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-   -   How do Black Neon Tetras behave towards members of their own school? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/characins/how-do-black-neon-tetras-behave-93545/)

Akeath 02-16-2012 06:50 PM

How do Black Neon Tetras behave towards members of their own school?
 
I'm kind've interested in these guys. As I understand it they are peaceful schooling fish, but I am curious to know more about details about their schooling behavior.

Do they have a pecking order within the school, like Cherry Barbs or Black Skirts?
Do individuals within the school display to each other but not really fight, like Dwarf Neon Rainbows?
Or are they peaceful schoolers that do lots of harmless play, like Corydoras Catfish do?
Or do they not really seem to differentiate much between members of the school and just sort've all swim together, like Espei Rasboras or Gold Tetras?
Do they chase/dart at each other every now and then, like Harlequin Rasboras do?
Are there problems with one bully in the group if they are in proper school sizes of 6 or more?

And are they particularly tight or loose schoolers?

Also, do they mostly just sit in one place as they school, or are they constantly swimming around?
Are males kind've hard on the females?

Do they ever fin nip?

On another note, would they be compatible with Praecox Rainbows? All the other fish in my tank are listed as compatible with them in the Black Neon Tetra Profile, but Rainbows are not mentioned either way.

GwenInNM 02-16-2012 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akeath (Post 984406)
I'm kind've interested in these guys. As I understand it they are peaceful schooling fish, but I am curious to know more about details about their schooling behavior.

Do they have a pecking order within the school, like Cherry Barbs or Black Skirts?
Do individuals within the school display to each other but not really fight, like Dwarf Neon Rainbows?
Or are they peaceful schoolers that do lots of harmless play, like Corydoras Catfish do?
Or do they not really seem to differentiate much between members of the school and just sort've all swim together, like Espei Rasboras or Gold Tetras?
Do they chase/dart at each other every now and then, like Harlequin Rasboras do?
Are there problems with one bully in the group if they are in proper school sizes of 6 or more?

And are they particularly tight or loose schoolers?

Also, do they mostly just sit in one place as they school, or are they constantly swimming around?
Are males kind've hard on the females?

Do they ever fin nip?

On another note, would they be compatible with Praecox Rainbows? All the other fish in my tank are listed as compatible with them in the Black Neon Tetra Profile, but Rainbows are not mentioned either way.


I have 4 black neons with my 2 praecox. Black neons are not that tightly knit as a group. IMO. They hang, and don't bother anyone at all.

Byron 02-18-2012 04:50 PM

Quote:

Do they have a pecking order within the school, like Cherry Barbs or Black Skirts?
Do individuals within the school display to each other but not really fight, like Dwarf Neon Rainbows?
Or are they peaceful schoolers that do lots of harmless play, like Corydoras Catfish do?
Or do they not really seem to differentiate much between members of the school and just sort've all swim together, like Espei Rasboras or Gold Tetras?
Do they chase/dart at each other every now and then, like Harlequin Rasboras do?
All characins need groups. I have observed most of the behaviours above in all species over the years. Whether this is "play" or serious stuff to the fish, or to what degree, I can't say. Biologists do know that this behaviour is essential to the health and longevity of the fish. Whenever I see any such behaviour from any of my shoaling fish, be they characins, rasbora or barbs, I am truly delighted. Fish in poor health rarely do these, except they might become more aggressive due to environmental/water issues.

Quote:

Are there problems with one bully in the group if they are in proper school sizes of 6 or more?
Normally, no; but an individual fish can sometimes turn nasty, even in very peaceful species. This may be due to environmental issues again, or perhaps genetic defects.

Quote:

And are they particularly tight or loose schoolers?
The main thing is having a group in the tank. Whatever their needs for this may be, it is certain that they are under less stress and thus healthier the more fish there are of their own species. They may rarely associate, or they may stay very close as rasbora tend to do moreso. One characin that does remain in tight groups are the three rummynose species. These swim in the group, though with enough of them (20+) they sometimes break into smaller groups for a few minutes. Other characins do this less often, though cardinal tetra are similar.

Quote:

On another note, would they be compatible with Praecox Rainbows? All the other fish in my tank are listed as compatible with them in the Black Neon Tetra Profile, but Rainbows are not mentioned either way.
Technically, characins should be maintained in soft, slightly acidic water. Melanotaenia praecox rainbows are best in the same, esp if wild caught. So yes.

Akeath 02-19-2012 12:57 PM

I realize that Characins need a group to school, and that these behaviors are present in various different species. If I got any Black Neon Tetras I would of course keep them in a school, probably of 10 or so.

What I want to know is which of those types of schooling dynamics apply specifically to Black Neon Tetras. Or a detailed description of the schooling dynamics displayed with this specific species, the Black Neon Tetra. I listed the other species names to give an example of the kinds of behavior I was asking about.

I'm asking this because I'm thinking of getting some Black Neon Tetras, probably in the more distant future. While I was researching them I came across a care sheet that said there was a "slight degree of intra-specific aggression" that they displayed while schooling. I was hoping to hear accounts from people of how exactly they behaved in a school so I could figure out what this statement could have been referring to, or if this statement had any backing. That was pretty much the only statement on the matter the care sheet had, so there were no examples or clarification I could get from that site.

My current tank has an exceedingly peaceful atmosphere between the various fish individuals and species. I have done a lot of research and planning to make it that way. I would not want to put a fish into the tank that would have subdominant fish picked on, or that would fin nip within schools, or have females that felt harrassed (since I have a 7 female to 1 male ratio with the Rainbows, the females are all quite comfortable. If the Black Neons are harder to sex, I might not be able to pull that off with them), or if Black Neons did excessive chasing, or were territorial and chased other fish out of their territory. I understand that these behaviors are natural for some fish, its just that I do not want to include fish that have these natural behaviors in this particular tank. This is my super-peaceful-community-tank.
I'm trying to figure out whether or not I could add Black Neon Tetras to the tank and still have it at the level of peacefulness that it is at now or not. And I'm also curious about their behavior because I've heard them being described as "playful" a lot, and I want to know what behaviors they have that give that impression.

Akeath 02-19-2012 01:29 PM

For example, I would describe my Panda Cories as peaceful, playful schoolers. They differentiate each other from the main school and tend to buddy up with favorites, although they will all school together. They are very playful towards each other. I have never seen aggressive chasing from them, never seen fin nipping from them. Males will dash after a receptive female, but they are never overly aggressive or pushy towards her. They will lay at rest with each other, and become pronouncedly less shy when not kept in groups. They completely ignore other fish. They do not seem to pick on sub-dominant fish, and although there is a pair that mate together most often besides that there doesn't seem to be a pecking order. Not even at feeding time.

Byron 02-19-2012 02:13 PM

Fin nipping would be rather difficult for corys, since they don't have teeth as such.:lol: They do not possess biting incisor type teeth except in the larval and early juvenile stage but these are lost and not replaced. The covered bone-like "teeth" such as odontodes or phargenal teeth (in the throat) would not allow the fish to bite or nip anything successfully.

However, all characins have teeth, and they all bit and can nip, whether they choose to nip or not depends as I mentioned previously. I can't comment specifically on the chance of this occurring in Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, since I have not personally maintained this species. But it is well documented that many equally "peaceful" species can be driven to do this, again due to various factors mentioned previously.

I appreciate your concern. I acquired a group of Nematobrycon palmeri and Nematobrycon lacortei, both "peaceful" according to everything I could find, only to have them become terrors in every tank they were put in. I finally gave them away. Perhaps some members with direct experience can advise if this ever occurred. But remember, it still could, whatever the probability.


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