Help One of my 6 new Black Skirt Tetras is bullying others.

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
Okay, so I have a 20 gallon that has 6 Khuli Loaches, a bunch of different shrimps (red cherries, yellow cherries, Snow Balls), and 3 assassin snails I got to get rid of Bladder Snails.

I added 6 Black Skirt Tetras (1 glo-pink, 1 glo-purple, 1 glo-blue, 1 glo-yellow, 1 glo-green, and a regular non-glow "black" Black Skirt).

Plan was to add a pair or trio of Honey Gourami in a week or two. Tank is heavily planted, but lot a free swimming space as well, lot of hidings.

Problem is, the Purple Tetra decided the middle of the aquarium was his territory, and chases any other tetra that goes "near" the middle. I put apostrophes on "near" because he actually only allow them when they're longing the tank glasses. As soon they move closer he chases them. All others have no problems hanging out together, no chasing between them all.

I know they're establishing a pecking order, but I also read recently that with Black Tetras, this usually never stops. So even though I read it's normal behavior, I can't help but feel bad for the others, as they don't have access to the aquarium besides the extremities, longing the walls.

I wondering if I could move him in my other tank.

Other tank is room temperature, but my water at room temperature is around 74 degrees. I have three goldfish there and 5 bloodfins. I know bloodfins are not coldwater fishes, but my room temperature overlaps with most subtropical fishes. I also know bloodfins should be in school of 6 or more, but I had 8 at first but 3 died on their first day. So far, the 5 remaining ones hand out with the goldfishes in harmony and there is no chasing.

My goldfish are still relatively small, one is 1 inch, the other 1.5, and the other 2 inches. I know they will outgrow the bloodfins and will eventually try to eat them, but the goldfishes are there until they get too big, then I have a friend with a few ponds that will take them. So I keep them only while their tankmates cant fit in their mouths.

So you guys see me coming right here. If the purple tetra does not stop bullying his tetra-buddies, could he be put alone with the goldfish and bloodfins ?

I know he's supposed to be schooling, but on the other hand he does not like his friends and prefers to stay in the middle of the aquarium in the territory he claimed, while the others hang all together. So since he does not like tetras, maybe he'll be happier in a bigger aquarium all by himself with no tetras ? (he never cared about khulis or shrimps)

I know the temperature would be okay for him, the PH is the same too. Tank is also bigger (40 gallon). I know it'd technically be overstocked with Goldfishes, but they're small and will leave when they get too big for the tank, so far they still look very small in the tank.

1. So, even though he does not seem to like his tetra friends, will he still suffer from being the only tetra ?
2. Will my bloodfins team up on him ? So far they never touched my GFs.
3. Will he chase the bloodfins or Goldfishes ?
4. Will another tetras become the bully once I get rid of the "Alpha" in the school ? Even though they all like each others right now ?

I know I could reduce aggression by getting more than 6 tetras, but with my khulis and the upcoming Honey Gouramis, I'm affraid I would have to cancel having gouramis in the tank if I up the tetras to 10 or 12, and I would really like to have them.

My other option would be to try to return the purple Tetra to the LFS and get a new one.

PS: I added the Tetras about 3-4 days ago. I know it's still early and they might be just establishing hierarchy, but from what I read a lot of users said this been going for years with their BST.

Any suggestions ?
 

julien0101

New Member
Member
Messages
30
Reaction score
4
Its usually uncommon for tetras to be that territorial. Moving a single tetra to another tank certainly would not solve the problem as it would become even more aggressive and may get ill or die from stress. I would suggest you to find out the cause for aggression
 

julien0101

New Member
Member
Messages
30
Reaction score
4
or maybe you just got a really mean one..

check the water parameters

if the situation gets worse, maybe return it and get a new one

your stocking levels would be getting high if you had 6 khuli loaches, 6 tetras, and 3 honey gouramis
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
I might not be able to find the thread right now, but I've found a bunch of different ones where people tend to agree that Black Skirts keep chasing each others, and are semi-aggressive and even that some people decided to get rid of their BST and swore to never get ones again.

I'm not sure if these were on this forum or on different sites, but I read a lot of different posters claming this and was surprised to read this for the first time today. As what I read before went in your way, that BST were peaceful.

I'm not saying you're wrong though, as I'm new to BST, I'm just explaining why I said that in my original message.

If I want to find the cause of the aggression, what should I check for first ? And do you have any idea why this specific one is the only one acting as a bully, like the 5 others seem to want to be friend (even the black one)
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
Sorry I only had your first reply when I replied myself.

