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post #1 of 4 Old 02-08-2011, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Tetra compatibility

Not willing to believe everything that I read, I thought I would be interesting to learn what real live Fish Keepers had to say about the compatibility of Neon Tetras with other fish. I have 8 Tetras in my 30 gal tank that are doing well and very active. I have been considering adding several other species probably no more than 4 to 5 additional fish. I wonder what experiences other have had by adding other fish to a group of Tetras? For you folks that have been around for sometime... what other species behave themselves with these colorful swift darters?

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Don
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-08-2011, 11:58 AM
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It depends upon what the other fish are. There are some general considerations.

"Peaceful" fish tend to live together without incident, provided the tank is large enough and there are sufficient numbers of each species; shoaling fish need to be in groups, like your neons in a group of 8, and as a recent scientific study has proven even neons can become nippy and aggressive when they are in too small a group or in too small a space. Six is usually considered minimum for most species, but the more the better. Your group of 8 is good.

Temptation: putting long-finned and slow, sedate fish in with any tetra needs careful consideration. Again, tank size, and also the aquascaping [providing what the various fish naturally "expect" as in their respective habitats] plays a big part. Any fish that are stressed by their environment can display aggressiveness they otherwise would not do. On this score, I would not attempt gourami or angels (a 30g is too small for a group of angelfish anyway, but even in larger tanks this is asking for trouble).

At the opposite end, fish that may see the tetra as food must be avoided. Even if they do not physically attack the tetra, they send out signals as predators, and this stresses out the tetra leading to health issues and aggression. The angelfish enter this equation too, as neons are natural food for the predatory angels.

I mentioned the aquascaping above, asnother issue is filtration or more accurately the current from the filter. Neons are not fast-water fish, so they should not be combined with other fish that need that as it will stress them out, and vice versa. And of course temperature, neons are cooler water, not above 77-78F, so putting them in with Blue Rams that need 80-82F woudl not work.

In a 30g with 8 neons, you have space for another shoal of tetra of acceptable size and behaviour. And some bottom fish, say any of the Corydoras species, or some of the more unusual catfish that remain under 4-5 inches (BN pleco, whiptail, Farlowella, Zebra pleco...). Maybe some surface fish--hatchets (group of 8-9 of one of the Carnegiella species), pencilfish... . A pair of dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma species), or a male with two females sometimes works better.

Hope this helps.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 02-08-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
It depends upon what the other fish are. There are some general considerations.

"Peaceful" fish tend to live together without incident, provided the tank is large enough and there are sufficient numbers of each species; shoaling fish need to be in groups, like your neons in a group of 8, and as a recent scientific study has proven even neons can become nippy and aggressive when they are in too small a group or in too small a space. Six is usually considered minimum for most species, but the more the better. Your group of 8 is good.

Temptation: putting long-finned and slow, sedate fish in with any tetra needs careful consideration. Again, tank size, and also the aquascaping [providing what the various fish naturally "expect" as in their respective habitats] plays a big part. Any fish that are stressed by their environment can display aggressiveness they otherwise would not do. On this score, I would not attempt gourami or angels (a 30g is too small for a group of angelfish anyway, but even in larger tanks this is asking for trouble).

At the opposite end, fish that may see the tetra as food must be avoided. Even if they do not physically attack the tetra, they send out signals as predators, and this stresses out the tetra leading to health issues and aggression. The angelfish enter this equation too, as neons are natural food for the predatory angels.

I mentioned the aquascaping above, asnother issue is filtration or more accurately the current from the filter. Neons are not fast-water fish, so they should not be combined with other fish that need that as it will stress them out, and vice versa. And of course temperature, neons are cooler water, not above 77-78F, so putting them in with Blue Rams that need 80-82F woudl not work.

In a 30g with 8 neons, you have space for another shoal of tetra of acceptable size and behaviour. And some bottom fish, say any of the Corydoras species, or some of the more unusual catfish that remain under 4-5 inches (BN pleco, whiptail, Farlowella, Zebra pleco...). Maybe some surface fish--hatchets (group of 8-9 of one of the Carnegiella species), pencilfish... . A pair of dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma species), or a male with two females sometimes works better.

Hope this helps.

Byron.
Byron:

Yes this helps a great deal, thanks. I always choose to listen to those who have gone before me. Of course the books are good but first hand info from Fish Keepers gains the most respect from me. Again thank you for the nice rundown on species, environment and numbers. I will keep this in mind the next time I get in the FAS-"Fish Acquisition Syndrome". Hope to message with you again sometime.

Ciao,
Don
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 12:28 PM
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I have pandas and black neons right now, but pandas may get aggressive later...

black neon tetras would be nice with neons..

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