Considering a shoal of peaceful tetras - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 55 Old 08-22-2012, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Amusingly, I would actually say the Serpaes do more running from the Cories than the other way around. I've seen on a few occasions how a Cory, seemingly without any aggressive intent, maybe just to say hello or just being playful, swims towards a group of tetras only for the tetras to get freaked out and swim away, with the Cory chasing it back and forth for a little while! It's more amusing than anything else.

It was just that the Serpaes certainly have more potential to do harm back with their small teeth, is the only reason I was slightly concerned. I'll just keep observing closely - it relieves me to read that you guys think this is normal.
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post #22 of 55 Old 08-22-2012, 08:25 AM
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Cories are so sweet, mine have never done anything mean or wrong before.

Sounds like your fish are having a fun time getting know each other!

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #23 of 55 Old 08-22-2012, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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I love how my thread title wanted "peaceful" and I've ended up getting the most controversial tetras there are!

Anyway more about this hunter-killer instinct: I've only observed Serpaes (it could be just one individual, or it could be different fish at different times) try to sneak up on a lone Cory from behind in one particular part of the tank. There is a "dark alley" of sorts to the right of the large bogwood, where often a cory or two will be sitting idly in the shade. I've seen multiples times today how a Serpae would come down this alley in a stalking manner, and in the last instant go in to try to get a piece of the tail fin. I have yet to see any physical damage to any of the Cories, but this displeases me greatly nonetheless.

I would suppose that this is the only part of the tank where the Cories don't have any real cover from plants or wood, so maybe I can think of something. It's not very convenient for planting because it's a 1 inch gap with hardly any light.

Last edited by eug; 08-22-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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post #24 of 55 Old 08-22-2012, 01:49 PM
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I love how my thread title wanted "peaceful" and I've ended up getting the most controversial tetras there are!

Anyway more about this hunter-killer instinct: I've only observed Serpaes (it could be just one individual, or it could be different fish at different times) try to sneak up on a lone Cory from behind in one particular part of the tank. There is a "dark alley" of sorts to the right of the large bogwood, where often a cory or two will be sitting idly in the shade. I've seen multiples times today how a Serpae would come down this alley in a stalking manner, and in the last instant go in to try to get a piece of the tail fin. I have yet to see any physical damage to any of the Cories, but this displeases me greatly nonetheless.

I would suppose that this is the only part of the tank where the Cories don't have any real cover from plants or wood, so maybe I can think of something. It's not very convenient for planting because it's a 1 inch gap with hardly any light.
This is a spot to build a bit of a cave or tunnel, with wood or rock. The corys will readily rest in such crevices, but the tetra are unlikely to follow if it is not large.

Keep an eye on this; as someone suggested it may be "settling in" and ease off. But if it does not, I would remove the corys (or the Serpae, whichever). This sort of constant badgering is very stressful. And stress is the prime cause of almost all health issues.

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]
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post #25 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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I moved the log further to the edge of the tank, hoping that the space will be too narrow for the Serpaes to enter, but it hasn't done much to discourage them from patrolling that area.

One particular tetra (I suspect this is the same one who was stalking and hunting yesterday) has set up camp today at the front right of the tank, and attacks anything, tetra or cory, that enters his realm. I managed to capture a cory naively entering the serpae's territory. The serpae doesn't manage to really make contact, but there have been other occasions where the harrassment was more succesful and the cory had to flee quickly to the other side of the tank.
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post #26 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 10:19 AM
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I moved the log further to the edge of the tank, hoping that the space will be too narrow for the Serpaes to enter, but it hasn't done much to discourage them from patrolling that area.

One particular tetra (I suspect this is the same one who was stalking and hunting yesterday) has set up camp today at the front right of the tank, and attacks anything, tetra or cory, that enters his realm. I managed to capture a cory naively entering the serpae's territory. The serpae doesn't manage to really make contact, but there have been other occasions where the harrassment was more succesful and the cory had to flee quickly to the other side of the tank.
Serpae tetra stalking a Pepper cory - YouTube
It would be good to know if it is just the one tetra doing this, and I guess the only way to determine that is to catch this one and remove it to another temporary tank for a couple days. If none of the others resort to this harrassment, then you can decide what to do with the offender but obviously not return it, as you are not going to alter its instincts. I have had individual fish do this over the years, and sometimes I have had to destroy them. The health of the rest of the tank is more important than the one fish. It really is critical in any aquarium to avoid stress to the fish as much as possible.

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]
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post #27 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I've started making notes, making profiles on the individual fish. Turns out they're not too hard to ID using size and the shapes of their shoulder patches.

I've identified 2 definite offenders. The first is the one in the video defending that bottom right corner unwilling to share it with anybody, and there is a hyper aggressive second offender who runs around generally being a terror, and stays near the middle of the tank. Definitely an alpha-male wannabe.

Another larger one shows territorial behaviour, and has possibly made a move towards a cory, but if the first and second offenders rate 8 and 9 on the aggression scale respectively, the third rates a 6 or so. I'm going to keep taking notes over the course of the week and try to get a profile on each individual fish if I can manage it!
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post #28 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 01:05 PM
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I've started making notes, making profiles on the individual fish. Turns out they're not too hard to ID using size and the shapes of their shoulder patches.

I've identified 2 definite offenders. The first is the one in the video defending that bottom right corner unwilling to share it with anybody, and there is a hyper aggressive second offender who runs around generally being a terror, and stays near the middle of the tank. Definitely an alpha-male wannabe.

Another larger one shows territorial behaviour, and has possibly made a move towards a cory, but if the first and second offenders rate 8 and 9 on the aggression scale respectively, the third rates a 6 or so. I'm going to keep taking notes over the course of the week and try to get a profile on each individual fish if I can manage it!
Yes. This may still sort itself out.

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]
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post #29 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 01:19 PM
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Hah, you are dedicated. I can't for the life of me tell any of my fish apart, minus the betta.
How are the cories acting right now?
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post #30 of 55 Old 08-23-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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They seem to be getting used the harrassment in the sense that they anticipate it better and manage to avoid the tetras most of the time. There is also one tetra who has a scar/scratch across his body near his caudal fin that wasn't there before - either he had a bad scuffle with a colleague, or possibly he got a piece of corydoras fin spine across his body?
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