head & tail light tetras

tan.b

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ok, so I got some H&T tetras a while ago from my sister. they settled in fine. there's 6 of them so they can school if they want to. anyway, a couple of weeks ago they got ich....bit odd I thought, water tests were perfect, they'd had no obvious stress I could think of, so treated the ich, it went away in a few days. then a day or so after this trauma I noticed a few fins etc missing on a couple of them. so put some melafix in and it seemed that the fin rot wasn't getting worse, but it wasn't healing either. anyway I thought I was perhaps being too impatient (as I usually am!) and decided more melafix and time was all that was required.
ANYWAY.... last night I spent quite a while just watching them and I saw the most shocking thing. two of them kept sniping at each other. they'd be nose to the other ones tail circling for a while in a defensive kinda jousting pose then suddenly lash out. eventually one of them got a red sore on his side and was swimming slightly sideways. whether this is becasue of fin damage or the damage to his side I don't know. anyway this injured one then became increasingly vicious towards all the other h&t tetras. the guppies and danios were swimming between them not a care in the world oblivious to the civil war in the tank and they never bothered them (which surprised me as I thought the big guppy tails would be irrisistable to a cross fin nipper) so I turned the lights off hoping they'd behave and rest. I was tempted to catch the evil one, but I had no where for him to go but another tank with other fish, and figured if he was alone and not in a school he'd be even more vicious. ideally I think he should be in solitary confinement (fishy prison!), but that isn't an option. so.........my questions are...........is it possible then its not fin rot at all but just fin nipping damage? how can you tell? some of the fins are destroyed right to the body of the fish which I thought suggested rot as I didnt think they'd get nibbled that neatly to the edge of the body. why have they turned vicious? is this just a defensive thing cos they are weakened and like a cornered animal instinct is to protect themselves and make sure they don't become prey? - even though they are attacking the same species which would never be a threat anyway?! I don't understand them! I certainly won't get any more of these tetras >. I was horrified last night watching helplessly while they took chunks out of each other. at least with other animals you can easily separate them into separate rooms! any help, suggestions, or thoughts are most welcome as always. ??? ??? ???tan :-\ :-\ :-\

would it work putting the bad h&t tetras in the 15 gal, with the loach, then where would be best to put the cardinals and penguins? would they fit in the tank where the h&t's came from which is full of melafix, or would they be ok with the scissor tails. that tank is full of melafix and salt (that's another thread on another board!).
help!
 

PrayforMojo

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I have 8 black skirts now. I had five and noticed that one was being habituallt picked on. he was not the smallest one either but seemed to be the only ones with fin damage. I added three more and thought I had solved the problem. A day later I noticed more with fin damage. Guess I spoke too soon. Oh well. It is interesting how you say the injured one turned vicious and instead of bing weak h would be over aggressive to compensate. I think my fish may do the same. The black neons do not seem to be affected and neither does the pleco. But now by my count 4 of the 8 have fin damage. It may be the new three and the one that was bullied from before. have you tried a fin repair supplement? Do you think I would have luck with that?
It could be that the tattered fins are just bait for bullying. I think it may just be in some of their nature to be jerks. There are always jerks in every species. lol.
I would like to know how yours are doing good luck.
mojo
 
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tan.b

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forgot about this thread! thanks for replying!
I used melafix for a week which didnt make any dif and one of the tetras fins still hasnt grown back but they have stopped fighting. one of them did die in the end. he had no tail left, and looked unwell for about 2 weeks, wasn't sure if he'd make it, and he didnt. thinking back, its since he died that there's been no fighting. maybe he was the instigator and now hes gone there's no ring leader to start any trouble? my cardinals have started picking on my neon now! no damage, but my neon used to school with them, but now he's shunned to a plant pot where he lives now with no friends :'(. the cardinals don't want him in their gang anymore. just waiting for a civil war between the penguin tetras next!! : I certainly won't buy any more tetras! they are pretty, but too stressful for my liking when they start fighting!! I don't like conflict!! as you said, there;s a always a jerk!!
good luck with yours!!
tan
 

