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Schooling Fish
Neon Tetras, Paracheirodon innesi, a schooling fish species, at, where you can shop online for a Neon Tetra and other Tropical Fish is fun.
Neon Tetras
are schooling fish and they should always be kept in a group with at least 6 Neons. Click here to buy Neon Tetras.
Click here to read that we've changed our mind about the advice on this page!
Tetras, Danios, White Clouds, Barbs, Rainbowfish, Bala Sharks, Corydoras Catfish, and many other types of schooling fish live best in a group with at least six fish of their species.
When you look at pages in with Schooling Fish for sale, you will see a symbol like this  This is a schooling fish that lives best in a group with at least 6 fish of its species. Click on this image for more information about schooling fish.  to indicate that these fish live best in a group with at least six fish of their species.
If you keep just two or three of a Schooling Fish, their behavior will greatly change. They may hide, or attack and nip on other fish. We think that generally these fish are not happy living in a group with less than six members of their species.
More is Better.
Keeping a group of 12, or more, is even better for schooling fish. Of course, a bigger group may require a bigger aquarium.
The schooling fish do not have to be the same color variety, but they must be the same species.
So for example, the group might have six Tiger Barbs and might consist of three regular Tiger Barbs and three Golden Tiger Barbs, which are all the same species and will school together.

But different species of Corydoras Catfish will not school together, even if they look nearly the same to us. So you need to get six of each species.
Click here to read that we've changed our mind about the advice on this page!
Schooling Corydoras Catfish.
Shown above is a young Corydoras Catfish. Some Corydoras Catfish school together and swim across the bottom of the aquarium. Other species like this Corydoras sterbai usually do not school, but they do seem to enjoy each other's company.
Two or more of them will often swim together, and several will often rest together. This species probably does not need to be kept in a group of more than 3, but they seem to have more fun in a bigger group. Click here to buy Cory Catfish.
Serpae Tetra schooling in a large aquarium.
A school of Serpae Tetras swims together near a large piece of Ceramic Driftwood. Serpaes often form a loose school but enjoy exploring on their own too.
These Serpaes live in a 55-gallon aquarium in a group with 12-Serpae Tetras. Click here to buy Serpae Tetras. Click here to buy Ceramic Driftwood Logs like the one in this picture.
Clown Loaches, like these, seem to be very happy, when they live in a school with 6 or more Clown Loaches. Here 5 of them pile on top of each other, which is a very typical behavior for Clown Loaches. It's lots of fun to watch them play together. Click here to buy Clown Loaches.
We Changed our Minds.  ;^} 
After many years of thinking that the advice on this page was true and seemed to make sense, we began to change our mind. Here's what happened.
We set up a nice 29-gallon aquarium with an Eclipse Filter, a thin layer of gravel, some pretty plastic plants, and lots of pieces of lava rock. Just like we recommend on many pages in this web site.
We wanted to keep lots of different species to photograph and wanted fish with no nicks in their fins so the photographs would really look nice.
When we kept 6 to 10 fish of a schooling species, they tended to quarrel and nip on each other. We knew in our bigger aquariums that often contained hundreds of a schooling species, there wasn't much nipping.
But in this 29-gallon aquarium, there was, and there wasn't enough space in a 29-gallon aquarium to keep hundreds of a species let alone several species!
We decided to to try something new, keeping just one fish of each species, even of the schooling species that we'd always kept in groups of at least 6 and usually more than.
We were surprised to see that these schooling fish did very well with no other members of their species in the aquarium. They didn't seem to be overly nervous or to be searching for more members of their species.
Generally they didn't show nicks from nips by other fish. Most nips are inflicted by a fish of the same species during battles for higher status among the members of that species.
Now we have a 29-gallon aquarium with many species instead of just a few, and we enjoy watching the greater variety of fish more! Our new revised guideline is to keep one fish of a species or to keep several but not just a few.
We learned this after keeping fish in aquariums for more than 45-years! ;^ }
It's never too late to learn and to forthrightly admit that we've learned something new. Our aquariums keep providing us with opportunities to try new things, to see new things, and to learn new things about our wonderful fish.
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This page was updated on November 13, 2015.


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