aggressive black skirt tetras

aryan09014

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hey all, new to this forum and its my first post, and im in quite a bit of a pickle, i have 20 gallon long tank, planted with amazon swords, crypts and anubias, along with some frogbit at the top, stocking is 5 gold barbs, 1 female opaline gourami, and recnetly 6 new juvenile black skirt tetras, the reason why i wanted these is becuase i read that these tetras are some of the most hardiest fish, and so far non have died on me, the gold barbs are peacefull fish and hang around near the bottom, the gourami is the centerpeice fish, and shes also very docile and goes all over the tank, the problem is these tetras, they are mainly at the mid to top section of the tank, which is great cuz i wanted a dwelling fish, howver these fish fight eachother constantly among themselves , i dont understand, i thought tetras were a schooling fish??? i have 6 of them as well, so numbers shoulnt be a problem, ive never had this problem with my barbs, theres plenty of free swimming space, and plants and rocks to break the line of sight but these fish just keep going at it? my ammonia are at 0 nitrates are low, everything should be theoretically perfect, tank temp is at 25 degrees celcius, right now as im writing this, 2 of the black skirts are circling around eachother fins flared.they remind me of betta fish when they do that! any explanation as to this behaviour would be much appreciated



EDIT:::: i did some research on these fish and upon further inspection i discovered that they are not in fact black skirt tetras at all, they are called black phantom tetras, which means i have unknowingly brought the wrong fish, pet store claimed it was blacks skirts, oh well.
 
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FishFinatic77

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Skirt tetras, in my opinion, tend to be aggressive fish. The aggression between them is probably just establishing dominance, but once they are done with that, they might start going after the gourami. I would return them and get a more peaceful fish. I currently have harlequin rasboras with my gourami. They are very peaceful and really hardy.
 

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I have several types of tetras and avoid black skirted tetras because they are fin nippers and are aggressive and agree with @FishFinatic77. I think in time they will go after your other fish. Most tetras are good community fish. I have neon. ember,glo light and red eye tetra in the same tank with cory and no problems. I would consider returning them and picking another type of tetra.
 

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I agree with above. Return the Black Skirt Tetras ASAP, you are almost inevitably going to have issues once they are "settled" and begin behaving according to the norm for the species. A group of more than six, usually 9-10 can sometimes limit fin nipping within the group, but you do not have space for this to begin with. And your gourami is almost certain to be targeted before very many days, and this could kill it even without actual physical nipping occurring. The fish are chemically communicating their nastiness and that is stressful to fish.
 

NCaquatics

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Tips for keeping skirt tetras.

A bigger group, absolutely no less than 6. Keep ratio of males low, 1 male to 2 females.
Densely plant the tank. Lots of tall places to block sight to allow fish to hide properly.
They will bicker for a few days when first introduced to the tank. This is normal with them, but is usually restricted to themselves as long as their group meets the minimum.
They will also bicker any time you rearrange the aquarium as they re establish their hierarchy.
Any time a new skirt tetra is added, they will bicker again.
Both sexes can be nippy, but males tend to be worse. You can sex adults easier. Males will be flat sided when viewed face-on, females will be more pear shaped.

Tbh, they get a bad rep. Once they establish their hierarchy, they zen out and happily spread apart in the tank, maybe a chase here and there, but nothing damaging.

I have more aggression on a daily basis with neon tetras than i do from my skirts.
 
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aryan09014

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Skirt tetras, in my opinion, tend to be aggressive fish. The aggression between them is probably just establishing dominance, but once they are done with that, they might start going after the gourami. I would return them and get a more peaceful fish. I currently have harlequin rasboras with my gourami. They are very peaceful and really hardy.
i know and i was considering neons/cardinal tetras at first, but i got my barbs from a local breeder here in the uk who specialises in barbs, as a result, my gold barbs are huge, over 3 inches long and quite fat, so i got tetras because i found out that they some of the larger types of tetra, well then m8, so they would not be eaten. any other suggestions to replace these black skirts with? im all ears, but stocking is limited here in London since we r in lock down and lfs arent getting there supply.
 
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aryan09014

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Tips for keeping skirt tetras.

A bigger group, absolutely no less than 6. Keep ratio of males low, 1 male to 2 females.
Densely plant the tank. Lots of tall places to block sight to allow fish to hide properly.
They will bicker for a few days when first introduced to the tank. This is normal with them, but is usually restricted to themselves as long as their group meets the minimum.
They will also bicker any time you rearrange the aquarium as they re establish their hierarchy.
Any time a new skirt tetra is added, they will bicker again.
Both sexes can be nippy, but males tend to be worse. You can sex adults easier. Males will be flat sided when viewed face-on, females will be more pear shaped.

