neon tetras afraid of new fish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by moonraingirl, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    yesterday I bought 6 black tetras for my 125l tank. There already were 6 neons that i bought 2 weeks ago. I noticed that while new black tetras swim happily in the whole area, the neons are constantly hidden in one spot between the plants and they almost don't move! They didn't even swim like crazy when I fed them but kept at the bottom!
    I didn't see any aggression from the black tetras. They swim a lot but don't look like they want to kill the little ones.
    Is this normal, will they get used to other tetras or is this a serious problem? I'm very worried about that and I'm sorry for the poor little neons. :-\

  2. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    What's the temperature in your tank? Did you change it when you added the black tetras? Are the new fish black skirt tetras or black neon tetras or something else?

  3. Redshark1Well Known MemberMember

    I have experienced that my neons have been suppressed by other fish including such tiny species as Danios and White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

    I have therefore gradually changed to keep them as the main shoal, except I have to keep my eight African Three Striped Glass Catfish with them. However, as these never chase the neons and in daytime stay very near the bottom the neons seem fine with them.

    I would recommend not keeping neons with these black (skirt?) tetras as they will likely dominate the neons.

    As neons look so great in a bigger shoal why not concentrate on them. It is still quite a challenge to keep neons well on their own, but at least they look sensational.

    My neons are normally at 73F but on hot days in the summer the temp reaches 80F.

  4. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    The temperature is the same, around 24-26 degrees which is room temperature now in summer when the lights are on. I don't have thermostat on now. I did 25%water change day before i got the new fish.
    They were sold under the name black tetra. I don't know how to post a pic on the phone but here's a link  
    There are 12 plants in the tank and a hiding place (a small dark cup)
  5. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    Thank you for the advice. But it's too late now that I already have those blacks in :-/ I can't just return them to the shop because they are living creatures and not products (according to law). Now I don't know what to do with them...
    Hopefully they will get used to each other, otherwise I don't know what to do.
  6. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Those are also known as Black Skirt Tetras:)

    Can you add more plants or driftwood? Of all heights, not just tall ones. Paradoxically, the more hiding places you have the more likely you are to see your fish out and about, especially the nervous types;)
  7. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    That's a good idea, I'll try that! :)
  8. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    What Aquaphobia said about more hiding places. I currently have a tank with black skirt tetra's and another with neon tetra's. Neons are really better off by themselves or with similar sized fish, like glow light tetra's and non-aggressive species such as ottos and Cory catfish. (I'm sure there are many more than can be named.) They easily get dominated by aggressive fish, and black skirt tetra's, while not technically labeled "aggressive" are territorial and mean to their own kind in my tank. I have 8 black skirt tetra's and have literally memorized where each individual's territory is because they guard it and chase away my Serpaes if they get too close. For almost a year each one claims roughly the same territory, so there's little doubt when you added them they found their territories in your tank and pushed the neons into hiding. They can be kind of a jerk-fish, but I've never actually seen them cause any physical harm which is probably why they aren't labeled aggressive.
  9. Redshark1Well Known MemberMember

    ^^^That is good info, but the neons are likely to suffer stress from this situation and when stressed they live shorter lives and are more likely to suffer from diseases in my experience.

    It would be nicer to get rid of the black skirt tetras and to either keep just neons or preferably (for your interest) keep them with very peaceful species as suggested.

    I would suggest a Whiptail Catfish or (as I do) a Bristlenose Catfish as these are peaceful to neons, sturdy and long lived and very easy to keep (but not both as Bristlenoses are mean to Whiptails).

    Black Skirt Tetras are good sturdy tetras in my experience but too rough for neons. They unfortunately decrease in attractiveness as they mature and fade from black to grey. There is a white variety which I have not kept.
  10. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    Thank you all for the responses.
    I see I made a mistake. I assumed that all tetras are peaceful and good tankmates. I read species description and nowhere it said about this problem :-(
  11. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Those little tags at the pet store are often lacking in information or just plain wrong. If you can't find a new home for them though I'm sure you can make it a little more comfortable for your neons with some added cover. You can even make your own decor!
  12. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    It's a common mistake, really... One you'll hopefully learn from. When new aquarists go into a store they either feel obligated to buy something, or get too excited at the idea of new fish to take common-sense and logical reasoning into consideration. It's usually this form of inexperience we've all had to get ourselves passed at one point.

    The best advice I can give is go into a pet store to "browse" and never actually buy when you're looking for fish. If you see something you like leave without it and go home to research. If it meets your needs and is compatible you can go back to get the fish.

    Trust me, not using common sense and logic is how I ended up with my black skirts. Haha!
  13. moonraingirlValued MemberMember

    Thank you silister, you're so kind to me :)

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