PrayforMojo

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Hey Tan. I wonder if the tetras are more sensitive to each other and water conditions than anyone suspects. It would be interesting if anyone has recorded a graph with water conditions compared to behavior. My black skirts have ceased to school. Have become very territorial over there spots in the tank and take turns chasing each other around. Would introducing a larger fish keep them in check or just unite them against the new face? I have room for twelve inches of adult fish assuming I can find my pleco a new home once he gets big. Any comments on what a good addition to this tank may be? The black skirts are definitely fin nippers.
mojo
 
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tan.b

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funny you should say that! re-aranged my fish last night (as you do!!) and moved my big rainbow fish into the tank with the tetras..so we'll see if he can restore some order!! mine have stopped schooling too! they schooled when they 1st went in the tank, but haven't schooled for a while. maybe they only school when feeling threatened/frightened...safety in numbers kinda thing! I really don't know what to suggest! I haven't caught mine fighting but as the fins are already shredded and the neon is hiding in a pot its hard to tell without installing 24hr cctv! mine have 4ft of tank to swim in and plenty of plants so there's no excuse for their bad behaviour :!!
tan
 

_Fried_Bettas_

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I thought my problem was purely because I put them in a tank that was too small. I have fighting tetra (black skirt) too. I found out that my betta got along with my platies so I put him with them and had a empty 5 gallon tank, and I bought 5 black skirts for the 5 gallon tank. It has now been about 10 days; at first they were fine but over the last few days they have been fighting. 3 of them control the main part of the tank and the other two are injured and hide back by the filter. My other tank is 10 gallon with 2 adult and two juvenile platies, a betta, albino cory, and a pleco, and a lot of live plants. Any ideas how I might move these guys around?
 
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tan.b

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LetDiceFly said:
I thought my problem was purely because I put them in a tank that was too small.  I have fighting tetra (black skirt) too.  I found out that my betta got along with my platies so I put him with them and had a empty 5 gallon tank, and I bought 5 black skirts for the 5 gallon tank.  It has now been about 10 days; at first they were fine but over the last few days they have been fighting.  3 of them control the main part of the tank and the other two are injured and hide back by the filter.  My other tank is 10 gallon with 2 adult and two juvenile platies, a betta, albino cory, and a pleco, and a lot of live plants.  Any ideas how I might move these guys around?
your last tank concerns me as the smallest pleco (bristlenose) gets to 7 inches or so, and the common plecos get massive, so he's tipping the balance of that tank to over stocked. which type of pleco do you have?

5gal betta + platties
5gal 5 tetras
10gal 2 adults 2 juv's betta cory plec

so is this what you have now?

this is tricky cos you have more fish than you space if i've interpretted this right. the tetras may fight less which more space so they could go in the 10 gal and the 4 platties takes it to fully stocked (slightly over stocked, but water changes could keep it in check) leaving the 5 gal for the betta, cory and plec. again the plec doesn't fit, but the betta and cory would do well.
so

5gal betta + platties (how many platties?)
5gal betta cory
10gal 5 tetras 2 adults 2 juv's betta cory
plec - he is spare....need another tank!

need to allow 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water. plecos are big waste producers so need more....
since the tetras are fighting and not bringing much pleasure and harmony i'd be tempted to return them. i'm not so keen on tetras anyway since mine are grumpy! and I do love plecos so would choose the plec over the tetras, just my opinion though! I'll leave you to think about it!!
sorry not to have all the answers for you!
tan
 

_Fried_Bettas_

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My 5 gallon has nothing except 5 black skirt tetras. 3 of them seem to be healthy and swim around normally, the other two get picked on, and they hide behind the plants and filter.

My 10 gallon tank has 4 platies total (2 of which are about half adult size), 1 albino cory, 1 bristle nose pleco, and 1 betta, and is heavily planted. This tank is very peaceful and the betta is happy with the platies (unlike my last one). The pleco is very small and I had the same reservations about it size, but my LFS said it would grow slowly and that they would trade it for a younger one when it grows too big.
 
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tan.b

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how long have you had the tetras? maybe they are just accertaining a pecking order and will settle down? lets hope so eh! if its any consolation mine have all stopped fighting.
 
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tan.b

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LetDiceFly said:
They have only been in there or about 10 days.  I do hope they will all start being nice. 
are they getting any better or worse or much the same? is it just one of them that a bully or all 3 or hard to tell?
 

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