Are Tetras Egg Layers? What Do They Look Like?

tetra fish eggs | Are Tetras Egg Layers

Tetra is the common name of many fish of the order Characiformes. These fish originate from Africa, South America, and Central America in freshwater systems. Today many of fish enthusiast has started to breed aquarium fish and tetra is one of them. And most of the time the first question they ask is are tetras egg layers.

Tetras are not livebearers, so they will definitely lay eggs, but the style of breeding and the type of egg my differ according to various species.

Fish-keepers often consider tetras to be difficult to breed because the water conditions must be very soothing and perfect for them to reproduce. In harsh conditions, tetras will prioritize survival rather than reproduction, so you must maintain the environment for breeding.

Tetras are egg-layers, in fact, all of the species of tetras are egg layers, but this is not the only thing you should know. They are a bit difficult to breed too.

In this section, I have discussed how you can breed tetras and all about caring for their eggs. Also, I will write about what their egg look likes so that you can spot them easily and separate the parents just after they have laid the eggs.

Tetras Breeding Style

Breeding tetras is very difficult, and it requires lots of passion, determination, and patience. But if you do not lose hope and keep on trying, then it is not impossible to achieve. For breeding tetras, you must follow a procedure, and you must devote all your attention and time to it so that you make no mistake and healthy fries are born.

How To Breed Your Tetras At Home?

Starting from the very beginning, you might want to get a school of healthy young fish. Usually, the young fish have a low chance of contamination and are probably fertile. The young also have enough time to adapt to the tank that you are going to put them in and find a suitable mate for themselves.

Although tetras do not form monogamous pairs, they will definitely not spawn with any other tetra they see. So, you have to keep on trying and changing the pair if any pair doesn’t want to spawn. The main mistake that I have seen fish-keepers making is that they aren’t able to separate the sexes. Then they end up pairing either both males or both females. This sounds silly, but any inexperienced fish-keeper can make this mistake.

Separating The Sexes

So, to separate the sexes, you must pay attention to every small detail on the fish. The females are slightly bigger than the male, and the colors on them are not saturated. Females also have a rounded belly as compared to the male even when they are not with eggs. The male, however, is small but have elongated fins. The colors on the male are brighter, saturated, and more beautiful than the female.

Preparing The Tank

After separating the sexes, you must prepare a breeding tank where the water is aged, and the nitrogen cycle has been performed. This breeding tank can be a little small than the regular tank, but the water must be softer, warmer, and cleaner than the regular tank because the adults may survive harsh conditions, but the eggs and fries are very sensitive.

Spawning Process

Finally, the adults are ready to be spawned in this newly established tank. You must place the female in the tank first so that she monitors it and checks whether it is suitable for pairing or not. Then you should place the male after a few hours. The male tries to obtain the attention of the female by dancing around her. If the female likes the male, she will take him to the spawning site, and after a few side-by-side tremblings, the female lays eggs.

If you want to learn more on breeding tetra, then check out my article “Breeding Tetra Fish – Step By Step Guide

Do Tetras Lay Eggs? What Do They Look Like?

After a fun-to-watch spawning process, the female will lay eggs. The egg count differs from species to species and can vary from less than 50 to more than 1000 at a time. You must separate the parents from the eggs and perform a 50% water change immediately.

The eggs are tiny clear spherical balls that may sometime not be visible through our naked eyes. A black dot inside the eggs indicates that it has fertilized, and there are fries inside of them. If the breeding tank is heavily planted, then the tetras will certainly lay their eggs on the leaves of those plants.

Read Full Article on Tetra Fry Tank Set-Up and Their Requirements

How Often Do Tetras Lay Eggs?

As it is very hard to breed tetras in captivity, the exact frequency of them breeding is not known. However, in the wild, a fully grown pair can start spawning every two weeks. This is because, in the wild, their first priority isn’t survival. In the wild, there is enough food, no threats, and proper water so they can devote most of their time to spawning.

Read Full Article on How to Care for Tetra Fry.


To be honest, I recommend you not to breed these fish in captivity. This is because it is a hectic process and requires a lot of time and passion. There are various fish like guppies, mollies, and plates that you can easily breed in captivity and get awesome results. Rather than breeding tetras, you could breed cichlids and sell them at a good price.

I think I have discussed almost everything related to are tetras egg layers. If you go through this article one more time, you will definitely know how hard it is to breed tetras. Also, if you have decided to breed them, then follow the instructions under “breeding style.” You will be able to tell when your tetras have laid eggs, and you should separate the parents immediately.


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