What are some hardy species of schooling fish?
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #1
caykuu
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What are some hardy species of schooling fish?


Over the past year and a half, I've bought a total of 20 cardinals and neons all from a young age. Now only five survive, with the rest dying one by one, separate from each other.

I keep hearing that they're a hardy fish to have... but not really, in my experience. (or I just have horrible tap water that kills everything in its path)

What's an actually hardy and at least moderately attractive/colorful schooling fish that is safe for a planted tank? I already have guppies, but recently stopped trying to breed them, since having schooling fish appeal to me more.

ETA: My tap water and tank water's pH is over 8.0
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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How about the regular Neon Tetras? Or a school of rasboras?
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #3
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Like I said, both neons and cardinals have been kind of flimsy in my experience.

What type/coloring of rasbora or danio is the toughest, if it makes a difference?
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:07 AM   #4
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Ohh, i didn't see the neon part, sorry

The Harlequin Rasboras are pretty hardy, so are the Chili Rasboras i have heard, but never had any experience with them. As long as you keep them in a bigger grou (safety by numbers) they will be fine
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:11 AM   #5
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Cardinals can be more sensitive than other tetras, but from what I have heard, neons are pretty hardy? I might be suspicious of your source of fish. Where did you get them from? Tank bred or wild caught? How long were they in the store prior to purchase if you bought them from a store?

I have been looking for cardinal tetras locally, but the stock around has been terrible.

If it's not an issue with the supplier, I would look to your tank next. What is your set-up and what are the parameters?

The first schooling fish I kept were T-Bone rasboras. They seem pretty indestructible.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:40 AM   #6
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Black skirts and Red Minor tetras. Hardy as all h***, but mean...really mean.. The red minors have been nicknamed the devil fish in my house.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:46 AM   #7
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black skirt tetras are very hardy, but they can be very mean to other fish so if you just had them in a tank by themselves or with some other semi-aggressive that would work best. in large groups they look really cool also, you can get them for a good price at petco
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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I've had really good success with Harlequin Rasboras with the same pH as you have. They just chase each other around in a loose group with lights on, and form a close group with lights off with just a lamp nearby. They don't hurt nobody no how.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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with that high of a PH, its probably best to avoid nearly all of the south american and southeast asian species which dwell in acidic soft water environments.

Neons have a range of a 5-7.8 so going to 8 is beyond the stretch for them. Cardinals can be adapted to more alkaline condition if the gh is kept below 4 but this makes them extremely sensitive and delicate to soluble waste and nitrates so your tanks need to be pristine to maintain them.

IMHO, these were not suitable fish for your tank environment from the get go.

A ph of 8+ is generally african cichlid territory but a large number of livebearers will do quite well here. Have a look into these and see if they fit the bill. They will certainly be hardier than cardinals and neons.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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It has been my experience that the Harlequin Rasboras do not school very closely , but rather loosely at best with numbers around 9 . And the Cardinals are a little better but still not at those numbers . However the best for schooling
in my tank is most definitely the Rummy Nose , hands down best for me and very attractive as well .
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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As long as your ph isn't above 8 I think most fish will be ok. They will adjust, just drip acclimate them for an hour or longer. My rummynose are young but they school perfect and their silver body and red nose with a black/ white tail are gorgeous. They're also a good indicator of water quality depending on how red their nose is.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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Skirts have always been the best in my tanks. They have black long & regular tail, white [gold] long & regular tail, neon with long and regular tail.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:14 PM   #13
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I have different experience with my Hengeli, they are hardy and school very closely, closer than my neon tetras.

They sometimes group and corner in my 10g, where the water current is strong.their swimming are a bit erratic, maybe "crazy" is a more suitable word. At first I thought it was my water parameter/co2 issue; but they have been doing this for more than a week and they seem enjoying this. Its funny to see them exercise against strong current, then blown away, then do it over and over again. They do this when I add water during change too, I think its their nature loving current.

They other story about their toughness which i dont want to share is, when they were still in acclimation jar, I dropped a rock 2x its size onto one of them, instant knock off; 30 sec later, it struggle to swim again, but up-side down; 2 mins later, it swim normally again!
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatiesl337 View Post
Cardinals can be more sensitive than other tetras, but from what I have heard, neons are pretty hardy? I might be suspicious of your source of fish. Where did you get them from? Tank bred or wild caught? How long were they in the store prior to purchase if you bought them from a store?

I have been looking for cardinal tetras locally, but the stock around has been terrible.

If it's not an issue with the supplier, I would look to your tank next. What is your set-up and what are the parameters?

The first schooling fish I kept were T-Bone rasboras. They seem pretty indestructible.
Bought them from a private-owned fish store, no idea if they're tank bred or wild caught or how long they were in the store. It's a 55gal Seaclear System II, pH 8.0, been running for 3 years fully cycled.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:55 PM   #15
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Hmm looks like I'll be trying either Harlequin Rasboras or going the African Cichlid route. Will Cichlids tear up the Taiwan moss on the driftwood in my tank?
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