11-23-2010, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Aquarius
Ok, so I went to my LPS to acquaint myself once again with what types of fish they stock. I stayed there with my 3 year old watching all the fish for about an hour and a half. I spoke with one of the women that worked there a little bit and she convinced me to get a few fish to help feed the plants I bought the day before. I bought 3 Serpae Tetra because the woman said they would be good with Gourami, they were in a tank WITH Gourami. Darn my impulse buys. I came home with them and then looked them up online, come to find out, they are fin nippers too. Why am I drawn to fin nippers?! I will be making sure, if I keep them, to add more for them to school with, I just didn't want to buy too many at once. They have some beautiful Gourami there and also African Butterfly Cichlids which are told to be peaceful and good community tank fish. But now I'm worried that I made a mistake with the Serpae, they are cute, but they are already chasing each other around the tank. My heart is set on having Gourami or the Butterfly Cichlid in my tank, what should I do? AqAdvisor shows them as compatible but it also showed the Tiger Barbs as compatible as well. Also I've been reading that I shouldn't be using carbon in my filter with a planted aquarium. One person says they cut the top open of their filter cartridges and dump the carbon in the trash then use the cartridge after that. Another person said to just put cotton stuffing in the filter to catch particles.
advice is to return the Serpae. They will be trouble, believe me; the "chasing" is mild aggression, it will worsen. Others may jump in that they have some and they are fine, and that's true; but as it says in our profile of this fish, it is in their nature to be nasty, and while some specimens may not others will, and you can't change the biological makeup of a fish. They are also very bad with gourami, that woman in the store needs some training. Gourami are slow, sedate fish; comparable to angels and discus. Any fast-swimming fish chasing themselves around the tank is not good.
AqAdvisor has merit, but I never use those sites. Fish compatibility is a complex issue involving fish behaviours, their environment, water parameters, and even decor in the tank. Won't go into all this now, I wrote on this at length yesterday in another thread, now I can't find it.
On the carbon, it will wear out in a couple weeks or so, but generally speaking it is best not to use chemical filtration (carbon etc) in planted tanks as the plants take up toxins plus nutrients.