Tetra - one or more types

Beastije

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Hi guys.
What is the best approach to shoaling fish and number of species?
I know many have few numbers of each and in vain hope they will school together, which is not the case in the end. I am not looking for that.
But is it better to have one massive shoal of fish or two smaller ones?

I am asking for my large tank, have 20 ember tetra in 360l, 15 hatchetfish, 15 corydoras. I want to up the ember tetra numbers to 40, but I was thinking, why not do 60. Or 40 of ember tetra and 20 of something else, small slow and peaceful.

What is the better choice?
Thx
 

AquaBarb

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In this case i think you would be fine in either option. if it was me id add another group of say 20 cardinals to add more interest and colour to the tank
 
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Beastije

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I always told myself I will never ever have neon tetras since everyone has them and keeps them in low numbers and they look bad. But they would bring a different color scheme to the tank so i am tempted.

Are cardinals know for fin nipping or darting manically through the tank? I would not want to stress the hatchetfish
 

Slaphppy7

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Cardinals are a MUCH better choice than neons...peaceful, no nipping, when kept in adequate numbers (like all tetras)...neons are many times overbred, weak, and diseased

If it were MY tank, I'd consider rummynose tetras, Hemigrammus bleheri ....in large numbers, they're the best shoaling tetra you can have...
 

AquaBarb

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Cardinals are perfect for your set up and like @Slaphppy7 mentioned above a much better choice than Neons.

Rummy noses are also another good option and swim slightly lower down and bring lovely movement to a tank.
 

Retired Viking

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I have 18 ember tetras and want to increase to 25-30 but the LFS ran out of them and it will be awhile before they stock more. I also have 7 glow-lite tetras which get along fine with the ember tetras in my 55 gallon tank. Ember tetras are my favorite tetra.
 
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Beastije

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So, did some reading and any neon is fin nipping, even black and green. So no to those. Cardinals are way more touchy about water conditions and may be also fin nipping, not conclusive. Lemon tetras are also classified as fin nipping.
So i guess rummy nose will be my best bet.

I was thinking maybe get 20 those, keep the 30 embers. And maybe add 8 otocinclus? There is a local breeder here, so there should not be issues with them being hungry from transport. And I have few stones and several large pieces of wood that should have nice biofilm on them. And the wood is set up since August.
Is 8 too many? I also have a neritina, not too many plants and MTS. The tylomelania will go away, so should not be too much competition for the food source.
Can otos eat biofilm from decomposing leaves? Have few in a jar submerged for month now and plenty dried ones, if I don't wash them off they could provide food source perhaps?
 

DoubleDutch

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Anxious to know where / what you read cause neon tetras (all of them) aren't nippy.
Nevertheless cardinals are a better fish for this tank cause neons tend to devide over the tank amd Cardinals won't wander of their shoal too far.
 

DoubleDutch

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I read so Here and Here along with many forum entries about neons nipping some fish to death
Sorry to say but that really is ridiculous info.
I think it is strange to talk about "Tetras" in general. There are hundreds / thousand of species.

Might be a question of not understanding fishbehaviour and shoalhierargy. Neons simply don't nip fish death, they can chase one another.

Some of the bigger tetras can nip, but mainly in case one is keeping them under the wrong circumstances (too small shoal, too small tank, wrong company, stres, etc...)
 

Byron

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I will respond in detail to the issue of fin nipping, after first agreeing with other members who have advise that larger groups of any shoaling fish is always going to be beneficial for the health and well-being of the fish...and can avoid any possible fin nipping. To that topic.

Shoaling fish need a group; they expect to be in a group of their own species, and this is programmed into their species' genetic blueprint. There are many species that we consider basically peaceful, and so long as they are provided with all of the environmental factors they "expect" (their genetic makeup), they tend to remain peaceful. This involves the size of the group, along with other factors such as the tank size (dimensions usually more significant that volume), water parameters, the aquascaping (involving light, water flow, substrate, wood, rock, plants), and the other fish species they are forced to share the tank with. If any of these factors are not what the species "expects," it will often lead to aggressive behaviour even from a normally "peaceful" species--like neons, cardinals, and frankly all the tetras, rasboras, etc, etc. A species that is known as somewhat aggressive to begin with--and here we have Serpae Tetras, Tiger Barbs, Black/White Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Bloodfins and related species in the genus, and some others. These "known" fin nippers need special handling--larger groups, more space, and never placed in with sedate of long-fin fish.

You will note I do caution about neon tetras and all the other species. Provided they have what they need (the factors above), they should be peaceful. But the group must have around 10 minimum, regardless of the species. The more the better. A 2010 study of the effect of group size on angelfish, Tiger Barbs, white cloud mountain minnows, and neon tetras is instructive. Yes, neons were part of this study. The results confirmed what many of us have thought for some time...too small a group will cause aggressive behaviour within peaceful species or increased aggressive behaviour within the aggressive species. There were some other interesting findings too...darting, shoaling, and a distinct latency to feed were found to vary with group size in a species-specifific manner. In other words, the siz\e of the group has quite significant ramifications for the fish, even beyond aggression itself. The paper can be read (free) here:


Each species was divbided into three groups in separate tanks (obviously), in numbers of three, five and ten. The unquestionable benefit of ten was conclusive. With Tiger Barbs, the groups of three and five were removed from the study because the fish tore into each other almost as soon as they were introduced to the tanks, and the biologists considered it cruel to allow this to continue.
 
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Beastije

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Nice work, thank you

to this research though, it is safe to say for a 120x50cm dimensions a group of 20 shoaling fish should not have any issues, provided their companions are compatible (and the water parameters, temperature, plants,....) at any rate, bar any stress or illness.

That is good to know
 

itiwhetu

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I would put in Black phantom tetras. Or Mosquito Rasboras, the mosquitos would be cool cos they would fill the space at the top of the tank. Or clown Killifish for that matter.
 

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