Introduced to the fish breeders and fish-keepers around 1930, the lemon tetras are famous for their eyes.
They have big eyes and the upper part of the eye is bright red which provides a sharp contrast to the color of their body which is pale yellow.
In fact, most of the times their body looks transparent like a glass and if they are swimming in sunlight, you may be able to see and just a sunbeam swimming through your tank! To make their appearance more prominent, you should provide a dark substrate and some dark looking decorative items in the aquarium.
You can distinguish between a male and female on the basis of some features.
The males will have tiny hooks on the anal fins and their color for the rest of the fin is black.
Lemon tetras demonstrate a unique pattern of behavior in the aquarium.
The males will pick up some landmarks within your aquarium and they will display themselves from there when they are mature and ready for reproduction.
This display is among the males mainly intended for attracting the females.
They will also swim across by making flicking movements of their body.
If the other male approaches them, they will pull off at the last moment! This is just a showy behavior and it will not lead to any fight among the males.
Some experts say that this behavior is to show their fitness for reproduction purposes and to establish them higher in the social ranking.
In the nature, the breeding process of lemon tetras is quite interesting.
Thousands of pairs will come together and they will spawn together! For spawning purposes, they will select plants with thick leaves on which they will lay their eggs.
However such a pattern of spawning is not possible in captivity so the breeding becomes difficult for ordinary fish-keepers.
Usually, it is advisable to buy lemon tetras as and when you need them and you should not make any special efforts for their breeding.
In the nature, the process of breeding has some more interesting aspects.
The males will chase the females madly and suddenly they will drop the chase and pursue another female.
This activity is enjoyable to watch and it will result in many dashes among them.
If you keep observing them, you will find that every male will finally select a female and they will start courting her.
While courting, they will keep their head down and flick their fins so that they will generate flashes of yellow color.
You can easily see these flashes.
Once the female is ready for spawning, the pair will move near some plant which is having thick leaves.
The couple will part after leaving a cloud of eggs.
The eggs will not stick to the leaves and some of them will fall down up to the base of the plant or in the substrate.
In their natural habitat, these eggs in tens of thousands in numbers will accumulate at the bottom.
Usually many of them will be eaten by the adults.
In order to reduce the competition for their fry, each pair will eat the eggs laid by other pairs.
This habit continues when they are in the aquarium and so they will eat whatever eggs they find on the plants.
So if you want to save these eggs, you should create some 'egg traps' which are readily available from pet shops.
Still, you may not be able to save many eggs, as the pair is quicker than your expectations! The fry will grow into a fully fledged adult within a period of about nine months after the hatching.
Considering all these intricacies, it may not be easy to breed lemon tetras.
But then if you are lucky, you will get through the whole process and will be a proud owner of a big school of lemon tetras! The enjoyment and thrill after the achievement is a bonus.