Danios Killing My Rainbows?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ajgravedigger13, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    I'm new here and still learning the ropes of fish keeping. I had 6 Madagascar rainbowfish and 8 giant Danios with 3 pearl danios. I was told they would be a great species to mix but I've been seeing them get attacked. My water is fine I had that tested but I do know I need one more filter for both species but I don't want to spend the money on it yet. Are giant danios semi aggressive? I do know Madagascar rainbowfish are a peaceful fish and are easily pushed around. Is this what's happening? I loved my Madagascar rainbowfish but they're being killed off and there's not much I can do. Are danios best left in a semi aggressive and/or species only tank? What species can I put with danios if I can't put rainbowfish? Oh and it's a 55 gal with two air stoned and plenty of places to hide
  2. Ed204Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there,
    Sounds like your fish are establishing a pecking order. It's pretty much like a gang war, this is when one of the groups of fish decide that the tank isn't big enough for the both of them. Even though that the tank is of a decent size aggression will still occur.

    In your case, I wouldn't add more schooling fish to the mix because that would just make it worse. What else do you have in the 55 gal?
  3. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    Just to rule out water quality issues, can you list your exact water parameters? pH, temp, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates

    I ask, because sick or weak fish are often targeted by others and bullied or killed. If the less hardy fish are weakened by water quality, that might explain why they're dying.
  4. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    That was everything in my tank except for a couple cichlid rocks and a castle. I don't have an exact results but petco said that it's perfect and that I'm probably not feeding them enough so the danios and bored and are literally eating my rainbows. The pecking order makes sense but what else can I add if my danios are just going to eat them?
  5. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Don't listen to the employees at Petco :( Most don't know what they're doing, and will tell you your water is perfect even if you have ammonia and/or nitrites (which means that it's not perfect, and harmful to your fish). I would invest in your own liquid test kit - it's an essential piece of equipment for fishkeeping.

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

    The danios aren't eating your rainbows because they're hungry - fish don't need as much food as most people think. They're likely bulling them either because the rainbows are weak or the danios are stressed.

    Which of the danios are doing it? Pearl danios should be in a larger group, but you don't have room for that. I'd personally rehome those, get your tank cycled if it isn't already, and then get more rainbows and giant danios. The rainbows should eventually get larger than the danios.
  6. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    I'm cycled I know about that. I was told pearls will school with giant danios and I'm not too sure if it's just one danio or if it's the whole school.
  7. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    The pearls won't school properly with the giant danios. They need to be in groups of 6+ of their own species.

    And how do you know you're cycled if you don't know the water parameters? How did you cycle the tank?
  8. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    I used one of those bacteria in a bottle to do a fishless cycle
  9. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Did you add an ammonia source? How did you check your progress through cycling? How long did you cycle it before adding fish?
  10. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    It was last winter. All I did was follow the instructions on the bottle and had my water tested by petco at the beginning of the week and at the end

    Just a little update this morning two more were killed. All my rainbowfish are now gone. But nobody answered my question are danios semi aggressive?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  11. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Danios can be semi-aggressive, particularly with long finned or weak fish.

    And it sounds like you didn't cycle your tank correctly. Petco employees usually don't know what they're talking about. If you didn't add an ammonia source, your tank didn't cycle. If the tank didn't cycle, your more sensitive rainbowfish could be negatively affected by ammonia and/or nitrites, which would make them targets for aggression by the more hardy danios.
  12. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    Ok I see. Rainbowfish seem like they're harder to care for anyway but what can I add with my danios now at this point

    This was supposed to cycle it[​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  13. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Since you just have the danios, I'd finish cycling the tank (get your own liquid test kit - a lot of members here use the API freshwater master kit, cheaper through Amazon or Ebay than pet stores). After you cycle the tank, you add add more pearl danios and more giant danios (and once your cycle catches up, you can add different species as well, like a bottom dwelling schooler and a few centerpiece fish). We can help recommend stocking options if you want.

    Even with a bacterial starter, if you didn't add ammonia, the bacteria died.
  14. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    Yes please and did you see the picture I replied with
  15. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I did. The last line of my reply was directed at that :(

    What about something like this for your 55 gal?

    12x Pearl danio
    10x Giant danio
    1x Rainbow cichlid
    2x Keyhole cichlids
    15x Panda cories
  16. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    That won't over stock it? I did want to switch from a boring peaceful tank to you know a slightly more sophisticated tank. Eventually it's going to go to a natural look. But chichlids and/or gouramis would be what I want as my centerpiece fish
  17. JGombs99Well Known MemberMember

    I've got to weigh in on this one. ajgravedigger13, reading through your thread, especially considering your dialogue with TexasDomer, I can't help but think of my own struggles through fishkeeping, and my own dialogues with TexasDomer. Listen to her, bro! She's good! I can tell you that TexasDomer is the queen of lending advice that you may not want to hear, but you need to (at least this was my experience).

    For months, I tried to fight her advice, thinking I knew better (even though I was seeking HER advice!). I thought her stocking plans were going to overstock my tank (just like you asked), and went lighter on all numbers she suggested. I wasn't happy with my tank because it looked empty. About a month, maybe two months ago, I began to follow her (and a few others') advice more closely, and I've been working toward a very similar stocking to what has been suggested to me for close to a year. Guess what? This past month, my tank has looked the best it ever has!

    I'm still too much of a beginner to suggest stocking plans. But, as a fellow 55 gallon aquarist who prefers a tank with cichlid centerpiece(s) with large schooling fish, be sure to follow her advice closely, provided you like the fish she's suggesting. In the end, two schools around a few of the more peaceful, smaller cichlids will look gorgeous! Just make sure that you ARE indeed cycled first. If you like Petco (as it seems you do), you can get the API master Test Kit there for right around $30, which is far less than you'll spend on buying fish for an uncycled aquarium. But, the real key in all of my advice is...DO NOT be like me, and DO NOT fight the advice of TexasDomer!
  18. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    Ok thanks I appreciate that. Any advice I'll be willing to take. But regardless of how I cycled it shouldn't it be cycled by now this far along?

    Even if I go like a natural look and add plants that still won't over stock? I'm not disagreeing with you just learning cause this whole 1 inch of fish per gallon leaves me like 10 fish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  19. JGombs99Well Known MemberMember

    From my knowledge (but I could be wrong), no. You need the kit to get exact levels to determine if you're cycled or not.

    I'm not knowledge enough to speak to being overstocked or not (but TexasDomer won't mislead you), the 1" rule never works unless you have very small, thin fish.
  20. ajgravedigger13Valued MemberMember

    Ok thanks guess next paycheck I'll fork out the money on a test kit. Does anyone know if a "real" aquarium light can help ease stress on fish? I just leave my lamp on during work