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Old 11-12-2014, 01:04 AM   #1
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Stocking: what would you do

So my planted 45 gallon aquarium has been running for..about six weeks now (fish-in cycled and a bottle of safestart, it's been very stable from the start so I think I lucked out with the bottled bacteria--at least judging by the horror stories I hear on the internet), but my 8 mostly aggressive (formerly ten--one, without apparent injury or illness died, and one was definitely killed from injuries) head an taillight tetras are still beating up on each other. The one lowest on the pecking order is definitely injured, missing scales and hiding under the driftwood, much like the last one who died. I can't figure out why they are being so aggressive to each other--my only thought is that maybe they're all (or almost all) males despite the odds of picking out 10 random fish from the LFS, and are just beating up on each other.

When I started out with these tetras, my end goal was to have them and a large group of Neons, but I'm kind of scared to add any other fish while this aggression is going on. I just rearranged plants to try to break up the sight lines a bit more, but being a young tank nothing has filled in a whole lot (though I have been pretty happy with my Anacharis, it's going gangbusters). Right now I'm just sticking in a holding pattern, hoping the H&L tetras will sort themselves out at some point, because I just can't figure out anything else to do for them.

I guess my TLDR question would be whether or not you would wait and see or just bring them all back to the LFS if possible and try something else--and while I'm at it, what else would you try?
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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Here's the injured one:




He's still hanging in there, but not that happy of a fish, for sure.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:34 PM   #3
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Describe your tank. Include full stock.
Include water parameters and maintenance schedule if possible.
Even better provide a picture of the display tank.

Tetras should be ok. I have two shoals in different tanks and they don't beat each other.

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Old 11-12-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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How bright is the lighting in your tank? How heavily planted is it?

I've never kept H&TL Tetras, but most tetras in general prefer tanks that are shaded and have ample plants, rocks, bog wood, etc.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #5
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Reentry--my 45

There's the thread with all the details. But like I said there's never been any problems with the water stability, always been 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, never let the nitrates get above the first color change on the API test kit (5, I think?). I do a 25% water change about twice a week. Quite a bit of driftwood, and it's on it's way to being heavily planted (they just need time to grow, now), with a Finnex planted+ running 2 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening. Ecocomplete substrate. Adding Flourish with the water changes and Excel every day/every other day. Currently has 8 of these tetras and 8 Panda Cories (Aqadvisor says that puts me at about 50% stocked). Feed them a variety of things, Omega One flakes, New Life .5mm pellets, the catfish get a shrimp pellet or two every couple days, and maybe once I week I put in a bit of dried tubifex worm.

Good point about the lights, didn't think about that. And I know this is backwards from the norm, but I also wonder if I'm feeding them enough, as I generally only do a couple small pinches of food that mostly gets eaten within 30 seconds.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #6
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Light tolerance seems to be dependent upon species. I have a 29 gallon (18" tall) with a single T8 bulb and my Rummys didn't even like that. I tethered some Hornwort to the top of one side of the tank that they seem to be a little more relaxed now (though they still tend to hang out in the shaded part of the tank when inactive in the mornings). I have no idea what H&TL Tetras want in terms of shade, but I think that floating plants might be worth trying. (Tetras also look cool in shaded tanks.)

It looks like you're feeding your fish a varied and healthy diet, so that's good. You might want to try feeding a little more. I typically give my fish what they can eat in 5 minutes and let the corys take care of the excess. It's easy to overfeed, but corys tend to do a good job of cleaning up.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #7
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How did you tether the hornwort? My HOB filter makes a pretty impressive current that blows floating plants all over (I tried it when I first got the Anacharis and gave up on that idea). Is there some a type of small schooling fish that doesn't mind the brighter light?
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacit Blues View Post
How did you tether the hornwort? My HOB filter makes a pretty impressive current that blows floating plants all over (I tried it when I first got the Anacharis and gave up on that idea). Is there some a type of small schooling fish that doesn't mind the brighter light?
Yep, I have an HOB as well. They definitely limit your choices when it comes to floating plants.

I tethered my Hornwort by clamping them with veggie clips and suctioning the clips to the top of the aquarium glass.

Hornwort needles will be all over the place when you first put it into the tank. But if your water isn't really hard and your temps are below 80, it should stabilize quickly. It also grows super-fast, so be prepared to do weekly pruning!

I do mostly blackwater SA fish, so I'll defer to somebody else regarding small shoaling fish that are OK with bright light. I'm sure that there are plenty of species.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:35 AM   #9
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My black neon tetras are okay with bright lighting, with some floated pennywort. Be careful, but platys or guppies would do decent with high lighting, and as much as I really prefer different fish because they are so messy, thy are extremely hardy. If you have half a dozen or so platys, the tetras would never be able to single out any one. Just be careful of their ling tails!


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Old 11-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Not much of a livebearer fan...

Yelling into the tin can from the far end of the string
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:22 PM   #11
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Huh. So I about doubled the amount of food and now they're all just chillin'. Hanging out next to each other, a little bit of tetra chasing but none of the outright aggression (or at least not very much of it). Could it really be that simple?

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Old 11-13-2014, 11:02 PM   #12
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I'm surprised as well. But if it works, roll with it.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:00 AM   #13
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I guess we'll see if it lasts...

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Old 11-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
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Hah hah! Sort of!

It's a shame you lost some fish but a lesson learned.
Nobody gets it right 100% of the time.
(I've made plenty of laughable silly mistakes)
At least this time it seems to be a simple fix and something I'm sure you will remember!

All the best for the future.
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