Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Lighting making fish angry? (

dwatt31 04-13-2012 09:57 AM

Lighting making fish angry?
I currently have 3 Emperor Tetras, 1 male and 2 females (getting two more soon to make them the happy number 5). Anyway, the male has decided the right half of the tank is his and will defend it pushing back the females to about a quarter of the tank...only if my 15 Watt fluorescent bulb is on. Turn off the light and they begin to school like normal happy tetras. I have live plants in the tank so I'm nervous to just keep the light off, but I also feel like the male's aggression is causing stress on the females. Any advice for this? Am I over analyzing the situation?

Thanks much!


Byron 04-13-2012 10:47 AM

You need a larger group of Emperor Tetra, that is the most likely cause. This fish, like all characins, is a shoaling fish that lives in large groups. I would get another 4 or 5 to make a total of 7-8. However, no mention is made of tank size...this fish needs a group but it also needs space as it is an active swimmer. At least a 30-inch tank. Then up the numbers. If you don't, this behaviour of the male, which is perfectly natural, will stress the females and may kill them eventually. Male Emperors drive females hard, I know, I have a group of 12 in my 90g that I raised from fry.

The light really has no direct relation to this, it is normal characin behaviour for this and many other species. But having said that, bright light is not appreciated by this or most forest fish, so a cover of floating plants is advisable.


dwatt31 04-13-2012 06:57 PM

Good to hear, thanks Byron. Ill be sure to up their numbers a bit and Im glad to hear I dont simply have an overly aggressive male.

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