Serpae tetra nipping at snail

Liability

So my tank is right in the middle of a cycle, so I don't have a complete school of these fish yet. This behavior may go away once I get more, but recently I added a group of four mystery snails to my tank (You could only order them in groups of four. If anyone's wondering, I got them from Elite Inverts). One came to me missing an eye stalk already, though now I think it may be missing both, and one hasn't come out of it's shell since the first time when I added them to the tank. Anyways, one of my Serpae tetra has been pestering them occasionally, though I read somewhere that they leave snails alone. I know they're a more aggressive species, but they're also a schooling species so this strikes me as odd.

One of the tetras (I know it's the same one, because there are variations in their markings) seems to have claimed a territory around the area where the snail that it pesters the most is, and chases away any other fish that gets near it, especially the other two serpae tetras. It seems to ignore the catfish. I think this is probably why the snail is staying in it's shell, because this fish keeps nipping at it.

My question was, is this normal? And will the aggression lessen when I add more serpae tetras? The other three snails are fine. I'm not sure what they were housed with at elite inverts that they would have arrived with missing eyestalks, but other than that they seem okay. It's just the one snail that is being harassed that hasn't moved in a couple days. I know it's still alive because it was sitting partway out of it's shell yesterday, on it's back, and went back inside when I flipped it over.
 

TexasDomer

The aggression should lessen once you increase the school. Serpaes are notorious for being nippy and aggressive in too small schools.

If the tank is still cycling, why are you adding anything? You should never add live animals to a tank in the middle of cycling.
 

Liability

The aggression should lessen once you increase the school. Serpaes are notorious for being nippy and aggressive in too small schools.

If the tank is still cycling, why are you adding anything? You should never add live animals to a tank in the middle of cycling.


Doing a fish in cycle. They've been there from the beginning. I won't be adding any more until it's done. They have been fine throughout the process and i'm changing the water every other day and testing it every day. I just started getting low nitrate readings, and have begun using seachem stability. Aside from the single nippy fish, everyone is swimming actively, no clamped fins or anything, and eating well.

Thank you for your answer, though. I'm glad to know that this behavior should lesson once I bring the school up to an appropriate size.
 

TexasDomer

You said you recently added, so I assumed it was after you added the first fish and started cycling. How many Serpaes do you plan on getting? How big is the tank? What all do you have in there now?
 

Liability

Hahah I hate when I hit cancel instead of "post quick reply"
------------

The snails are what were added recently. They would have been in from the very beginning, but the store I bought my fish at didn't have any that were alive. (It was petsmart. Bad, I know, but the better stores are 30 minutes to an hour away from me and I can't drive) My tank is a 20 gallon high, and I currently have 3 serpae tetras, 2 white skirt tetras (glofish), and one emerald green cory. I was going to bring the groups up to the levels suggested by aqadvisor, but that would put my socking level at 102%, so I'm not sure what to do. Without the four snails, it was under 100%, but I had to buy them in a group of four from the site I ordered them from. I was thinking of maybe getting a second tank after this one cycles so I can seed the new tank with bacteria from this one, and moving two of the snails over and either getting a betta or some other fish. I don't know if being 2% overstocked would be that much of an issue if I did regular water changes.

Here's an aqadvisor link for what I plan to have,
 

TexasDomer

Hahah I hate when I hit cancel instead of "post quick reply"
------------

The snails are what were added recently. They would have been in from the very beginning, but the store I bought my fish at didn't have any that were alive. (It was petsmart. Bad, I know, but the better stores are 30 minutes to an hour away from me and I can't drive) My tank is a 20 gallon high, and I currently have 3 serpae tetras, 2 white skirt tetras (glofish), and one emerald green cory. I was going to bring the groups up to the levels suggested by aqadvisor, but that would put my socking level at 102%, so I'm not sure what to do. Without the four snails, it was under 100%, but I had to buy them in a group of four from the site I ordered them from. I was thinking of maybe getting a second tank after this one cycles so I can seed the new tank with bacteria from this one, and moving two of the snails over and either getting a betta or some other fish. I don't know if being 2% overstocked would be that much of an issue if I did regular water changes.

