05-20-2010, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
I have several species of characin that exhibit similar feeding/growth variety as you describe. For example, within my group of 11 Pristella maxillaris [which were all acquired together as very small juveniles] there are three that have grown very little, while the others are three times their inital size. Like the adage goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink; same with fish feeding. If they remain alive they must be eating something. And genetically, they may be different.
I wouldn't worry about the harassing if the others are eating. Characins have something of a social structure within their group and different fish behave differently. In this regard, more fish is obviously better with any of the tetras, and as you have space and presumably you like this beautiful little fish, I would increase the group to 8 or 9 by adding 3 more.
thanks for the input. its facinating how differently they behave from each other - you'd think they were different species if they weren't the same colour.
i guess as you say it's likely to be a genetic factor, which would imply that there's a some evolutionary advantage from this behavior in the wild. The "skinnys" are definately more skittish and spend more of thier time among the plants, so perhaps thier evolutionary strategy is avoidance of predators over the other more gregarious indivduals who eat well and swim around in the open more