silvertipped tetras very aggressive please help!
So I started this tank last Monday with 5 silver tipped tetras. The tank is a
29g. I have 3 small plants and a fake log for them to play with.
As soon as we put them in the tank we noticed one fish started looking sick (was tipping over when he swam) so we got our water tested and the pH was off so we added pH fixer and aquarium salts, as the fish person instructed. The next day he was looking better; less pale but still tipped over a little when he swam.
Then we had to leave on Saturday and when we got back on Sunday the fish was
dead. We thought maybe there was another chemical spike or whatever so we added
a little more ph fixer.
On Monday night they started chasing eachother. At first it just looked like
they were playing but they haven't stopped. Then next day they chased each other
more often and it even looked like they were nipping eachother. It looked like the orangey colored ones (males?) were doing most of the chasing, and the silvery one (female?) was being bullied (there's one other fish that didn't really participate...i'm thinking hes a juvenile because hes so small). After several hours of this, the female started hiding behind the filter (it's the kind that you hang on your tank, not underground), but it doesnt look comfy at all because she has to constantly swim against the current that's being pushed out right next to her. When she's up there the orangey fish don't bother her at all, they just chase each other or the little one).
So yesterday I went to Petco and asked if getting another fish would solve the problem. The guy said community fish usually do better in odd numbers so I got another fish. I put it in the tank and it looks like a female. As soon as she got in the water, the orange fish started chasing her, so she hid behind the filter with the other female. After awhile she came out and seemed to be ignoring the fish trying to chase her.
Sometimes the females and the little one just hide in random corners.
Sorry for the HUGE post but I'm really worried! :-(
Saying you started it monday, did you allow the tank to cycle properly? Sounds to me like the fish may have died because the tank was still cycling - the aggression is caused by too few fish for a shoal and too little space to escape so normally I would advise to get 4 more tetras but in this case you need to get a test kit for ammonia nitrite and nitrate and make sure your tank is cycled before you get any more fish. Some would advise you to take your 5 fish back to the pet store until the tank has cycled but that's normally not realistic so read this and if you can get some live plants to help the cycle along
Also, I filled the tank with the plants almost a month ago, didn't have time to get the fish until recently. there are 3 plants in the tank (each about 7" tall).
Live plants, if there are enough of them and they are fast growing, will take up most if not all of the ammonia produced by these few small fish. What type of plants do you have?
Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
Aside from the above, this species of tetra is prone to fin nip, and keeping them in groups of more than 6 may reduce the tendancy. You have a 29g tank, so there is room for more; just remember that this will reduce the number of other fish. But if you like the Silvertip Tetra, getting another 3 in addition to the five you have would be best. You can read more on this fish by clicking the shaded name which will take you to our profile.
With most species, even or odd numbers do not make any difference. I know what the store person was getting at, only with this species it is not relevant, so I won't bog down with all that. You just need a larger group; this spreads out their natural aggressive behaviour so no one fish is likely to be singled out by the dominant fish.
And, last but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.
originally i only had a small aqua fern and 2 sm white ribbons
I have a test kit for all of these: pH alkalinity, hardness, nitrate, nitrite
UPDATE: i went to petco again and they suggested more plants because it might distract the males a little. so then we got one that has 'spear' in the name (it's kind of tallish and has tear shaped leaves) but i don't know the names of the other 2 so i posted pictures here:
Your Aquariums in the Aquarium Log
(none of them go higher than 2/3 of the tank height)
there's still one pale fish hiding behind filter, the small one still just floats around near the top and the other pale one sometimes hides behind the heater (!) and is starting to tip over a little when she swims. Also her top fin is ripped.
A lot of sites/people have advised me to get more fish but a lot of others have said stuff like "wait until the cycle is over until you add more" because otherwise it'll mess up the chemistry ...
I agree, sorry i wasn't clearer on this preiously. The fish numbers need to be increased, but yes, wait for the tank to cycle and settle first.
At this stage, water changes daily of half the tank are advisable to keep ammonia reduced. What water conditioner are you using?
the brand is Aqueon
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