Aqadvisor isn't accurate.

So you added the snail while the tank is cycling? That's what I'm talking about, they shouldn't be added to an uncycled or cycling tank, only to a cycled tank.

If it's only a 20 gal high, I'd rehome the Serpae (or get another tank for them). They're a bit active for a 20 gal high. Once the tank fully cycles, you can increase your school of skirt tetra to 6-8. You can do glow or regular skirts.

I'd rehome the emerald green cories, and maybe stock with a smaller species of cory or kuhlI loaches (again, after cycling).

That would put you with:

6-8x Skirt Tetra
6x Smaller cory or kuhlI loach
4x Mystery snail

That stocking should be fine for a 20 gal high.
 

Liability

Aqadvisor isn't accurate.

So you added the snail while the tank is cycling? That's what I'm talking about, they shouldn't be added to an uncycled or cycling tank, only to a cycled tank.

If it's only a 20 gal high, I'd rehome the Serpae (or get another tank for them). They're a bit active for a 20 gal high. Once the tank fully cycles, you can increase your school of skirt tetra to 6-8. You can do glow or regular skirts.

I'd rehome the emerald green cories, and maybe stock with a smaller species of cory or kuhlI loaches (again, after cycling).

That would put you with:

6-8x Skirt Tetra
6x Smaller cory or kuhlI loach
4x Mystery snail

That stocking should be fine for a 20 gal high.

Everywhere i've looked said emerald green cories have a max size of three and a half inches, though. What are some smaller species? I'm not sure where I could find some KuhlI loaches, but they look really nice.

What tank size would you recommend for the serpae tetras? And would they be okay in the tank I have them in now, until I could afford something larger? I was going to get a 36 gal that came with a stand, but went with the 20 gal without a stand because it had the filter and heater already and I had a $400 budget to set my tank up with. It would take me a couple of months to be able to afford the larger one. I don't really know anyone I can rehome them to.

If I can't find the loaches, or smaller cories in any local stores, do you have any experience ordering fish online? the only experience I have with shipping live animals is my snails.
 

TexasDomer

Right, and six 3.5" fish in a tank of only 24" in length is too much. Look into C. habrosus, C. pygmaeus, C. melini, C. panda, etc.

I have ordered fish online from this website and have had a great experience:


You could get a 29 gal (Petco is having their $1/gal sale, and you can often find cheap tank stands online - I got my 29 gal double stand for under $60) and put the Serpaes and emerald cories in there? Also check Craigslist and your local fish clubs for used tank deals. I would expect you can easily find everything you need for a 29 gal setup for under $200 (even less if you take your time and shop around a bit, mixing and matching sales). Buying kits from pet stores is usually way more expensive, and be wary of people on Craigslist selling full tank setups for more than they're worth. If you're unsure, feel free to post here about it, and we can help evaluate if it's a good deal or not.
 

Liability

Right, and six 3.5" fish in a tank of only 24" in length is too much. Look into C. habrosus, C. pygmaeus, C. melini, C. panda, etc.

I have ordered fish online from this website and have had a great experience:


You could get a 29 gal (Petco is having their $1/gal sale, and you can often find cheap tank stands online - I got my 29 gal double stand for under $60) and put the Serpaes and emerald cories in there? Also check Craigslist and your local fish clubs for used tank deals. I would expect you can easily find everything you need for a 29 gal setup for under $200 (even less if you take your time and shop around a bit, mixing and matching sales). Buying kits from pet stores is usually way more expensive, and be wary of people on Craigslist selling full tank setups for more than they're worth. If you're unsure, feel free to post here about it, and we can help evaluate if it's a good deal or not.

The khulI loach page said they have a max length of 3-5 inches though, that's longer than the emerald green cory. I'll look into those other species, though, and the site you linked.

and really? I'll check petco out. I wasn't aware because the store we go to most often for my dogs and guinea pigs is petsmart. I could probably afford a larger tank now, and buy the rest of what I would need slowly instead of buying it all at once.
 

