Fin-nipping!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

 
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post #1 of 2 Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Fin-nipping!!

hey i have a 33g amazon flooded forest biotope tank (recently become flooded forest) and i have 6 German blue rams with 9 black neon and 8 serpae tetra... everything i have read about these fish was that they are huge fin nippers so i was wondering if they will be okay with the GBR?

here is a pic of the tank...
IMG_9802.jpg


i have them in a school of 8 and they seem to be just chasing themselves around but i have noticed a bit of tearing on the GBR's fins... the GBR are much larger and can hold their own against them. I put a pile of driftwood in the tank so the GBR's can hide if they have to.... is there any way i can reduce the fin nipping?

a pic of the pile of driftwood and of a serpae tetra....
IMG_9784.jpg

IMG_9791.JPG

The serpae tetra don't usually bother the other fish in the tanks but i am still worried about my GBR;s fins any tips or tricks greatly appreciated


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post #2 of 2 Old 03-15-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
i have a 33g amazon flooded forest biotope tank (recently become flooded forest) and i have 6 German blue rams with 9 black neon and 8 Serpae Tetra... everything i have read about these fish was that they are huge fin nippers so i was wondering if they will be okay with the GBR?
Probably not, and I think your comments below show this.

Quote:
i have them in a school of 8 and they seem to be just chasing themselves around but i have noticed a bit of tearing on the GBR's fins... the GBR are much larger and can hold their own against them. I put a pile of driftwood in the tank so the GBR's can hide if they have to.... is there any way i can reduce the fin nipping?
Yes and no. Fish are the way they are because nature has programmed them through evolution. We cannot change them. This is not comparable to training a disobedient dog to be better behaved. But there are ways to lessen the trait, such as maintaining the fish in larger groups (you have 8 so that is minimum, more would be better) and in a larger space: a group of say 12 Serpae Tetra on their own in a 30g would possibly work to keep them a bit more "friendly" but this is not guaranteed because different fish can behave differently for various factors.

Other ways to reduce nipping is to remove temptation. And this is where we come to your rams. No cichlid should be kept with nippy fish; cichlids are fairly slow, sedate fish, and many of them have longer extensions on the dorsal and caudal fins. These slightly-waving fins is like a red flag to a bull. And it is a misconception to think that size matters here, it doesn't. Even full grown cichlids can be harassed by fin-nipping tiny 1-inch fish, and to the point of death. And sometimes even if no actual physical damage occurs. Fish send out chemical signals, pheromones, and other fish read them. This alone can cause stress. But your observation of torn fins on the rams is pretty conclusive as to the culprit source.

Quote:
The Serpae Tetra don't usually bother the other fish in the tanks but i am still worried about my GBR;s fins any tips or tricks greatly appreciated
I answered this above. I would remove the Serpae and leave the beautiful rams and neons, and consider another suitable shoaling fish. But that is up to you; a tank of just Serpae is the other option if you prefer it.

We have profiles, click the shaded names to see them. It mentions these issues.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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