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Discussion Starter #1
I always liked them. I think they are really cool, but everytime I go to petco or petsmart I see them not swimming around at all unless you put your hand near the glass. Are they active swimmers? Or do they just stay still until food comes? At least I always see them in their own group.

Are they top, mid or bottom swimmers? Aggressive? Tail nippers?
 

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I had them once. To be honest, I don't remember that much about them. They're interesting to look at, but seem to be more...filler? A lot of tetras seem to be like that - not much in the way of individuality. For a cichlid aficionado, it's a little difficult to accept. :shrug. It may be that they're just not happy with conditions or have something not right with them. I know my congo tetras were rather bland and uninteresting in q/t. They errr...perked up considerably when put in the display, colored up, grew. I suspect spawning has happened a few times, and nobody would ever say they were boring.
 

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Definitely not aggressive or tail nippers. Nice little fish, quite hardy. I only have a shoal of six and they hang out in little groups of two or three. I think a larger shoal would be better, I am planning on adding another six or so. They seem to like the upper part of the tank.
 

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I haven't kept them myself so my input is that reliable, but from what I have heard is that they actually school a fair amount. Most likely not as active as rummy nose tetras or we would hear more about them, but probably at least schooling around sometimes being more active than neons/cardinals. Behavior in a stressful environment (store tanks) can be a whole lot different than when keeping fish in a appropriate stress-free environment.

I believe the school of fish in the top right of the banner around the floating island, are black neon tetras.

Should be just as peaceful as neon tetras and no fin nipping as long as they are kept in proper stress-free conditions.

Depends on tank size and current livestock, but I would get at least 8.

But again I haven't kept them personally so I can't fully say these reported experiences are true for everyone and whether or not the behaviors were caused by other reasons/factors (such as stress causing the fish to school).
 

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I have 11 in my 55. They are really peaceful. They hide a fair amount when the light is on and they play in the current togethere. They are honestly kinda boring... some times, other times they are pretty active

They are also top swimmers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all! Sorry for the late reply.

If they are top swimmers that will be a big plus to me! My tank looks too empty in the middle and above.

If I decide not to increase my gold pristella tetras (I have 5), then I might get the black neon tetras.
 

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You could also look at false penguin tetras, their peculiar way of swimming is always striking.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Penguin tetras are cool, but I don't like their colors much. I have too many brown/cream fish already.
I need to have a schooling fish with more colors on their body.

I'm looking at pictures now of Emperor Tetras. Their color's are striking! But I don't know if my 40g tank is small for them with the rest of my fish. My tank is already over stocked, but I think I can squeeze 6-7 of them in there.
 

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Don't diss brown fish :p

maybe 6 or seven serpae's or bleeding hearts, or even diamond tetras ( I like the really green ones)?
 

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I kept a shoal of Emperor tetras in a 38 gallon, 36 inch long, planted tank several years ago. They are a larger tetra than the black neons, and I guess the thing I remember about them is that the males would challenge each other, a bit of chasing and tail nipping between the males, nothing particularly serious, though. It is something that I have never seen with the black neons.
 

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I've had them for several years, down to the last one of starting with a dozen. When they had a larger group, they would get together somewhere between a shoal and a school. Now the loner hangs by himself or joins the cardinals. When I had numbers, they tended to pick one spot of the aquarium for an hour or two, then move on to another spot, mostly mid and top. They loved to play in the current when not hanging out. They would group with my serpae tetras too. Not aggressive at all, expect for normal dominance stuff amongst themselves. Even when my angels would spawn, the other tetras would be very persistent in getting to the fry, the black tetras seemed to get the hint after a couple of rushes/hits from the Angels.

What I loved best about them is their white stripe. When caught on the right angle is a simply amazing blue-white. I've seen some people call it platinum.
 

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Black darter tetras do look great. Too bad they don't make for good community fish candidates.
Serpaes I hear can be a bit fin nippy, so I'd recommend one of the other species of tetras that look similar such as, Rosy tetra, Red phantom, Candy cane tetra, Ornate tetra, etc.
Unsure about Diamonds and Bleeding heart tetras though.
Penguin tetras do get a bit bigger than all these, getting a bit over 3 inches in length. They do have similar markings as Black neon tetras, with the extra black hook mark in the bottom portion of their caudal fin. Though they don't really have that iridescent stripes like black neons do. It is quite a sight to see when they swim tail-standing though.

