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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Which Tetra should be avoided? Which ones are a very aggressive fin Nippers, eating your plants, etc.. for example red eye tetras are these good or bad? What about serpae or columbian tetra???
 

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Which Tetra should be avoided? Which ones are a very aggressive fin Nippers, plants, etc.. for example red eye tetras are these good or bad? What about serpae or columbian tetra???
I've always belived that was an issue of not having enough in the school but I was at a store the other day and noticed this serpae tetra nipping the fin of a congo tetra 10 times his size. The little dude was a real pest and there were a whole group of them in the tank
 

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Serpae Tetras have about the worst reputation among the commonly available Tetras.
Tiger Barbs are similar.
Some other fish can be nippy, or pests with high activity levels, such as Zebra Danios and Silver Tip Tetras.

There sure can be others that have been pests for some people, and not for others. If you look up the fish in several threads you may find a range of experiences.

Definitely keeping any schooling or social fish in the proper groups and in a large enough tank can go a long way toward making them safer in a tank with mixed species. However, I would still avoid keeping these fish with long finned or slow moving fish like Angels or Gouramis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Buenos Aires are plant eaters.\\
These fish will also mangle, injure, kill smaller weaker fish. Even if they are not trying to.

If they go for food and another fish gets in its way, they might take off a piece of the fish's face.

I am very scared to buy any tetra unless I can verify that its a safe fish.

I went to Petco today and they had some Tetras for sale however I can't really verify which ones were good or not so I ended up getting some cherry barbs instead which I previously researched.

The compatibility charts lump all tetras into the same group as if they are all the same fish.

A gentle little neon tetra(which you can keep with little red cherry shrimp) is not the same as a Buenos Aires tetra that will bite the face off another fish. Yet they show up the same on a fish compatibility list.

There really need to be a better rating system with takes into account the different varieties of these fish and maybe a scale of 1 to 10. So many fish are grouped in as peaceful which can be really violent.

Thanks
 
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I have serpae and they are mellow. However, in the past I have had some that nipped a bit. It may be related to their age as they are enjoying their early golden years. I have some Black skirts and they are constantly beating on each other. They also chase the other fish if one dares swim too close to their end of the tank. They mainly bicker among themselves. Kinda, sorta looks like a mosh pit. They are also in their golden years. One female that I have is around 3 1/2 inches and she knows that she is the heavyweight. I sometimes wonder if the skirts keep the serpaes subdued.
 

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I have owned neon tetras that nip at everything in the tank, and totally tear up and eat shrimp. Oh, the Carnage! I was told they would not do this by many people who kept them with shrimp, etc. So I've come to learn that any fish is a possible suspect in nipping and killing. I started a thread about this a year or so ago, when my neons tore up ghost shrimp and nipped and rode the tail of my betta.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88-shrimp-other-invertebrates/803354-neons-kill-shrimp.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have owned neon tetras that nip at everything in the tank, and totally tear up and eat shrimp. Oh, the Carnage! I was told they would not do this by many people who kept them with shrimp, etc. So I've come to learn that any fish is a possible suspect in nipping and killing. I started a thread about this a year or so ago, when my neons tore up ghost shrimp and nipped and rode the tail of my betta.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88-shrimp-other-invertebrates/803354-neons-kill-shrimp.html
My aquarium is full of neons and they don't bother anything in the tank. The worse is that one neon would ram another neon however never touched or even look at a shrimp. The shrimp may be swimming fight in front of it or even holding on to a micro pellet which the neon eats sinking down right in front of the neon's mouth and still nothing.

Could they have been Cardinal Tetra which look identical to a neon tetra? Its technically a cousin to the Neon Tetra?

Another thing is that they should have a clear distinction about a playful nip/chase, a nip to bad that they might die of stress or a nip the face off another fish.

Some of the fish in my aquarium are playful chase another fish while others will end up killing many fish.

That is why I think a nipping scale from 1 to 10 might be something an app,website or chart might want to take into consideration.
 

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Could they have been Cardinal Tetra which look identical to a neon tetra? Its technically a cousin to the Neon Tetra?

