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Hasemania nana
Silver-Tipped Tetra, Silvertip Tetra

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Silver-Tipped Tetra - Hasemania nana

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silvertip2.jpg (17kb)
Photo Credit: Marcos Avila

I have had six of these little guys in my tank for about seven months now (not full size yet) and it's quite clear that males are much brighter and have a much deeper gold colour than the females. I'm actually quite certain of this because I have recently gotten a pair of them to spawn. What led me to even attempt to breed this type of fish in the first place was because I started to notice the males constantly doing a wiggling motion beside one of the females (about 2 cm apart from each other). Thanks to the information on this web site, I decided to try breeding for the first time so I put them through a "conditioning" period. Conditioning simply means giving a rich and nutritious variety of foods to ensure that the female's ovaries are stimulated and filled with eggs and the male is full of milt with which to fertilize them.

I read that this conditioning period usually takes about two to three weeks and you're supposed to separate the pair during this time. I put the pair in a 20 L tank, but every time I went near the tank to feed them they would get scared and not eat as much. Maybe the tank was too small. So I decided to put them back into my 160 L tank with the other fishes and continued the conditioning process. I fed frozen blood worms twice a day for about three weeks. During the early stages, I noticed the wiggling motions from the male would become more frequent, especially after feeding. As time went on, the female started to get rounder at the belly and would actually participate in the wiggling. From time to time, the "courting" would even get violent (attacking and chasing each other all over the tank). The male became noticeably more territorial, chasing away other males from the female and would even chase and nip at other fishes that got in his way. The female would sometimes stay motionless at the bottom of the tank looking exhausted and breathing hard. It was not until sometime during the third week around 11:30 pm when I noticed the wiggling motion was side-by-side. I watch them for about ten minutes or so and then I saw some tiny eggs pop out of the female. It was a great experience to watch this go on but the eggs were eaten by other fish on the way down and really never had a chance to reach the bottom.

I then took out the pair and placed them in my 20 L tank (no gravel, no plants, used the water out of my 160 L tank) where they almost immediately started to spawn. Every time they wiggled about five to ten eggs came out. I watched everything, it was a great experience, they must have laid over two hundred eggs in a twenty minute period. Unfortunately, I was forced to take them out of the tank because they started eating their own eggs. I would like to point out that I did not see any "white stuff" come out of the male while the spawning took place. When I woke up the next morning, about eight hours later, I saw several small fry just lying at the bottom of the tank. They are really tiny and you have to look really close to notice them. Not all of the eggs hatched, my latest count was at seventy. The ones that were not fertilized will start to decompose, you can tell which ones those are (mould effect) and should take them out right away. It has only been a week now and the little fry are swimming around.

Contributed by Michael Wong

I also just purchased two Silver-Tips and find that one terrorizes the other. This is a brand new aquarium so I have no other fish right now and am hesitant to buy more Silver-Tips. I thought that maybe if I buy more, it will calm the aggressive one down, but I worry that they will take over the other fish I will put in my tank, and I am limited in space because I only have a 22 liter tank!

Contributed by Kona

I had five Silver Tip Tetraīs (they died a month ago). Theyīre very funny fish. If everything is right in the aquarium they will play and the color of the fish will be better. If you buy only one of this species it will have a white color because they swim in groups. Itīs better if you buy 5-10 of this fish . If you have a small aquarium they will grow and wonīt swim and play so much because they need space. They will do good in a 60 liter tank. The fish are midwater swimmers, they donīt swim close to the surface, they donīt need much plants, too many plants will short the space in the aquarium.

Contributed by Lodewijk Ploeg

I have had two Silver Tip Tetras for two years. I recently bought three more. I have found them to be very peaceful and have not experienced any of the antics others have reported on this page. They are lively and attractive. The two I have had for some time are an amber color while the new ones are lighter in color. On one website someone indicated that the light colored ones might be females; I have also heard that if they are in better condition they become more gold in color. I think this fish is a good choice. One other thing: I read somewhere that they are river fish. I have a good strong current in my tank with two powerheads. Maybe the extra effort they spend swimming against the current keeps them out of trouble!

Contributed by Lodewijk Ploeg

We had purchased four silver-tipped tetras and one of them started chasing our betta. Purchased another two and the problem seems to have gone away, as they are just bothering each other. We have only had them for a month or two, so I suppose time will tell...

Contributed by Jacob Modayil

I started out with 3 Silver Tips in a new tank and found them to be territorial and to chase each other frequently. A month later I added 3 more to the tank and this seemed to calm the situation down a lot. They seem to do much better in groups of 6 - 10. I've since lost two of them to a parasite and now that the numbers are less they are chasing each other again. They seem to do well with the introduction of a few larger fish, like a pair of Dwarf Gouramies. The presence of larger fish calm the Silver Tips down.

Contributed by Kieron Goucher

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