TexasDomer

The khulI loach page said they have a max length of 3-5 inches though, that's longer than the emerald green cory. I'll look into those other species, though, and the site you linked.

and really? I'll check petco out. I wasn't aware because the store we go to most often for my dogs and guinea pigs is petsmart. I could probably afford a larger tank now, and buy the rest of what I would need slowly instead of buying it all at once.

Kuhlis are longer, but they are usually less active.

Buying everything separately should definitely help bring costs down! You can shop around and buy supplies from different places to get the best deals.

Petsmart usually matches Petco's $1/gal sale anyway.
 

Liability

Kuhlis are longer, but they are usually less active.

Buying everything separately should definitely help bring costs down! You can shop around and buy supplies from different places to get the best deals.

Petsmart usually matches Petco's $1/gal sale anyway.

Awesome! Thanks!
 

chromedome52

The Coolie loaches are long and thin, and have a fraction of the body mass of the Cory. Length is an old way of measuring the fish; you have to consider the total biomass, which the stock advising sites may not take into consideration. And the only thing wrong with overpopulating slightly is that water changes have to be a bit larger and/or more frequent.

Serpae Tetras are nippy, even in schools of 6-8. You have to get to a dozen or more to reduce their interaction with other animals/species of fish. I've found that the numbers recommended as minimum for schools generally are about half of what they really should be. OTOH, I've often found that they don't stress out as much as is claimed when the groups are much smaller.

The fish you have are not likely to suffer during a fish in cycle. The snails are actually more delicate. If they don't like the tank, they are likely to try and get out. If they are harassed by the fish too much they may just close up and sit there until they drown.
 

Liability

The Coolie loaches are long and thin, and have a fraction of the body mass of the Cory. Length is an old way of measuring the fish; you have to consider the total biomass, which the stock advising sites may not take into consideration. And the only thing wrong with overpopulating slightly is that water changes have to be a bit larger and/or more frequent.

Serpae Tetras are nippy, even in schools of 6-8. You have to get to a dozen or more to reduce their interaction with other animals/species of fish. I've found that the numbers recommended as minimum for schools generally are about half of what they really should be. OTOH, I've often found that they don't stress out as much as is claimed when the groups are much smaller.

The fish you have are not likely to suffer during a fish in cycle. The snails are actually more delicate. If they don't like the tank, they are likely to try and get out. If they are harassed by the fish too much they may just close up and sit there until they drown.

The three other snails are fine and haven't tried to leave the tank (yet) I'm worried about the one, because I think it's the same one that didn't come out of it's shell for two days after I got it. I'm going to pull it out after I post this and check to see if it's still alive. The three others are currently crawling around the tank.

So would it be okay to increase the numbers of the fish I have now after the tank cycles, and keep these species until I can get a second tank set up, as long as I do larger water changes? It may not be until a couple of months from now. I don't really want to leave their groups so low, and I can't really re-home them, and don't want to get rid of them, because I do enjoy having them and plan on getting a second tank anyways.
 

chromedome52

It sounds like a good plan to me. Good Luck!
 

Liability

ajint boo

Just stucking my $.02 in...I have a 20 planted long, put in 6 serpae tetra (petsmart fish) and they immediately formed a gang. Tormented my corys to death as well as my black neons. Instead of rehoming them I added a pair of kribs and now the serpae tetra gang is much better behaved. I removed my mystery snails before they killed them as well. In my experience serpae tetras are very aggressive fish....maybe if I had a bigger tank and a bigger school they would behave better.
 

Liability

Just stucking my $.02 in...I have a 20 planted long, put in 6 serpae tetra (petsmart fish) and they immediately formed a gang. Tormented my corys to death as well as my black neons. Instead of rehoming them I added a pair of kribs and now the serpae tetra gang is much better behaved. I removed my mystery snails before they killed them as well. In my experience serpae tetras are very aggressive fish....maybe if I had a bigger tank and a bigger school they would behave better.

Mine seem to leave the other fish alone. It was just that one snail they were tormenting. I actually took it out of the tank and moved it into one of the cups my marimo moss balls came in (I didn't want it dying in the tank, and I don't currently have a quarantine tank), and sure enough when I came down to check on the fish today, the snail was dead. I'm thinking either the fish killed it, or it was dying when I got it. Hopefully after I add more, they'll still be okay with the other fish! I'll probably rearrange the tank and provide more hiding spots after it cycles, just to be on the save side.

