppies?

A: Guppy fish also a lovely small fish that gain love from all of us. The question here is, does the Guppies can be a good tank mate with Black tetras?

In General, both of these fish varieties are peaceful. Guppies are also good beautiful fish. So there is a high chance you can keep them together.

But, there is something like this, the Guppy fish can become times act as fin nippers. Black Skirt Tetra has a large fin in their bottom. So you consider it too.

If you really and need to keep Guppies together with this fish, I would say just add a pair or two of Guppies maximum.

Q: What fish are compatible with black skirt tetras?

A: This is a widespread question for any aquariums fish, which is what are the best tank mates for them. Having matching tank mates make the tank peaceful.

As the tank mates for this fish, you can add similar and smaller size other tetra types (Neon Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, etc.), danios, rasboras, bottom feeders, Aquarium Snails, etc.

Silimler size and smaller none aggressive fish are perfect tanks mates for this fish.

Q: how many black skirt tetras in a 20-gallon tank?

A: Giving enough space will ensure a healthy life for any aquarium fish. This is the same for this Tetra variety.

For a 20-gallon tank, you can add 8-10 Tetras. This quantity can be different from the number of other fish in the same fish tank. Having 8 is a good quantity.

Q: Can we keep black skirt tetra with goldfish?

A: Well,  Some people have kept them together. I also have two Tetras with my Comets. So far they are living together without trouble.

This Tetra variety is not that much smaller, so the Goldfish will not harm them for sure. Also, they fast swimmers than Goldfish.

I cannot recommend this, but in personal experience, they will live together but I’m not sure whats will happen when there is a huge group of Tetras.

Q: black skirt tetra gender identification?

A: How to identify, if its a male Tetra or a female, well there is an easy way to identify the gender of this fish.

The male one has the front side of the edge of the anal fin slants back towards the tail. Also, the female fish is plumper than the male fish from the body.


This is the end of the article, In this article, it’s tried to cover the necessary details and the answers for trending questions about the Black skirt tetra fish.

I guess you might get answers to the questions had in your mind about this fish. If you feel this useful, please share it with your friends also.

2 thoughts on “The Black Skirt Tetra guide

  • March 8, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Dim light/brighter and fast/slow current- aeration/filtration for Black Skirt Tetras?

    • March 8, 2021 at 11:53 am

      Hi, thanks for reading the article. About lighting, Black Skirt tetras some times get to freak out over high lighting. So better to use a normal aquarium light with some plants (floating plants would be nice). About Filtration, there is no any specific filter for them you can simply use HOB (hang-on-back) filter for them. Filtration may depend on your tank size so make sure the filter you are going to add will help to clean the water enough.


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