Emperor tetras (Nematobrycon palmeri) are cool. If you like those also take a look at the Blue/Purple Emperor tetra (Inpaichthys kerri), they have more of a blue/purple glow to their bodies although their fins don't get quite as fancy. Take a look at Rainbow (Emperor) tetras (Nematobrycon lacortei), I personally think they have more to offer in color than the other two, but they all are great. Do research the fish though, I hear they prefer water more of the acidic side, but neutral is fine.

Whether you can stock anymore depends on your filtration if it can keep up with the added bioload. Water changes might need to occur slightly more frequently to keep nitrate levels down. Sounds like you have some empty swimming space (top), but I'm not sure what size tank/footprint.

I myself, having "been there, done that" with multiple species of small sized shoals/schools (I liked having diversity in my tanks), I have seen the difference in behavior/activity that comes with having larger schools of one species, which is better for the fish's mental and physical health, and for the keeper to enjoy more (more active, healthier, happier fish is more enjoyable to see), and so I would personally recommend increasing the Pristella tetra group (bring it to at least 12) or some other social fish group you have that may be undersized, rather than add another small group of different fish. 5 or so is the minimum, but that is the minimum just for them to do okay, not really thrive happily. "The more the merrier" indeed applies.
 

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There are 3 different fish being sold as false penguins, which may explain the range of responses to them.
I am also of the opinion that one large school of small fish is better than several different fishes spread over smaller schools.

None of the fish mentioned are real problem fish, as long as there are enough of them and they are not competing with similar sized fish.
Schooling is improved by having a few larger fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I first bought the gold pristella tetras, I got eight. They always schooled together it was cool to look at, never separate. But I lost three in the beginning and now I have five. They don't school alot like before. Sometimes there will be one or two gold pristella tetra swimming alone on the other side of the tank.

I might get five more instead of getting another tetra species. I just needed more colors for that middle to top space in the tank. It looks so empty no one believes I have 29 fish in there XD. (Not including the shrimps).


My tank I believe measures 36" long x 18" width x 16" high. It's a 40g breeder tank and the hardest part for me was finding a TOP LID THAT FITS!!! X___X.
 

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I would go the route with replacing the lost fish. Give it a week or so, then start monitoring nitrite and ammonia to see how your filtration is coping. You may be able to ad more.

The more there are (within reason), the happier they will be. Happier fish are more colourful fish.

I'd rather not get into the stocking numbers I run, but it is a fulltime gig for me.
Doing high stock is one thing, doing high stock with growing fish, is twice the work, or 3 times the time if you are too lazy.
 

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Yeah as you noticed, the schooling is much more enjoyable for you and the fish when kept in larger schools, so it would be nice to get more gold Pristellas.

But just to mention, rasboras are a nice, peaceful and colorful fish that occupy the top water column. Very active and tight schoolers as well. I myself prefer the narrower bodied Espei (favorite) or Hengeli rasboras, but the Heteromorpha are still a nice fish.

Hatchetfish occupy the water surface (recommended to feed floating foods), but don't really offer much in way of color, but do have a nice silver shimmer. They are natural jumpers though so keep that in mind. Not too active though (besides eating time!).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Harchetfish are cool, but not for my tank. They are also on the fragile side, right?

Besides the harlequin rasboras, I haven't seen other rasboras available, either. All the cooler fish are only available buying online = /.

I know there are harlequin rasboras available where I live. But I don't understand what's wrong with them. Every time I see them available and look at them, they are bloated. Like, really bloated and always swimming at the top of the surface as if they don't have enough air.

They always look so pale, and I know that many fish looks pale in the beginning and later gets better once it's get used to a new environment, but it's the bloating part that never made me decide to get them...
 

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I know there are harlequin rasboras available where I live. But I don't understand what's wrong with them. Every time I see them available and look at them, they are bloated. Like, really bloated and always swimming at the top of the surface as if they don't have enough air.

They always look so pale, and I know that many fish looks pale in the beginning and later gets better once it's get used to a new environment, but it's the bloating part that never made me decide to get them...
Sounds like those ones are very sick. Watch some videos of rasboras and you will see what they are supposed to look and act like. They can get full bellies though from eating or being pregnant :)

Whoa, what kind of fish is that?
That's a Black Darter Tetra (Poecilocharax weitzmani)
 
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