Serpae Tetra fin nipping and biting

  • #1
ok I went against fishless cycling basiccally cause I have a very impatient better half.. so I started with 3 serpaes to help reduce the loss... well out of all the thinking I put behind picking them I didn't know serpaes were really bad at fin biting... and that the nearest lfs is roughly 2 hours from my house... (that I have found)... aclimated the bag then put all 3 in there... they seemed ok for about a day, a little nipping but nothing bad... over the next couple days it got real bad... and one died (probably more due to stress than anything) so I figured ok.. they're not fighting anymore lets let them go for a few days... well they got to where the didn't move much so little miss impatient said "well you said there should be 6 so lets go get some more" well she talked me into it (by paying for them and a guaranteed 60 days alive from wal-mart (once again her idea) I intend to use the outa that guarantee through the cycling process) anyway one of the ones that was getting picked on a lot before the one died is nipping at all the new fish... is this normal? or should I all but let these die off and pick a less aggressive fish?
  • #2
Oh, let them all die off? No! Serpae can be fin nippers, but I would bet this has a lot to do with the stress of cycling the tank.
I started with 2 and added 2 more, they never nipped, just chased. I really enjoy mine.

How often are you changing the water? You should be changing your water daily and not adding any more fish until your tank is cycled.

Or since the fish are guaranteed, you can return them and do a fish less cycle.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
well I don't think the guarantee works for return... just if they die... but yeah i've been doing small water changes as in about a gallon every other day or so... I'll kick it up a bit and see how it goes
  • #4
Are you testing your water? If so what are the parameters?
The API master kit is very accurate, it's what most recommend here.
Good idea about the water changes.
You should be doing a 25-30% water change everyday and testing your water right before you change it. Repeat every 24 hr.
Keep track of your readings so you know where you are in the cycle.
Cycling with fish is a long process.

Good luck with your tank, I just love my serpea, they have such interesting movements.
  • #5
Hey Joe, I have also had some problems with fin nipping. I had two serpaes (my tank is really small) and was never sure if they were nipping or just chasing. It wasn't till one of them got sick (swI'm bladder I think, but hard to tell) that the nipping really started. I came home and found the poor thing's tail in tatters. I think maybe they just pick on the weak.
I'm resigned to being a one-fish family for now. Part of me, like you, wants rid of the problem child so I can get something less aggressive, but I don't have it in me to euthanise the only fish I've ever kept alive this long and know the right thing to do is to live with my ill-informed choices. When I'm ready to upgrade, I'll be getting Hannibal some friends, and hopefully that will solve the problem.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OK here is my update: after losing a total of 4 serpaes I had 3 left... It finnally finished cycling about a week ago... so we decided to get another 3 serpaes cause they started feeling more comfortable and swimming around more... also I found a little albino cory I just had to have... which I thought since it was called a catfish would be fairly calm I was pleasantly surprised to see it swimming all over the place... only hiding when it gets tired I guess...

so onto another question... if I add another bigger filter say for a 30 or 40 gallon tank filter could I possibly look forward to more fish and still be stable... I am also looking into a new air pump so I can put my drinking pirate back in the tank... the bubble wand just isn't enough for me you think it is possible to put too much air?
  • #7
HI BigJoe congratulations on getting through the cycle.

What size tank do you have?
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
its a 14 gallon... would like to upgrade but funds are growing shorter and shorter...
  • #9
I can understand that! Keep your eye on Craig's List, I always see good deals there. For the price of a new filter, you can usually find a whole set up. I recently bought a 30g, hood, lights, 2 heaters, filter, air stone, tubing, gravel nets bucket and a stand for $30.00.
I also got a free 20 gallon long...nothing with it, but how could I pass that up? lol
You can also try free cycle.

6 serpae=12" of fish
cory = 2.5"

You're about at your limit now, but you know that.
I'm sorry, I can't answer your filtration question. Hopefully someone will read this who knows about it.

I'd suggest you ask that question here:

You'll probably get more responses than under this species specific forum.

Good luck..oh, and we like pictures!
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
ok it might be a few inches over... but I now have 6 serpae tetras and 3 albino corys... as far as I can tell the tetras fin nipping stopped when I got 6 of them and I am assuming I am fully cycled (I ordered a full test kit today)

I was accually excited to see that the petsmart that I found closer to my house had some albino corys and none were dead.. so I picked the 2 most active since the one I had seemed to never stop moving... now they are all there and the one as calmed down a little... I don't use a background so I think he was seeing his reflection...

I will try to get some pictures after my next cleaning (tomorrow) because for now the brown algae is getting to spread out on the walls...

btw is brown algae harmful to the fish and is there anything that will make it go down...
  • #11
The diatom algae is a sign that is newly set up usually. it goes away in a few weeks. I am glad your tetra finally settled in, stress can do funny things to them.
  • #12
A little over stocked isn't too awfully bad, it means doing extra water changes, just keep your eye on your water parameters.
Why don't you use a background?
I can't wait to see pics!
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
honestly i'd love to say that I had a better reason but really it's just because I didn't like any of them.. and don't worry... I keep them up as a weekly thing every wed. problem is when monday rolls around my gf makes me do another... I guess it won't hurt to do it 2x per week... also i'm gonna use the inches from the pet stores and say serpae=1.5" that makes 6x1.5 = 9. 2.5x3 =7.5 so 16.5 ... heh ok... it is still a little over but oh well... maybe someone will graceously donate a bigger tank... I have been looking and noone responds on freecycle in my area (either one) and craigs list all they have is 10g... which I make offers and never get replys... maybe i'm doin it wrong.. i'm trying to talk my gf into buying me a 55 gallon and I'll probably be the only person asking how many serpae/neon/black neon/ glolights/ glowfish I can put in a 55 gallon but since they like low light and usually aren't bad jumpers I think I'll do an exterior light w the bamboo coming slightly out of the tank... Bamboo forest with south american fish anyone?
  • #14
I didn't like any of the backgrounds for my betta tank, so I used colored poster board.

I had the same problem with Craig's List, I would e-mail, call, and no one would reply. I finally got a good deal on a 30 gallon with everything included. Now if I could just get my husband to move some furniture around, I could get it going.

I'm a little overstocked as well, 12" of serpae and neons in a 10 gallon but I keep up with the water changes and they're fine.

Good luck, I hope you get the 55.
  • #15
I have watched craigslist and freecycle for tanks but found mine at a thrift store. I ended up with a 40 gallon hex with stand and light for $45 I was looking for a 20 extra tall and found 2 20's one long and one tall and the hex. I knew the hex would fit where I wanted it but it is a PITA to plant.
  • #16
I bought fish before I even have water in my tank! I bought three serpae tetras and they chase a bit, but are doing great otherwise, no fin nipping at all! Maybe I just got lucky.
  • #17
HI clair Welcome to Fish Lore

This is a pretty old post.
Whatever problems BigJoe was having, I'm sure they've been worked out by now.

Good luck with your serpae, I love mine.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Locked
  • Locked
  • Locked
Top Bottom