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Old 05-16-2022, 06:12 AM   #1
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Can black skirt tetras be interactive?

I really don't know anything about tetras but inherited one and got a second to keep it company. They are black skirt tetras. Are these things human interactive?


The danged things will seem to stare at me. Really, they will just sit still in the water facing directly at me. If I put my finger on the glass they will follow any movement staying their faces against my finger. Is this normal behavior or is it just a matter of my hand being often in the tank working on stuff or the association of my hand being associated with food? Where I normally sit the tank is like 2 feet away. I suspect that it is a food association but, even though a bit weird, it is fun!

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Old 05-16-2022, 06:32 AM   #2
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Tetras are social fish and keeping them in small numbers can cause stress, which leads to ill health and abnormal behaviour. This can manifest in different ways for different individuals. They can get aggressive, or hide away, or not eat etc.

Ive never noticed tetras having any interaction due to my presence. They don't even associate me with food the same as bigger fish with larger brains do. What you see could be them trying to find something to interact with due to a lack of social interaction with others of their own species.

The magic number for tetras often seems to be cited as 6 for them to be comfortable. 6 is better than 4, 8 is better than 6 etc IMO.
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Old 05-16-2022, 06:46 AM   #3
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Hmmm, I'll need to think about what you say. If I had not inherited one of the things I would not even have a tetra in my tank... Nothing against them just really not something that I would think about.


I intend to have a few South American Cichlids in the tank along with a couple of rope fish. I'm afraid the tetras would just become a food source although there is plenty of cover setup. A couple could make it but a school would be subject to loss.
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Old 05-23-2022, 01:40 AM   #4
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Larger tetras can be OK with cichlids. However if you aren't interested in trying it out and giving it a school I strongly recommend rehoming it so it can have a better life. Schooling fish without a school are subject to extreme stress and often die prematurely.

I also "inherited" tetras. I got a single neon orange tetra as one of those tetras. I do not like neon tetras, and orange is my least favorite color, so I was not super pumped about having to get a school of them, but I am doing it because the welfare of my animal that is now my responsibility is more important to me than my whims for particular fish. I hope you will end up deciding the same.
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