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SubscribeTetra species problem
Small Fry
Posts: 5
Kudos: 7
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Registered: 27-Oct-2013
EditedEdited 05-Jul-2015 16:15
In December, I adopted two tetras that needed a home on short notice. I was told they were 'glolight tetras', which I took to mean the glowlight tetra species, which they are very clearly not. They are a little under 2" each, rhomboid shaped, one purple and one orange. The purple one is shown below.

Looking through various tetra profiles and images, I settled on the idea that they must be dyed Columbian tetras. I figured the red color in their fins would have been bleached away in the dying process.

I put the two fish in my 29g, which was nearly empty except for an 11 year old 5" female bristlenose pleco, so has plenty of room for stocking. I wanted to add more of these tetras to get up to a school of at least 6.

No one in my area had Columbian tetras for months, but finally just recently my favorite LFS said they had one. I went and got it, and it's now been in a 5g QT for 2 days.

Looking at the Columian tetra in person, I realize it is slightly larger and more elongated than the orange and purple tetras, and likely not the same species after all. After more research, I now think the orange and purple tetras are either dyed or GloFish versions of the albino Black Widow Tetra

So, now I have two colorful Black Widow tetras, one Columbian tetra, a pleco, and a 29g tank. My concern is that both types of tetras are schooling fish. Will they get along? Will the larger Columbian nip the Black Widows' fins? Will they school together if I add more tetras? Should I put the Columbian in the 29g and hope it gets along with the Black Widows?

I'm not sure what to do next. A few options include:
-Add more tetras until I have one mixed species school, hoping they will all school together (i.e. 5 Black Widows and 1 Columbian, 3 Black Widows and 3 Columbians, etc).
-Create one school of each species--6 Black Widows and 6 Columbians. This would probably take a while given my experience with finding Columbians, and wouldn't leave any room for additional stocking.
-Return the Columbian to the LFS and just get Black Widows.

Advice from any tetra-keepers would be appreciated!

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Post InfoPosted 05-Jul-2015 16:10Profile PM Edit Report 
Small Fry
Posts: 5
Kudos: 7
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Registered: 27-Oct-2013
A few days ago I found my 5-in female spotted bristlenose pleco dead in the 29g. I did the math again and I'd actually had her for 12-13 years, so perhaps she was simply nearing the end of her lifespan. However, during a 1/4 wc and gravel vacuuming, I noticed a lot of uneaten food in the gravel. That plus the cloudiness, and recent tests ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 80-100, suggests to me that the husband has been feeding way too much food causing nitrogen cycle spikes. The nitrate level may have been too much for the old fish and I feel kind of bad about it. (I've also placed a moratorium on the husband feeding the fish.)

Anyway, the water is now clear again, and this does free up some space in the tank. The Columbian showed no signs of illness after a week in QT and today I moved her into the 29 g.

So now I have a 29g with a Columbian tetra and two colored albino black widow tetras. The Columbian seems calmer here than she was in the small QT, but she is chasing the black widows a bit. The two of them mostly hide together. I don't see any fin-nipping yet; either the black widows are too fast for her or all she really wants is to school with them and they keep swimming away.

I guess the next thing to do is add more black widows. Other suggestions?
Post InfoPosted 14-Jul-2015 13:01Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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male usa us-colorado

GASP!! Oh No not that!!! a moratorium!!!

The poor guy, what other mischief can he get into now.

Sorry about your loss but it does sound like your problem
is solved. Perhaps for he penance, he could help with the water changes?


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 14-Jul-2015 21:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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