Tetra Species Mixing question (New to the Forum)
Hey all! I just joined this forum in search to an answer for a question that I have been researching for a while. I am going to start a school tank of Tetras. I have read tons about them, and know what they require as far as housing, temperature, substrate, diet, etc. One thing I could not find however, is if I mix different species of tetras, will they still school? I have wondered this for a while, as I like many different types of tetras, and will probably purchase 10 or more. If I were to say, mix 2 serpae tetra, with 3 neon tetra, with 5 cardinal tetra, would they school in separate groups with their own breeds, or will they swim all together?
Thanks for your time everyone, look forward to becoming a part of the community :)
Hi Ryan, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
First off, tetras do not "school" in the true sense of the word. Tetras are characins, and all characins are shoaling fish, which means they need to be in a group. This provides several things, like security (safety in numbers) and a social interaction which most characins have. Some species will swim together as a group more than other species; but all need to have a group to be less stressed and thus healthy. They feel "better" if they have several of their own species in the tank with them.
A minimum of six is usually basic for most species, but more are better. And some species definitely must have more. Serpae tetras for instance; these should never be less than 8 and preferably more than that, and they need a large tank. We have fish profiles here, if you click on the shaded name in posts it will take you to that fish's profile, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. If you click on Serpae Tetra you will find out why this is so important. Unless the tank is quite large, say 55 gallons or larger, I would not mix Serpae with other tetra.
Some species need more room than others because they are more active. If you give us the tank size we could offer some suggestions.
I should think your research would indicate that the temp range for cardinal tetras and neon tetras is Quite different (or it should).
Although the cardinals and neons both appreciate soft water, the neons prefer much cooler temps than the cardinals.
Cardinal tetras I have kept enjoyed temps between 78 and 84 degrees F while the neons did poorly for me in temps much above 76 degrees F.
Serpae tetras would work with bleeding heart tetras,lemon tetras, Black phantom tetras,and possibly pristellas which are very quick and able to easily dodge the serpae's BUT.... you will need a tank large enough to house a group of six to eight of each species IMHO.
i have 12 black and 8 floresent danions ... great mix of colors and they do stick to their own in groups
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