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What are the chances of egg scatterers crossing, when there are several varieties in a tank???

Magnum Man

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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
Both my African, and South American Tetra tanks are starting to have fish spawning regularly… in the display tanks, with a lot of variety, and competition, I’m not expecting any fry, and that wasn’t my intention… but with the possibility of several different egg scatterers in a tank scattering and fertilizing at the same time, what are the chances of cross breeding happening???
To me, very slim. I've seen other species trail spawners to eat the falling eggs, but never get involved. We see it a lot more with livebearers, because you generally don't have to do anything special to spawn them, and Cichlids because we keep them in communities and we see when they pair off and who they pair with. A few rainbow species have been made extinct in the hobby here by lazy or thoughtless breeders, as they cross very easily.
With tetras, usually you have to set up a single species tank to breed them, and you would have to be clueless to put the wrong species together. Plus, you'd need species where the separation wasn't that ancient, so the fry would be viable even for one generation. If it happened easily, we would have 2 or 3 tetra forms available by now, with everything going into the soup. In the hobby, hybridization is a great enemy of diversity.
If we want hybrids, the farms will find a way. If there's a profit to be made, it will be. But other than the mess made of rainbows and livebearers, we've been pretty lucky. Even why hybrids survive, they are often sterile mules.
Well in general, the chance that it will result in hybrids is small. And in case, it would happen, it's also important to know if the offspring will have an even or uneven number of chromosomes. That may tell us whether the offpsring will be fertile or infertile.
If they were rainbowfish I would say there's a very high chance of them hybridising but tetras don't.
The only Atherin, (rainbow fish), I had in my big tank was Iriatherina werneri. They were breeding ALL THE TIME!!! But, alone, there was no possibility of hybridsation. Interesting species and group of fish generally.

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