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Old 09-29-2015, 01:53 AM   #1
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danios and schooling

I have an 11.5 gallon tank with 8 danios. They all enjoy each other's company and zip around the tank playfully. My question is about schooling behavior, as I haven't really observed anything resembling classic schooling (i.e. synchronized swimming with all members facing and travelling the same direction) in my tank. The fish just seem to swim around randomly and either do their own thing or occasionally chase each other around. Am I missing something?

Do they need a longer tank to school?

I have a small limewood airstone in the tank which produces very fine bubbles for ambiance. Could the bubbles affect schooling?

Not concerned, as the fish seem very happy. Just curious.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:02 AM   #2
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Let's clear this up...

If a schooling fish is not schooling, then they feel comfortable enough with their environment to drift off on their own.

Fish school because it provides a sense of security, if yours are not schooling, then they do not feel threatened and are happy with their home.


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Old 09-29-2015, 02:29 AM   #3
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OK, makes sense.

So, if I see a school of tetras, actually schooling, in my friend's tank, then can I assume they are feeling stressed for some reason?

Back to my danios. A while back, I had only four, along with a male fancy guppy. The danios nipped at the poor guppy constantly, so I moved the guppy to another tank. Then I read that aggression in danios should decline if you increase their numbers. I bumped up their numbers to eight, let them get settled for a while, then reintroduced the guppy as a test. They started bullying him right away. I was under the impression that a bigger "school" would calm them down, but when I didn't see actual schooling behavior I got a little confused.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
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Danios are a fun fish to watch and very active. A lot of people will say that a 20 gallon long is a good minimum sized tank as it gives them room to do their thing (swim all over the place)...but a lot of others will say your tank is fine. I tend to fall more with the crowd that says larger foot print is better.

If they're picking on your guppy then it was a good idea to move him. Danios are super active and will want to be constantly doing something. Their aggression towards the guppy reminds me of a dog left home all day that shreds a couch or roll of paper towels. If they had additional space for swimming, perhaps they would be less likely to pick on the guppy. Just a thought.

Off topic, but have you had a chance to view your fish right around sunrise, when the first natural light starts to hit the room? This is the time of day when danios have one thing on their mind...and it is interesting to see the females scattering their eggs and all of them trying to eat them before they fall into the substrate.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thing fish View Post

Off topic, but have you had a chance to view your fish right around sunrise, when the first natural light starts to hit the room? This is the time of day when danios have one thing on their mind...and it is interesting to see the females scattering their eggs and all of them trying to eat them before they fall into the substrate.
I have yet to witness the spawning behavior, but I have found lots of tiny comma-sized fry whenever I do water changes. Since they are producing viable offspring, I take it as a good sign that they are healthy and happy.
I just feel bad when I dump them. No space or time or means to rear the young. I let them get eaten our just dump them.

I agree about tank size too. I wish I could give my fish more space to roam, but as mentioned, I just don't have the space. It was difficult enough to convince my wife too allow me to keep the guppy in another tank. Poor thing is in our basement now, out of the limelight.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:32 PM   #6
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Unless you have LOT of low level hiding spots, carpeting plants decor etc. all the fry will likely be snacked on. You can often spot the developing fry/eggs right below the substrate on the edges of the tank walls...the larger the substrate, the more eggs that will develop into fry. If you get a chance and want to see spawning behavior, watch the tank right around first light. I've had many early morning cups of coffee watching danios before heading out fishing/hunting/work. Oh and yes, spawning is a sign of happy fish. Good luck.
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