Do Black Skirt Tetra Eat Plants? The Ultimate Guide

Black skirt tetras can grow to about 3 inches long and live for three years with good care. They prefer temperatures between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate lower ranges as well if necessary. In their natural habitat, they feed on mosquito larvae, small insects, crustaceans, zooplankton, and plant matter such as diatoms from submerged leaves or other surfaces. Do Black Skirt Tetra Eat Plants?

Algae eaters are one of the most popular fish in planted aquariums. Whether you have a saltwater or freshwater tank, algae eaters will help keep your grass and plants clean by eating any excess algae that may pop up. One species of algae eater is the black skirt tetra, which lives in warm freshwater streams and rivers in South America.

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Do Black Skirt Tetra Eat Plants?

In a planted aquarium, black skirt tetras will eat any type of algae they can find. They are especially fond of soft green algae and can help keep it under control in an aquarium setting.

As omnivores, they will also accept flake food, freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp as well as vegetable matter such as blanched spinach or zucchini slices.

Diet Of Black Skirt Tetra In The Wild

In their natural habitat, black skirt tetras live in streams and rivers that are often filled with plants as well as aquatic vegetation such as lilies. They prefer the cover of overhanging leaves where they can under which to hide from predators when threatened or during spawning activities.

Black skirt tetras also benefit from a shrimp-rich diet because it helps them fight off parasites throughout their lives making them healthier fish overall.

These small crustaceans include ghost shrimp, Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, and red crystal shrimps. Similar to other types of freshwater aquarium fish, these algae eaters do not have teeth so they suck food into their mouths.

Benefits Of Keeping Black Skirt

It is important to provide plenty of hiding places for black skirt tetras in a planted tank since they are active fish that like to swim around a lot.

You can do this by adding tall plants with dense foliage or artificial plants made specifically for aquariums. The best plants for black skirt tetra include guppy grass, java moss, duckweed, hygrophila Cabomba, and water sprite.


Black skirt tetras eat a wide variety of food including mosquito larvae, small insects, crustaceans, and plant material. In the wild, they may snack on algae as well as zooplankton that float by in their environment.

Hiding Place

In addition to providing plenty of vegetation for black skirt tetra fish to hide among there are other reasons why you should make your planted aquarium attractive to these types of dwarf cichlids.

Many species like this one can be territorial and will fight with members from their own pack if not given enough space or hiding places inside the tank. With all those plants and decorations, however, it is easy to provide adequate cover allowing them peace and quiet when desired.

Thus, the best overall benefit provided by all these hiding places is that it replicates their natural habitat, which can make for a much healthier fish in the long run.

Oxygen Production

The other reason why adding plants to an aquarium with black skirt tetra fish helps them live better lives is because of how they produce oxygen.

Through photosynthesis, aquatic plants absorb carbon dioxide and release sufficient amounts of oxygen back into the water where your black skirt tetra will benefit from it greatly.

Keeps Water Clean

This means cleaner water overall as well making these types of artificial plants beneficial not only to algae eaters like this one but any type of freshwater or saltwater tank you may set up later on down the road too!

Replicates Natural Habitat

Instead of rocks or driftwood, use artificial plants that are specifically made for aquariums to provide cover and hiding places in your tank.

Black skirt tetras will feel more at home when they don’t have to compete with other members of their species because all the territories can be clearly marked. Keeping them separate also helps prevent serious injuries during territorial disputes while providing each one its own food source too!

The Best Plants For Black Skirt Tetra (Which Your Black Skirt Tetra Can Eat)

I have made a list of plants that are meant for the black skirt tetra tank.

Guppy Grass

Grows quickly so you may need an extra piece on hand just in case it gets overrun by algae eaters like black skirt tetra. It makes a good pond plant as well if kept completely submerged.

Java Moss

Grows slowly but can spread over a wide area. Thus, making it perfect for black skirt tetras that like to hide in dense foliage.


A small, floating plant that reproduces quickly. Moreover, it is an excellent food source for black skirt tetra fish.


This stem plant grows quickly and has broad leaves. Furthermore, this makes it ideal for aquariums with black skirt tetra fish.


Another fast-growing stem plant great for replicating the natural environment of these algae eaters.

Water Sprite

Airy, bushy plants with long stems are perfect for providing lots of cover for active fish like black skirts.


Grows slowly and has broad leaves making it a good choice for black skirt tetra fish that like to hide.

Lotus And Water Lilly

Beautiful plants that can be used in both fresh and saltwater aquariums. But they tend to grow quite large so they may not be ideal for small tanks.

Green Foxtail

A grass-like plant with long, thin stems perfect for replicating the natural environment of black skirt tetras.


Similar to green foxtail in appearance but grows much taller, making it great for larger tanks.

Are Artificial Plants Good For Black Skirt Tetra?

While live plants are always the best option if you’re unable to keep an eye on them and they often get overgrown with algae then using artificial plants is a good alternative.


Do Black Skirt Tetra Eat Algae?

In a planted aquarium, black skirt tetras will eat any type of algae they can find. This includes soft green algae on the sides and back of the tank, as well as on plants.

Do Black Skirt Tetra Eat Snails?

Black skirt tetras are not known to eat snails in the wild or in an aquarium setting. While they may consume slow-moving invertebrates such as Malaysian trumpet snails. If given the opportunity, it is not something that is typically part of their diet.


If you’re looking for a fish that will help algae growth in your planted aquarium, the black skirt tetra is a great choice. These active fish will spend hours swimming around and grazing on any type of algae they can find.

In addition to keeping the aquarium clean, adding plants help oxygenate the water and creates hiding places for the black skirt tetras to feel comfortable in. Make sure to provide plenty of artificial plants made specifically for aquariums as well as tall plants with dense foliage to create an attractive home for your black skirt tetras!

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