Animal Stories - Characins

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Chris F - 2014-06-01
I have 4 black neon tetras and 3 swordtails, two of my swordtails died and left one female, will she be ok with the tetras? She chases them around but never nips at them.

Animal-World info on Rosy tetra
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Tracy - 2007-04-17
I kept 4 Rosy tetras in a small ( 12 gallon tank). All the fish I had in there were happy, and they outgrew the tank. I always felt the rosy tetras were boring. Just a blah grayish red with a bit of white on the fin tips. Then I got my new 55 gallon aquarium. It is a planted tank. The day after I moved them, I was amazed at their beauty and color! Their markings totally came out and they are striking with red and black. The part of this article that says they will not show their true color unless they are happy is really true! Happy fish keeping, Tracy

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  • Reggie - 2014-04-15
    Petsmart has these things for 50 cents each right now, so I bought 26 of them and put them in a 125 gallon tank ... I'm excited to see how they color up and any cool behaviors they might have. They don't seem to be a schooling fish, more of a shoaling fish.
Anonymous - 2013-04-25
Hi, just discovered 4 fry [Rosy Tetra] all hiding in my community tank, not sure how old. I have put them in a smaller tank within my community tank and they seemed to be doing really well. JimC

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  • Reggie - 2014-04-15
    I heard they are very hard to spawn and raise babies ... Big box chain fish stores carry them, I'm not sure if they are farmed fish or all coming in wild. Congrats!
  • Reggie - 2014-04-15
    Congrats on the accidental spawning, that's always so exciting!
Animal-World info on Black Pacu
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Raleigh - 2014-04-11
I have a pacu fish but it won't eat. Can someone tell me why not?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2014-04-12
    How long as that been going on? Is it showing any other symptoms of illness? I would keep an eye on it. In the meantime, check all the water parameters (water quality and temperature) and make sure they are appropriate. Also do a partial water change if it has been a while since the last one.
Animal-World info on Silver Dollar Fish
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Charles Damanis - 2010-01-20
I have 9 Silver Dollars in a 30 gal tank. I Love them because they out live all other fish you have. I think I have had them for about 5 years or so and they are about 4.5" long right now. Over the past five years they have had their share of viruses and sicknesses due to water quality as well as introducing "dirty" fish into the tank that may have had Ick and other problems.
It seems like I always have them on a medicinal regiment of Metafix, stressZyme, stressCoat and every now and then Erithromiacin anti-biotic powder form (also used in humans).

Here are my suggestions...Erithromiacin is good when your silver dollars have cloud eye and even tail and fin rot and redness in odd areas. It does not damage your water although you cant use a filter with it (I still keep my Ammo Chips in though). The down side is all the water changes you will have to do. Its annoying if you have a big tank, but why do you have a big tank if you can't stand up keep. My thoughts are to transfer some water from the regular tank and add treated water (not straight from the tap) into a smaller tank and transfer your silver dollars into the smaller tank to treat them in a sort of quarantine (just as long as you DO NOT have a parasite, if you do leave the fish where they are because you need to kill the parasite in the normal tank). If you have Ick I suggest Aquari-sol. It is a liquid solution that is better for fish with sensitive skin and it doesn't change your water green, make sure your doses are the right measurement, you do not want to poison your fish.
IMPORTANT: I put in some aquarium salt and raise the temp to about 79-80'F when treating fish with medicine. It is always good to have some salt in your tank. Just remember the only way to get rid of salt in your water is to do water changes so do not over salt your tank. Place some (depending the size of your tank) in after every 3-5 water changes.

DO NOT BUY PLANTS. The silver dollars will eat all of them no matter how much you feed them. Even plants suggested by this web page will not work with your silver dollars. Obviously if you have baby silver dollars they can not eat your plants as quick but they still will.
IMPORTANT: The lack of plants will mean that there is less Oxygen in the tank. I put in a long Air Stone and the silver dollars love to swim through it. Its fun watching them get used to it at first they are cautious then the pack leader will test his or her might and try to get through them. Eventually they all go through the bubbles. Im sure they like the way it tickles.

Romain lettuces is a must. Highly nutritious for you and your fish. It also makes your mind up when you're thinking about testing a new plant in the tank. Just put a piece of lettuce in the tank and a few hours later you will know not to get plants.
They love Shrimp pellets. They nearly choke on them because they shove the whole thing in their mouth and suck on them like cigars. You will NOT need to dump a considerable amount in order to get one into each ones mouth. I have 9 and usually dump 15. It's bad but I do not do it regularly. You can also just throw a few in while the lettuce is in as a treat only to those who grab them first. I use flakes but don't like to do so. Too many flakes gets you PLANARIA (flat worms). I have Planaria and it is impossible to get rid of them.
Important: They will eat/pick at small fish like tetras (when the silver dollars are larger). Only because they think that they are fish flakes. I also had a three inch butterfly fish that floats on the top of the tank. It also sleeps on the top and at night the silver dollars would swim up and bite it thinking it is food. It then died and they are all over it... All I found was a fin floating.

Useful information:
Too many decorations will not be good for your fish. They may like places to hide but if you place driftwood in your tank they are likely to run into it and hurt themselves. Sometimes this will lead you to believe that your fish are sick but it may just be that they ran into something. I have not tried this but have been thinking about it...I believe if you paint or tape an aquarium scene (the paper on the outside that has pictures of plants and whatnot) they will be less likely to crash into the glass. The glass fools them sometimes. They are not as smart as us and something to tell them stop may be useful.

