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Bleeding Heart Tetras

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Ch0le, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Hello, everyone. I have a new 20 gal Tall aquarium with 6 bht and 4 Emerald corys. I started out with just the 3 tereas dor a few weeks. Then I added the corys ans 3 more bht. My question is about behaviour. Thw tetraas were all together and then they seemed to split into groups of 3 and just chill in the same spot. Now they are all behind the driftwood except for one little guy. Is this normal pecking order stuff. My parameters are all in healthy according to my tests. My fish are driving me crazy. Lol. Ugh.
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    That is not normal, from your description. First, what are the parameters, since none of us know what "normal" means to you. And parameters refers to the GH, KH, pH and temperature, but I am thinking you might actually mean conditions such as ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. But knowing all of these, or as many as you can, will help, and should always be provided when posting with an issue.

    Also, what is the water change schedule (amount and frequency)? What substances are added to the water?
     
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  3. Danno11

    Danno11 New Member

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    Hi Chole,

    I'm not completely sure if my answer will help you, but from my experience, I used to have a 55 gallon tank with all mixed tetras and Corys, and I found that Bleeding Heart Tetras are much more sensitive to water conditions, than other Tetra species. Everything Bryon suggested is good advice, especially with the more sensitive species to water conditions. I hope I made sense, LOL. Welcome to the site, by the way! :hi::fish:
     
  4. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Ok. Thank you for the clarification. My conditions tested well yesterday. However, today it looks like .25 amonia, 6.8 ph. My Gh is 30 and my kh is 40. I did a 25 percent water change a few minutes ago. 5 of them are under the driftwood cave and nipping at the little guy when he tries to join them. They seem to be a little more active but mainly swimming in place. I've been changing the water every three days and using Tetra easy balance plus along with tetra aqua safe plus. I bougjt some Prime, but have not used it yet. I also have 2 black nerite snails. They joined the the fam two days ago.
     
  5. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Thank you. Sometimes when I shut off the light fhey all come out, so I put in a dimmer light. It worked for a minute or so.
     
  6. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Do you have any floating plants? When I first got my Espe's rasboras they all hid in the back corner but then I read about them needing floating plants so I got some. Now that the plants cover most of the surface, the fish are out and about all the time - but only to the edge of the plant cover. If yours come out when the light is off, it sounds as they too need some cover.
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The light is important as essjay noted. Few if any of the tetras we keep occur in brightly lit watercourses, quite the opposite, and overhead light is a real issue. I have been able to observe significant changes in the behaviour of many of my characins after thinning out the floating plants, so it demonstrates just how important the lighting is to fish.

    I don't see any issue with the parameters or the ammonium (in an acidic pH ammonia is primarily harmless ammonium).

    One other thing does occur to me...you had three and added three more, and so far they have not actually "gelled." This is one reason I always advise that with a shoaling species, acquiring all the intended fish at the same time together is advisable. Some species establish hierarchies faster, and with more serious intent behind it, but even with fairly peaceful fish it is still advisable to acquire the entire group at the same time. I only mention this because your observation is the reason for the advice, as it comes up in threads and sometimes I think people assume I am just being silly. But it has relevance. Nothing to worry about with this species, or shouldn't be, but advice for the future.

    Add some floating plants, lots, and this should settle out. I would also be careful on additives...the less chemicals into the water the better/healthier the fish, and this includes conditioners. One is sufficient, that deals with chlorine (and chloramine if that is added to your tap water). The Tetra AquaSafe is OK until it is gone, then I would recommend another. EasyBalance is not necessary, and given the claims the manufacturer makes for this product I would not use it. It cannot ever replace water changes [I know you are still doing them, I am just responding to Tetra's claim that it does for six months--absolute nonsense]. Prime is another I am not particularly happy with as it messes with too much and in a closed aquarium any such "messing" is never safe. I highly recommend API's Tap Water Conditioner; it is highly concentrated (even more than Prime) so you use very little, and it doesn't do anything but deal with chlorine/chloramine and heavy metals. When the AquaPlus is gone, look for this one...will they exchange the Prime (if unopened) for the API maybe? If not, use up the Prime, then change to API.
     
    #7 Byron, Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  8. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Oh, cool. What kind of floating plants do you have? I need something low light for now. I would love lilly pads. Thank you!
     
  9. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Thank you for all the knowledge. I'm eating it up like a kid in a candy store. I will get the API conitioner. I use their test kit as well. I've heard some people say it is sometimes inaccurate. I also read that it's harder to maintain ph with soft water. It makes me a little nervous. Now I have 2 snails that like hard water and I have to determine how to handle that situation. I know they will need calcium sooner than later. Do you have any advice on that situation?
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You're welcome, and thank you. I use API test kits and find them accurate enough for our purposes. The regents can over time lose their reliability--they will have a date on the package--but I have been using the pH test after 2-3 years and by comparison to a new kit it was still accurate so I don't worry.

    This needs some explanation. Fish have preferences for water parameters and the important one is temperature but you can easily handle that, so we can move to the next most important and that is the GH (hardness). I tend to consider fish in one of two or three general categories here: hard water, soft water, and in between. Hard water include3 livebearers, some of the rainbow fish, and a few others. These must have moderately hard water or they simply cannot function properly. The soft water species include most of the South American fish (tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish, dwarf cichlids, many catfish) and SE Asian fish (rasbora, gourami, barbs, danios, loaches). Some of these are strictly soft water, some are sort of in-between as they can manage with moderately soft-moderately hard. The next parameter of importance is pH. This cannot be extreme, but aside from that most fish are able to handle it provided it is not fluctuating. So even if the pH is say 7.2 and the fish prefers 6.5, if the GH is soft the fish will usually be fine with the pH if it is stable.

    This brings me to your pH issue. The pH is largely the result of the GH, KH and CO2 in the water. It will tend to settle at some level depending upon these three factors, and it will remain stable. Leave it alone. You simply cannot try to raise it (or lower if "too high") without tackling the GH and KH especially. And that is anything but an easy issue, and water chemistry can be very complex once you start fiddling with it. Once it establishes, select fish suited and you're home free. There are ways to adjust it, along with the GH/KH as I said, but this can cause a lot of problems and is best not attempted until you have some experience. I have been in this hobby over 30 years now, but I still use the source water without any attempt to alter it, and I have species suited to it. And I have no problems because of this approach.

    Snails do prefer some calcium, but your fish are soft water species but both are a little adaptable, so here you could add something for the snails provided it is not going to significantly increase the GH/KH/pH. Other members may have suggestions; I believe some have mentioned ways to handle this. You don't want to go extreme though or your fish will have difficulty. The GH of 30 and KH of 40 I assume is in ppm (or mg/l which is the same unit) so this is very soft. Mine is even less, near zero.
     
  11. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Fanatic

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    You are getting the good advice here. Tetras are soft water acid pH fish. I personally think they are best in huge schools. I once had over 20 lemon tetras and they were a spectacular sight. Bleeding Hearts are among the most beautiful of tetras. Stay after them.
     
  12. Ch0le

    Ch0le New Member

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    Yeah, I feel super lucky to be getting this advice. Thanks for the input.
     
  13. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    I have water sprite as a floating plant in my main tank. It does grow quite big, but when the plants get old I just throw them in the compost. There are always plenty of new plants growing.
    There are other floating plants ranging from the tiny duckweed through Salvinia to water lettuce and Amazon frogbit. Some of these don't like condensation dripping on them so if you have cover glasses water sprite would be the better option.
    And some plants normally rooted in the substrate can be used floating eg hornwort, Brazilian pennywort
     

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