Buenos Aires Tetras- Aggression with Each Other

bettacarl

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So I have a 29 gallon tank. I only had 5 corydoras in it for a few months. I finally decided to get some buenos aires tetras. I got the 6 that was recommended to start with.

While they were in their quarantine tank, they attacked one of the smaller ones. His tail got pretty much destroyed. I had to take him out, and he has mostly recovered. Since putting them in the 29 gallon tank, they have periods where they seem OK with each other, and then they will chase each other non-stop. They do not bother my corydoras. The smaller one does not really try to swim with the bigger ones yet. They also do not seem to school together as much as I saw them doing at the pet store.

Is this normal for the buenos aires tetras? I tried to put plenty of plant coverage so they can't constantly see each other. I don't want these fish to be stressed out if this isn't normal. I've had them for over a month and they are still acting this way. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Byron

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I concur. The link @Slaphppy7 posted explains it as well as I or anyone could. Adding a few more now might or might not improve things; once a group of a species forms their heirarchy, additional individuals are not always welcome.

This issue of sight lines and plant coverage to control this is largely misunderstood by many. While the size of the aquarium may provide such cover, it is only part of the story. Fish communicate via chemical signals known as pheromones and allomones, and these are used for safety, dominance, aggression, spawning, etc. They are in the water and thus throughout the aquarium. The inherent behaviourial traits of a species are programmed into the species' DNA, and changing the sightlines won't matter.
 
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bettacarl

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I concur. The link @Slaphppy7 posted explains it as well as I or anyone could. Adding a few more now might or might not improve things; once a group of a species forms their heirarchy, additional individuals are not always welcome.

This issue of sight lines and plant coverage to control this is largely misunderstood by many. While the size of the aquarium may provide such cover, it is only part of the story. Fish communicate via chemical signals known as pheromones and allomones, and these are used for safety, dominance, aggression, spawning, etc. They are in the water and thus throughout the aquarium. The inherent behaviourial traits of a species are programmed into the species' DNA, and changing the sightlines won't matter.
That's unfortunate. How much do they normally chase each other? I haven't had tetras before so I can try adding more certainly, but I don't want them to be stressed out, and it sounds like my tank might be too small for them.
 

Slaphppy7

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Ok thanks, I kept reading 6 fish to start with was fine.
If you can rehome them, there's MANY other tetras that would work in that tank...10 would be best with that fish, 12 better, but they can get up to 2 1/3 inch long, and they're boisterous...just not the right tank footprint size for those tetras
 

Byron

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Ok thanks, I kept reading 6 fish to start with was fine.

Six is often the number cited for most shoaling/schooling freshwater fish species. This is certainly better than one or two or three, but it is still an arbitrary number. With most of these species, the more the better, as it is closer to the expected habitat conditions. There are some species however that carry a feisty to aggressive trait in their DNA, and studies have shown that this trait can often be lessened by having more of the species, which brings with it the need for an appropriately-sized tank.
 

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