Animal Stories - Serpae Tetra

Animal-World Information about: Serpae Tetra

The Serpae Tetra has a contrasting red to black coloring and looks like its sprinkled with jewels!
Latest Animal Stories
Nate - 2010-12-22
I added 4 Red Serpa Tetras to my 75 gallon tank and they started of shoaling together very well. Now two weeks later they are constantly nipping at each other. I have 7 red wag fry (three months old) 3 adult red wags. I also have one dalmatian molly (the other two didn't survive after a case of ich). They don't bother any of the other fish including the fry. Now one of the Tetras has a huge chunk ripped out of his top (dorsal?) fin. Any way to tame these once calm fish?

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  • bill - 2011-05-01
    I had same problem with four. Increased the number to six and the problem is gone.
  • Jason - 2013-12-02
    Well I have 20 serpraes in my 50 gallon. I notice that serpraes like to nip at each others and other fish's fins. They do that because if they are nipping each other they are establishing ranks as the small 1 inch serpraes are getting bossed around by my 2 inch ones. Generally keep serpraes in a species only tank as then they won't nip other fishes. Also one thing: ESPECIALLY DO NOT KEEP THEM WITH LONG FINNED FISH! I learned that the hard way my pair of phillipine blue zebra angels got some of their fins nipped by my serpraes. And you should add more serpraes, the more serpraes the less fin nipping as my serpraes don't bother my discus because they are busy nipping each other. Honestly tetras are fish that can easily be overcrowded, you could have 10 inches of tetra per 1 gallon (that's why they have like 100 tetras in a 10-15 gallon tank in the LFS and the major fish stores too).
  • Reggie - 2014-06-25
    100 tetras in a 10 gallon tank? No offense but very bad advice, my friend. 10 inch per gallon as well as 1 inch per gallon are both poor rules. A 10 inch Oscar , 100 Small tetras need a 125 gallon tank, 100 Large Tetra species need 200 gallons at the very least.
  • kaysi - 2014-08-19
    Most pet stores do keep there fish in smaller tanks but technically it's one giant tank because they are all connected to the same water source and filer
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.

Caitlin - 2012-11-04
Ok well I have a tetra and he is in with three Molly's and four little angel fish and also a gormi at first he was grate and he didn't bother any of my other fish until now iv had him for about five weeks and know he is starting to annoy me he is distroying my other fishes fins and I'm about ready to take him back to the pet store.  I just don't know what to do.  I'm trying to get another tank but if I do he will be all alone so what do I do what do I do untill I get another tank and what do I do when I get the tank what fish do I put him with if he will just destroy their fins? Please help I'm getting a headache

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-11-05
    Try setting up nice sinle species tanks with it.
Anonymous - 2012-06-08
I've had my Red Minor Tetras for about two weeks and one of them died this morning, so I took it back to the pet store and got another one but since that one has been home it has layed at the bottem of the tank and only swims a little at a time or won't even move for a long time. WHAT'S GOING ON! HELP!

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  • symbol - 2012-08-30
    How large is your tank? How long as it been set up? Do you know if it's cycled? (If you're not sure what I mean, look for some information on the nitrogen cycle as it pertains to aquariums. There are lots of good articles out there.) Also, how many fish are in your tank? (And what kind of fish/how big are they?) Do the other fish seem to be behaving normally? Have you done any water changes recently or added anything new to the tank? Did the new fish seem to be swimming/behaving normally when it was in the tank at the store? Did you notice any symptoms in the other fish before it died? Having some or all of this information will help people tell you what might be wrong with your fish. As it is, it's very difficult to tell what the problem could be.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-08-31
    First step is always to test your water.  Pet shop will usually do it for you!
Chagatai Moto - 2011-11-15
I have 6 serpae tetras and 3 platies, I really enjoy taking care of these fish. Sometimes, my serpae tetras would chase each other and dispute their ranks.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-17
    I used to think they were just playing - tag or something but then I learned it had something to do with the ranking.
  • Moto - 2011-11-22
    These are aggressive fish, sometimes you can see their fins are nipped because of their pecking order. But I think the most important is tank maintanance, I am not an expert fish keeper but I read a lot about tank maintenance, a good maintained tank will keep your fishes healthy and they will live longer.
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-19
    They are not agressive, they just have a strong pecking order.
  • Chagatai Moto - 2012-01-25
    Well, IF THEY ARE NOT AGGRESSIVE, then they can be a good companion for the fishes that have long fins!. .dude.., as we know these guys like chase and nip some guppies and alike., .pecking order is just in their group, but they have the tendency to pick on long finned ones, a PEACEFUL FISH doesn't bother any specie in their tank dude. well you may try some small neon tetra in your tank and some couple of serpae tetra in there..and your neons will be an instant snack by these guys..
Chagatai Moto - 2011-11-15
When taking care of Serpae Tetra, make sure that your tank size will fit on them, I have a 15 gallon tank with 6 Serpae Tetras and 3 platies, and by following the rule of " 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water" really works, You should know their full grown size before deciding what kind of tank size they need to be stocked, Serpae Tetras, as we know have a 1.5 inch adult size. 6 Serpae Tetras has a total of 9 inches for a 9 gallon of water, and my remaining 6 inches will go to the 3 Platies, Platies have an adult size of 2 inches which has a total of 6 inches for a 6 remaining gallon of water for the 15 gallon tank. Since you have a school of 6 or more Serpae Tetras, it will limit their fin nipping behavior, and most important is you have to cycle your tank appropriately. A good filter, good maintenance, and keeping good water conditions will prevent your fish from death and disease, and should research your fish for compatible tankmates for a community aquarium.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-17
    Thank you.
Shelley - 2011-08-19
I had my Serpae tetra die when I removed it from the tank it looked like there was blood in the gill area sshould I be concerned

