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Old 07-20-2017, 08:11 PM   #1
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Cherry Barbs and Neons don't really school.

Hi, I wonder if someone could pipe in and give me their opinion surrounding the behaviour of these 2 fish.
Hi have a new 45 gallon aquarium that successfully cycled and my numbers are all low end and great.
In the aquarium I got 2 powder blue dwarf gouramis 7 neon tetras, and 3 male and 3 female cherry barbs, and 2 baby albino dwarf plecos. No plans what so ever to add anything else.
I notice that my barbs and neons no longer school. They will happily swim around on their own in all levels of the tank and mix amongst themselves. The barbs dart around and chase each other it seems 24x7 but I think they are looking for a motel room so they can get it on and make baby's.
My question is, do you think the lack of schooling is caused by them not liking each other, or perhaps there is so much room and everybody seems to leave each other along, they have no fear.
Here's a pic.
Thanks for your take on it Click image for larger version

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Old 07-20-2017, 08:14 PM   #2
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Here's another better picClick image for larger version

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Old 07-20-2017, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpwallace1 View Post
Here's another better picAttachment 301738


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Old 07-20-2017, 10:36 PM   #4
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Most schooling fish that I've kept don't really exhibit schooling behavior unless you increase the size of the school. The pet store probably told you that 5 was the recommended minimum for a schooling species, but they're not really going to school the way you're hoping for until you get closer to 15-20 (the more the better).
Assuming good filtration and maintenance schedule, it seems like you have plenty of room to add more Neons and/or Cherry Barbs (Id focus on one school for now). If it were me, Id try to get the Neon school up closer to 20. Don't add them all at once though. Try 5-6 every couple weeks so that your bio-filtration can adjust to the increased load. Keep in mind that this will put a larger strain on your filtration and you'll want to do larger weekly PWCs.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:44 PM   #5
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Your tank looks amazing! And I agree with Coyne schoolers often take ~15 to make a school that stays together mostly
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:03 AM   #6
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The racing, darting and chasing your barbs are doing is normal schooling barb style. Their behavior might be causing your tetras to scatter and not school normally.
I agree with the other members that with neon tetras you need a lot of them and near perfect water conditions for them to thrive.
Nice tank. Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:27 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, for your advice and compliments. Only 12 weeks into this brand new hobby. 3 weeks of researching and 2 weeks of cycling with the gouramis until the numbers were stable and predictable , then added the plecos followed by neons and cherry barbs. 30% water changes every 4th day just to keep the numbers in check. Haven't lost a fish yet and no fighting amongst them. Different tank size I know but we are in a smaller condo so what it lacked in width, (12 inches) we gained in height (24 inches). The plants are actually a mix of fake and real, as I read these fish like the cover it brings and I couldn't wait for the real plants to fill in. The biggest challenge I'm facing is because the tank is so deep, it's hard to get the plants to really take off. They are healthy but grow very slowly. I suppose it's a light thing getting deep enough. I use the flourish plant tabs as well along with 2 36" LED's that came with the hood.
Definitely now going to follow your lead and get about 4 or 5 new neons this weekend. They look pretty cool with the black light and with the black substrate.
Again thanks everyone
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
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Psst. I got rid of my cherries. They never stopped bickering and chasing. Stressed meowt.
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:54 PM   #9
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In My 55g I had 12 neons and then did not until I added 6 more so now at a number 18 they school , My rosy minnows school and there are only 12 of them
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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Hi, still plan on adding more fish in order to get the schooling, but I've been dealing with an ICH attack, brought on by the cherry barbs that were introduced last. I caught it early, and I'm just at the point of finishing of the med treatment for the final 3 days after the last spot is gone. Took advantage of the daily 20 percent water changes by doing gravel vacuuming for the entire change. I can't believe how deep in the gravel that dirt can go.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:30 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about the Ich. Hopefully there aren't any casualties. Probably fine if you caught it early enough.
What kind of treatment did you use? I've only used the "heat" method, which can take 10-14 days depending on severity.
Have you thought about setting up a quarantine tank for the future?
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:52 PM   #12
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Cherry Barbs and Neons don't really school.

Well I initially saw about 2-4 spots on each of the cherry barbs and started to panic, but at least I saw the source. Most of the spots were on their dorsal fins. Started with the ICH X (you tube Aquarium Co-op suggestion) treatments and saw them slowly drop off in about 3-4 days. I couldn't blast the heat as I was concerned about all the fish coping with it, but I did inch it up from 78 to 82. Never lost a fish but I could tell the dwarf gouramis hated it. They were very sluggish but everybody was eating well. I'm on the tail end of the whole treatment. A vet on you tube suggested that doing the water change and meds just before lights out is best as night time is when the white spots drop off and broadcast the next contaminate of the ICH process. It's at that point the meds kill it. Definitely need to get a small part time aquarium now for quarantine and hospital purposes. Just need to find a place to put it.In addition I need to loose the deep emotional attachment to the little guys. I felt sooo sorry for them but glad the end us near
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:09 PM   #13
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Unless the fish are stressed/scared I have found it hard to get much schooling behavior from tetras in smaller tanks. I have rummynose in a 6ft tank and the only time they break apart is when the food drops in.

That being said, I agree with Coyne that a bigger group is more likely to demonstrate schooling behavior
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