Ammonia and Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are below 5. Temp is 78, pH is a little high for them (7.8) but could it affect only one of them while the others are okay ?

As for the stocking, I don't currently have the gouramis, so right now it's only 6 small khulis and 6 tetras. Could they feel overcrowded already ?

And if he's only a mean one and I replace it for another one, do you think lowering the Honey Gouramis to 2 would be better or still too crowded ? I had a multi pages discussion thread in the stocking section of this forum a few weeks ago and that seemed to be the amount most people suggested me (I even been suggested 4 gouramis and 8 Khulis with the tetras).

I don't know what to think anymore lol
 

julien0101

New Member
Member
Messages
30
Reaction score
4
The parameters are good, and I doubt the ph would make it mean. You could exchange it for a peaceful one.

4 honeys are too much as they need a planted tank but also open spaes.

Honey gouramis are a relatively docile species and fast moving fish may annoy them.

If you have female gouramis to choose, I would recommend them over males. 2 males would sometimes fight. Maybe 2 females?

Better to understock than overstock
 

andy305mia

Well Known
Member
Messages
529
Reaction score
345
Location
Miami Florida
Experience
5 to 10 years
Up your school, should help. If not, moving the trouble maker is what I would do but only temporary or exchange it for another one.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
julien0101 said:
The parameters are good, and I doubt the ph would make it mean. You could exchange it for a peaceful one.

4 honeys are too much as they need a planted tank but also open spaes.

Honey gouramis are a relatively docile species and fast moving fish may annoy them.

If you have female gouramis to choose, I would recommend them over males. 2 males would sometimes fight. Maybe 2 females?

Better to understock than overstock
Thanks for the reply.

My tank is heavily planted, but also has some open space. I might say it's a little bit more planted than open though.

I read that HG prefered heavily planted while BST prefered open area. Maybe there are too many plants for the BST and that's why this one is acting weird ?

I'm open to trim down a bunch of plants, but this would also remove a bunch of hiding spaces.

My BST are indeed very fast (well most of them – both my green and blue ones are very very calm) do you think I should replace them all for a slower specie better suited for the HG instead of replacing only the mean one ?

My girlfriend and I loved the fact that we could go with different colors in the same school with their glo alternative, so maybe Glo-Zebra-Danios would be better ? However I've read less about them so I'm not sure how it would go as they might be fast swimmers too, or chasers, or nippers.

I must say I still prefer the BST over the Zebra Danios though. If Boliviam Ram or Apistos could somewhat live with my HG and Khulis they'd be my second choices. But it seemed complicated with my stocking plans while I last discussed them here but I don't remember what was the deciding point that got me say no to those.

Maybe I'll just replace the mean Tetras and get only two HG. I knew from the start that 2 males was a no-no, but could a male and a female be okay instead of 2 females ? Females are grayer and if I would like if I'd be able to have at least one that is yellow.

andy305mia said:
Up your school, should help. If not, moving the trouble maker is what I would do but only temporary or exchange it for another one.
Okay so if I move it in my goldfish-bloodfin tank, it could be okay while I monitor what happens but could not work on the longrun ?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
Okay guys, I got a other idea.

Let's say I move the 6 tetras to my GF/ Bloodfins tank. They would have double the space so maybe the purple one would choose a smaller territory to claim and leave others alone. Since they don't seem to mind other fishes, they'd probably leave the BF and GF alone. Then, once the GF get big enough to eat the BF, I move them out and I have BST/Bloodfin tank who might work.

Om the other tank, with only 6 khulis and no tetras, I could have my Gouramis (and maybe up them from 2 to 3 or maybe 4, and then find a school of calmer fishes better suoted than the BST - or maybe a pair/trio of Rams and/or a pair or Apistos (or both) ...or maybe a female betta or two if they don't mind the long antenna looming fins ?

Arf, they are so many fishes I want with so few little tanks (20 and 40, and a 5 with a betta), I don't know anymore which ones to get and where to put them :'(
 

andy305mia

Well Known
Member
Messages
529
Reaction score
345
Location
Miami Florida
Experience
5 to 10 years
OuiBonjour said:
Thanks for the reply.

My tank is heavily planted, but also has some open space. I might say it's a little bit more planted than open though.

I read that HG prefered heavily planted while BST prefered open area. Maybe there are too many plants for the BST and that's why this one is acting weird ?

I'm open to trim down a bunch of plants, but this would also remove a bunch of hiding spaces.