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  • Chagatai Moto - 2011-11-15
    Check your water conditions, and the stock of fishes you have in your aquarium.
tom - 2010-09-23
We have 8 serpae tetra in our 100 gal tank along with 10 cardinal tetra and 7 pristella tetra they all seem to shoal together in the tank without a problem love their brilliant red color.

Shamika Daughtry - 2009-10-08
Hello, I always wanted a fish tank. So one day I went and bought me a 29 gallon tank. I had swordtails, tetras, mollies, and platies. Well I was having some bad luck with my tank, my swordtails lived for about a month and died. So I went and got more that were pregnant but a week later they died. So now for the tetras, I had about four, three died three weeks later. So on 10-7-09 I bougout four more tetras. I also have gold zebras, danios zebras. Well I'm just going to wait and see what's going to happen.

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  • andrea - 2010-02-27
    You either have new tank syndrome (bad water quality) or you have a bad fish store you are buying from.
  • RW - 2010-07-28
    For best results with first time tank bought, start by buying the tank and accessories only. Treat the water with neutralizer to remove chlorine which kills fishes. Wash the substrate well in a small basin with running water for at least 3 rinses. Set up your tank and run the filters for at least 3 days w/o any fishes. Introduce the fishes starting with surface or mid water fishes. Add the bottom dwellers last about at least a week since they are susceptible to ingest poisons that may sit on the substrate.

    If you are using tap water. Keep at least gallons of it (enough to do a 50% water change) stored at all times pre-treated with neutralizer and only use it at least 2 days after they sit in storage. You may disturb the stored water during storage to release chlorine bubbles depositing on the sides of the container. For best water quality, you may use R.O. though expensive.
Andrea - 2010-05-01
Hi, my name is andrea, I have 13 fish in all in my 35 gallon tank. I got 3 guppies, 2 mickeymouse, 1 color tetra, 1 black moor, 1cat fish, 1 algae, 2 glo-lite,and 2 serpae tetra. One of my serpae is picking on my black moor, poor thing, I had no problem, with the fish till I got the one serpae, think it's a male. He got all the fish scared, what can I do? I also have a 10 gallon tank set up for baby guppies, and baby platys. Will a mom platy go after the baby guppies, they are 1 week old, The platy is due anytime. Thanks, Andrea

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  • Penny - 2010-05-11
    Live bearers WILL eat the fry. I was successful breeding platys and guppies only because I removed the mother after dropping the babies. She did eat a few before I got her out. The babies ALL survived. Did not lose any.
    If you want babies, remove the adults!
    I put the mother back in the community tank.
  • RW - 2010-07-28
    Any goldfish species generally attract nippers. Based on experience a goldfish should not be mixed up most of the tetras and barbs since goldfishes are slow and lethargic while tetras and barbs are very active. Some none aggressive barbs and tetras may pester a goldfish by making them as an itch object. They would glide swiftly and brush their sides or bellies on the head or any body parts of goldfishes.

    It is either you keep goldfishes which mixes well with koi, live bearers or you have the tetras and babs with some cichlids.