Question How does adding more glo-tetra reduce aggression?

maltz

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I often see the statement "adding a few more glofish tetra disperses the aggression." I have seen recommendations ranging from 5 to 8 for a relatively peaceful school size.

But this is not to say "adding a few more fish reduces aggression among the same school," which I think is a frequent concern for many posters.
Given the same amount of living space, adding more fish actually increases the chance of crossing the lines and will actually increase aggression. I suppose eventually there will be so many fish that individuals give up on establishing a territory, like those in pet shops, but normally tanks are not so overstocked.

Without overstocking, I think the best strategy to avoid in-school aggression is to have just a slightly over-sized tank for the number of fish (e.g. 5 glofish tetra in a 20+ gallon), while using obstacles to create enough safe spaces. This way, indivudals will have some swimming rooms in their respectively claimed territories without seeing intruders all the time.

Here is a statement from the Glofish website:
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"It should also be noted that our GloFish Barbs can potentially become aggressive if they are not kept in groups of five or more. This is not necessary with our GloFish Danios or GloFish Tetras; while they prefer to be in groups of five or more, they will not become aggressive in smaller numbers."

The "aggression in the officially FAQ probably means "agression towards a different species." In this sense, a sizable and peaceful school of glofish tetra or danio might actually become a killer gang!
 

MrBryan723

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It won't really do much with the tetras. They are skirt tetras and are rather passive regardless of numbers. Tiger barbs are typically semi aggressive and more so towards themselves and other species in smaller numbers. The zebra danios are kinda in between the other 2 temperaments.
 

DoubleDutch

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Think one should make a difference in shoaling fish and territorial fish. You're mixing both up. In a shoal hierarchy is the thing to solve aggresion. In a bigger shoal not only one fish is bullied to dead.

Fish that defend their territory us a complete different thing.

Also what is "agression". My black widows chase, intimidate and "fight" a lot. A lot of fish show this "dominance-game" which isn't agression as bad as it sounds
 

MacZ

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DoubleDutch said:
Think one should make a difference in shoaling fish and territorial fish. You're mixing both up. In a shoal hierarchy is the thing to solve aggresion. In a bigger shoal not only one fish is bullied to dead.

Fish that defend their territory us a complete different thing.

Also what is "agression". My black widows chase, intimidate and "fight" a lot. A lot of fish show this "dominance-game" which isn't agression as bad as it sounds
Agree. My cardinal tetras also "fight" a lot, but it's no comparison to let's say territorial cichlids like Mbuna, that literally kill each other if the fish lower in the pecking order can't flee or if two fish have about the same strengths.
 

e_watson09

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When a fish is in the proper school size they display their normal schooling behaviors when they're not they're stressed. Stressed fish will often be more aggressive and attack other fish. Proper school size means they're not as stressed and they'll nip and play with their other school mates versus other fish.
 
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maltz

maltz

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Glo/black/white skirt tetra do engage in some fights to decide territories, especially for the best spot in the tank. Then, they also chase intruders out of the claimed body of water. Attracted by the glow and the technology, many newcomers to fishkeeping have not seen serious fish aggressions, and are young enough to never seen or experienced serious bullying in schools. Naturally such "micro-aggression" of tetras in fish standard are alarming. (If a human child is chased around the campus until he hides in a locker, refusing to come out during lunch time...)

So at least we can create decent individual lockers for the bottom-ranking individuals. Blue/green/pink... lives matter.
 

DoubleDutch

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Micro-aggression (as you call it) in tetras isn't alarming. It is incomparable with human behaviour or what so ever. It is part of a fish behaviour / instict.
As said hierarchy is a different thing thab bullying or defending.
 

MrBryan723

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DoubleDutch said:
Micro-aggression (as you call it) in tetras isn't alarming. It is incomparable with human behaviour or what so ever. It is part of a fish behaviour / instict.
As said hierarchy is a different thing thab bullying or defending.
You gotta understand tho... Disney has rotted peoples brains so severely that they think fish have emotions and feelings and love their caretakers beyond the association with food...
 

MacZ

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MrBryan723 said:
You gotta understand tho... Disney has rotted peoples brains so severely that they think fish have emotions and feelings and love their caretakers beyond the association with food...
I have days when I second that opinion instantly, and I am very sure that DoubleDutch is aware of that. The thing is, as with other forums like Fishlore I might add, you almost have to crush people's dilusions (yes, I use this word here on purpose) of anthropomorphising pets (not only fish) in order to get them to a point where advice and help even reach them. This is especially hard with kids but often even adults don't get this. This is not just Disney's fault. So, yeah. Fish are not bullies and aggressive fish will never "learn a lesson" when they are taken out of a tank for a time and reintroduced to make them less aggressive.

Often humanizing animals does more harm to them than if we are at least a bit distant and see them as what they are, not what we wish them to be. This applies very much for pets. Not so much for work animals or those we breed for consumption.
 
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maltz

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What I have observed in my glo-tetra tank is that after gathering (fear, excitement), they start to "fight" - starting with light nudges, then escalating into short burst of "dogfight-like" chases with occassional physical contact. The fights, which usually last less than an hour, will break up the school into individuals dividing the tank into private spaces. Sometimes the fights will result in chipped fins or a few lost scales. These will regrow in the following days.

Once settled in territories, fish chases intruders out of the territorial boundary. The winner(s) of the day owns (or split, if there is more than one winner) the large, open water space. Others hide in the corner or behind decorations. Some will not come up even during feeding time. The territories shift over days as the conditions of individuals fluctuate.

I would love to have a group of tetra that schools often (and I still suspect that adding a few more would achieve it). It would be nice if there is no constant winners or losers over the long run. All fights are resolved relatively quickly with no or mendable damages. Not long ago I added a black skirt tetra in this tank. The "wild type" was 50% faster and meaner than its GMO counterparts, snatching most of the food and taking most of the space. He/she was returned to the pet store.

I suppose in a large tank with constant stimulations (e.g. many community fish, especially large ones), glofish will not easily settle into territories and will prefer to stay in schools to feel safe. I wonder if they are actually "happier" if each has a private safe space to chill out or daydream. Maybe I am just projecting human needs here.
 

MrBryan723

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Something relevant to take into consideration... in many animal hierarchies the weakest/mutated/diseased tend to get pushed out for the overall health of the society. General harassment by everyone against everyone is pretty par for the course, but if you notice ganging up on a particular fish, it might be case for concern and that fish should be isolated and observed.
Also m/f ratios in fish that are difficult to sex could have a substantial impact on otherwise peaceful fish.
 
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maltz

maltz

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MrBryan723 said:
but if you notice ganging up on a particular fish, it might be case for concern and that fish should be isolated and observed.
Also m/f ratios in fish that are difficult to sex could have a substantial impact on otherwise peaceful fish.
I have not seen ganging up on the weak during schooling, fortunately. Once I had a new purple tetra who was doing front flips even still in the bag. The blue tetra would ram it and this strangely corrected purple's imbalance, possibly out of shock. The others did not follow.
Later the purple was spinning like a summer fan while the school stayed away. (Avoiding disease?) I had to isolate it and eventually replaced it.
 

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