My tetras are all shy. Is this normal?
I have a 29g tank which has a pretty large artificial log in the middle, and lots of plants behind and around the log. Pictures of what it looks like are to the left under my bio.
I have 13 Neons, 7 Rummys, and 5 Pepper Corys. Some might say that this is overstocked, but I can tell that they are fine (no territorial issues, etc.).
When I wake up in the morning, I feed them before work/classes. I also turn their light on at this time. The light was pretty bright so I took strips of 20% window tint and layered them between the light and the tank glass. This has been like that for several months and the fish come out more now that the light is dimmer. They still tend to hide behind the log and in the plants though. Whenever I come in the room, they all disappear. If I am still for awhile, I can see them begin to creep out. It is annoying because I like to watch them since they are all so beautiful. It sucks that they always hide.
My roommate has a 10g with Corys and Pristellas and they are always out and about and eager to snatch any food that enters the tank.
When I feed, they hide when I open the lid. The neons used to come to the surface eagerly to devour all food. Now they hide with the Rummys. I have to throw the pellets/flakes in then leave the room before they hit the bottom of the tank.
PS: At the beginning of this month I moved all my fish 2 hours away. When they got back into the tank, they all developed Ich which I just finished treating completely last week. I was in the tank every day doing partial changes to help the Ich breakout. Could this have made them weary, having me in the tank every day for almost 3 weeks (treating for disease)?
Give them time. I do think that tetras are more shy, so them waiting till you step away, might not be all that unusual. If you got some floating plants, even annoying duckweed, that may help them feel more secure. Sit on a chair, near the tank and let them get used to you being there. As they come out, just sit still and watch.
There are probably several factors at work here, as Gwen noted. And I would second getting more floating plants. Tetra come from quite dimly lit streams and flooded forest, they do not appreciate bright lighting overhead. A good spread of floating plants like Water Sprite would probably make quite a difference. When they do come out, they will also be more colourful with a "roof" over them.
The substrate is a bit light, and it reflects light, so that is another factor. Floating plants will help here too. And perhaps another chunk or two of wood?
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