Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Starlight 06-09-2012 10:03 PM

Will these fish school together?
3 Pearl danios and three gold ring danios?

3 Neon cardinal tetras and three buenos aires tetras?

Olympia 06-09-2012 10:44 PM

I'm going to have to say no to both... While some fish like cories will school together, I don't think these guys would be fooled into schooling together. :lol:

Are you reffering to celestial pearl danios (Danio margaritatus) or pearl danios (Danio albolineatus)? Quite different fish.
The celestial pearls and gold ring danio are both micro fish, therefore very sensitive as they are most likely wild caught, and even tank bred fish haven't been around for too long.

aussieJJDude 06-09-2012 11:01 PM

my buenos aires and my scissor tail school together, it is really cute!

jaysee 06-10-2012 12:07 AM

No, as a general rule different species of fish will not school together unless there are circumstances that force it. Of all the schooling fish I have, the only ones that will school with other species are rainbows. Their schooling instinct is so strong that they will not only school with other rainbow species, but they will try and school with other kinds of fish (if not given a proper school). The other fish usually don't appreciate this.

As a side note - BA tetras are pretty aggressive. They are best suited to a semi-aggressive tank.

thekoimaiden 06-10-2012 12:14 AM

I would say no to both also. Sometimes fish of the same genus will school together, but there are too many physical differences between the species mentioned to think that they might. Sorry. You'll need 6 of each species mentioned.

Byron 06-10-2012 04:44 PM

Regardless of whether fish of two (or more) different species will "swim together" or not, the important point of shoaling/schooling fish is having a group of the species. Shoaling fish (as I prefer to term them) need a group of their own (for differing reasons) or they can be highly stressed, which brings on disease. Even if they do not swim around together much, as many of the shoaling species will not, they still need to have the others in the tank with them. I can expand if asked.

aussieJJDude 06-10-2012 07:29 PM

please expand, i want to learn something new!

Byron 06-10-2012 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by aussieJJDude (Post 1112669)
please expand, i want to learn something new!

You asked for it, dude.:lol:

"Shoaling" and "schooling" are different. Schooling applies to marine fish. Freshwater fish that "shoal" live in large groups. They have evolved to need these groups for several reasons that can vary depending upon the species. Everyone agrees that security is common to all; the more fish there are, the more secure they will feel. On their own, they are severely stressed. I'll come back to numbers in a moment.

Some species have a well-defined hierarchy within their groups. Cichlids are notable for this; the several species of Apistogramma wherein submissive males will appear externally the same as females (shorter fins, less bright colouration, etc) so long as the dominant male is present illustrate this; remove the dominant male and one of the other males will suddenly develop the extended fins and colouration.

Some fish are very social; loaches for instance. They have a pecking order of sorts, but they also simply have the need to interact continually. We might call it play, and sometimes it probably is, but it can also be much more serious to the fish. It is essential to their life, and again stress will result if they are denied this.

Anyone who has maintained a largish group (8 or more) of many of the tetra will have seen the continual interaction among males, forms of display, sometimes to entice a female but more often just doing it. I ave 10 Congo Tetra in my River Habitat tank, five males and five females. The males remain close, the females slightly above and to one side. The males will pair up and race down the length of the tank several times; a third male sometimes joins in, or another male will approach and race with one of the others. Fins flared, colours at their brightest. This is simply the fish behaving as nature made them. But put a male/female pair in a small tank, and this is gone--along with the fish's health.

Coming back to the numbers. The more the better, undoubtedly. But the first scientific studies carried out a year or so ago in this area have shown that behaviours alter due to stress if there are not more than 5 of the species together. Studies were done with angelfish and a number of characins and I believe rasbora. Fish in groups less than five showed increased aggressive behaviour to other fish in the tank; even normally peaceful tetra became nasty. Fish that are naturally feisty, like Tiger Barb, will almost always be less likely to fin nip other species if they have 12 or more in their group. The aggression is then confined to within the group, as nature intended. What we can learn from this is that keeping any fish healthy means providing it with the environment that it has been designed to fit.

I relate this to stress in my article on that subject:

Hope this was instructive.:-)


thekoimaiden 06-10-2012 08:41 PM

Good read, Byron. I don't keep schoaling fish (but will in the future), so I know very little about them. Will you write an article about shoaling fish in the freshwater aquarium?

Byron 06-10-2012 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by thekoimaiden (Post 1112762)
Good read, Byron. I don't keep schoaling fish (but will in the future), so I know very little about them. Will you write an article about shoaling fish in the freshwater aquarium?

I'll add that to the list.;-) Thanks.

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