Are rainbow fish schooling fish?

CraigB7708

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Was thinking of adding a couple Rainbow fish (Dwarf Neon or Turquoise) to my 55 G tank. I have some red eye and lemon tetra's in there right now with some ottos. I am finding conflicting information online on whether Rainbows are schooling fish or not? I was thinking of getting 2 maybe 3 tops. So if they do best with 5+ members then I will not get them for my tank. anyone have a opinion? Thanks
 

Crispii

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They do really best when they have a group of around 5+ as opposed to having two or three in the aquarium.
 
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CraigB7708

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Ok thanks much. Another case of the dealer just wanting to sell fish as they told me there weren't.
Appreciate it
 

Colin_T

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Rainbowfish need a GH above 150ppm and pH above 7.0.
Your tetras come from soft water with a GH below 100ppm nd pH below 7.0.

Big rainbowfish will bully the smaller tetras and get all the food. I have also seen big rainbows go after Otocinclus catfish and small bristlenose catfish.

If you have a good sized tank (3 foot or longer), then you can keep smaller species of rainbowfish with tetras as long as you keep the GH around 150ppm and the pH around 7.0.

Rainbowfish do best in groups of at least 6 and preferably more. However, they will school with other species of rainbowfish so if you had 3 Melanotaenia praecox and 3 M. maccullochi they would show off to each other and hang around together. However, they do prefer to be kept with their own kind.

A lot of people breed rainbowfish in trios (1 male & 2 females) and they are often sold in trios for this reason.

Rainbowfish need lots of plant matter in their diet and are sensitive to chemicals. When you do water changes, make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine or you can poison and kill the fish.

The following link has information about rainbowfish.
 
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CraigB7708

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My water would be fine as it is closer to the softer end then acidic but the schooling is what stopped me from getting them.
 

essjay

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To be pedantic (again) the definitions of shoaling and schooling are -

Shoaling - a species which naturally lives together in large numbers.
Schooling - a shoaling species which swims together in a co-ordinated manner.


Many of the fish we keep are shoaling fish, but few of them swim in a co-ordinated manner unless stressed. It is a defensive behaviour. However, there are a few species which do swim in a schooling manner when they are not stressed.
 

Stan510

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Shoal for sure..every photo of them in habitat is with plenty of their own kind. They dont however act like anchovies in a million fish school. They are also larger fish then you would think..they get to 5" and up and deep bodied. You might think of a bigger tank if possible. Gary Lange says 30 is fine for dwarf Rainbows,but thinks 75 gallons is a good size for the larger types. Most sold I think are the larger types but the Dwarf.
In 55 gallons,I would make minimal decorations that get in their way. Bottom driftwood with Anubias and corners can be any taller flat plant..Crypts or Vals.
 

emeraldking

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To be pedantic (again) the definitions of shoaling and schooling are -

Shoaling - a species which naturally lives together in large numbers.
Schooling - a shoaling species which swims together in a co-ordinated manner.


Many of the fish we keep are shoaling fish, but few of them swim in a co-ordinated manner unless stressed. It is a defensive behaviour. However, there are a few species which do swim in a schooling manner when they are not stressed.
Well put...! :good:
For there are still misunderstandings between shoaling and schooling... Glad that you've put this out again...
 

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