Serpae Tetras Peoples thoughts and experiences

Retired Viking

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I was thinking of buying a new shoal of fish for my 55 gallon tank or my 30 gallon tank. I had seen some Serpae Tetras at the local pet store and I liked how they look and move together. I was thinking of buying at least 10. Currently I have a shoal of 10 ember tetras and 4 glowlight tetras in my 55 gallon. I have a Betta with several guppies in the 30 gallon. I will probably be moving the guppies to a 20 long and moving the Betta to his own tank, I would like to hear from anyone having experience with Serpae Tetras.
 

Byron

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Agree. This is simply put, not a community fish. To maintain relative peace within the group, it needs 12-15 and this requires your 30g tank. So this group, which I would up to 20 here, would be it for the 30g. In considerably larger tanks, with similar numbers, it can usually manage, but other species must be relatively active (no sedate fish), and no long-fin fish.

It is really unfortunate that this species is so widely available, because it has specific requirements and even then not always suited. Most of the other red/rosy fish in the genus (Hyphessobrycon) that are closely related (likely the same clade according to Weitzman) are very peaceful, but not this one. The following from my online profile of the species may be of further interest.

Behaviour can be unpredictable; keeping the species in large groups and in larger tanks tends to lessen its aggressiveness. This variant behaviour, like the anal fin pattern mentioned above, may also partly be due to significant variations between the fish. The species has a large geographical distribution including areas of the Amazon, Parana, Guapore and Paraguay River basins. Dr. Stanley Weitzman (1997) has suggested that the "species" may be a complex of closely related species that are geographically quite variable over this wide area of Amazonia; it is quite possible that this "species" may actually be several different species, each endemic to specific river basins, but this will only be ascertained after collections from many locations have been studied in detail.

Most of the fish now available in the hobby are commercially raised and differ from wild-caught fish with respect to the dark shoulder or humeral patch. Commercially bred fish are descended from hybrids (perhaps unintentionally) of fish from different geographical areas, and the patch is shorter or all but absent on most; on wild-caught fish, this patch is black, elongate and slightly triangular. This decades-long inbreeding may also partly explain the fish's aggressive nature.​
 
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Retired Viking

Retired Viking

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Thank you all for the quick replies. I was doing some researching which agrees and if I do buy them they will have their own tank maybe the 55 gallon since I only have 14 small tetras in it. I would move those 14 to the 30 gallon. I will look into the red phantoms. If I do end up with buying the serpae tetras I will try to buy 15-20 if they have that many and add them all at the same time.
 

itiwhetu

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Not with ember tetras or any of the little guys. I like Serpae Tetras with Lemon Tetras. Black or Red Phantoms would be ok but not ideal.
 

Kolykaf

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One thing I’ve learned about serpae tetras is that they are less aggressive and exhibit better coloration in cooler water: ideally between 68 and 72F. They are often found in even cooler (and slightly more alkaline) waters in the wild.
 

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