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  1. #1

    Default Getting Neons to School Tighter

    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 65 gallon with 25 Neon Tetras, 4 Otos, and a Betta.

    I was hoping the Betta would provide the semi-aggressive, but non life threatening, presence necessary to make the Neons nervous enough to keep a tight school.

    Can anyone recommend a fish that could help keep the Neons a bit more "in check" and keep them schooling a bit tighter?

    I will be perfectly happy if there is no such option, I just liked the way the tank looked better when they were first introduced and a bit more unsure of their surroundings, keeping together for safety.

    Tank is heavily planted, if that makes a difference in stocking suggestions.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    cool picture with that cat and tank.

    but sadly, there isn't anything to recommend that would get your neon's to school

    schooling is a defensive behavior that fish do when they are scared or stressed (as they were stressed when they first entered the tank)

    not seeing the schooling behavior is a good sign that you have a healthy and balanced tank.

    seeing the schooling behavior means you have stress
    and what stress causes is diseases, and neon's are not known to be that hardy to handle such stress. (meaning they will be susceptible to fin rot, ich etc easier/more frequently)

    personally, you are very lightly stocked for your 65gallon tank.

    if you are going for a big community style tank. then try to add 10-15more neons.
    remove the betta
    up your oto's to 10
    and then add some (like 2 or 3 of one species) dwarf cichlids (kribs, or bolivian rams, or german blue's, or keyholes)

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks - my cat likes watching the tank more than I do!

    That's kind of what I figured with the Neons, so thanks for confirming.

    I know the tank is stocked lightly (there's actually a 20 gallon sump below it, too), but I prefer a sparser tank. I plan on adding a bunch more Otos, Red Cherry Shrimp, and some Malaysian Trumpet Snails.

    Thanks for the quick feedback, though!

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    What you are asking for is a way to keep your fish all stressed out so they will act as you wish them to. I hardly think this is the life the neon's would appreciate.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Agree with the two above this.

    What you got is what neons like, a light to moderate planted tank with wood.

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Agree with the two above this.

    What you got is what neons like, a light to moderate planted tank with wood.
    These are good points. Everybody assumes neons come from an environment that is thickly planted.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
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    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    There's some, not much but some, footage on youtube that shows them in the wild. Very interesting.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Agree with all of the above. Neons not schooling = happy neons.
    120 gallon FW bowfront in progress

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Tetras generallu are not tight schoolers. Even when stressed, they prefer to hide if possible.

    A large school of rasbora should give you what you are looking for.
    "The Dumpster Tank" 26g flat back hex - Bolivian rams, Checker barbs, Harlequin and porkchop rasbora, neon tetra, SAE, otocinclus

    "Mini Mbuna" 20g long - 1 M. pulpican, 1 M. joanjohnsonae

    "Electric Blue Acara Tank" 75g - Giant danio, tiger barb, Bristlenose pleco

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Just a little input from my experience.

    I have a small school of zebra danios, most of the time they are just free swimmers, but occasionally (i think when my male apisto acts up) the danios school up. It happens probably 2-3 times a week and only lasts a few minutes, but its cool to see... I'd think a pair of dwarf cichlids would encourage the occasional schooling without causing any sort of constant stress

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