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Definitely neons. I was surprised they could do that too. I think someone mentioned the health of the neons as a factor in aggression on my killer neon thread. The healthier, the deadlier? Just don't know, but they were nasty little buggers.
 

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Danios, tetras and barbs all have a pecking order too. Some not as bad as others but I noticed my giant danios allways had someone they would bully and beat on, they bit off the end of his tail etc.. I felt bad and removed him and put him in another tank to heal and the group found another one to take his place... Bit off another tail

:-(
Bummer

In my experience.
Peaceful tetras list; bleeding hearts, lemons, congo tetras.
Peaceful barbs; rosey, odessa

Those are just what I have kept with no issues
 

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I have bloodfin, glowlight, cardinal, and neons in with fire red shrimp...(had red cherry's before)...I count them every few days and find them all there...then one morning there will be just a red tail on the bottom, nothing else left...I suspect the tetras might be having a buffet in the middle of the night.
 

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The one tetra I think I've never seen a single bad thing about is rummy nose tetras. Mine simply school and swim back and forth the front of my 55. If another fish is in the way, the school will turn around and swim the other way. They are by no means teratorial and when eating mine are the only fish, out of neons, cherry Barb's, danios, and angels, that don't swim to the top of the tank to fight for food, they wait for the food to fall and eat that.
 

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The one tetra I think I've never seen a single bad thing about is rummy nose tetras. Mine simply school and swim back and forth the front of my 55. If another fish is in the way, the school will turn around and swim the other way. They are by no means teratorial and when eating mine are the only fish, out of neons, cherry Barb's, danios, and angels, that don't swim to the top of the tank to fight for food, they wait for the food to fall and eat that.
It's so funny, because mine do exactly what yours don't. My rummies shred the tails of bettas, chase behind them, eat from the top and bottom or anywhere there is food. They are serious fin nippers and super fast and furious. They haven't nipped at my Gourami or Angelfish however. But long finned Bettas are now short finned. I am re-homing the betta in the tank because of it. Nothing but Mountain Minnows has worked with my Bettas long term.
 

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I have redfin tetras, black phantom tetras, blue neon, and black neon tetras in my tank and none of them fin nip or eat my plants. The red fin tetras are my favorite though because as they get bigger they start looking like mini piranhas haha..


Edit: the redfin tetras seem to do play with anything but my male betta. He got his tail nipped but I have kept my female betta in there for months and she's perfectly fine with them.
 

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Herbert Axlerod wrote an interesting little book on behavior of Characins in the wild. Recall that two of the nastiest freshwater fish by reputation, the Piranha and the Tiger Fish are both Characins. They all have teeth and some of them, despite their little size are still opportunistic meat eaters.

Herbert mentions in this book swimming in Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, and some some 2"~3" species of Moenkhausia were latching onto his body hairs and trying to remove them. Rio Grande tetras also did this in a tributary of the Rio Grande in Texas.

One of the episodes of River Monsters concerned a number of human victims losing fingers and toes to some vicious mysterious fish in Northern Argentina, which turned out to be young Dorados. I've noticed years ago that my Tet von Rios have a pretty aggressive feeding frenzy that always seems to end up with fish crashing into each other and some scales coming off.
 

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I never had problems with my school of gold pristella tetras even when there were only five of them in my tank, and now I have nine. They don't bother any of my fish.

BUT! Can I mention butterfly danios? Those little fish likes to CHASE my gold pristella tetras alot! Well, not alot. But they sometimes do! I even saw one chasing one of my otocinclus, too!
 

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Three tetras I have not had problems with are rummies, neons, and cardinals. I have had rummies with a school as few as 3 and as many as 9 with no issue. Even with three they were peaceful and schooled tight.

I know these aren't tetras, but I would like to add cherry barbs and Signifer/Forktail rainbows to this list. Male cherrys can be pretty aggressive towards each other. One of my male Signifiers is terrorizing my 20 Long to the point that I might have to get rid of them. I would keep these two fish in large schools only. Say bare mimium of 12, with a strict 1 male to 2 female ratio. I am pretty sure my neon school of 6 is all male.
 
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