As a rule, inexperienced aquarists very often confuse mirror tetra with the subspecies of tetra von Rio. Of course, these hydrobionts are similar to each other, but there are some differences between them.
In nature, tetra lives in rivers on the Brazilian plateau near the state of Goias.
In aquarium conditions, the maximum body length of fish is 4-5 centimeters. Males are, as a rule, slightly smaller than females and more mobile.
The first signs of sexual dimorphism appear in the 3 month old fish. In males, the line of the abdomen is smoother, unlike females.
But the dorsal and anal fins of females have a more rounded contour.
The back of an olive-brown shade, the gill covers and the anterior part of the ventral, anal and dorsal fins are silvery-white. Behind the gill covers there are two black strips of wedge-shaped shape that grow dull as the fish ages. Near the head there is a golden spot that shimmers in the light.
From the last dark spot along the whole body there passes a long red stripe, which ends on the caudal fin. The end of the caudal fin, as in the chest colorless.
The rays of the ventral and anal fins are pinkish, and the males additionally have a dark edging on these fins, turning into a bluish border. The color of the fins of females is somewhat weaker and they are deprived of dark edging.
The back part of the mirror tetra is brownish-red, the eyes also have a red stroke on top.
The aquarium for a mirror tetra should be equipped in the same way as for adults of tetra von rio. The water temperature should not fall below 20 degrees; in preparing the producers for spawning, the temperature should be raised to 25 degrees in the general aquarium, and in the spawning pool it should be 1-2 degrees higher.
The active reaction of the medium and the hardness of the water play a key role in the spawning and maintenance of the mirror tetra. The total hardness of the water should be within 10 – 12 degrees, and the active reaction should be within 7 pH.
Spawning can be as a schooling, breeding and paired. A week before spawning in the aquarium with fish, it is necessary to establish a separation net, and to plant females with males on different sides of the barricades.
Light in the aquarium during this period should be slightly weakened. Before spawning, producers should be given animal feed with a high protein content.
A spur of fish is selected for spawning, consisting of two to three females and 4-5 males with spawning aquarium dimensions of 25 × 40×25 cm. The height of the water column should not exceed 20 centimeters.
As a substrate for spawning, small-leaved aquarium plants (Cristmass moss, key moss, Javanese moss) are used, or a synthetic sponge with thin threads.
Water for spawning is prepared a week before planting fish to spawn. At 8 liters of distilled water is added 2 liters of boiled. In the same mixture, you must make a couple drops of hydrochloric acid and 5 drops of peat extract.
The maximum allowable carbonate hardness of water should be no more than 1 degree.
In the finished spawning you need to put a separator mesh and organized weak aeration. The light in the spawning tank should be diffused and not bright.
After half an hour of keeping the producers in the intermediate water, the prospective parents can be transplanted into the spawn. Spawning occurs in the morning in the midst of aquarium plants. The eggs are small, sticky and brown in color.
One adult female can sweep up to three hundred eggs.
After spawning, the producers must be removed from the aquarium, and the water level should be reduced to 10 centimeters. In addition, the aquarium should be shaded and left alone. Larvae hatching occurs after a day and a half at a temperature of 26 degrees and within 24 hours after hatching the larvae will lie at the bottom.
Three days after spawning, the larvae hang on the grid and substrate head up. After this, the blackout is removed and the dead eggs and larvae are removed with a pipette or hose.
After five days, the young begin to actively feed. Starter feed for fry: ciliates, boiled egg yolk, rotifers. A few days after the start of active feeding, you can add “live dust” and Nauplii Artemia.
As the young grow, they are transferred to larger types of feed.
It is best to grow mirror tetra monocultures, that is, in the aquarium should be a water level of no more than 25 centimeters at a density of landing of young 4 pieces per liter of volume. It is imperative to maintain cleanliness and order in the spawning: in the aquarium should be aeration and high-quality water filtration.
Experienced fish farmers do not recommend sharply transferring the young to new types of feed. Accordingly, the diet should be changed gradually and gradually introduce new food to the fish: sliced bloodworm and tubule, dry and vegetable food.
During the first month of life in the bailout, in which you transplant the grown-up fry, it is necessary to establish a similar temperature and hydrochemical composition, as in the general aquarium, where you plan to contain mirror tetras. At the age of 2.5 months, the fry acquire signs of adult fish and silver-pink colors appear in the coloration. Full sexual characteristics will be clearly expressed at the age of 4 to 5 months.
At this time, you must form elite juveniles, which will dilute your already existing flock of producers.
It was noted that good results are obtained by crossing young females with adult males. The most active spawning of mirror tetras is recorded in the summer.
The fecundity peak in female mirror tetras is noted at the age of 2–3 years, while males remain active throughout life.