Question about schooling / Shoaling - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question about schooling / Shoaling

Ok,

Id be interested in hearing if anyone has any tips / tricks / recomendations on how to keep a nice school of fish.

I have currently a school of 8 diamond tetras and another school of 14 neons.

I use school in the loosest sense of course becuase they are all so chilled in my tank that they have expanded into a loose scattered formation and dont feel the need to school.

The neons do school from time to time, and I introduced three angelfish to try and encourage them. However they just form small groups rather than schools and pretty much ignore the angelfish.

So here are my questions.

Is there a type of fish that is more inclined to keep a nice tight school over time? I hear people talking about rummynose tetras form time to time?

Are there any tips / tricks people can suggest to encourage schooling behaviour? I appreciate its a defensive move and i dont really want to stress my fish out too much, but I would like to see them in school from time to time not continuously playing truant

All thoughts appreciated.

regards

Marc
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 01:46 PM
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You should be happy your fish are so comfortable that they do meander around the tank alone...

Adding a few black mollies (the horrible disease prone things... guh) really has enticed my tetras to join up together, it's really interesting. The mollies are just chasing each other trying to make babies, ignoring the tetras, but clearly they feel threatened by the mollies.

There is at least one, probably several, threads that ask "what is the best schooling fish" ...I'm sure you'll find lots of information there, search.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Yes - stress will induce schooling. I feel bad about that though, so I don't purposefully stress my fish. I've heard that it's best to get an odd number. Whatever schooling species you decide to keep, get as many as your tank can handle. It's much more visually appealing IMHO to have one large school of one species than to have two or three small schools of different species.

Maybe go to your LFS and watch the fish behavior, but be aware of other fish in the tank that might be scaring them and causing them to school more tightly. Also, be aware of how many fish are in the tank since that effects the behavior. If you get 5, don't expect them to school like the 23 in the LFS tank. Another thing that can be deceptive is that the LFS tanks usually have too many fish per tank. So fish can look like they are schooling but they are mainly just cramped. If you put them in a large tank, they would spread out.

I really enjoy my black skirt tetras (looks and personality) but they get relatively large. I have 13. I think their dark color looks cool against the green plants. I also love the look of rummynose and cardinal tetras. Like Indiboi said, do a search and you should find some other suggestions.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 04:03 PM
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try rummys....

I have found the rummy nose to hold the tightest schools. It definatly helps to have a fish in your tanks that illicits a little fear of predation. In my case two large discus in my 30xh keep the 8 rummys in a tight pack. They seem fine and eat like pigs. Also have about 12 cardinals. they look great together and set against the plants.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 06:57 PM
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How large are your angelfish? I think that your neons might learn to school with time...

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 10:13 PM
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I've been told in first person that angelfish eat neon tetras. Depends on the size of the angelfish of course. One morning you will notice a few fewer neons.

Other than that fish school when usually school if it's in their behaviour, and more so when they feel threatened. Rummynose tetras school really well. There's a very long thread here on favorite schooling fish:https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fi...ling-fish.html
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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I have lemon tetras that have been together for over 2 years and they still school tightly. I don't "think" I have any fish in there that are stressing them out. Nobody seems to pick on them and they aren't timid.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 02:20 AM
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Harlequin rasboras school really well. Certain fish just do. Anyway, the reason angelfish eat neons is because that is what they would eat in the wild.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hiya

Thanks for all the responses.

I am happy that my fish are chilled out and meander around the tank. But on the other hand i do like a nice tight school of fish that tracks you as you run your finger along the glass.

I picked my neons because thats what they looked like in my LFS, but i guess they were pretty stressed there, and as soon as they got into my 180l tank, they chilled out and spread out.

I have black mollys. i introduced them as part of my algae clean-up crew. the neons pretty much ignore them.

Ive checked out the threads on which is the "best schooling fish" seems a pretty subjective debate to me.

None of them really seem to cover evolving fish behavior or long term social behavior (now why do I get the sudden urge to wear a tweed jacket and smoke a pipe?). Which is why I posted this thread, out of curiosity to see what other people had observed and whether anyone had developed practices based on observed behaviour...

my three angelfish are juveniles, 6 - 8 cm in length.

They really seem to acknowledge the existence of the neons, let alone harass them. I have caught them nipping at the flowing fins of a couple of my guppies though ....which i thought was a bit like someone who lived in a glass house chucking stones...

Interestingly enough I put some silver sharks into my 350l tank and they seem to have held a school pretty well. watching their acrobatics, reflecting flashes of light as they roll around is definitely one of the more entertaining aspects of this obsession

Cheers

Marc
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 04:41 PM
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Indeed, it's really difficult to judge schooling behaviour at the LFS, the poor fish are usually extremely stressed as you guessed.

I have Angels with Cardinals and Neons. I've never had a problem, but everybody was introduced at the same time, so they grew up that way. I worry a lot about introducing new Cardinals, I'd feel compelled to grow them out first. The growth rate as always been such that after two years the Angelfish still couldn't eat the Cardinals (they're about 2" long now). Though, it was promising that when I added a new very small (.75") Glowlight, it wasn't eaten, though the one Angelfish was pretty interested in it at first.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 08:44 PM
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I think you are all worried a little to much about your tetra's being stressed when they enter into schooling behavior. In the wild cardinals have been obsevered to hang in schools of many hundreds. It is a natural reaction to their enviorment. I assure that threats from predators are an every day occurence in the wild and they do survie(that is if they don't get eaten)
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 09:26 PM
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Why? I think people want their tetras to school more than being concerned about schooling being a sign of stress.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 12:13 AM
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You are right!! I bought 8 neon tetras for one of my tanks and I believe my Angel Fish ate all of them. This morning there were zero!! Guess I have learned a hard lesson about Angel Fish. They can be extremely aggressive to smaller fish!!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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where there any bits or were they all just gone?

how big were those angels?

marc
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 04:49 AM
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Most fish that eat other fish don't tear them to bits, they eat the whole thing. Angels are known to eat neons. They exist in the same areas in the wild. It would be like trying to keep frontosas and cyprichromis together.

The way that some people avoid this problem is to buy the neons first, let them grow a bit, then add the angelfish afterwards at a small size. This way, the angelfish sees them as things in the tank to ignore, not live food. Dumping new neons in with full grown angelfish is like dumping brine shrimp in the tank.

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