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will Rummy Nose & Pristella tetras school together??? ( changed the title to better suit the direction the thread went )

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Magnum Man

Fish Herder
Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
or at least get along??? or does the fact that they kind of look the same, but are different cause issues???

... & how about other tetras that look similar ( all the rummy nose varieties for example )

I'm thinking about doing a tetra tank, since I've never had water they would thrive in... thinking a 55 gallon, with as many varied color groups as would work
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They don't normally hang out together unless there is only a couple of one sort and a group of the others. then they might hang out together, especially if threatened.

If you have fish that look very similar (neon tetras, cardinal tetras, green neon tetras), they will usually hang out together in one big group.

As for them getting along, most tetras are fine together but keep them similar sized. If you put a group of Congo tetras with neons, the Congos will intimidate the neons and the neons will suffer.

If you want 3 or 4 groups of tetras in a tank, get 10-20 of each type and have similar sized fish.
Hello. Tetras are about the best schooling fish. But, the schooling thing is just a defense against predatory fish. Once your Tetras become accustomed to their new tank and feel they aren't under attack from some larger fish, they no longer need this defense and will stop schooling. My Red Eyed, Black Skirts, Buenos Aires and White Skirts have all acted the same way. I think the ones that are four to five years old have completely forgotten about that schooling thing.

10 Tanks (Now 11)
My lemon and whitefin tetras hang out together. As 10 tanks said they don't truly school unless one of the angelfish is feeling frisky. But they do all kind of mix together. Not the red phantoms, though. They keep to themselves.
I think there are two very different aspects to the question. First, most tetras that are peaceful will mix in an aquarium, something they would not usually do in the habitat due to differing conditions, but even so it is sometimes possible to see two species in the same area, though each species has a large group of its own. Which brings us to the second aspect, and the more important.

Each species needs a decent sized group. Numbers are arbitrary, but there is clear scientific-based evidence that the larger the species group the more adjusted and thus less stressed and healthier the fish will be. Different species living in the same tank does not compensate for insufficient numbers of each species.

Another aspect of this is what one means by shoaling and schooling. These terms we use, but they are not defined meaningfully. "Schooling" does technically refer to marine fish living in huge groups that hunt for food together. None of these tetras do that. But they need sufficient of their own in the same tank or they will experience stress in some form. Whether they sometimes remain together, or sometimes spread out, is not relevant. It is the numbers of each species.

With respect to the rummynose species, these are genetically very close, which is why they are now classified in the same genus Petitella, and will tend to remain together. Same holds for the specie in Paracheirodon (the neons). But a Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulcrinnipis) is not related to either genus, and any grouping activity will here much more likely result from fear at not having sufficient of their own. And while the usual reaction to this situation is aggression, it varies.
coincidentally I just looked up the difference between schooling & shoaling yesterday... schooling if I read right, there is ( are ) a fish (s) that's the leader (s) ( though I think they can interchange ) swim together for a purpose... and as mentioned on marine fish, typically the purpose is different ( shoaling done more for defensive purposes, typically without a specific leader or boss fish )

I know I've fought over minimum group sizes before... & I'm not conceding specifically, but I plan on 8-12 of each tetra... in the tank... ( I can buy most I'm looking at in groups of 6 from one of the suppliers I use )...

as a side note, I'm looking for a bigger more colorful fish for the "tank boss" right now, I've been bouncing back & forth, between Angel fish... but I'm really wanting the Angels in the 45 gallon, so for this 55 gallon, I'm leaning towards a minimum group size of red shoulder green Severum's... unfortunately the 3 inch fish I was eyeing, sold out, & only extra large are available right now ( would be more colorful, but more expensive, & I would prefer to let everyone grow up together )

so open for some suggestions there... ( maybe electric blue acara, since they are supposed to also be pretty mellow for a cichlid )
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I have 10 Blue Tetras and 10 Penguin Tetras

On occasion I will see them together actually “schooling” and this typically only happens if I accidentally turn a light on in the room when their light has been off… maybe this happens when they are a little scared/stressed.

They however will swim around the tank together at random in smaller groups

I do define “schooling” and “swimming” together differently
@Magnum Man If you are looking at SA Cichlids, remember the rule of the skilled aquarist. The fish that would never have gotten large when you were starting out, because you would have killed it, will thrive with water changes, space and good nutrition. Now you have to assume they will reach the maximum size for the species, which for something like a red shoulder severum is pretty big.

A big severum could terrorize shoalers into shoaling....

Lemon tetras are one I've kept, but just don't get. With all the beautiful tetras out there, they strike me as dull. They are peaceful, though males dislike each other.
Pristellas, meanwhile, are beautiful little guys, though the 'fancy' mutants sold here are ugly compared to the cheerful little wild forms. They're way smaller than lemons. They behave more like a herd of deer than a shoal - they spread out and feed while watching each other. I guess the principle is if your buddy across the way starts running for it, or gets eaten, that's info you can use in life.
Pristellas will be wonderful snack food for an adult severum.

I have kept and bred angels. If you get a group and one becomes the target of aggression, you will rapidly have angels in 2 tanks. They never seem to stay in one tank, because they can be straight up nasty in groups. A nice smooth group is a stunning sight, but you have to know they killed some friends to get to the smooth stage. If you have two tanks and are getting SA Cichlids, keep one as open space and a refuge.
I'm wrestling with tank mates a little... if I decided not to do real plants, or attached ( glued )??? live plants to drift wood or bigger rocks, I may do an earth eater or two, if I could find some colorful ( sorry couldn't spell geofish ) ( Geophagus... copied from a fish seller page )

kinda like this guy...

there are some nice, realistic artificial plants out there now, & there will be plenty of Pothos vines ( house plants ) rooted & growing out of this aquarium
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Everyone has different tastes Master Magnum, but for me, I would just have one type of tetra and bang that tank out with them, whatever total amount of tetras, I'd get just one type. They can then form a big posse!!! I think I am in the minority though perhaps.
that would take just the "right" tetra, for that to work for me...

I suppose if there was a big Severum in the tank, & a huge group of a shoaling tetra, it would be kind of cool looking, like they would have to shoal... but that sounds stressful... I generally like my tank mates peaceful & calm... not that we can always achieve that...
that would take just the "right" tetra, for that to work for me...

I suppose if there was a big Severum in the tank, & a huge group of a shoaling tetra, it would be kind of cool looking, like they would have to shoal... but that sounds stressful... I generally like my tank mates peaceful & calm... not that we can always achieve that...
Tetras are usually pretty peaceful and calm in their movements. Now a tank full of zebra danios? That's like watching a kindergarten recess.

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