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Blue Planet Aquarium Successfully Breeds Splash Tetras

English aquarium breeds unique fish that lays eggs out of water.

September 17, 2013

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The splash tetra (Copella arnoldi), a small fish that is native to South America, has been successfully bred at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks in England, according to the Chester Chronicle. The fish is unique in that it lays its eggs outside of the water, usually on a leaf or other broad plant material. The courting ritual of this species is interesting in that both the male and the female both leap out of the water and attach themselves to the underside of a leaf. The female them deposits several eggs while the male fertilizes them. This ritual takes place until about several hundred eggs are deposited onto the leaf.

Splash tetra
Splash tetra. Photo by Zikamoi/Wikimedia

"These really are amazing little fish with a totally unique method of reproduction,” Steven Chester , freshwater aquarist at the aquarium told the Chester Chronicle."Initially the male finds a suitable  location above the waterline - usually  this is a leaf from the overhanging jungle. He then tilts back and examines  the chosen spot, swishing this tail  around and flicking water onto the  chosen site. Once happy he will try to  attract a mate by spreading his fins  and showing off his best colors. "When a female accepts the invitation, she positions herself directly alongside the male, and the pair  leap out of the water together, attaching themselves by fin suction to  the underside of the leaf,” he said.

The splashing tetra grows to about 3 inches in length and is a generally peaceful fish that requires a minimum tank size of 30 gallons. They are fairly easy to care for and require water temperatures from 73-79 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH between 5.0-8.0. It will eat a variety of foods, including brine shrimp, daphnia, pelleted foods, freeze dried foods, and flake foods.

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