Arnoldichthys spilopterus – Niger Tetra
Arnoldichthys spilopterus are very beautiful and fast swimmers. This is one of the most beautiful African Tetra. Their common name is Niger Tetra. They require a spacious aquarium, because they can grow quite large, namely 10 cm.
Arnoldichthys spilopterus comes from West Africa from the area of the Niger Delta to Lagos. It is a fish that resides in the middle zone of the aquarium.
Synonym: Petersius spilopterus
You must provide good food, such as mosquito larvae, daphnia and tubifex. Insects such as flies, beetles and water beetles are also eaten, as are mealworms, small earthworms and the like. Vegetable food is also appreciated; occasionally a lettuce leaf. We tie such a lettuce leaf to a pebble and then let it sink to the bottom of the aquarium.
In the aquarium, Arnoldichthys spilopterus must definitely have a large swimming space, a dark bottom and a properly functioning filter, if possible some water current and some sun. They are distinct schooling fish; we have to keep at least 6 to 8 copies together. They color best in soft, slightly acidic water and a temperature of approx. 24 – 27 °C. Filtering over peat certainly helps to get color and keep it healthy.
The breeding of the Niger Tetra is very difficult. Pairing plays an important role and is best tried with a school pairing and a spacious breeding tank with fresh, soft and acidic water. Do not take fish that are too young, especially for breeding. Feed the adult Niger Tetra generously with insects, if this is not done the females will hardly spawn. The breeding tank should also be in a quiet place and it is recommended to provide diffused light.
Up to 1000 eggs are laid and fertilized. It is wise to remove the parents afterwards. The young hatch after 30-35 hours and can be raised on fine dust food and after two weeks on brine shrimp nauplii, fine dry food etc. The young are growing fast.
I wish you good luck with any breeding, it is not easy, but certainly worth a try.