Serpae tetras get a bad rap

Ozfish

After reading lots of 'anti-serpae' comments on the net, I just wanted to share how much I'm loving my new little community in my 25g. The Serpaes are so much fun to watch!!!! Sure we've had, and continue to have some nipping. And there were a few lost fins in the first couple of days as they worked out rank & file....
But now they're so active any playful!!!!! Stick to chasing each other mostly, and after 1 or 2 nips my Bolivian quickly worked out how to hold her own.

And two of my Serpaes ARE IN LOVE!!!!!
Shakey dances all day long in the branches of one of the bonzaI trees

I am curious though, lots of things I read refer to black skirts and serpaes as schooling fish - neither of mine school... ?
 

ppate1977

Serpaes are certainly schooling fish. I don't thing they have a bad name. They are pretty cool fish. They look a lot like phantom tetra to me with a different coloration.
 

claudicles

Mine school a lot. Most schooling fish tend to hang together more if they feel threatened so if your don't maybe they are happy. Mine are quite boring actually. No nipping. Best thing I can say for them is they are hardy.
 

Ozfish

Mine school a lot. Most schooling fish tend to hang together more if they feel threatened so if your don't maybe they are happy.

Mmm well there's nothing really in the tank that would go after them. Neither of the 2 types ever school together though. The only time they form a pack is feeding time, when they all go mental! The "remove any uneaten food after 1-2 mins" theory is completely unnecessary in their case, it's all gone as soon as it hits the water!

ETA: when I was researching them, most sites had comments about what bad community fish they were. And I got mixed advice from LFS in that regard too. I think that's the thing - readily available, and pretty, but not necessarily well researched or advised when being bought by novice fishkeepers who then blame the fish!
 

LyndaB

I loved my serpaes when I had them and was surprised to see them referred to on this forum as nippy. I never saw that. Mine schooled because they were in with red eye tetras which scared them a little, I think.
 

backflipfronflip

I also have 5 Serpae and 2 white skirt tetras in a 20H. They seem to get along fine, no nipping and plenty of shakey dancing.

Mine also do not school hardly ever, when I come to the tank with food they come together but otherwise they barely hang out together.

They have been an entertaining little fish that I also think get a little bit of a bad reputation, maybe because of aggression caused by schools that are to small. I know I only have 5 and not the 6 as recommended but they seem happy under the rule of the biggest one so I have never replaced the one that passed.
 

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