Tbh, they get a bad rep. Once they establish their hierarchy, they zen out and happily spread apart in the tank, maybe a chase here and there, but nothing damaging.

I have more aggression on a daily basis with neon tetras than i do from my skirts.
thx m8, well ive got 6 of them, and from the info u just gave me, ive got 2 males and 4 females the tank is densely planted, with long sword leaves and amazon frogbit at the top, and some crypts/anubias as well as a few rocks at the bottom for cover t the bottom, so far the fish are quite small, so they keep to themselves, from what your saying i think this mkight be establishing a peckiong order, as ive only owned the fish for slightly over a day now, just hope it finishes soon
 
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aryan09014

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I have several types of tetras and avoid black skirted tetras because they are fin nippers and are aggressive and agree with @FishFinatic77. I think in time they will go after your other fish. Most tetras are good community fish. I have neon. ember,glo light and red eye tetra in the same tank with cory and no problems. I would consider returning them and picking another type of tetra.
thx for ur input m8, much appreciated, welll then my lfs only had a few tetras due to lockdown and stock related issues, so do you recommend any schooling fish replacement? one that will not fit into a gold barbs mouth tho, so around 2 inches and above, if what the fishkeepers who replied to this post said is true, im 100 percent willing to return the skirts.
 

NCaquatics

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It should ease up within the week, they usually mellow out. But they are prone to spats. Usually its harmless, but because they're fast it looks worse.
 

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thx for ur input m8, much appreciated, welll then my lfs only had a few tetras due to lockdown and stock related issues, so do you recommend any schooling fish replacement? one that will not fit into a gold barbs mouth tho, so around 2 inches and above, if what the fishkeepers who replied to this post said is true, im 100 percent willing to return the skirts.
I have had good luck with glo light tetra, they are larger than neon but not as large as my red eyed tetra. They look good too and I have not lost one in over 6 months. I have had the same trouble here with LFS being able to stock fish, it is slowly returning to normal. For awhile there were a lot of tanks with just a few fish or even empty. Now they are at least 1/2 stocked but some breeds are still hard to find.
 

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Other members are suggesting more fish without apparently realizing this is only a 20g tank, albeit a 20g long. This is frankly insufficient space for the gold barbs. And it most assuredly is too small for Black Skirt Tetras in with the barbs.

This is really going down the wrong path. You are forcing these fish into a situation that is not in their best interest and it will have consequences. It already has from post #1.
 
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NCaquatics

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Other members are suggesting more fish without apparently realizing this is only a 20g tank, albeit a 20g long. This is frankly insufficient space for the gold barbs. And it most assuredly is too small for Black Skirt Tetras in with the barbs.

This is really going down the wrong path.
I think theyre saying in place of the skirt tetras instead, an upper level fish but would mesh well with the barbs.

Id consider a centerpiece instead of another school, personally. Thatd be the better way to go.
 

Byron

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I think theyre saying in place of the skirt tetras instead, an upper level fish but would mesh well with the barbs.
That is still inaccurate and bad advice. There are now five gold barbs, that the OP says are over 3 inches in length, and this is an issue on its own in a 20g tank. This species presumably Puntius semifasciolatus, needs a group of 8 and a 4-foot tank (certainly no smaller than a 3-foot by 18 inch like a 40g breeder) to be at its best.

There is no room for anything, and the poor gourami...well, at least it is a feisty tough species of gourami so it might well take matters into its own hands out of frustration.
 

BoningKnife

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That is still inaccurate and bad advice. There are now five gold barbs, that the OP says are over 3 inches in length, and this is an issue on its own in a 20g tank. This species presumably Puntius semifasciolatus, needs a group of 8 and a 4-foot tank (certainly no smaller than a 3-foot by 18 inch like a 40g breeder) to be at its best.

There is no room for anything, and the poor gourami...well, at least it is a feisty tough species of gourami so it might well take matters into its own hands out of frustration.
I agree entirely with you on the Gourami, although, I've seen much worse as I expect we all have.
The gold barbs whilst ideally would be in a bigger group, i dont think 5 or 6 is to bad as a minimum acceptable level. I also don't think a 20 long is insufficient for them. My thoughts are the exact same with the Black Skirts. Don't wanna be argumentative but I do disagree with a lot of that.
 
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