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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a 4 gallon cube planted tank last week, I added 5 tetras and 1 hillstream loach 3 days ago. The tetras all hide in the back of the tank.

Yesterday one was in the front all day and if any of the other tetras came out he would chace them. Today all of them are in the back.

Do I need to add a couple more tetras? Do I need more hiding places? Is the light to bright? Do they just need time to be acclimated to the tank?

My plan was to wait and then add one male beta and a couple of shrimp. But i will add more tetras if needed.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Your tank doesn't have enough space for those fish. Most tetras need at least 20g, and even the smallest need a 10g. Hillstream loaches need at least a 20g, fast current, cool water, high oxygen, and companions. If kept in a tank without proper conditions, they slowly die.

What kind of tetra?

Is the tank cycled?

You need to take the other fish back. You can keep a betta and some shrimp, and if you really want fish then microrasboras might do it. Anything else will be too cramped and will be stressed out by that- which might be why the one tetra was attacking the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. They are cardinal tetras. Most research I have done said the tank is too small but two diffent fish stores said no problem. I took their word since I just asked what kind of fish can I add.

The loach I have also read it needs a much larger tank but it seems totally fine right now.

I could bring them back but trying to catch them will be very hard I dont want to reck all the plants I just planted. Maybe if I lower the water very low i can grab them.

And the parameters of the water are all reading in a very good range. Temperature is 78.
 

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Cardinals are quite sensitive fish... I am talking like they do better having water from new environment titrated slowly in, when moving from tank to tank for example.
I can not imagine how you managed to have that many of them still alive in a newly cycling tank, after a week.
 

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The fish store lied to make you buy things. They do that. The only fish suitable for that tank are a single male betta and maybe microrasboras. The fish are not 'totally fine', they are stressed- which is why they are hiding. You need to take them back. You can re-plant everything, but you'll have a much harder time removing any disease introduced by a badly stressed and non-quarantined fish.

What are the exact parameters of the tank? You should have zero ammonia and zero nitrites. If not, your fish are probably in pain and are definitely extremely stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ammonia and nitritates all zero and ph 7. I live in NYC and the water out of the tap is like that so it is not hard to keep good water.

I really like them but I dont want to have them stressed. Plus it is boring if they hide all day.

I have read on message boards that people have kept tetras in a small aquarium with no issues. That makes me think it can be done
 

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... You can keep a betta and some shrimp, and if you really want fish then microrasboras might do it. Anything else will be too cramped and will be stressed out. ... The only fish suitable for that tank are a single male betta and maybe microrasboras. ...
Some of the smallest Labyrinths and Livebearers might work. Heterandria elegans and Dario dario come to mind.
 

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Ammonia and nitritates all zero and ph 7. I live in NYC and the water out of the tap is like that so it is not hard to keep good water.

I really like them but I dont want to have them stressed. Plus it is boring if they hide all day.

I have read on message boards that people have kept tetras in a small aquarium with no issues. That makes me think it can be done
Water out of the tap should be no ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It's the nitrogenous waste produced by the fish that create those things when the appropriate bacteria are not in place. You have to keep your water changes extremely frequent for a long time to cycle a tank that way. (Daily is what you should do).
 
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