Tetra Schooling Behavior

JettsPapa

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Hello,

I'm a beginner with a 40-gallon breeder tank, with mostly tetras in it. I have 6 White Skirts, 6 Black Phantoms, 7 Serpaes, and 8 neons (along with one Pearl Gourami, 3 mollies, and 5 corys). Everything I've read says they should be kept in groups, but my neons are the only ones that seem to school, and even with them it's not unusual for one or two to be off by themselves.

The White Skirts especially scatter all over the tank. What's going on? Do they not stay in schools because they don't feel threatened?
 

StarGirl15

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No its normal. I have had a few different kind of tetras (Neon, cardinal, red eye, von rio, ember) and the Rummynose were the only ones that mostly stayed close together. Also the larger the number the better they will school.
 

jpm995

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Probably a good sign that the fish are secure and comfortable to go off by themselves. It's a shame as neons and cardinals look great in a large school.
 

MangoPulp

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I have 8 Candy Cane Tetras and they only school tightly when they are nervous, such as when I clean the tank or make changes to plants and such. Other than that they stay in the same general area of each other but not a tight school.
 
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JettsPapa

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Thanks for the replies. That seems to be one less thing to worry about.
 

highlander75

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My neon tetras (9 of them in a 20 gallon) will split off into sub-groups of 5 and 4. They go exploring in all of the live plants i have in the tank. This is perfectly normal and i would not worry if i were you. I've even seen 8 of my neon's grouped together with the odd one out swimming and exploring, he eventually returns to his mates. :)
 

Fljoe

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Hello,

I'm a beginner with a 40-gallon breeder tank, with mostly tetras in it. I have 6 White Skirts, 6 Black Phantoms, 7 Serpaes, and 8 neons (along with one Pearl Gourami, 3 mollies, and 5 corys). Everything I've read says they should be kept in groups, but my neons are the only ones that seem to school, and even with them it's not unusual for one or two to be off by themselves.

The White Skirts especially scatter all over the tank. What's going on? Do they not stay in schools because they don't feel threatened?
Someone else can chime in if I’m wrong, but 35 fish in a 40 gallon my be to much. I’ve got Black Mollies, and I know they get to 3-4 inches. I have 7 black neon Tetra. For the most part they stay together. But they don’t swim in a school. They hover mid tank I have 4 Glowlight Tetra and they stay together and swim together.
 

BlackSkirtTetra

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Someone else can chime in if I’m wrong, but 35 fish in a 50 gallon my be to much. I’ve got Black Mollies, and I know they get to 3-4 inches. I have 7 black neon Tetra. For the most part they stay together. But they don’t swim in a school. They hover mid tank I have 4 Glowlight Tetra and they stay together and swim together.
I think it depends on what types of fish he has, like what species of pleco. The tetras and Platies would be ok with that, but the Plecos might become stressed. We really can’t tell unless we get the maximum size of all of OP’s fish.

The 1inch/PerGallon rule only seems to apply with small schooling fish like certain Tetras.
 

Fljoe

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I think it depends on what types of fish he has, like what species of pleco. The tetras and Platies would be ok with that, but the Plecos might become stressed. We really can’t tell unless we get the maximum size of all of OP’s fish.

The 1inch/PerGallon rule only seems to apply with small schooling fish like certain Tetras.
The OP listed the fish in the tank in original post.
 
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JettsPapa

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Cories grow to different lengths so it depends on the variety of Cory the OP has.
I have 2 juliis and 3 panda corys.

I know I'm probably right on the ragged edge, but it's my understanding that surface area matters more than gallons, since that's where the oxygen is exchanged, so my 40-gallon breeder (it's 36" long and 18" wide) can safely hold more fish than one with a smaller foot print. I'm also willing to do frequent water changes if needed.
 

BlackSkirtTetra

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I have 2 juliis and 3 panda corys.

I know I'm probably right on the ragged edge, but it's my understanding that surface area matters more than gallons, since that's where the oxygen is exchanged, so my 40-gallon breeder (it's 36" long and 18" wide) can safely hold more fish than one with a smaller foot print. I'm also willing to do frequent water changes if needed.
As I understand it, it depends on the swimming style of the fish. For Tetras it doesn’t matter as much, because they will swim vertically along with the other dimensions. Cories how ever stay at the bottom a lot more and don’t venture up as much. So them having a lot of space at the bottom, is crucial to them being stress free.

Julius Cories and Pandas stay small so you should have enough space.

But on a side note, you don’t have enough Pandas for them to feel that safe. Panda Cories are a species where you have to have a minimum of 6. They may seem like they don’t care and are happy, but once you have the correct number, their attitude will Completely change. Not having the correct number leads them to have way high stress levels, and might decrease their lifespan. They are a VERY social species and I encourage you to try to get the correct number.
 

angelfishguppie

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Hello,

I'm a beginner with a 40-gallon breeder tank, with mostly tetras in it. I have 6 White Skirts, 6 Black Phantoms, 7 Serpaes, and 8 neons (along with one Pearl Gourami, 3 mollies, and 5 corys). Everything I've read says they should be kept in groups, but my neons are the only ones that seem to school, and even with them it's not unusual for one or two to be off by themselves.

The White Skirts especially scatter all over the tank. What's going on? Do they not stay in schools because they don't feel threatened?
I think it is a fine line definition but I think what consider schooling fish are really shoaling fish.

This link defines well the difference in BEHAVIORS (not necessarily TYPE of fish):

Shoaling and schooling
 
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JettsPapa

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It looks like you're right, and I did mean shoaling instead of schooling. Thank you.
 

Noroomforshoe

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If you were to restock in the future, consider keeping fewer species so that you can keep larger schools of the fish you have. the bare minimum of 6, is a very small number as far as fish schools go. and sooner or later, one or more will die and if you only had the bare minimum, you now have less then minimum. FYI, cories are very social schoolers, and thrive in schools of 6 or more per species.

Good luck with your tank, keep up with water changes and Nitrate tests because it is heavilly stocked. But should be fine if you keep up with water changes. assuming that the mollies dont breed.
 

Volpap

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Hello,

I'm a beginner with a 40-gallon breeder tank, with mostly tetras in it. I have 6 White Skirts, 6 Black Phantoms, 7 Serpaes, and 8 neons (along with one Pearl Gourami, 3 mollies, and 5 corys). Everything I've read says they should be kept in groups, but my neons are the only ones that seem to school, and even with them it's not unusual for one or two to be off by themselves.

The White Skirts especially scatter all over the tank. What's going on? Do they not stay in schools because they don't feel threatened?
Hello,

I'm a beginner with a 40-gallon breeder tank, with mostly tetras in it. I have 6 White Skirts, 6 Black Phantoms, 7 Serpaes, and 8 neons (along with one Pearl Gourami, 3 mollies, and 5 corys). Everything I've read says they should be kept in groups, but my neons are the only ones that seem to school, and even with them it's not unusual for one or two to be off by themselves.

The White Skirts especially scatter all over the tank. What's going on? Do they not stay in schools because they don't feel threatened?

My experience is that when having that many different types of tetras together, they tend to swim together. If you want a school, thin out what you have and go with one or two breeds. I’ve got 9 Cardinals and 6 Lemons in a tank and, for the most part, they stick with their own. Check with your LFS and see if they’ll let you trade some.
 
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