Ember Tetras in a 55 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Ember Tetras in a 55

I'm planning on adding a school of Ember Tetras to my 55 gallon tank. The current plan is to have a RCS colony, a few Amanos, a Nerite snail or two and a school of Embers. How large of a school would you go with? I'm not trying to go small, well besides the fish size. I was thinking at least 25. I was unable to find pictures or videos of any super large schools unless they were in massive tanks. What does everyone think?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:04 AM
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You cold probably keep a hundred or more. I would wait till the tank is well planted and established though.
Lots of fish = lots of food. When you add lots of food, waste builds up fast, so filters need regular cleaning.
Lots of plants help to burn through this waste.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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The tank is fairly well established, been running in its current configuration since 2014. Just replanted a bunch of stuff over the last month. Due to this I will be starting the shrimp colony(added the first 15 today!) and letting it grow for a month or more before adding any fish.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 06:23 AM
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I've placed Ember Tetras in a 10 gallon with RCS and CRS when separating males and females to try my luck at spawning. I didn't specially notice them going after the shrimp much but I don't think I had many small shrimp left afterward. I would caution the choice or at least look at your goals. Your adult shrimp will probably be just fine with Embers but they may hide more. You may struggle at breeding CRS, especially with a large school of Embers.

No doubt you could fit 100 embers in a 55 but I think it would look crowded. I have 8 in a 40long (same footprint as a 55) but I wouldn't go less. If I didn't have other fish in the tank, I would probably go with 25 of the Embers.

Don't get caught with your plants down
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 06:39 AM
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Short answer: a crap-ton

+/-

More seriously though, you could fit 100+ and I honestly don't think it would look to crowded but rather stunning. Especially since it seems these will be your only fish, a hearty large school would look fantastic.

Also this is assuming proper aquarium husbandry: water changes, good filtration, good plant growth, and of course... water changes
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 07:13 AM
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Ember Tetras in a 55

Yeah I agree with the others you could go for quite a lot, a school of like 50-100 would look really good.
Although I do recommend you maybe add them in batches of 20-ish so your filter can gradually get ready to take that bio-load.


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Last edited by Opare; 01-05-2017 at 03:11 PM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 08:36 AM
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plus minus 50 in this pic, and they just take up a small spot.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:25 AM
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I suggest a minimum of 25, but build it up slowly and keep an eye on your nitrates.

If you do this, PLEASE post lots of pics and videos! I really wanted to have a giant school of nano fish (in my case chili rasboras) in my 55g, and I really regret not trying it. I would love to see how it turns out for you.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 02:30 PM
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Aqadvisor says 25 would be approximately 34% stocked with adequate filtration and 108 would be 100% stocking. Not that aqadvisor is exact, but it should give you an idea. I've had tanks stocked at 150% with a dense plant load and seen minimal increases in nitrates between water changes.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacon5 View Post
Short answer: a crap-ton

+/-

More seriously though, you could fit 100+ and I honestly don't think it would look to crowded but rather stunning. Especially since it seems these will be your only fish, a hearty large school would look fantastic.

Also this is assuming proper aquarium husbandry: water changes, good filtration, good plant growth, and of course... water changes
ugh... water changes... hahaha! I don't plan on doing them weekly or anything but WCs will happen every few weeks. As part of the changes I recently made to this tank, I upgraded from an Eheim 2215 & Fluval U4 to an Eheim 2217!

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Yeah I agree with the others you could go for quite a lot, a school of like 50-100 would look really good.
Although I do recommend you maybe add them in batches of 20-ish so your filter can gradually get ready to take that bio-load.
50-100 would be awesome!

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Originally Posted by Nordic View Post


plus minus 50 in this pic, and they just take up a small spot.
This is one of the pics I found while trying to find large schools of them! I love their coloring!

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Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
I suggest a minimum of 25, but build it up slowly and keep an eye on your nitrates.

If you do this, PLEASE post lots of pics and videos! I really wanted to have a giant school of nano fish (in my case chili rasboras) in my 55g, and I really regret not trying it. I would love to see how it turns out for you.
I just kept debating what to stock this tank with and I'm not really a fan of community tanks. The idea of a giant school of nanos seemed like a cool idea! Sadly, I suck at videos, at least well composed/edited ones.

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Aqadvisor says 25 would be approximately 34% stocked with adequate filtration and 108 would be 100% stocking. Not that aqadvisor is exact, but it should give you an idea. I've had tanks stocked at 150% with a dense plant load and seen minimal increases in nitrates between water changes.
Thanks! I didn't even think about Aqadvisor! Haven't been focused on the hobby in a few years.


I will definitely be building up the total number of Embers slowly. Probably ~10 at a time to let the filter adjust to the bioload, that should ease the blow on my wallet too. I've been told, and found in my research, that I should mostly be okay with Embers and shrimp together. The tank has a lot of areas of dense vegetation & as the current planting matures will be heavily planted! I believe this will help with the bioload as well as any potential predation of baby shrimp by adult Embers.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:17 PM
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Not sure how readily they breed, but my experience with fish with such fat females is that you just need to look at them right to make them shoot out a clutch of eggs.
For example, I have some glowlight tetras breeding at the moment, they haven't been in the tank for more than two hours even. So it is pretty easy to grow your own.
I started off with only 6. Thinking of keeping 40 or so in the 55 gal with some young angelfish. Most are outside in a pond now, saves a fortune on food and brine shrimp if they just eat whatever is in the pond.
I feed once or twice maybe a day. But only a powdered baby food and some crushed flakes. Maybe you could get away with bi-weekly water changes if you run an oversized filter.
Most of these tetras originate in water with very low dissolved solids and nitrates. Good water is a prerequisite to keep most fish healthy and active.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:10 PM
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Just wanted to report that the breeding was a success. I am looking at a bunch of really tiny white fish shaped larvae swimming around. I only saw the previous batch once they were several weeks old. the tank had tons of moss in though. Those fry are outside in a pond now. They take about 9 weeks to grow out, which is very fast compared to many species.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:39 PM
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A shrimp breeding colony and a big flock of tetras is asking for the shrimp babies to be munched. You could keep a few shrimp in there as long as the tetras are well fed. But even 50 tetras is pushing it for this tank. moreso if you're going dirted substrate. I'd only stock about 25. Even though embers are small they're active little carnivores.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson18 View Post
Sadly, I suck at videos, at least well composed/edited ones.
My favorite videos are just full tank shots that last for 2-5 minutes, so it's like I'm watching the tank in person. I like seeing some close ups, but really I just want the vicarious experience.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:07 AM
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Please post pics when you have your school built, I love embers! A 55 with a big ol' school of them sounds like wet dream (haha see what I did there because fish tanks are wet, I know I'm terrible) for me. Someday...

I have a small school in my super low-tech 20gal and I've caught them spawning several times - it's apparently not hard to get them to do so since I never did anything to try and encourage it!
Mine have never bothered or even acknowledged my shrimp, but every fish is different so you never know. Buuut I would bet that with a large, densely planted tank, you should be fine.

Hope these little tidbits of info helped and I apologize again for the terrible wet dream pun, lol

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