Compatibility Question- Tetras and Barbs
Okay, there's a link in my signature to another problem, and provided I can find someone to take the Pleco I inherited, that'll be solved. This question is for after I get rid of him.
I currently have 3 Black Skirt Tetras (one is a rather old 'Fruit'), 3 Serpae Tetras, and 2 Gold Barbs. They all range from 1in to just under 2in (exact sizes in My Tanks). According to various online sources, the first are semi-aggressive, the middle are mildly aggressive, and the last are either passive or highly territorial. (No, seriously, opinions are that divided.)
Most recommend I get at least 5 of each. However, I've noticed fin-nipping problems and the Tetras chasing each other around the tank. (Funny enough, the Gold Barbs get in the way whenever the Serpaes chase each other and none mess with the Barbs. It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen, and I've begun to call them the Police Fish of the tank.) Anyway, some sources tell me that they'll get worse if I enlarge the group; some tell me the opposite. Other sources tell me that Tetras are Tetras are Tetras- aka I don't need to add more. I've got my 5gal to fall back on if I need to, though I'd prefer it to stay a hospital tank.
Also, they seem to have formed their own little group, though the species stay with each other within that group. (Except the Barbs. One stays with the Black Skirts and the other with the Serpaes.) Especially during times of stress, they all swim together.
TL;DR, how should I stock my tank after the Pleco is gone? (Cannot afford any more tanks or filters, just for the record.)
Oh. According to my calculations here, I will have about 17.25in of fish when they mature. The one Black Skirt is old, though, and its growth may be stunted due to dyeing, so maybe I can knock off a 1/2 inch...
From your pleco thread, I will assume the tank is 25 gallons; correct me if this is inaccurate.
Characins (tetra, pencilfish, hatchetfish), danio, barbs, rasbora [and some other species like corys, angelfish, discus, etc) are all shoaling fish. This means that in their respective habitats they live in quite large groups, often hundreds and even thousands. They have evolved for this, and from species to species there are varying behaviours and interactions. In the aquarium, they must be kept in groups, and it can vary from species to species but most suggest no less than 6 of a species; some require more. In all cases, the more the better, and this obviously will largely depend upon tank space.
Unfortunately, the three species you have all should have more in their group. At this point, I will mention our fish profiles under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. If the name (common or scientific) used in the profile is typed exactly the same in posts, it will shade and you can click it as a link to that profile. Example Serpae Tetra, Golden Barb, Black Widow Tetra. I've used the common names here, and as you can see they can vary. But checking these profiles will give you the minimum tank size for each species and the minimum number. I won't repeat all that, but continue to explain why this is critical.
Shoaling fish have needs for the group. Feeling safer is obviously one, but often the particular species will develop a pecking order and this is crucial to their health. If numbers are too few, or the tank space is too small for the fish (as the fish sees it), normal levels of aggression can be heightened out of stress. And that is what you are seeing. The Serpae and BW are naturally inclined to be nippy, but keeping them in larger groups sometimes reduces this completely, or confines it within the group. But again, space is a factor in this too. Last year the results of the first scientific study into the effects of numbers and space upon species confirmed this; many oif us "knew" this happened, but now we have the scientific proof.
Assuming the 25g, I would remove the Golden Barb as this fish needs 8 and attaining 3 inches means this is not going to work in a 25g tank. Then you could increase the other two to 7 or 8 and hope for the best. But remember that these two species are inherently aggressive, and there is no way to change this. Providing a larger environment and increasing the group will or should keep it at a minimum. Leaving things as they now are will make it worse for the fish, and they will be subjected to increasing stress. Their increased aggression is simply their only way to lash out at what they find frustrating--too few of their own, and too small a space to function as nature programmed them.
Hope this helps.
Oh, yeah, it's a 25gal with exact specifications: 12x24x15 (depth, width, height).
So even though they more or less school together already anyway, Tetras cannot be mixed and have the mix count as a group? And I'm guessing the Golden Barbs are just way too big for my tank in general?
Sigh. I figured, but I really like them...and oh boy are the former owners not going to be happy with me. (Still have contact, they just can't care for them.) But if that's what's best for the fish, then well.
Sigh. Okay. So. The Sepaes currently have it the worst, with 2 having popeye (one unilateral from transport, one bilateral). The Black Skirts chase each other around but don't seem to have any injuries from it. I'm thinking I should start with getting more Serpaes, right? (Though unfortunately, all of this is happening in the far future, as I have to find someone to take the Pleco first.)
Without the Barbs, I should eventually have 4.5in and 6.75in, making a total of 11.25in. (Though again, might be able to knock off 1/2 an inch for Neon, the old Albino 'Fruit' Black Widow Tetra.) I think I'm supposed to subtract 5gal for substrate and deco? So that'd give about 9in to work with. That's:
3xSerpae = 4.5
2xBW = 4.5
6 Serpae, 5 BW
4xSerpae = 6
1xBW = 2.25
7 Serpae, 4 BW, with 0.75 room extra.
1xSerpae = 1.5
3x BW = 6.75
4 Serpae, 6 BW, with 0.75 room extra.
I personally think the first combo is best?
Would you consider going with just one of the tetra, and removing the other? Or removing both and reconsidering new species that are less trouble? I toss this out because one should carefully consider all options and try to think long-term, before buying more fish that could be more trouble.
Another option is staying with what you have (the two tetra species I mean, I definitely suggest removing the barbs). This at least does not add to the problem. I can't speak for the condition of the fish of course.
I do wish all fish stores would train all employees so customers could be properly advised from the start. One of our members worked in a fish store for 20 years, and one that required staff to pass a training course on fish care. This is not the norm, sad to say.
Well, I've been talking about it with my partner a lot, and we think we're going to try and start over. One problem is that no one may want to take Neon, and if we started over, we wouldn't want Black Skirts. (In fact, I'd want some peaceful fish and some Cherry Shrimp.) Advice?
Um...Tap water parameters after AquaSafe:
-between 76-80 F (can probably keep it cooler)
Just on a basic 'if I could have anything that sorta fit within those parameters' list, here're my favorites:
Shrimp: Cherry Shrimp (really want), other easy species?
Tetra: Glowlight Tetra, Head and Tail Light Tetra, Costello or January Tetra
Cichlid: Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid
Barb: Cherry Barb
Badis: Scarlet Badis
Gourami: Eyespot Gourami, Croaking Gourami, Honey Gourami, Chocolate Gourami
Guppy: Fancy Tailed Guppy
Rasbora: Mosquito Rasbora, Harlequin Rasbora, Lambchop Rasbora, Hengels Rasbora, Eyespot Rasbora, Emerald Dwarf Rasbora, Dwarf Rasbora
Danio: Zebra Danio, Celestial Pearl Danio, Glowlight Danio, Pearl Danio
So there are a lot of candidates and my partner has limited me to just 'whatever will be happy in our tank and can handle mistakes (like not testing enough).' It should be noted that we don't have air conditioning, and the power goes out sometimes, but the fish tank usually never drops below 72 F, even in winter, since we have an automatic heater.
Edit: I wanna get a Water Hyacinth for the shrimp. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_hyacinth
Oooh. I like the Killifish, too: Killifish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mkay...I think this is a good resource: Safe Tankmates for Shrimp .:. Inhabitants that are safe for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp
We have a red gravel substrate, which is perfect for Cherry Reds to blend in.
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