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Page 3 about
Bigger Tetras
This page contains Customer Comments and our Replies about Bigger Tetras. Click here now to go back to the previous page in this discussion.

Customer Comments

We have been enjoying your site for several months now. We have not found any site on aquariums and such a variety of fish to equal yours. And you seem to enjoy giving out information. We have set up a thirty gallon long aquarium.
We have about 70% artificial and 30% live plants which are in clay pots. We have minimal gravel and large polished river stone for the bottom. A large percentage of the bottom is un-covered, with java moss, concealing the pots. I have a 170 penquin BIO-Wheel, for filtration, a stone decoration with an airstone inside for aeration, and a heater which maintains the tank at 78/82 degrees.
There are also two large and two small decorative objects suitable for hiding and playing in. The ph is 7.0, ammonia 0, and the salt is 10%. We do 20% water changes twice weekly using our own filtered, deionized water, due to the atrocious condition of the city water supply.
To all this we introduced three juliard cories and allowed the tank to acclimate itself to the fish for several days. Yesterday, we introduced 2 serpae tetra, and two high fin white skirt tetras. We were under the impression tetras would school together. Well, we are definitely under the wrong impression.
The white skirts have each chosen territories, one to the left and one to the right, of the front of the tank. Anytime the serpaes infringe on these territories, they are chased to the back of the tank. Also the white skirts refuse to come to the surface to eat and even pass up descending food bits to chase the serpae.
They ignore the cories, who ignore them in return. Is this normal? Should all four be pals or at least compatible? Would one or two more of the white skirts and the same number of serpae, break the territorial bond?
Are we seeing something that will go away in a few days? Your advice on this matter will be much appreciated.
William A.
Reply. Hello William. The first two paragraphs of your comments sound like you have your aquarium set up just right. Congratulations on some very good equipment and ornaments.

Your fish that you call "high fin white skirt tetras" are what we call Long Finned Black Skirts. They are a long finned variety of plain Black Skirt Tetras. This fish starts out looking almost black, when they are small and young. Later when mature they are silvery white. So some people call them White Skirts. The Skirt part of their name comes from the fact that long ago some people thought their wide triangular fin looked like a skirt.

Click here to see a picture of the Serpae Tetras, and just below that picture is a picture of the Black Skirts. Both of these fish are what we call Bigger Tetras to distinguish them from the Smaller Tetras. Click here for more information about the Smaller Tetras, which are not considered to be compatible with Bigger Tetras.

Black Skirt Tetras and Serpae Tetras are compatible fish and usually will live together in the same aquarium without problems. But these two species do not school together. In fact I have never seen any two different species of Tetra school together.

Both Black Skirts and Serpae Tetras are schooling fish and live best in a school with at least six fish of their species. So you need to get at least four more of each species. Your High Fin White Skirt Tetras will probably be nicer, when they live in a school with at least six of their species.

Incidentally, I do not understand your comment, "the salt is 10%." The fish you have in your aquarium do not need Aquarium Salt. If your fish show any Signs of Stress and Disease, then give then all six steps of the Recommended Treatment, which includes adding 1-Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt to each 5-gallons of water. In your case that would be 5 Tablespoons of Aquarium Salt, because a 30-gallon aquarium like yours usually holds 25-gallons of water.

Click here for more information about the Signs of Stress and Disease in fish. Click here for more information about the Recommended Treatment. Click here for more information about Aquarium Salt.


Customer Comments

Why can't I get a large detailed picture of the Serpae Tetra? I cannot tell what it looks like and I am thinking ofpurchasing some.
Reply. Hello Ann and thank you for your email. We have some large pictures of some fish and some not-so-large photos of others.

We try hard to make this web site good and helpful, but we are most fishy-folks and not-so-much photographers. We do not have a good picture of Serpae Tetras now, maybe we will later.

(Note added later. We now have a pretty good picture. Click here to see.)

Serpae Tetras are beautiful fish that have an interesting shape and a beautiful color pattern. Generally their behavior is very good too, though they may nip on each other and on other species of fish, if they are not fed properly. Their behavior is much better, if they are fed a few Live Black Worms every-other day in addition to their regular diet of Tropical Fish Flakes and Freeze Dried Blood Worms. Click here for more information about Black Worms.


Customer Comments

I have a 25-gallon aquarium that contains different kinds of Tetras. The tank contains 15 fish altogether. I am using an external filter and lately have noticed that many of the fish are continuously swimming through the stream of water coming back into the tank from the filter.
They were not doing this before and the only changes made recently were the addition or 3 new fish and placement of a scenic background on the tank. All of the fish including the 3 new additions look and act healthy and are eating well.
I do notice that 3 or 4 of them are chasing one another around quite often. Is any of this behaviour something I should be worried about? Could any of this indicate stress or the onset of sress or disease? Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.
Reply. Hello Tom. Thank you for your email and the details about your fish. First, it's good that you are carefully observing the behavior of your fish and watching for changes.

I doubt the behavior changes you describe indicate stress or the onset of disease, but whenever you see changes in the behavior of your fish, you should check for Signs of Stress and Disease. In particular look for clamped fins. Click here for more about the Signs of Stress and Disease.

If you see changes in your fish's behavior, you should also check the quality of the water in your aquarium. Click here for more about Testing Aquarium Water.

Incidentally, Tetras live best in a group with at least six Tetras of their species. If you have less than six of any species, their behavior may be unusual or erratic.

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