Phantom tetras, aggressive female?
I know the males of this species like to show off, and bump into each other, and mine do, but has anyone had experience with aggressive female Phantoms?
One of my 2 females is swimming higher than any of the others, usually in the center of my eclipse 12, or on the left side. As i write this she is charging at a male a couple of times, as if to shoo him away. The other female is timid, hiding behind a sword plant, and the 3 males will occasionally flare at each other or dart at a female, but not as often as this female darts at the males. None of the tetras so much as notice the cories, but they do spend an inordinate amount of time near the bottom, except when they see flake food being buffeted around at the mid levels of the tank when I feed them.
Anyone have any experience with this behavior? Do I require a 3rd female to make it 3m/3f? another male to make it 4m/2f? Or is this perfectly normal?
Just uploaded a vid to youtube:
YouTube - DSCF0171
It's about a minute long....and this is the female being *nice* lol
I have witnessed this behavior when there were only 2 and they weren't in a large enough group. I have never seen this when there is a group of 5 or more. Maybe try to add 2 more to the school? Maybe even adding 1 could change the school dynamic.
Either way I wouldn't worry about it as the fish have some plant cover and she just seems to be letting everybody know who is boss and not really doing damage.
Oh, I would go 4 males - 2 females or 4 males - 3 females.
More males? I don't know if she would tolerate that!
Seriously though, it is weirding me out that she is the only one to swim above plant level. If she stays disruptive I might have to rehome her. I wanted a little school, not a single grumpy female and 4 others hiding in the plants.
While I generally agree with previous suggestions, I would wait it out a bit longer. This is a new setup as I recall from the other threads. I'm guessing you've had the fish a week or maybe two? Sometimes it takes longer. I certainly wouldn't remove her, that would be worse for her certainly. And I've never heard of any real damage with Black Phantoms, though they regularly threaten each other, mostly the males but the females too.
You are certain it is a female? I bought 8 supposedly 4/4 and they looked like it when they were small in the tank, but as they started to grow a bit (couple of weeks) it became obvious I had 7 males and 1 female. The "red' ventral fins shaded to grey/black.
Edit: Just checked the vid, I'd say this is a female, so forget that. Did notice something though, can you put a dark background on the back of the tank? Plain black/grey paper will work. It will give some security. The other phantoms spending time among the plants is fairly common, mine do a lot, they like security. It may help to remove that "openness".
My 12 gallon is a little full right now....7-8 plants, so that helps, but I have 5 Phantoms, 5 Sterbai corys, and 2 pygmy corys...I may break down and get another phantom, so given the 3m/2f ratio I have now, maybe it should be a male? Give the boys some reinforcements against Cruella? (I just named her this moment...lol)
Sounds good...I'll hold fast for now on the fish. I'll get some black paper for the back. BTW Byron, the Peace River gravel looks great, very natural, and while I miss seeing Cory tracks in the sand, I think they appreciate the more subdued color (although I have to admit I'm not certain what true Cory shoaling behavior is). Even more satisfying is watching a Sterbai eat a bloodworm like a huge noodle.
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