My BST are indeed very fast (well most of them – both my green and blue ones are very very calm) do you think I should replace them all for a slower specie better suited for the HG instead of replacing only the mean one ?

My girlfriend and I loved the fact that we could go with different colors in the same school with their glo alternative, so maybe Glo-Zebra-Danios would be better ? However I've read less about them so I'm not sure how it would go as they might be fast swimmers too, or chasers, or nippers.

I must say I still prefer the BST over the Zebra Danios though. If Boliviam Ram or Apistos could somewhat live with my HG and Khulis they'd be my second choices. But it seemed complicated with my stocking plans while I last discussed them here but I don't remember what was the deciding point that got me say no to those.

Maybe I'll just replace the mean Tetras and get only two HG. I knew from the start that 2 males was a no-no, but could a male and a female be okay instead of 2 females ? Females are grayer and if I would like if I'd be able to have at least one that is yellow.



Okay so if I move it in my goldfish-bloodfin tank, it could be okay while I monitor what happens but could not work on the longrun ?
Could be a problem with your bloodfin, I would just exchange it. Bloodfin sounds like a good combo with goldfish. I am assuming you have fancy goldfish correct? because the regular goldfish like comets get huge and will eat them possibly. Temps wise you're fine, other than size as in possible eating your fish watch your ammonia levels, goldfish produce a lot of waste. I have kept fancy goldfish in community tanks before no problem. I have 2 ranchu and have kept them with neon tetra and everything was fine. They are temp compatible, I believe fancys are ok with warmer temps but let me say this........both my neons and fancys noticeably did beter in cooler temps...low 70s high 60s. Neons colors really pop in cooler temps from my experience. Cooler temps are optimal and what you should be shooting for, if you can't cool your water then you probably shouldn't get cold water fish, just my 2 cents (says the guy with 2 goldfish in Miami lol) They will eat more and not live as long but it doesn't mean they won't be "happy" definitely have an airstone to help with o2 levels and try to keep it under 76 degrees even if it means floating an ice bag like have to do sometimes. Sorry I went off on a tangent about your GF
 

Cowardlyslimeball

Active Member
Member
Messages
52
Reaction score
31
Location
Montana
Experience
1 year
OuiBonjour said:
Okay, so I have a 20 gallon that has 6 Khuli Loaches, a bunch of different shrimps (red cherries, yellow cherries, Snow Balls), and 3 assassin snails I got to get rid of Bladder Snails.

I added 6 Black Skirt Tetras (1 glo-pink, 1 glo-purple, 1 glo-blue, 1 glo-yellow, 1 glo-green, and a regular non-glow "black" Black Skirt).

Plan was to add a pair or trio of Honey Gourami in a week or two. Tank is heavily planted, but lot a free swimming space as well, lot of hidings.

Problem is, the Purple Tetra decided the middle of the aquarium was his territory, and chases any other tetra that goes "near" the middle. I put apostrophes on "near" because he actually only allow them when they're longing the tank glasses. As soon they move closer he chases them. All others have no problems hanging out together, no chasing between them all.

I know they're establishing a pecking order, but I also read recently that with Black Tetras, this usually never stops. So even though I read it's normal behavior, I can't help but feel bad for the others, as they don't have access to the aquarium besides the extremities, longing the walls.

I wondering if I could move him in my other tank.

Other tank is room temperature, but my water at room temperature is around 74 degrees. I have three goldfish there and 5 bloodfins. I know bloodfins are not coldwater fishes, but my room temperature overlaps with most subtropical fishes. I also know bloodfins should be in school of 6 or more, but I had 8 at first but 3 died on their first day. So far, the 5 remaining ones hand out with the goldfishes in harmony and there is no chasing.

My goldfish are still relatively small, one is 1 inch, the other 1.5, and the other 2 inches. I know they will outgrow the bloodfins and will eventually try to eat them, but the goldfishes are there until they get too big, then I have a friend with a few ponds that will take them. So I keep them only while their tankmates cant fit in their mouths.

So you guys see me coming right here. If the purple tetra does not stop bullying his tetra-buddies, could he be put alone with the goldfish and bloodfins ?

I know he's supposed to be schooling, but on the other hand he does not like his friends and prefers to stay in the middle of the aquarium in the territory he claimed, while the others hang all together. So since he does not like tetras, maybe he'll be happier in a bigger aquarium all by himself with no tetras ? (he never cared about khulis or shrimps)

I know the temperature would be okay for him, the PH is the same too. Tank is also bigger (40 gallon). I know it'd technically be overstocked with Goldfishes, but they're small and will leave when they get too big for the tank, so far they still look very small in the tank.

