Black Skirt Tetra's make great community fish. I've kept them with a Betta, common Pleco, and Dwarf Gourami's in a tank with bad water parameters due to my lack of knowledge. Well that was 2 years ago and the Black Skirt Tetra's and the pleco are the only one's left from that awful tank. Extremely hardy. They can go at least two weeks without food. An excellent beginner fish. Keep them in groups of 4 . Mine seem to school really tightly in the morning. Especially around/during/after feeding time.
I love my black skirt tetras so much, they are sooo hardy and active, they chase each other around and have a huge appetite, they are like piranhas when it comes to eating time, super fun to watch. I have had no trouble with them in my 20 gallon not even when i had to house a male veiltall betta in there for a few days, as i said they love to play around and chase your finger. One thing i am not to happy about with these guys is that if the tank light is to strong there colour fades, like when i had regular incandescent lighting over the tank they were a solid beautiful black and now with my 2.2 WPG T5 lights they have turned mostly silver with black stripes.
A good fish if you want something to give that silvery flash in your planted aquarium. They are mostly upper water swimmers but will of course occasionally check out what's going on at the bottom. I keep 8 of these which spreads their aggression around and have had no problems with keeping them with 2 bettas (M, F) as well as many neon tetras, corys, cherry barbs and rams. They are especially good for taller tanks as they really do tend to stay up towards the top.
Had these in with an angelfish for around a week. Noticed the angels fins disappearing, and saw one of the black skirts nip at him. At the end of the week he was constantly in the corner to keep from being harassed. Very aggressive fish towards other territorial aquaria.
I have 10 black skirt. I had to give them their own 20 gallon tank because they would bully and dominate my 30 gallon community tank. They are most definetly fin nippers and do go into a frenzy when feeding. Extremely hardy fish. I would never cycle tank with any fish but if you are old school and backwards these fish might survive. Beautiful fish and very active.
As a newbie aquarist an employee at petco told me to cycle a new tank with these. I wouldn't dream of doing a fish in cycle now I know better, but she was totally right. These fish easily survived. I still have the original two and they have been moved two additional times and are always healthy. I have yet to see one die in two years of keeping this fish. When the world ends all that will remain are cockroaches and black skirt tetras. Also they give an amazing flash of silver to a planted tank and don't look out of place. I love how they "blip" vertically to keep from sinking when they're not swimming around.
Great fish for the ambitious newbie. They can survive those "newbie lessons" pretty well. When active they are very entertaining. Mine will tend to spread out from time to time. If I were to have a complaint I would say that given other confessions about how these guys can be aggressive-I could see that. I'm hoping to eventually get Angels. I could totally see these guys being jerks to a fish with long fins. They may find a new home once the Angels come along.
This fish is the best tetra for larger, predator-themed tanks because of their nature and rounded shape. I have ten of these little rascals in my tank right now. Heck, they even started bullying my more aggressive fish the first day they were introduced!
I had 3 of these in with a crowntail betta and some other fish and they chewed the tail on my betta after about a week. They look nice in a tank and are very hardy, but I would put them with more aggressive fish. On a side note...if you ever have to get them out of your tank, they are EXTREMELY hard to catch!
If you have agressivity problems with this tetra then your tank is too small for those, and/or overstocked. I have 9 of these living peacefully with cardinal tetras, the cardinal being 3-4 smaller. But it's a 65 gallon tank. This fish requires plenty of space, and can be a very fast swimmer at times (a rocket). I do not think shrimps have a chance with them.