Guppies Vs. Seprae? Sorry, Another stocking question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Guppies Vs. Seprae? Sorry, Another stocking question

Sorry, I know some of this stuff gets repetitive, And I have googled it, and kinda half got my answer, but seems there could be exceptions?

I Have a 36 gallon newly cycled tank, slowly added 4 bloodfin tetra, 2 red wag plattys, then 5 seprae tetras. Everyone is doing well for, and mostly getting along...Although I noticed one of the plattys got nipped. So I started looking around a bit, and I didn't realize how nippy the Sepraes' can get with long fin fish.

Well, for me this is a problem, cuz I really like fancy guppies, and was planning on adding them next. I heard, if I add one more seprae to make the school six (or more) it may help my odds, but I'm more interested in ppl with experience rather than probability lol. I was planning on merging tanks soon, but I'm not looking to send my favorite fish in to get nipped up.

Does anyone here have them living in harmony?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 01:04 AM
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From my knowledge and a review of our profiles the answer is no. Serpae Tetra are known to fin nip fish with long flowing fins like Guppy. Adding more, four would be good) is a way of lowering aggression. I would also add four Bloodfin Tetra,because they do best in schools of 6+.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)

Last edited by Jayy; 01-05-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jayy,
I appreciate the quick reply. I understand the bloodfin would be a bit happier with a few more friends, but I'm also trying to stay within my water limits, ya know...It's just hard, cuz almost every fish I look at should be grouped with 6 or more, and I just don't have the room to do that unless I only want a couple types of fish since I am trying to build within a 36 gallon.
The bloodfins seem happy as they are, so that's why I didn't mention them as a concern, I wouldn't mind adding a couple more if it would really change things...But right now, I'm more concerned with the sepraes.

I'm pretty bummed to find out they may/will not get along with guppies. I did my best to research my fish ahead of time, but kinda bought the seprae on impulse, and hadn't come across them reading ahead of time. I didn't realize how aggressive they are...(and as usual, no heads up from the guy at the lfs) They sure seem to get snotty with each other lol. Besides chasing, they do a lil body punching at each other too.

I'd love more input if anyone has any experience with them actually getting along. If it's not possible, I'll likely relocate the Serpae to my mom's tank, cuz I really want guppies in this one soon.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 01:41 AM
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What you described sounds like a mock battle which is common and will not cause damage. Black Phantom Tetra also have mock battles. I think the bloodfin should be fine for now, but I add more in the future. In really have room to do so now, aswell as the serpea.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)

Last edited by Jayy; 01-05-2012 at 01:46 AM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 02:20 AM
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I fear the fancy guppies tails would be slowly, or quickly, reduced to nubs if placed with the Serpae Tetra's.

I often see the Serpae tetra's at Petco being kept with other smaller fishes and usually,,the smaller fishes tails and pectoral fins are in bad shape.
Serpae,Black Phantoms, get along well without damaging each other, but the long flowing tails of Black widow's, or even fast moving fish such as Longfinned Danios, fancy guppies,, are more often as not ,,,reduced to torn tattered stubs after a few day's,weeks in mmy expieriences with them.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Aughhhh, I appreciate it guys, but not what I wanted to hear!

I was hoping someone would tell me if I added one or 2 more of the seprae, they would leave the guppies alone lol.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-10-2012, 06:26 PM
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I'm afraid this will sound even worse, but you may also have a problem with the bloodfin tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi). This genus (Aphyocharax) of characins is well documented to be somewhat nippy, with one species (Aphyocharax paraguayensis) unbelievably nasty for such a small fish. It is a risk, and personally I would never add any of these to a community tank intended for sedate fish or fish with flowing fins.

On the Serpae Tetra, this is a real risk. The fish is inherently nippy. Why some fish do this vehemently, and some seem peaceful, is not fully understood, though a possible explanation put forward by Stanley Weitzman is noted in our profile.

If you're not familiar with our profiles, they are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. When the scientific or common name used in the profile is written exactly the same in a post, it will shade (as it has here) and you can click on the name to pop up the profile.

Last word on numbers. Shoaling fish live in very large groups. Scientific evidence is now available proving that shoaling fish kept in groups less than six frequently (majority) will be more aggressive, and with a normally peaceful species, aggression will more often appear. Numbers have a lot to do with the health of the fish. Various reasons for this, such as security ("safety in numbers"), interaction within the group, aggression. Different species exhibit one or more of these in varying degrees. But one thing is a certainty: when maintained in smaller groups, they experience heightened levels of stress, and stress weakens the immune system bringing on health issues that would otherwise never occur. And almost always a significantly shorter lifespan. When considering any fish, if it is a shoaling fish, make sure you can have the minimum number suggested, and more is always better. Most characins seem to work with 6 or more; "more" without question improves things. Some species need more, Serpae Tetra being one such; no less than 8, and preferably 10 or more. As noted in the profile.

Hope this helps.


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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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 #8 of 8 Old 01-10-2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron, the more I'm reading (in the correct places) I'm seeing a whole lot of things I wish I had known a bit earlier on.

My mom is looking to start up a new 29 gallon, so I'll make a decision here real soon if I'm going to keep going with what I have, or move them over to her tank once it's ready and stock it accordingly from there, and start over on mine. What's more likely though, I'll keep them since they are already friendly with me and keep my 6 gallon running with a few guppies (I was planning on shutting it down once this 36 was up and running)

Either way, I'll add fish for both species to bring the numbers in line as they should be right away.

Thanks again!
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