Actual Shoalers

Discussion in 'Fish' started by Thomas McMillan, 1 Sep 2008.

  1. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    For my 72l I've been thinking about possible stocking ideas and would love a main shoal of 12 or so fish (maybe more depending on size). I don't want anything over 5cm though.

    The thing is, I want them to actually shoal. I've had tetras and danios before that just don't shoal how I'd hoped they would. From what I've heard, Rummynoses are the best option although I'm not that keen on them. I would love to get some Ember Tetras.

    There will also be a pair of Rams in the tank but that's it. Hopefully they'll help to keep them in a tight shoal but I'm not convinced.

    Has anyone had any experience with Ember Tetras? Do they actually shoal? I'm open to suggestions too, but only if they keep in a shoal.

    Cheers
     
  2. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I always shout out loud how good at shoaling rummies are, but if they don't take your fancy you can't argue with that :D

    I have had a pair of rams in my tnak before and they made no difference to the (lack of) shoaling from my other fish.
    When the Siamese Algae eaters, the ancistrus, or the talking catfish come out, then the other fish shoal.
    My other fish are a combo of endlers, neons, microgalaxy rasbora, and lampeye killifish. Just a few of each and they rarely shoal, but when they do, they all shoal together.

    Hope that is of some help.
     
  3. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Ember tetra shoal, not in the same way rummynose's do, but they do. The only thing is they need a dither fish to really bring them out as they're so timid.
     
  4. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Fully agree with that. I bought 12 the other day and have only seen them once since putting them in the tank :lol: When they did come out they all stayed within a few cm's of each other and looked great.
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    IME all the smaller tetras with special colouring to signal to other members of the shoal, such stripes (e.g. Cardinals, Neons, Green neons, black neons and Glowlights (now there's an under-rated tetra...)) and tail and fin markings (e.g. rummy noses, head and tail lights and X-rays) shoal pretty well, especially with something like a pair of cichlids or a larger fish that scares them a bit to keep them on their 'fins'. Their markings have evolved to hold the shoal together in murky or stained waters.

    The only tetras I've found really don't shoal much are Silvertip tetras and Phantom tetras where the males stake out territories in the tank, but I know there are many others.
     
  6. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    Is it no important to remember that most fish dont shoal like you envisage due to that being their safety mechanism as in safety in mubers?

    I have found that with smaller fish that are shoalers that after a while they dont really shoal unless they are startled or feel vulnerable.

    When first added to the tank they would shoal constantly but after a while and they felt secure they have tended to drift into smaller groups.

    AC
     
  7. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Thanks for the swift replies guys!

    I understand what you're all saying, and I know that once the fish are comfortable then they won't really shoal unless they are startled in some way but I'm just looking for a shal that will stay in the same sort of area at least, rather than just spread out completely.

    What would you suggest as a dither fish for Ember Tetras? I thought they were a dither fish in themselves.

    I am considering serpae Tetras or Pentazona Barbs. Although they're a bit bigger than what I would prefer, I think they'll go witht he feel of the scape that I have in mind.
     
  8. milla

    milla Member

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    Pentazona Barbs in a planted tank disappear into the background and only shoal at feeding times.
     
  9. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Dither fish are typically shoaling fish added to provide an early warning system for dwarf cichlids. When they are out shoaling the cichlids think everything is safe and are more confident.

    Target fish are added as competition to cichlids typically and may be other members of their species or other fish they will view as competition to distract them and focus their territioriality or reinforce a pair bond.

    What we're after are 'Threat fish' that will chase the dither fish every so often or ones that the smaller shoaling fish will think are predators and therefore simulate a danger that they will shoal to avoid.
     
  10. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Yeah, I understand that but Garuf suggested that it's best to have dither fish so that the Ember Tetras feel more confident. :D
     
  11. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Not quite sure if dither fish is the right term but a fish to bring them out of their shells, they really come into there own when they are with more active fish. I kept my embers with lampeyes and they were really active and came out a lot more.
     
  12. jay

    jay Member

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    The scene we're all after is a 'shoal' of bright nice fish to complement our planting scapes.
    You look at the nature aquaiums on forums or in the ADA competion and they have a tight shoal well placed in the tank.
    The thing I've found out is most of the aquascapers have usually only just put those fish in the tank a few hours before the final photograph. Therefore the fish are scared, don't know where they are going so they stay tight together and zip along the length of the tank.
    We get a shoal of fish in a tank after a few days, they know the layout, they know where the hiding spaces are, so they will just lurk about, almost floating in the water in a loose shoal in most cases.

    The only fish I've known to constantly shoal are Rummynose and Danios... in a good fast flow.
     
  13. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    Is that true? I wouldve thought that the fish wouldnt be as coloured up as desired if they had only been in the tank a few hours.

    AC
     
  14. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Looks like Rummynoses are the only option then - I thought they would be. I'll probably still end up getting Ember Tetras though! Or Coffee Bean Rasboras or something similar.

    Thanks for the advice though.
     
  15. jay

    jay Member

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    They have usually been in a quarantine tank for a while, well fed and then plonked in the main tank with good water changes. They're fine and healthy, just unfamiliar with their surroundings.
    Some people get lucky with a shoal and they zip about all time anyway. My cardinals did, even more so when I added some rummynose, then I added 5 more and the cardinals just stick to the back now. Its a fine line of experimentation with water, lights volume and tank mates.
     
  16. jay

    jay Member

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    Not really mate. Go with whatever you like the look of at the end of the day, its your tank and you need to enjoy it. If they shoal, its a bonus. :)
     
  17. Superman

    Superman Member

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    I would say that my 19 Harlequins 'shoal' somewhat, sometimes they're really close and they're all together. Some of the time they make a few small groups.
     
  18. PM

    PM Member

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    My black phantoms and black neons never shoal together, but sometimes they might join in with my rummies.

    Rummy noses rule! :D
     
  19. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to like Rummynoses actually. I might pop into a few LFS next weekend to have a look at them, I've never really paid that much attention to them.
     
  20. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I'm with Jay, go with what takes your fancy.

    They will live for a few years so IMHO it is good you are taking your time to decide what you want.

    I spent months deliberating, then was torn between lampeye killifish and microgalaxy rasboras. Ended up getting half of each :lol:
     

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