Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   Need advice for companions for Black Skirt Tetras in 10 gal tank (

palnud 01-23-2013 02:13 PM

Need advice for companions for Black Skirt Tetras in 10 gal tank
I am new to fish keeping. I set up and cycled a 10 gallon tank yesterday. Today I added a heater, a snail, 4 ghost shrimp and a plant. I originally wanted goldfish, but did some research and found out it is a no-no to put a goldfish in anything less than a 20 gallon.

So..I added 3 black skirt tetras. The lady a petsmart assured me they would get along fine with the fancy male guppies I planned on adding later. Now, I am seeing that may not be such a good idea, and that black skirt tetras are on the very aggressive side of things. Advice on what else to add? I'd really like some color in there. Any and all advice is welcome, I'm not well versed in this subject.

TitanTDH 01-23-2013 03:08 PM

Hey mate and welcome.
In my own experience with owning only one it is very aggressive. Constantly harassing the other tank mates. And killing two. You have 3. I would recommend you add another 3 to make them a small group. This will reduce the aggression. But put your tank at the boundary of being overstocked. The black widow tetra (black skirt tetra)profile is up in the top left and will give you more info.
And don't be surprised if the shrimp are gone in a couple of days. I added some to my tank and he chased them any chance he got.
Posted via Mobile Device

variety 01-23-2013 04:20 PM

So that's what they're called. I never knew their true name as my LFS called them Striped Long-fin Tetras or something along those lines. From having these for at least a little over a week, I will say them being considered aggressive is a lie. I have two in my tank and they don't bother any of the other fish at all. Honestly the most agressive thing in my tank is the mollies and they tend to pick at the Black Widow's skirts. Therefore I believe you can add anything as long as it isn't a molly or something that picks at other fish with long fins. Giving you a lot of choices. They get along fine with my Neon Tetras and my Serpae Tetras.

TitanTDH 01-23-2013 04:42 PM

Sorry variety, just speaking from lessons learnt in my 10g. The aggression didn't start for about 3-4 months before I noticed it. The fish deaths as a result have happened in the last month. I just want to advise caution with these fish. As the saying goes the more the merrier. I have one and its bossy. Having 2-3 may reduce this. Having 6 or more would be much better.


Byron 01-23-2013 04:46 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, palnud and variety.:cheers:

Now for the not-so-good news: you are both likely heading for trouble with your Black Widow Tetra. BTW, this fish like many others has a lot of "common" names, but the scientific name is Gymnocorymbus ternetzi and using this will ensure you are talking about the same fish. And you will note that the names shaded, which means this fish is in the profile under these names, so you can click the shaded name for a link to the profile.

This fish, like all tetra, is a shoaling fish. That means, it lives in large groups of hundreds, and being in a group is an essential part of the fish's requirements. Most suggest six as the minimum number for a tetra species, but more is always better. However, tank space has to be considered, and as someone mentioned, a 10g is very limited space. This fish should be in a 2-foot tank (a 15g or 20g) minimum, and in a group of more than six.

Now, the reasons. Shoaling fish have a need for numbers as security; the more there are, the safer they will be. And that means less stress, and stress is the main cause of all fish disease. Second, there may be a hierarchy within the group, natural to the fish; interactions between males, a pecking order, etc is a part of the fish's needs. When denied this, fish can react in various ways, but the most common is aggression. The fish is simply frustrated at not being in an environment that nature programmed into it, and it lashes out the only way it can. Other times, the opposite may occur; the fish becomes withdrawn. In both cases, stress again results, leading to health problems. Some of these cannot be seen until it is too late; when fish die earlier than their normal lifespan, it is almost always due to some facet of stress caused by an inappropriate environment.

I can't advise what to do, but in both cases you should have more of this species, and in sufficient space, if you want the fish to be at its best. Among tetra, this species is known as a bit of a fin nipper when it is not properly maintained, so you can expect this to break at some point.


TitanTDH 01-23-2013 04:52 PM

On a good note, my LFS has apologised to me and requested I return my BW. They Shall be putting him in a new biotope with 20 others on the weekend when the tank is finished. They offered a refund. I said free to a good home as the others are a little smaller so he might get kingpin status

palnud 01-23-2013 06:14 PM

Crud. Thanks a lot for all the advice. No wonder they were on sale. I may see if pet smart will take them back. So, starting from scratch, what's a good way to stock a 10 gal tank with lots of color / variety?
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 01-23-2013 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by palnud (Post 1402569)
Crud. Thanks a lot for all the advice. No wonder they were on sale. I may see if pet smart will take them back. So, starting from scratch, what's a good way to stock a 10 gal tank with lots of color / variety?
Posted via Mobile Device

Next question, what are your water parameters, out of the tap? The GH (general hardness) and pH are important to fish; some are more adaptable than others, so it helps us to know the water before suggesting fish as some may be better and others not good at all.

You can ascertain this from your water supply people, they likely have a website.


palnud 01-23-2013 09:00 PM

I am on a well and have hard water. I used the well water last time I tried to keep betta fish and was unsuccessful x3 ( less than 48 hrs on all 3) soooo I bought and used spring water for this set up and have a few plants in there. Is that ok?
Posted via Mobile Device

palnud 01-24-2013 06:32 AM

Obviously I did something very wrong. All 3 fish croaked last night. If I get septo bac, wil that help with the beneficial bacteria / nitrogen cycling process? How long should I wait till I put something in there? I'm going back and forth btw getting 1 fantail goldfish (and nothing else) OR 1 male betta and maybe 2 otos? I just don't want to kill anymore fish.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome