are schooling fish and they should always be
kept in a group with at least 6 Neons. Click
here to buy Neon Tetras.
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 AquariumFish.net with Schooling
Fish for sale, you will see a symbol like this
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.
a group of 12, or more, is even better for schooling
fish. Of course, a bigger group may require
a bigger aquarium.
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.
read that we've changed our mind about the advice
on this page!
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.
A school of Serpae
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.
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.
here to buy Clown Loaches.
We Changed our
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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