Animal Stories - Serpae Tetra
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Animal-World Information about:
The Serpae Tetra has a contrasting red to black coloring and looks like its sprinkled with jewels!
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I recently purchased 3 of these little serpae tetras. I added them to my tank not really knowing how they would react to it. In my 10 gallon tank I have those three guys, a plecostomus, 6 feeder fish, a white finned rainbow blue shark, and 2 bottom feeders which I can never remember the names of. For the most part my feeder fish and my tetras seem to swim together often, and still maintain their individual schools. Thus far I have had no problems with nipping or any other agressive stories. I have two live plants in the tank so quite few hiding places. For some reason the water in my tank drains naturally even though there are no leaks, which is fine because I don't have to do water changes. With the exception of the plecostomus, all the fish in my tank are about the same size. The feeder fish are quite a bit stealthier then the Tetras so any nipping that might occur won't happen to often. The tetras are also the most recent addition. They are a good fish for a beginner like me. I feed all my fish tetra flake food and that seems to be doing them just right.
I have a pair of serpae tetra with an altum angelfish, 5 neon tetras, 2 rosy barbs and 3 goldfishes and some other small fishes. 3 out of my 5 neon tetras, 1 rosy barb and all 3 goldfishes have nipped tails.
I mistakenly purchased six (all that the store had) Serpae labeled as Flame tetras. *facepalms* I only want peaceful fish in my tank as I have a Neon. I bought 12 last winter, he is the only survivor and tends to hang out either alone or with the Cherry barbs. Neon is a fiesty one and holds his own. I have Cherry barbs and four Otocinclus catfish.
However, their introduction to my planted community 35 gallion tank went fantastically. They only took about a half-hour to get comfortable and color up beautifully. I was amazed by their true beauty and temperment. I believe the fact that there are six and the Cherry barbs I have made their introduction go smoothly.
They followed the lead of the Cherry barbs all around the tank, no nipping or bullying occurred. I think it is the similar coloring that attracted them. Both species are red and black and both are peaceful when their needs are met apparently.
Considering the comments left by others, I know that I am very lucky that this did not turn into a complete disaster with the other peaceful smaller fish. I am going to keep a sharp eye on their behavior with the others. Although currently, my Neon is hanging out with them without any mishap. Neon mostly does his own thing and doesn't really school much, but he does seek out company. More Neons and Cherry barbs are next on my list once the tank cycles for these six.
I have a school of 21 Long-Finned Serpae Tetras in a 90 gal tank along with 6 pretty big Discus, 16 Gold Tetras, 3 Cardinal Tetras, 7 Cory Cats, 3 Ottos and a trio of red swordtails. My tank is heavily planted. I use CO2 injection to maintain the pH around 6.7 to 6.9. Temp is kept around 80-82 F. H2O changes @ about 50% every 2 or 3 weeks. I've had the Serpaes now for over 6 months, and I have never seen such LONG & COLORFUL fins like this ever!! They have never hurt any of the smaller Tetras nor are they scared of the 4 1/2" + Discus. Occasionally, they will nip other Serpae's fins slightly, but they grow them back very quickly. I feed a very diverse variety of foods. Here it goes: Live:bloodworms, Frozen & Freeze-dried: (bloodworms, tubifex, cyclops, mysis, brineshrimp, beefheart), Flakes: Spirulina & Cyclopeeze & a homemade gelatin goldfish food.
X. K. Dixon
I have four high-fin serpaes in a ten-gallon tank with my upside-down catfish, which seem to do fine with the serpaes (it's hard to tell because the cats are nocturnal and hardly ever show themselves), and one lonely long-fin blue danio who generally ignores and is ignored by them. The only nipping problem I've had is that the serpaes occasionally nip each other, which I'm hoping to reduce by increasing their numbers so they can school properly (I just got the fourth today, and they already seem much less nip-happy). They've never presented any problems to me and are very pretty, especially against blue aquarium plants. They have also withstood my failure to clean the tank as often as I should quite gracefully.
I have three serpae tetra that live with a gold gourami that is three or four times their size. They sure do hang in there and hold there own against a much larger fish!
I love my serpae tetras(Moe, Larry, and Curly)! They live up to their names and are the stoodges of the tank. They are feisty, however, and have ripped Jack Daniel's(a guppy) fins quite a bit. Larry is by far the leader, and I have had to put him in 'prison' a few times(isolating him)to stop him from biting the other fish. It's worth it, though, They really are fun guys.
Definately keep these fish in schools. I have seven in a tank with a glass tetra (who thinks he's a serpae) and a rainbow shark. They stay together and are fun to watch especially when feeding. Whenever I add other smaller fish (neons, etc) the Serpae tend to destroy them. I would avoid adding anything to your tank smaller than the serpae's.
We loved the color and activity of our 4 serpae tetras, but we eventually had to remove them from our 30-gallon community tank.
The problem began when we went from 2 to 4 serpae tetras. They had behaved fine before, but now they began to nip the fins of the smaller neon tetras in the tank. The tail fins of four neons were basically bitten completely off before we realized what was happening, and 2 of them died. No problems since the serpaes were removed.
They are an interesting fish, but beware of their potential aggression toward smaller fish.
The 2 Serpae Tera's that I added to My ten gallon community tank of fish, 2 scissor tail, 3 neon tetra, 2 platies, 2 black neon and 3 white clouds, were bullies right from the get go. Always nipping fins of the smaller fish, and possibly responsible for 3 deaths within a week of being added to My tank. Pity they are really neat to look at, but act like Piranhas!