I'm sorry your fish did that though That's terrible.
 

ajint boo

I'd bet the snail was sick when you got it and that's why the Serpae were tormenting it. My Serpae are now quite nicely behaved once I changed the dynamics in the tank. I think there is a certain amount of trial and error when setting up a tank. Even though you do the research first there is no guarantee the individual fish will get along as planned. Good luck with your additions.
 

Liability

I'd bet the snail was sick when you got it and that's why the Serpae were tormenting it. My Serpae are now quite nicely behaved once I changed the dynamics in the tank. I think there is a certain amount of trial and error when setting up a tank. Even though you do the research first there is no guarantee the individual fish will get along as planned. Good luck with your additions.

Thank you!


After looking around on the internet, and looking at my own cory, I think the store may have mis-identified my cory? The dorsal fin shape is totally different, and it's hard to tell, but I think i'm only counting 7-8 rays. The head shape also looks a lot rounder than pictures of emerald cories i'm finding online. It could be because it's still young (if it is what the store claimed it is, it's only about an inch or so long right now.)

Here's a picture and a video

(also I think it may look a bit bloated. I'm not sure what to do about that, a I doubt it would take a pea.)


IMG_1770.JPG
IMG_1771.JPG

(that is a snail moving in front of the camera)

Kuhlis are longer, but they are usually less active.

Buying everything separately should definitely help bring costs down! You can shop around and buy supplies from different places to get the best deals.

Petsmart usually matches Petco's $1/gal sale anyway.

^^^^ I was going to @ you since you seemed to know a lot about cories, but couldn't get it to work. So here I am quoting you instead.

after some googling, it looks more like a bronze cory? I think?
 

TexasDomer

I think it's a Brochis splendens. It doesn't have the right coloration for Corydoras aeneus. I'm definitely not an expert in cories though. Coradee can help!
 

alink

I think it's a Brochis splendens. It doesn't have the right coloration for Corydoras aeneus. I'm definitely not an expert in cories though. @Coradee can help!

The Brochis splendens has been reclassified to Corydoras splendens according to Coradee.
 

Coradee

That looks like C.aenus to me.
As far as the brochis reclassification, to my knowledge the jury is still out on that, hopefully one day they'll get all the cory experts together to sort all the cory family out.
 

DoubleDutch

C.Aeneus indeed to me.
Nice light colored one btw
 

Liability

That looks like C.aenus to me.
As far as the brochis reclassification, to my knowledge the jury is still out on that, hopefully one day they'll get all the cory experts together to sort all the cory family out.

C.Aeneus indeed to me.
Nice light colored one btw

I thought so! Thanks, guys Now I have to hope I can find this same exact fish when I start adding more. The tetras probably won't be a problem.
 

DoubleDutch

Aeneus is the most common Cory, so that won't be a problem.
There are different colorvariaties though.
(Emerald) green, brown/redish, albino.
 

Liability

Aeneus is the most common Cory, so that won't be a problem.
There are different colorvariaties though.
(Emerald) green, brown/redish, albino.

Even so, the petsmart I got it from only had two or three in the tank. Do I have to get the same color variety or will they school together regardless?

I did find this store that's about a half hour away from me, so I'll check there first.
(I'm not sure if we're allowed to post links on the forum. If not I will remove it)
 

DoubleDutch

I, for myself, like a group of the same variaty (though my 6 albinos are in with about 15 brown ones). They'll interact and breed though.
 

Coradee

As long as they're all aenus they'll be fine together, corys are a shoaling fish not a schooler so they'll form loose groups.
Like DoubleDutch I prefer single variety groups but the choice is yours
 

Liability

I, for myself, like a group of the same variaty (though my 6 albinos are in with about 15 brown ones). They'll interact and breed though.

As long as they're all aenus they'll be fine together, corys are a shoaling fish not a schooler so they'll form loose groups.
Like DoubleDutch I prefer single variety groups but the choice is yours

Okay! Thanks!
 

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