Serpae tetra issue

EricDRubin

Ok so I had 5 serpae tetra a year ago. Since then 2 have died (several months apart... last one was 6 months ago). When they died they both showed the same symptoms in their final week(s). Now, a 3rd serpae is looking the same.
Basically they lose their vibrant dark orange color and deep black find. Their face and mouth looks, for lack of a better term.... ragged.

Is this just the fish aging and in its final days or is this a sickness? It only effects 1 serpae at a time and months pass before another falls. Just trying to figure if something is wrong or it's the natural profession of life. The fish are about a year and a half old.

I attacked photos of the last one that died (sunk on the bottom) as well as photos of the current one looking ragged. Still eating and swimming at least but every day swimming looks more exhausting.

Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20 ppm. Water temp 77.9 to 78.3 degrees.
 

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Demeter

I doubt they are dying of old age. This species is quite nippy and aggressive. I believe you may have bullying issues going on, in small groups one fish can be singled out and torn up until it finally dies. I suggest you sit back and observe the tank for an hour or so. If the ragged fish is getting chased then that may be the issue. Also, look for other odd behaviors like twitching, flashing, and rubbing on decor.
 

juniperlea

I bought three and saw nothing but brutality amongst each other and the peaceful, community inhabitants in the 75g. They say Oscars are vicious! Thankfully, I'm down to one. I moved it to the 20 gallon long community ADF/oddball/reject tank and a miracle occurred! Peace.
 

EricDRubin

They've always been territorial among each other but leave everyone else in the tank alone.

I don't have a second tank so nowhere to put them or give them too. And I'm not flushing a live fish that's just cruel. Gotta wait out the last ones but that could be another year at this rate lol
 

juniperlea

Agree re flushing ... stuck with them! You have my sympathies! My last one is quite happy with ADFs, one or two or three 'reject' fish in a 20 gallon long..... BTW, my 20 gallon long is my heart-throb tank!
 

JettsPapa

They've always been territorial among each other but leave everyone else in the tank alone.

I don't have a second tank so nowhere to put them or give them too. And I'm not flushing a live fish that's just cruel. Gotta wait out the last ones but that could be another year at this rate lol

...or get about 5 more to build up the school. If it's an aggression issue that will likely fix it.
 

EricDRubin

They have been like that since day 1. I got one serpae and he was territorial so I was told get 5 more. I did. And the bullying got worse. I've been waiting for them to die ever since and that's a year and a half later 3 still remain.
 

JettsPapa

They have been like that since day 1. I got one serpae and he was territorial so I was told get 5 more. I did. And the bullying got worse. I've been waiting for them to die ever since and that's a year and a half later 3 still remain.

I dunno. I see other people having problems with them, but they're one of my favorite fish. I've had them two different times, but never less than 7 (I don't think that's a magic number; just the way it worked out), and to date have never seen any aggression issues with them.
 

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