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Old 05-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
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Why don't my schooling fish school?

I have several Danios. I thought they were schooling fish but they never swim together. Anyone know why?
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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I have several Danios. I thought they were schooling fish but they never swim together. Anyone know why?
based on what i found when i had the same question for my neon tetras is that they may not school if they do not feel threatened. so basically they feel extra safe. if they do start schooling then they are trying to feel secure in numbers. anyway, this is what i read. i would like to see more input on this also.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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I have several Danios. I thought they were schooling fish but they never swim together. Anyone know why?
How many danios do you have? They like to be in schools of at least 6. If you have less than that, I'd recommend you up that number.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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How many danios do you have? They like to be in schools of at least 6. If you have less than that, I'd recommend you up that number.
Yes, this is the obvious first check. I assumed the op had a large school. I had a school of 16 neon tetras when i had the same question.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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How many danios do you have? They like to be in schools of at least 6. If you have less than that, I'd recommend you up that number.
Yes. If u only have 5 or less, I recommend getting more. Also, if u have a tank with no other fish in it, they feel like they have no predators and just swim around carefree. Even adding other community fish will get them to school a bit more.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Im sure there is some merit to the "feeling threatened" notion, but when I moved my Harlequin Rasboras from the QT and into the main tank, they did not school for the first few days. Instead they hid/slowly explored as individuals. I would say, in this instance, that it wasnt until they were a little more comfortable with their surroundings that they began schooling. And even now, when I walk by the tank its more likely to break up the school as they dive for cover. My Serpae tetras are used to me by now and they just think its feeding time when I walk by.

Are your danios new to your tank or have you had them a while (more than a couple weeks)?
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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Im sure there is some merit to the "feeling threatened" notion, but when I moved my Harlequin Rasboras from the QT and into the main tank, they did not school for the first few days. Instead they hid/slowly explored as individuals. I would say, in this instance, that it wasnt until they were a little more comfortable with their surroundings that they began schooling. And even now, when I walk by the tank its more likely to break up the school as they dive for cover. My Serpae tetras are used to me by now and they just think its feeding time when I walk by.

Are your danios new to your tank or have you had them a while (more than a couple weeks)?
Yes, I'd say mine, too, school and then carry on on their own, school, break away, etc. It'd be good to give some thought to the questions asked about how many you have and, as Coyne says, how long they've been in the tank.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
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I have had 5 danios in my tank for about 2 and a half months and they have never schooled. I had six but one passed
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:41 AM   #9
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I think there's some difference here between schooling fish and shoaling fish. Schooling fish don't spend that much time together in my experience. Don't know if what I've said is utter crap but that's my theory.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:50 AM   #10
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I have several Danios. I thought they were schooling fish but they never swim together. Anyone know why?


They probably won't unless your tank is huge I have 4 and occasionally they will school for a short period of time.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:29 AM   #11
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I think there's some difference here between schooling fish and shoaling fish. Schooling fish don't spend that much time together in my experience. Don't know if what I've said is utter crap but that's my theory.
There is a difference between schooling and shoaling. Schooling refers to a group if fish that swim closely and in the same direction as to look like a bigger fish to predators. Shoaling fish refers to a social group of fish, that don't match each others movements, this social group is help search for food and to increase the odds that one won't get picked off by a predator (like if there were a gunman with one bullet, you would be much more likely to get shot if you were standing alone than if you were in a crowd). You also have to remember most of our schooling fish in the wild have hundreds in their groups, with 5-6 fish its may not look to us like they're schooling but they're probably doing the best they can.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:35 AM   #12
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There is a difference between schooling and shoaling. Schooling refers to a group if fish that swim closely and in the same direction as to look like a bigger fish to predators. Shoaling fish refers to a social group of fish, that don't match each others movements, this social group is help search for food and to increase the odds that one won't get picked off by a predator (like if there were a gunman with one bullet, you would be much more likely to get shot if you were standing alone than if you were in a crowd). You also have to remember most of our schooling fish in the wild have hundreds in their groups, with 5-6 fish its may not look to us like they're schooling but they're probably doing the best they can.
There is wiki page on the differences more in depth though you basically covered it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies to my question.
I have five Danios in a 46 gal tank. They've been in there for about a year and there are several other fish in the tank. I guess the Danios just don't feel threatened.
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