Praecox rainbow behavior - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Praecox rainbow behavior

Hey all,

Iím new to rainbow fish keeping and was wondering about the behavior Iíve been observing the past couple of days. Iíve had the fish for a week, and the whole time Iíve had them, they have been all over the tank, until yesterday and today.

Theyíre grouped together pretty tightly and will swim to one end, pause for a minute, then to the other end, and just swim in place against the current provided by the filter. No longer all over the place like before. Is this their normal behavior thatís finally coming out after being in the tank a bit longer or is this a sign of something?

When lights come on, they dance and spar, their colors are fired up, but after a bit they do whatís pictured and described.

Edit: To add, their feeding has been consistently vigorous after the first couple of days, ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrate about 20, dGH 7, dKH 4, temp 77 degrees.




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 07:52 PM
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As long as they are eating and healthy I wouldn't worry about.

Once in a while mine will fly in formation like that, but doesn't last long. The more they get used to and comfortable with your tank, the more freely they will roam.

At least that has been my experience.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 08:01 PM
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Thatís their defensive posture. They donít feel safe and are shoaling. It may be you hovering around over tank or someone else in house scaring them.

They prefer dimmer lighting with tall dense stem plantings and/or floating plants for cover.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you gentlemen. @Greggz Iím planning on making their school larger, maybe 20 strong. Hopefully that will make them more comfortable as well.
@DaveKS thanks for the advice! The tank is planted and itís still growing in, Iíve observed them playing in the plants and itís awesome. What could be spooking them is a hyper 2 and 7 year old...


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
Thank you gentlemen. @Greggz Iím planning on making their school larger, maybe 20 strong. Hopefully that will make them more comfortable as well.
@DaveKS thanks for the advice! The tank is planted and itís still growing in, Iíve observed them playing in the plants and itís awesome. What could be spooking them is a hyper 2 and 7 year old...


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You could give light a longer photo period but with more hours of lower light ramp up/down time and slightly less hours at midday intensity, they would have more hours in a lower light level where they would feel more comfortable. As youíve seen during higher light periods they will shoal and go from one dimly lit upper corner to the other. But as you noted when light 1st comes on itís probably dimmer and their out strutting their stuff. Give them more play time and as a plus your hours viewing time on tank is longer but accumulative lighting throughout day and plant/algae growth associated with that will stay the same.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:41 PM
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I had the worst luck with these guys. They would seem fine and then one by one would start looking weak and get dropsy and die. Very frustrating. I finally just gave up on treating them after spending probably over a hundred dollars on medication and not succeeding in treating whatever was ailing them.

ETA: both times I kept them they started out super shy. Adding other fish to the tank (cherry barbs, rasboras, etc) made them less skittish.
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Last edited by Triport; 10-27-2019 at 10:43 PM. Reason: eta
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Praecox rainbow behavior

@DaveKS

Unfortunately itís just a DA FSPEC. When we got home from shopping, theyíre still in a tight school but donít seem to be avoiding the light. They were directly in front of the output in the current. Do these fish like high flow?
@Triport

Oh man thatís really unfortunate. I sincerely hope that doesnít happen here...Iíve been thinking about purchasing or making some medicated food for them to treat them prophylactically. Probably gonna pull the trigger on that one.

Bump: Iím gonna go with maybe a potential spooking? Now theyíre not schooling so tightly and not avoiding the light. lol

I just want them to do well.




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 11:23 PM
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I had the worst luck with these guys. They would seem fine and then one by one would start looking weak and get dropsy and die.
Well you are not alone.

Praecox are easily the weakest species in the Rainbow world. They are prolific breeders and have been over bred for years. Once they stop eating and hang at the surface, there is no saving them. This has been well known in the Rainbow world for many years.

That being said, they are beautiful, and some folks get lucky with them. But they are not nearly as healthy and long lived as most other Rainbows out there. There is a more pure strain from Pagai that Gary Lange introduced to the hobby a few years back, but they are hard to find.

As to light, I have never noticed a correlation between behavior and high light. I blast my tank pretty well and the Rainbows are always out and active. IMO, more important is comfortable surroundings. A heavily planted tank is known to make them comfortable and bring out the best colors.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Well you are not alone.



Praecox are easily the weakest species in the Rainbow world. They are prolific breeders and have been over bred for years. Once they stop eating and hang at the surface, there is no saving them. This has been well known in the Rainbow world for many years.



That being said, they are beautiful, and some folks get lucky with them. But they are not nearly as healthy and long lived as most other Rainbows out there. There is a more pure strain from Pagai that Gary Lange introduced to the hobby a few years back, but they are hard to find.



As to light, I have never noticed a correlation between behavior and high light. I blast my tank pretty well and the Rainbows are always out and active. IMO, more important is comfortable surroundings. A heavily planted tank is known to make them comfortable and bring out the best colors.


Thank you Greggz! This also just solidified a prophylactic treatment. Hopefully clear out anything they may potentially be afflicted by (although so far they are clear and nice, with big appetites, only one seems a little too skinny for my taste).


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 12:52 AM
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Ok, I was thinking you had a Fluval 3.0 programmable on that tank.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 01:57 AM
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If these do not do well for you look to a local aquarium society to see if a breeder is breeding Gary Lange stock of these. There is a reputable breeder in Sacramento that has his stock. I picked up 6, I dont know, maybe 3 months ago, and they have been very healthy and hearty. Right now these guys are schooling in my 180 with my African tetras--
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I was thinking you had a Fluval 3.0 programmable on that tank.


No sir, I do have one on my 40 breeder, coupled with a Finnex Fugeray. Been thinking of replacing the Finnex with a Fluval but the only weakness of the Fluval is the light bar itself isnít actually 36Ē, more like 33.5Ē so it doesnít give a full spread on a 36Ē tank without being raised, and risers arenít available for them.
@Discusluv, I bought these during the most recent SCAPE meet, nobody down here is breeding them that Iím aware of. Had to purchase from the LFS that held the meet, but theyíre a good shop with good stock, so Iím fairly certain they should do well so long as I do my part. However I will take your advice to heart and keep my eyes out!


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Iím happy to report today that half way through yesterday and all day today, they have been out and about, very bold, and very active. They never quit eating so Iím going to chalk it up to they got spooked. Maybe when I wiped down the glass, perhaps they didnít like that lol.

I have some NLS Hex Shield arriving tomorrow to treat them prophylactically, and have plenty of General Cure on hand if they show signs of worms (so far poop is brown and not stringy).

Also ordered a small group of pearl gouramis to live in this tank as well. Fish are coming together! Thinking of adding a school of African glass catfish as well (parailia pellucida) for some active bottom dwellers.

Whatís the opinion on keeping Denison barbs with pearl gouramis? Are they fin nippers? Iíve read conflicting arguments.


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