bloodfin tetras: 3...1 bully, 2 lost color

annizoe

OK I have a 16 gallon widescreen tank. Levels are per liquid API test: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, ph 8.2 (same as Petco where I get the fish), temp a consistent 75f.

I had 2 bloodfins and they were inseparable. One got a spinal injury (I have no clue as to how this happened). He struggled for days swimming vertically, but I took him back to Petco because he was getting nipped badly by the other bloodfin. They have him in an isolation tank. Anyway, the girl there offered a new one and suggested another due to the "schooling" factor. She said there should be more but since the tank is new I should wait...add fish slowly. She is very experienced, has had aquariums for years and knows her water plants like I know my garden plants (very well.)

I know that bloodfins need larger numbers, but since my tank is cycling still (I guess it is...water levels are still the same as in startup 18 days ago) and my guppy had 13 babies I don't want to be over-stocked. I have 3 bloodfins, 1 highfin, 2 fancy guppies m/f, and an apple snail. The babies are in a breeding basket, I plan to find all but 1-2 homes.)

At first the original bloodfin (vibrant color) ignored the two new ones (and he still does sometimes) but the other two dart all over the tank. One chases the other (faded but has color) and is nipping; the one being chased has always had faded colors...practically nonexistent. They both lost their color this morning. I fed them and 30 mins later one of them (I'll call him the bully) has their color 75% back. The bully is like a sheep dog...nipping and chasing, but not hurting fins. I have read that it could be stress but nothing has changed in the last few days.

Again I have a 16 gallon tank and 6 semI adult fish. It has 8 live plants in it including 3 grasses, a mossball, java fern, a small banana plant, tall bamboo, and possibly sword (with rippled leaves). there are plenty of places to hide. It has good filtration it seems. If I add more bloodfins...how many more? I'd like to get one feature fish in the future (gourami.)

Has anyone else had their blood fins lose and regain their colors?

I am concerned.
 

annizoe

Now everybody is vibrant...can this be a night-time thing?
 

Thetanknwebie

Definitely try to increase your numbers to at least 6 tetras. When fish are stressed, their colors seem pale, they are probably just adjusting to their new environment. I would recommend Tetra Safe Start to cycle your tank. Guppies need to be in a 1 male per 2 females ratio to even the breeding between different fish.
 

Jupiter Jack

I have 6 bloodfins and I had almost the same problem. I had 3 when the tank was cycling and they had little to no color. (due to the tank not being cycled.) Over the next few weeks there color would come and go. At first there color would be bright at night and dull during the day, but now, a month and a half later, they all have color. In my experience bloodfins loosing color is really indicative of stress and/or poor water conditions. Just be patient their color should come back. It really is crazy how in a half hour these fish can go to vibrant red and then back to colorless. I have a thread where I posted a similar problem.
 

Jupiter Jack

Here ya go



Hang in there, bloodfins are hardy and they should be brightly colored soon.
 

annizoe

Oh I'm sorry about the new thread...I found a bunch with similar questions but they were all closed...didn't see yours for some reason! The water quality is perfect so it can't be that...and I used TSS when I added the first bloodfins two weeks ago and then added a few tbsp when I added a gallon of water and rinsed the filter cartridge (gently) in tank water because it was filthy. As for the color change, this happened 3 days in a row and I think it may be a light thing too...they are still vibrant...and calmer. I keep the tank partially covered at night to block out the TV light (my hubby sometimes falls asleep on the couch and I don't wake him ) and this was how they looked in the morning. I fed them all right away and now they are calmer and prettier. Sadly, my male guppy has gone into permanent hiding...I think he was being picked on too much and even got stuck behind the breeder mesh (repeatedly.) It was like he was trying to kill himself! Darned boy kept wedging himself there when I had arranged a 1/2 inch space on the other side for him to hide. Anyway, to prevent him getting stuck for the third time, I rigged the cage with a ball of filter fiber so that it no longer rests against the glass. I don't know if the male guppy will make it...he's not eating and completely hiding. The female guppy, on the other hand (believe it or not,) is schooling with the blood fins. She absolutely loves them and has completely ditched her own species! As for the babies, I planned on keeping another 2 females and maybe 1 male...will see.
 

annizoe

The bully bloodfin is attacking my male fancy tail guppy...caught him in the act and scared the blood fin away while the little male sought refuge...what to do? Ps nitrate is up to 5.0...ammonia and nitrite are 0...yikes...this is the first spike ever in 2 1/2 weeks...
 

Danjamesdixon

A Nitrate level of 5 isn't a spike - it's what it should be at constantly, or thereabouts. Is this tank actually cycled?

As mentioned, Tetras are schooling fish and will need a minimum of 6. Not only will that give them more confidence (and colour), it will also dilute any bullying problems that may be occurring.
 

annizoe

As for cycling...I think that's what I'm doing...the fish method with 8 live plants soon to be more (I love plants water and soil alike.) I had 0s for all levels (except ph) for 19 days with 6 adult fish (not all at once) a snail, and 13 guppy fry (female guppy had them last week.) This is the very first day of seeing any level other than 0. I thought it strange that I have never seen ammonia, or nitrite (not that I'm complaining!) The article said low level of Nitrate shows tank is cycled. Again since I didn't see ammonia or nitrite it took me completely by surprise. I do have to add water to it soon (this baby evaporates like crazy) and my tap is non chlorinated. The fish are active and happy and all seems well except for the poor male guppy. I reconfigured the tall plants to improve his hiding spot. It is sad...before I replaced an injured blood fin...he was very active and chased the fish around.
 

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