How many Emperor Tetras can I put in my tank?
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How many Emperor Tetras can I put in my tank?

This is a discussion on How many Emperor Tetras can I put in my tank? within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> I have a 33 gallons long that currently houses one male Honey Gourami, 8 corydoras and I added 3 emperor tetras this morning. I ...

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How many Emperor Tetras can I put in my tank?
Old 05-31-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
 
How many Emperor Tetras can I put in my tank?

I have a 33 gallons long that currently houses one male Honey Gourami, 8 corydoras and I added 3 emperor tetras this morning. I don't wish to add any more species in the tank so I'd like to have them in a big school. How many more of them do you think I could add without overstocking?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
 
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Emperor tetra, Nematobrycon palmeri, is a shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of minimum 6 fish. Males are sometimes said to be territorial, but not to the extent of causing damage to each other, and a larger group as opposed to 2 or 3 fish would help in this respect. There is another characin commonly called emperor, the so-called blue emperor, Inpaichthys kerri, a slightly smaller tetra, which should also be kept in a group of 6 or more.

In your 33g, which I'll assume is 36 inches long (like mine), you will be OK with 7-9 emperors (of either species mentioned) in addition to your corys and gourami, provided you do not neglect regular maintenance (weekly partial water changes of 35-50%). A well-planted aquarium will benefit the emperors, both for water quality and their colouration that will intensify; floating plants will also help in this regard, as emperors like dim light and are more colourful than in brighter tanks. They also settled in better and are more secure (and colourful) in thickly-planted aquaria. In sparse tanks they tend to be a bit unsure and skittish. An average temp of around 77-79 will suit the fish.

Both fish mentioned will readily spawn in a suitable environment.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
 
mhm I'm pretty sure I got Blue Emperors (the lfs labels them all 'Emperor' so I'd have to be careful not to get both species.)
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:53 PM   #4
 
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Here are photos of both species, f.y.i. First is true emperor, Nematobrycon palmeri; second is blue emperor, Inpaichthys kerri. Remember though that water conditions can affect the colouration of many fish and these are very much influenced by that.
[Interestingly, just now I did a Google image search for these, and noted many photos mis-identified--only shows how much confusion exists in some poeple's minds and how one has to be careful with photos on the web, very often inaccurate as Heiko Bleher told me.]

Byron.
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File Type: jpg kerri tetra.jpg (17.3 KB, 26 views)
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Here are photos of both species, f.y.i. First is true emperor, Nematobrycon palmeri; second is blue emperor, Inpaichthys kerri. Remember though that water conditions can affect the colouration of many fish and these are very much influenced by that.
[Interestingly, just now I did a Google image search for these, and noted many photos mis-identified--only shows how much confusion exists in some poeple's minds and how one has to be careful with photos on the web, very often inaccurate as Heiko Bleher told me.]

Byron.

Thank you, 100% sure they're Blue Emperors now, they have a tiny fin over the caudal that true Emperor don't have, I'm a bit disappointed (I love those true Emperor's finnage) but that's a learning experience I guess8). I can tell that energy-wise the Blues are already packed so having 9 of them is gonna be something to watch!
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
 
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Thank you, 100% sure they're Blue Emperors now, they have a tiny fin over the caudal that true Emperor don't have, I'm a bit disappointed (I love those true Emperor's finnage) but that's a learning experience I guess8). I can tell that energy-wise the Blues are already packed so having 9 of them is gonna be something to watch!
The kerri tetras are neat little fish, I had a group of 7 of them in my 115g several years ago. They spawned several times in that busy tank, and while the other fish always knew what was going on and devoured the eggs immediately, once they missed one and it hatched and the fry managed to survive within the plants. As you say, they are active little fish; plants are good, but with open swimming space. Males have a more blue sheen over the entire body, females much less. And the females have a red adipose fin, the males don't; the adipose is that small fin just in front of the caudal fin. Most (but as you noted not all) characins have an adipose fin. It is best to get a mix of males and females with characins, it leads to some fascinating behaviours.

If you really want Emperors in your 33g, maybe the store would take back the 3 kerri if you agree to buy Emperors?
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
 
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The kerri tetras are neat little fish, I had a group of 7 of them in my 115g several years ago. They spawned several times in that busy tank, and while the other fish always knew what was going on and devoured the eggs immediately, once they missed one and it hatched and the fry managed to survive within the plants. As you say, they are active little fish; plants are good, but with open swimming space. Males have a more blue sheen over the entire body, females much less. And the females have a red adipose fin, the males don't; the adipose is that small fin just in front of the caudal fin. Most (but as you noted not all) characins have an adipose fin. It is best to get a mix of males and females with characins, it leads to some fascinating behaviours.

If you really want Emperors in your 33g, maybe the store would take back the 3 kerri if you agree to buy Emperors?
I must have gotten a weird sub-specie because my kerri have either blue or bright yellow adipose fin. I assume the yellow ones are females since they're also smaller.

It's funny I was browsing around and they are called so many names, no wonder people get mixed up. on liveaquaria kerris are called Purple Emperor tetras and Palmeris are called Royal Black Emperor tetras!
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Freddiesbuns View Post
I must have gotten a weird sub-specie because my kerri have either blue or bright yellow adipose fin. I assume the yellow ones are females since they're also smaller.

It's funny I was browsing around and they are called so many names, no wonder people get mixed up. on liveaquaria kerris are called Purple Emperor tetras and Palmeris are called Royal Black Emperor tetras!
Ground colour is golden brown, with a longitudinal black stripe, and in males this ground colour is largely covered by the metallic blue sheen. Adipose on males is blue like the sheen, and on females more orange-ish I guess, so you're probably seeing both in your group. I had thought it was red, but that was from memory and on checking my magazine articles and Baensch I see it is more yellow/orange than red.

Common names can be very misleading. I always use scientific names when researching fish to buy because I want to know exactly what I'm getting. of course, stores can be wrong on these as well, as some of the distributors don't know either. I sometimes take a reference book (like the Baensch Atlas) with me, and look up the fish in the store. Some stores have a reference book on hand for this.
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