1. So, even though he does not seem to like his tetra friends, will he still suffer from being the only tetra ?
2. Will my bloodfins team up on him ? So far they never touched my GFs.
3. Will he chase the bloodfins or Goldfishes ?
4. Will another tetras become the bully once I get rid of the "Alpha" in the school ? Even though they all like each others right now ?

I know I could reduce aggression by getting more than 6 tetras, but with my khulis and the upcoming Honey Gouramis, I'm affraid I would have to cancel having gouramis in the tank if I up the tetras to 10 or 12, and I would really like to have them.

My other option would be to try to return the purple Tetra to the LFS and get a new one.

PS: I added the Tetras about 3-4 days ago. I know it's still early and they might be just establishing hierarchy, but from what I read a lot of users said this been going for years with their BST.

Any suggestions ?
I used to have 3 blackskirt tetras, but 2 of them died in the first week I had them. I've had the tank for over a year now, and the tetra is still perfectly healthy, so I think it could be ok if you moved him to the other tank..
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
andy305mia said:
Could be a problem with your bloodfin, I would just exchange it. Bloodfin sounds like a good combo with goldfish. I am assuming you have fancy goldfish correct? because the regular goldfish like comets get huge and will eat them possibly. Temps wise you're fine, other than size as in possible eating your fish watch your ammonia levels, goldfish produce a lot of waste. I have kept fancy goldfish in community tanks before no problem. I have 2 ranchu and have kept them with neon tetra and everything was fine. They are temp compatible, I believe fancys are ok with warmer temps but let me say this........both my neons and fancys noticeably did beter in cooler temps...low 70s high 60s. Neons colors really pop in cooler temps from my experience. Cooler temps are optimal and what you should be shooting for, if you can't cool your water then you probably shouldn't get cold water fish, just my 2 cents (says the guy with 2 goldfish in Miami lol) They will eat more and not live as long but it doesn't mean they won't be "happy" definitely have an airstone to help with o2 levels and try to keep it under 76 degrees even if it means floating an ice bag like have to do sometimes. Sorry I went off on a tangent about your GF
Don't worry about going off the tangent with the GFs, I love talking about them too :p

In fact my 3 goldfish are either commons or comets. But they're still small and young : about 1, 1.5 and 2 inches long only. Currently they're too small to see bloodfins as potential food, but I know this time will come soon. When this will happen, I will move them to a friend's pond, but I still hope to have a few more months with them before it happens !

The GF temp is usually around 74 degrees. It only gets a little higher during severe heatwave, but since I have AC in the next room, it reaches around 76. It got to 78 once and I've put a bunch of ice cubes in ziploc bags.

I know they're messy though haha However, so far I'm lucky with the parameters as Ammonia and Nitrites are always at zero, and I keep my Nitrates between 0 and 5.

Around 74 degrees, my GF have nice orange color and my bloodfins' fins are really red. Maybe only their dorsal fin is more gray than red. Maybe cooler temp would help. Or getting 3 more to bring them back to 8. However, they behave super nice with the GF, I'm afraid to affect the balance between them if I change anything.

Speaking of which, I decided not to move the mean-tetras in that tank. And I cancelled the plan of having 2-3 Honey Gouramis in the Tetra tank. Instead I will increase the school of Black Skirts and keep it only as a Khuli/Tetras/Shrimps tank.

New question (haha) : Considering I have 6 Khuli Loaches and 6 Black Skirt Tetras, and considering I will not add other species, how many more Black Skirt Tetras could I add before I get too overcrowded ? Or how many total ?
 

Megaanemp

Well Known
Member
Messages
645
Reaction score
223
Location
Canada
Experience
Just started
I think adding more skirt tetras would help a lot. It will spread out aggression.
 

andy305mia

Well Known
Member
Messages
529
Reaction score
345
Location
Miami Florida
Experience
5 to 10 years
OuiBonjour said:
Don't worry about going off the tangent with the GFs, I love talking about them too :p

In fact my 3 goldfish are either commons or comets. But they're still small and young : about 1, 1.5 and 2 inches long only. Currently they're too small to see bloodfins as potential food, but I know this time will come soon. When this will happen, I will move them to a friend's pond, but I still hope to have a few more months with them before it happens !

