Hyphessobrychon Tetras - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hyphessobrychon Tetras

I know that most tetras like to be in a group, but I have read that some of the Hyphessobrychon will school together. Does that mean that, for exaample, three bleedin hearts would school happily and contently with rosy and black phantom, or should there be at least 6 of each kind?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 02:02 PM
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There is a difference between "schooling" and "shoaling" that I'll try to explain because it is significant to the behaviours of the fish. Freshwater fish do not "school" in the strict sense of the term; marine fish school, meaning that they remain in tight packs and hunt together. Many freshwater fish are "shoaling" which means they live in large groups. However, they do not hunt as a pack, and they may swim together or apart or in smaller groups with the larger. When stressed by danger they frequently group together for protection, the "safety in numbers" thinking.

In the aquarium, shoaling fish must be kept in a group to avoid stress. When they have several of their own species around them, they will be more relaxed as it were, and thus healthier. Their interaction varies depending upon species, but many are quite social and this strengthens the need for a group of the species. Natural behaviours will be more likely and more frequent, things like male displays which is so common with Hyphessobrycon. Many have a "pecking order" that is important to maintain.

Some species are closely related phylogenetically; phylogenetics is the study of how a group of organisms--in this case fish--have evolved in relationship to each other genetically (DNA). When for instance two or more species have evolved from a single ancestor, we know that they will be closely related--and this impacts behaviours, traits and requirements. Hyphessobrycon is a mixed bag, with more than 100 described species. Ichthyologists now know that many of these are not at all closely related, and scientific research is ongoing to sort them out. This brings me (finally) to your question.

Some of the species in Hyphessobrycon are clearly very closely related; one "clade" or group known as the Rosy clade was proposed by Weitzman and Palmer in the 1990's, and there is considerable evidence that this group of some 30 species is monophyletic, which means that they all descended form the same ancestor. As I mentioned above, this means they will likely share many requirements and behaviours. The species you mention are in this "Rosy" clade. Hyphessobrycon megalopterus (Black Phantom Tetra), H. erythrostigma (Bleeding Heart Tetra) and H. rosaceus (Rosy Tetra) which is the species that gave the clade it's name. So, one can expect these species will "shoal" together more than they would with other species not in this clade.

That being said, it is still preferable to have several of each individual species; six is the usual minimum suggested, more is always better, and with a ratio of males/females. The fish expect it, and will be healthier in a group of their own. The shoaling behaviours that will be more evident when any of these species are maintained in 6+ groups with roughly equal males/females is well worth it.

Byron.

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 #3 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. That's what I was figured.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Let me start by saying ignore any typos you may see right now. I am home sick and have like ten different meds in my system... lets just say the brain is not functioning as it should.

As for the bleeding heart then, I believe those are my fave since they are bigger. Can they live with guppies (males only)? And what wold be a good number of each for a 55 gallon tank? Oh yeah... Oto Catfish- will they work and how many to keep the tank clea.

And what are some live plants that are really easy to maintain. And how do I know how many and what kind to choose for a 55 gallon aquarium Also, what is a good choice when selecting lighting for these fish and live plants?

How can I make driftwood I find safe to use??? I live along the bank of the Mississippi and near so many bodies of water it is hard to count so it is everywhere here. And far more beatiful than any I can find to buy.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 04:03 PM
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As for the bleeding heart then, I believe those are my fave since they are bigger. Can they live with guppies (males only)? And what wold be a good number of each for a 55 gallon tank? Oh yeah... Oto Catfish- will they work and how many to keep the tank clea.
I personally would not keep livebearers with characins due to the water parameters. Livebearers absolutely need medium hard or hard water with a basic pH, they simply do not last in soft water. While many of the common tetra being tank raised (like BH's) can manage in this, they still do better in slightly acidic water that is more soft. There are ranges given for each species in our profiles. Depending upon your tap water, having a tank with tetra and similar soft water fish can work well if the water naturally acidifies, as it will depending upon hardness. This admirably suits the tetra. But not livebearers.

BH's can be a bit nippy as they mature, and guppy might be a temptation. Other tetra, rasbora and substrate fish [all also being soft slightly acidic water fish] are better tankmates.

Otos are fine, but ensure you have common green algae in the tank before getting them. Oto are all wild caught and nearly starved by the time they reach stores; without their natural food--soft, green algae--they frequently starve in aquaria. Once they are settled, if they deplete the algae, they learn quickly to eat from sinking foods. But initially, many lose them without real algae. And they will not touch brush algae, hair algae, etc.

Quote:
And what are some live plants that are really easy to maintain. And how do I know how many and what kind to choose for a 55 gallon aquarium Also, what is a good choice when selecting lighting for these fish and live plants?
Plants: browse our plant profiles [second tab from the left in the blue bar]. Light is the critical issue, as some plants do well in low to moderate, others require brighter. Fish prefer minimal lighting. Floating plants help with this, plus not having more than necessary for the plants you want. What is your existing fixture on the 55g? I can suggest some good tubes. Indicate if it is fluorescent or incandescent, how many tubes/bulbs, and if fluorescent is it a 48-inch tube? And T8 or T5.

Quote:
How can I make driftwood I find safe to use??? I live along the bank of the Mississippi and near so many bodies of water it is hard to count so it is everywhere here. And far more beatiful than any I can find to buy.
It is always a risk using anything natural from the wild, but it can be done. Wood from a waterway is best as it will be waterlogged and less likely to contain contaminants like pesticides, chemicals, oils, that dry wood on land might absorb. Pathogens and such are the obvious concern. Boiling or baking usually deals with these. I myself always buy the wood, it is somewhat safer. Usually.

Byron.

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 #6 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Its the fluorescent lights that came with the starter kit I bought.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-05-2011, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fish for b View Post
Its the fluorescent lights that came with the starter kit I bought.
How many tubes, and what is the length of the tubes (not the fixture)? I will assume it is T8, the common fluorescent.

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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