Tank Size:
Bigger is better, they love to swim or just hang out but when they get bigger they start to get black stripes on their side. That means they're stressed and a bigger tank is needed. At this point you will have to battle sicknesses regularly because they are more susceptible to sickness when stressed out. I have 9 in a 30 gal but they deserve to be put in a 55 gal now. I also do not have any other fish in my tank.

I hope the information I have left is useful. This information has been learned the hard way through my experience with the fish. They are a joy to have and if they get any bigger I'm going to have to stop myself from getting my fishing pole.

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  • Sheryl - 2010-04-20
    I have been blessed with a coworker wanting to give us his 55 gal established with silver dollars and tetras. We have not had any experience with silver dollars so this experience you had through trial and error I find most informative. Thank you so much!
  • Tom - 2014-02-08
    Your silver dollars get sick because you overcrowd them. 9 silver dollars in a 55 is over doing it, 30 is worse. I have noticed if they actually have room, and you do your regular water changes, they rarely if ever get sick.
Animal-World info on Black Pacu
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Anonymous - 2012-01-25
Hi, my science teacher is giving me her red bellie pacu and I plan on keeping it in a 150 gallon tank with 3 senegal bichirs, 4 fire mouth cichlids, some kind of darter, some mosquito fish, and 4 feeder fish. I will introduce the fish thruogh out the period of 1-3 months. the pacu is presently 8-10 inches and blind in it's left eye. My teacher feeds it flakes and live fish from time to time. Are there any fish I could also put in the tank to keep the pacu away from the other fish and can I change its diet to mostly veggies and some meat, no live fish included. P.S., can you keep a pacu with piranhas?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-25
    It's great your science teacher is giving you a Pacu but is he giving you a tank to go with him?> A Pacu when an adult is going to go about 3/12 feet and weigh about 60 pounds. You need a thousand gallon tank. If it will fit in his mouth, he will eat it. Pacu with Piranhas - I guess it is whoever gets bigger first. Piranhas will eat anything. Did your science teacher ever read up on what he was doing?
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-26
    The store person said it wouldn't get bigger than its tank, the store person lied.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-27
    I don't know whether he store person 'lied' or just mis informed. Fish not out growing their tank is a myth - an old wives tale used to sell more fish. In any case he is not a good or reliable informtion source.
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-13
    a fish will grow slower in a small tank but will still get big
  • Lola - 2014-01-11
    Hello...I have a black pacu and a red bellied pacu in a 150 gal. tank and they have busted the top canopy! You MUST have a very large tank for these fish. I am currently trying to relocate mine....really put thought into this before getting them. However they are wonderful pets...I hand feed and pet mine everyday, but I just can't house them anymore. I have had them 2 years and have went from about 3 inches and a few oz. up to 20 inches from nose to fin tip and 11 inches from belly to back and around 10 or 12 pounds.
  • Jim Sadler - 2014-02-05
    The Pacu can no longer be considered a safe fish. In New Guinea they have killed native people as well as threatening to exterminate the crocodile population. The black Pacu is doing well in South Florida fresh water canals and can be quite a shock when they strike a bait as they are strong. A 53 lb. black Pacu died when a cold spell hit and it got into the salt water rivers here. They are good news for fishermen and apparently reproducing well.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-06
    Fortunately, Pacu's kept in a very large aquarium are probably not going to be attacking anyone.
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Anonymous - 2014-01-06
Hey I have one of these in a tank with one molly. I did a huge water change about three days ago and yesterday I noticed a white wart like thing on its chin. I thought it might be a parasite but wasn't sure so I waited one day. Today there is a tiny red dot in it, the molly does not have it at all though. It's behaving normally and eating well, so if any of you have a clue what this is please tell me.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-08
    My first thought is it is a mouth fungus, which is actually a bacterial infection. It is often accompanied by a secondary infection of an Aeromonas bacteria. Wounds that are white on the edges and red in the center are most typically Aeromonas. Both Koi and goldfish are the pet fishes most susceptible to Aeromonas. They are usually caused by sharp changes in water temperature, as well as poor water or nutrition. Aeromonas can be treated with any sulfa antibiotic along with trimetheprim. But both these infections can readily be treated at the same time with Aquarium Pharmaceutical's Furan-2 Medications - Api Furan 2.

Animal-World info on Diamond Tetra
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Tiffany - 2013-10-18
I have a 55 gal with 3 diamond tetras, 4 red tetras, 2 catfish and a silver shark. When I was feeding the fish this morning I noticed one of my diamond tetras was spinning around in the tank. The fish ate when fed, but continue to spin. It looks cool to watch, but has me worried. Is it suppose to act like that or is something wrong?

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  • Sophia - 2013-12-04
    It may be a kidney issue. The kidney balloons up making it unable for the fish to fully control it's movements. Some fish do recover, but most don't. It is probably going to die though if you have a silver shark, they will nip at them when floating around until dead. Put that fish in a quarantine tank, that may help...
Animal-World info on Serpae Tetra
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Jason - 2013-12-02
I have 20 serpraes in a 50 gallon planted with 4 discus. The serpraes are a nice fish, the more you get the less fin nipping you get on other fish generally so my serpraes don't bother my discus at all as they are busy nipping each other, but they don't get hurt that much though but I put fin rot medicine every 2 weeks to be safe.

Animal-World info on Red Tail Barracuda
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boostedwrx - 2013-10-14
How many feeder fish should my barracuda eat in 1 day? He is 3-4 inches.


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