I enjoyed reading the different experiences with black skirts. I lost mine today after 8 years. It began as my daughter's fish and ended up my fish when she outgrew it. We bought my daughter 3 fish in one of those starter aquariums, the next to smallest, thinking that they would not last too long. That was 8 years ago. We bought a something Molly, and a striped Australian type of fish that had fluorescent stripes. I wish I could remember more about them but they were short timers. The Molly lived only 6 months (after reading these posts I suspect some bullying might have occurred) since the striped fish was also a potentially aggressive type. Blackie the tetra and Stripes got along very well. They chased each other, but could also be seen hovering next to each other in peaceful co-existance. Stripes lived for 4 years.
I always thought fish were dull, not much to them. I would describe Blackie as exuberant. As soon as the top was off the aquarium for water changes he/she jumped out on many occasions. With dogs and a cat we learned to clear the room during the changes. There were several fast laps made around the tank showing me that the new water was just fine. Blackie would hover front and center of the aquarium until I turned on the light and dropped in the food, which usually meant a quick circle then what I called the big bass attack where the surface and food were hit hard. This fish was the only one in the tank for 4 years, but strangely, with all the commotion in the kitchen where the aquarium was, the 3 dogs and their antics seemed to keep Blackie's interest. Who knows? Black seemed to be hovering as a silent observer to our lives each day. Now I don't think they are dull, I've learned they do have personality like any creature and a lot more to them than meets the eye. I recommend these hardy, easy to keep fish to everyone.
I have kept these fish for at least 3 years and have not had good experience with them because, even though I have kept them in schools in my 75 liter tank (4 black tetras and 4 long finned black tetras and a pleco) they never swim when the light is on. They also become pale looking when the light is on and they hide behind all the plants I have in the tank, but they do come out and swim when the tank light is off, which I don't like because I can't see them then.
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