The GF temp is usually around 74 degrees. It only gets a little higher during severe heatwave, but since I have AC in the next room, it reaches around 76. It got to 78 once and I've put a bunch of ice cubes in ziploc bags.

I know they're messy though haha However, so far I'm lucky with the parameters as Ammonia and Nitrites are always at zero, and I keep my Nitrates between 0 and 5.

Around 74 degrees, my GF have nice orange color and my bloodfins' fins are really red. Maybe only their dorsal fin is more gray than red. Maybe cooler temp would help. Or getting 3 more to bring them back to 8. However, they behave super nice with the GF, I'm afraid to affect the balance between them if I change anything.

Speaking of which, I decided not to move the mean-tetras in that tank. And I cancelled the plan of having 2-3 Honey Gouramis in the Tetra tank. Instead I will increase the school of Black Skirts and keep it only as a Khuli/Tetras/Shrimps tank.

New question (haha) : Considering I have 6 Khuli Loaches and 6 Black Skirt Tetras, and considering I will not add other species, how many more Black Skirt Tetras could I add before I get too overcrowded ? Or how many total ?
Nice to hear you're moving the GF to a pond, as far as your 20 gallon goes.....you're pretty stocked....is it a 20 long or 20 high???
 

andy305mia

Well Known
Member
Messages
529
Reaction score
345
Location
Miami Florida
Experience
5 to 10 years
Skirt tetras get pretty big, I had some in a 29 gallon once and I believe you could do 10 in a 29 but in a 20 high or long I wouldn't do more than what you have already have 6. Adding more doesn't always mean they will be less aggressive. I found that not to always be true, sometimes the opposite. If you add them all at the same time then perhaps. I am no expert, but I have kept **** Tetra before and they can be nasty little fish. A friend of mine just gave his single black skirt tetra to the fish shop, he felt bad for it and didn't want more. Even among themselves, they should have plenty of plants to keep the aggression down. I don't see it enough on this forum but the way you setup a tank can make a HUGE difference. A heavily planted 20L can have less aggression than a 55g non planted aquarium with the same reasonable stocking of course. Just my opinion lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
I agree with you on the plants part. It is a 20 tall, but it is heavily planted. Lot of small plants in the front, very tall ones in the back that get up to the surface, and lot of floating plants with long roots. In fact I'm thinking I maybe have too much vegetation and should cut down a few to add more open space.

I have not seen any shrimp lately, maybe they have been eaten. And my khulis are very discreet, even though I sometimes see one or two of them flying all around the place with the Tetras.

I've read plenty of discussions over the stocking of Black Skirts in a 20T, and they're seemed to be a lot of people saying 12 was a good amount in a species only tank. Since my Khulis have a very small bioload, I thought of upping my Tetras to 8 (2 more) or maybe 9.

You think that would be too much ? I think I have plenty of hiding space, I'll add a couple of pictures below.

(sorry for the oversaturation of the colors)

thumbnail_20200702_144804 (1).jpg

thumbnail_20200702_144818.jpg
thumbnail_20200702_144845.jpg
 

andy305mia

Well Known
Member
Messages
529
Reaction score
345
Location
Miami Florida
Experience
5 to 10 years
Nice tank! It's up to you, 12 seems a bit much like I said they get big. 10 should be fine. I actually like the look of taller tanks. I love my son's 29 gallon, the nice thing about tetras is they are all over the tank. You could add a Dwarf Gourami, would be perfect would inhabit the upper part of your tank. Let me know what you decide on please I'm curious
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
OP
OuiBonjour

OuiBonjour

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
Experience
1 year
Oh nice tank! I love it depth too :eek:

My original plan was to keep 6 Tetras abd add a pair of Honey Gourami, but since there is aggression from one of my tetras I decided against getting the gouramis and instead upping the tetras amount.

12 is definetely too many, I thought the same when I read people saying this on other forums, but maybe I'd go with 8 total.

I already have a purple, a yellow, a pink, a green, a blue, and a regular black one; I think I will simply add a red one and a White Skirt Tetra to make a total of 8.

So it would be a total 6 Khuli Loaches and 8 Black Skirt Tetras. I think I will also from down the vegetation a bit too, as I believe they will need a little bit more open space too!

My girlfriend says I'm almost obsessed with testing the water almost everyday even though it has been cycled for a few months :D so I think I'll be quick to act if I see some ammonia!

So far my water has been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and between 0 and 5 nitrates, even with the Khulis for 2 weeks and the 6 tetras for a week, so it's going well!
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
206
Guests online
3,614
Total visitors
3,820

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom