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Considering a shoal of peaceful tetras

This is a discussion on Considering a shoal of peaceful tetras within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Well 24 hours later, it seems some of the "pecking order" has changed within the tetras, and the territorial zones are different from yesterday. ...

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Considering a shoal of peaceful tetras
Old 08-24-2012, 11:56 AM   #31
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Well 24 hours later, it seems some of the "pecking order" has changed within the tetras, and the territorial zones are different from yesterday. Different zones seem to be contested over at different times, and cories tend to be harrassed if they wander into the "brawl zone" unawares. I just watched as a single tetra was trying to mark its territory in the front lower left of the tank, only to have a group of 4 cories or so sniffle about, the lone tetra doing its best to take little nips and charges at the cories in an attempt to get them to clear out. The cories, it seems, are too stubborn or too dumb to take the hint, and even after being nipped at, would quickly return to the site to join its friends in sniffing the sand.

More observations: feeding is turning out to be a chaotic affair as well, because they tetras have no qualms about feeding from the substrate. After already feeding them with flake, they will then seek out the area where the cories are enjoying their sinking tablets or shrimp pellets or whatever, and literally take chunks with their pointy-toothed mouth and simply run away with it! I will have to probably start feeding the cories at a later time, perhaps at lights out time when the tetras are less active.

Byron, as you suggested I put a piece of sponge between the glass and the wood to create a small tunnel, only about 1.5 cm in height perhaps, and amazingly shortly after i set it up, the TETRAS are swimming in en masse, maybe a group of 3-4, going in to check out the new changes, and then what ensues is something resembling a knife fight in a phone booth! Apart from the smallest of caves, they will literally enter any crevice, and then brawl in it. Utter complete savages, these fish.

Oh, one piece of optimistic news in view of the cories is that they seem to be spawning and laying eggs on a daily basis. I wasn't sure what the egg-like stuff was, but I confirmed it once by watching the mating ritual happen before my eyes, and the mystery white stringy stuff deposited on a pygmy chain sword leaf. I'm finding new eggs every day, but I assume unless I purposely remove them none will survive - they're not laying enough en masse, and most of the eggs seem to fall off the leaves onto the substrate where they're probably consumed or destroyed.

Last edited by eug; 08-24-2012 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:59 AM   #32
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Today I found a cory with a clearly torn caudal fin. That is the last straw - these fish are too much trouble for their worth in my tank. I have already put up a classified ad, hopefully I can get somebody to take them off me for 50% of the price I paid. The shop I bought them at does not accept livestock returns.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:33 AM   #33
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That should have read dorsal fin, not caudal.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:42 AM   #34
 
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Whatever you do, get the wild type fish. Just do it for me, okay? I am so tired of seeing albinos and x-rays and goldens and balloon bodies and long finned whatevers. Fish that would have been culled out of breeders tanks a generation ago are now celebrated as though they had some special charm. What's so great about deformed and colorless fish!! There is no good reason for these creatures, save to line the greedy pockets of fish farms and LFSs. There. Just a little rant from Mr Luckman. Seriously, do you guys like these things?

I think serpaes are gorgeous when in the right situation and kept in a large enough group. (Olympias concern about long finned serpaes doing damage to themselves is legit, I think, and I wonder why people think long finned tetras and barbs are a good idea.)

I also have been many times amazed by the color of flame tetras. When these are well tended, they are wonderful. I may be wrong, but I believe they stay a little smaller than the serpaes.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:48 AM   #35
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Mine sure are showing a decent colouration:



The problem is they're just bunch of psychopathic brawling brutes in my tank. It's been 4 days and their behaviour is not improving, so I find it unlikely that they will ever be a good fit here.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:06 AM   #36
 
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Or maybe you need a whole lot more of them, Eug.

I go to public aquariums and look at videos of schooling Characins in the Amazon and they number in the hundreds if not thousands.

But we put five to seven fish in a tank and call it a "school" and wonder why their behavior is "psychopathic." I don't think it is. I think it's abberant behavior as a result if being kept in insufficient numbers. Your fish would not have the opportunity to go at it "mano a mano" if they were kept in a group that in any way reflected the realities of their natural history. But you bring up a good point in that perhaps serpaes should not be considered except in situations where several dozen can be accommodated.

Any chance you could add more to your gang? By the way, your tank is gorgeous! Sorry the kids are behaving badly.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #37
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No it's a 30 gallon with 7 cories already in there so I'd rather not put more. I've called a different shop who has offered to give me store credit for them and were sympathetic to my situation. Going to the shop now, possibly with a whole different set of fish when I come home.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:34 AM   #38
 
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I sympathize. Twenty years ago I put Bleeding hearts with angels and had no problems. Tried the same combination a couple years back and the Bleeding hearts were mercilessly nippy. Angels were being driven crazy. I still think my theory about bigger schools for tetras is the way to go. And I mean dozens of tetras, not a handful.

I recommend espei (lambchop) rasboras for a sweet looking and peaceful fish.

Good luck, Eug! tell us what you come up with!
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #39
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I read your message too late to consider your recommendation, but I've come home with 10 cherry barbs. The guy at the shop seemed to know what he's talking about, and the fish in the tanks showed good colour and he gave me a reasonable price on the Serpaes - I lost a bit on the exchange but I already expected this. I was ready to give them away for free if push came to shove to restore some peace to my tank! Overall a good experience, and I think he might have won over a customer. Contrast to the shop where I initially bought the Serpaes who adamantly insisted over the phone when I called up to ask for help that "Serpae tetras are not aggressive, never ever! Impossible!"... I know where I will NOT be returning to...
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #40
 
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There are no absolutes when it comes to captive fish. On another forum, one member added some male guppies to a tank containing several harlequin rasboras which unceremoniously ripped them to shreds. Anything can happen. The LFS that tells you that a fish can never become aggressive just doesn't have enough experience with that fish. (Certain exclusions apply!)

Cherry barbs are great little fish and from what I have seen do not deserve the reputation associated with their larger cousins. These are purportedly extinct in the wild, so consider how lucky you are to have what is essentally an endangered species living under your roof.

The males are seriously gorgeous when in the mood for love, which, in your well-kept planted tank will likely happen immediately.

I have had both checker and ruby barbs reproduce with absolutely no help from me in a planted tank. My first indication that they were breeding was the appearance of juvenile barbs showing up at meal-times. Expect babies!

Last edited by sidluckman; 08-25-2012 at 09:29 AM..
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