Length?

Jimmy74

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I got a six foot long tank with several schools. Thay Don’t really swim 6 feet all at once. They usually tend to swim in one to two foot patterns. I Don’t see why these fish wouldn’t do just fine in a 4 foot or even 3 foot wide tank. So why all emphasis on long tanks?
 

Tez_20

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@Jimmy74 i've just brought a Shaker 252 just over 2ft long my guppies go about the place but my harlequins go half across and swim back, unless you have a large quantity of fish which will use different areas you will never see the real advantage of the tank.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I got a six foot long tank with several schools. Thay Don’t really swim 6 feet all at once. They usually tend to swim in one to two foot patterns. I Don’t see why these fish wouldn’t do just fine in a 4 foot or even 3 foot wide tank. So why all emphasis on long tanks?
Just to be clear what I'm saying, I'll use 'shoal' to describe a group of fish, hanging together...and 'school' for a group of fish moving in the same direction. Having got that out of the way...

I'd love to have the space for a 6' tank and have several shoals in it, knowing that said shoals will school.
Whilst you've observed your fish schooling in 1-2' patterns, I'll assume that your shoals are distributed throughout the tank? To be sure, you might be able to pack them into a 4' or even 3' tank, but where's the joy in that (for the fish)? The extra space gives them opportunity and stimulation, which is A Good Thing and avoids overcrowding, which would immediately reduce the desire of your fish to spread their fins.
If you enjoyed running, it's like you've been given the choice of running around the inside of a games hall, or running around a larger municipal park. For sure, you might only run the same actual distance in each of those venues, but I suspect the outdoor circuit would be preferable. This has nothing to do with intellect, or imagination, or any of our other higher functions...it's simply a basic and instinctive need for space and freedom.
Fish may not be the sharpest tools in the box when it comes down to brains, but their instincts are finely honed.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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@Jimmy74 i've just brought a Shaker 252 just over 2ft long my guppies go about the place but my harlequins go half across and swim back, unless you have a large quantity of fish which will use different areas you will never see the real advantage of the tank.
So your Harlequin travel 1', there and back. For all we know, if they were in a 4' tank, they might travel 2'...or more.
Fish do have some awareness of the available space around them and, having swum to the middle of the tank, they're happy (for now). Remember that these fish can live for several years and I can guarantee that they'll explore all of thetank, together, before they're done.
 
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Jimmy74

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Just to be clear what I'm saying, I'll use 'shoal' to describe a group of fish, hanging together...and 'school' for a group of fish moving in the same direction. Having got that out of the way...

I'd love to have the space for a 6' tank and have several shoals in it, knowing that said shoals will school.
Whilst you've observed your fish schooling in 1-2' patterns, I'll assume that your shoals are distributed throughout the tank? To be sure, you might be able to pack them into a 4' or even 3' tank, but where's the joy in that (for the fish)? The extra space gives them opportunity and stimulation, which is A Good Thing and avoids overcrowding, which would immediately reduce the desire of your fish to spread their fins.
If you enjoyed running, it's like you've been given the choice of running around the inside of a games hall, or running around a larger municipal park. For sure, you might only run the same actual distance in each of those venues, but I suspect the outdoor circuit would be preferable. This has nothing to do with intellect, or imagination, or any of our other higher functions...it's simply a basic and instinctive need for space and freedom.
Fish may not be the sharpest tools in the box when it comes down to brains, but their instincts are finely honed.
Distributed? Eh.. not really
 

Tez_20

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So your Harlequin travel 1', there and back. For all we know, if they were in a 4' tank, they might travel 2'...or more.
Fish do have some awareness of the available space around them and, having swum to the middle of the tank, they're happy (for now). Remember that these fish can live for several years and I can guarantee that they'll explore all of thetank, together, before they're done.
They'll split the group and move about the tank but when it comes to their sequence swim they don't do the full length like my Roma 200, there again they've got to get used to it as well being new plus finding territory grounds around other fish.
 
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Jimmy74

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So your Harlequin travel 1', there and back. For all we know, if they were in a 4' tank, they might travel 2'...or more.
Fish do have some awareness of the available space around them and, having swum to the middle of the tank, they're happy (for now). Remember that these fish can live for several years and I can guarantee that they'll explore all of thetank, together, before they're done.
So what you’re saying is the number of schools depends on the size of the tank? So one school would be fine in a 3 foot tank. People should clarify that. They’re always quick to jump and say a school of 5 fish that are 3-4” need a six foot long tank,
 

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As Essjay said in your other thread, it is not merely the size of the fish that you need to focus on, but their activity level. For example a danio is way more active than a rasbora or tetra. Think of dog breeds and how much more exercise some little dogs need compared to some of the lazy big breeds.
 

Tez_20

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As Essjay said in your other thread, it is not merely the size of the fish that you need to focus on, but their activity level. For example a danio is way more active than a rasbora or tetra. Think of dog breeds and how much more exercise some little dogs need compared to some of the lazy big breeds.
Nice one Naughts :good: comparing them to dogs, they're more like whippets the way they move with pressure added ;)
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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So what you’re saying is the number of schools depends on the size of the tank? So one school would be fine in a 3 foot tank. People should clarify that. They’re always quick to jump and say a school of 5 fish that are 3-4” need a six foot long tank,
No.
Both 'school' and 'shoal' originate from a Dutch word 'schole' and it can get confusing when both terms are used to describe different things, which is why I clarified my word usage in my first response.
In your example, when people talk about stocking levels, they tend to go for so many inches of fish, per square inch of water surface area, or some such. Five fish at 4" equates to 20" of fish. A shoal of small fish might be happy enough in a 3-foot tank to school nicely...but it depends on the fish. Harlequin and Black Neon Tetra might be relatively content pottering about, but a group of Rummy Nosed Tetra, or Danios might appear a little cramped. Give 'em a bigger tank and they'll be very happy.
Not all fish that form shoals will school. Some actually disperse at the first sign of danger, whilst other pack as close together as they can get. The bigger the tank, the more natural the behaviour.
 

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