I have a 50 liter tank with a (tiny) red-spot pleco and a somewhat insane goldfish that seems to want to die if I take out of a tropical environment. I chose Silver Tips for the tank because I find Neons and Cardinals somewhat overused and 'tacky', and was looking for a small schooling fish to give the tank some movement and life. After they got used to the layout of the tank they started following the goldfish around, and not in a menacing way, they seem to rely on it for a sense of direction (towards food if anything). The pleco gets annoyed with them from time to time and chases them away, but even though they are in a somewhat small enclosure they are staying out of trouble, and even seem to keep to themselves, only schooling at feeding times. When they are fed they remind me of sparrows, having a tendancy to run away from everyone with a much too large chunk of food, with all those others that noticed it in hot persuit. They have never eaten any of the tubifex worms that the goldfish gets treated to, even when it was left in the tank after the goldfish had finished with it to observe their reaction. Aesthetically, they bring a lot of movement to the tank, and it is always interesting to try and find them all. With an undergravel filter they have a tendancy to swim to the bottom when they are resting, and as they now 'sleep' above rocks and in plants, I would recommend having large objects to break up the downwards flow of the water if using one of these mechanical filters, or for that matter, somewhere for them to hide from any current flow. When feeding them they tend to work on a first in first served basis. I have found that overfeeding them is the only way to keep all of them fed, and they do appear to know when they have eaten enough. The abundance of food is by no means good for the tank chemistry, but coupled with a growing pleco (8 cm going on 30cm), and a goldfish the Silver Tips always have enough food to go around without upsetting the somewhat delicate water quality. I would conclude from my observations that they are a rather friendly species, they have not intentionally stalked and or molested any of the other inhabitants, and all of my plants have remained intact since they moved in. For all of the fish that I have kept in my time this is my first experience with Silver Tips, and they are now on my favourites list.
I've had seven of these tetras for a few months. They're very lively fish and spend most of the time chasing each other or their tankmates, the siamese algae eaters. They are a bit larger than neons, and so didn't fall prey to the angel fish I had for a while. I recently tried to introduce guppies in the same tank, but had to remove them, since they where too slow moving and were picked on a lot. They do well in strong current. A bunch of fine leaved plants is an appreciated hiding place.
I've just read your comments on the male silvertip tetra and I couldn't agree more. Although my male (one of the two) chases the females he also chases (goes ballistic!) on my other (peaceful) tetras (neons; black neons; glowlights; columbians; emperors; Rathbuni bloodfins; pretty; flame; three spot) and I don't want them hassled anymore, but i can't catch him without ripping up the plants! So, I see this fish as a liability, not an asset, and my experience differs from all the books that say it's a peaceful community fish. Only the Columbians stand up to him.
Hasemania nana, the silvertip tetra, is an energetic, upbeat type of fish. From my almost two months of observing them in two of my tanks. In my 40 L they live with common guppies, zebra or striped danios, and mosquitofish. In my 75 L they reside with neons, beacons, a possibly closely related tetra that I am not certain of the name, swordtails, common guppies, and bronze corydoras. The silvertips, 3 in each tank, do some chasing but it seems to be for fun or exercise, not malice. An interesting tetra so far.
I have to agree with what many others have said. I've found the Silvertip tetra to be more of a liability than and asset. I have quite a number of books on fish and despite what has been said they don't seem to be good community fish - at least in my experience. One of the Silvertips I have was actually bred in one of my tanks. After a water change and feeding of mosquito larvae, the males did their mating ritual and by chance I took some of the plants from the tank to use in a new tank I got. Before long I noticed the little fry swimming around and I eventually ended up with another Silvertip. I plan on taking all 7 back to the dealer where they will hopefully find a good home. I will say that in a smaller tank with a strong current and few other fish - 1 yo-yo loach and an otocinclus - they seem to be less aggressive and active, so perhaps a tank with a strong current and few plants that are on the sides with open space in the middle is preferrable for Silvertips.
I had problems with mixing cardinal tetras and silvertips - the silver tips are just too lively for the cardinals. Now we have rummynose tetras with them and peace is restored.
I've found these guys to be very similar in temperament to tiger barbs. They like open swimming spaces, a little current if possible, but more importantly, they like to have larger groups, otherwise they can terrorize your tank. When kept in a larger group they do the tiger barb thing and create a pecking order, ignoring many of the other fish in the tank. These guys really shouldn't be kept in anything under a 200 L, otherwise your other fish will get terrorized, or worse, fin nipped, unless they're being kept with similar temperament fish like say tiger barbs, in which case you should be fine. I kept six of these little fellas in a 200 L with 4 juvenile angels (about 4 cm in length) and a three kribensis, two rams, two pearl gourami's, two rainbow sharks, a clown loach, and standard pleco. I noticed them occasionally pecking the fins of my weaker angel, but they settled down and fit right in. However, after about a week two had died for no known reason. This is when things started going south, the silver tips really started giving my gourami's a hard time, then they began to defin my little angelfish. I quickly got two more to refill their ranks and they stopped their troublesome behavior. So, although these are hardy small fish, I don't recommend them for someone who isn't prepared to acommodate them. Good luck fish keeping.
I recently bought some Silver-Tipped Tetras to add to my 35 L fish tank. They settled in fine, but within a week all of that had changed. They are extremely active fish, terrorising each other and the Glowlights (chasing and fin nipping). The Glowlights spend most of their time sheltering in and under the weeds. I have since removed them and now the Glowlights are happily swimming around. These fish need a lot of space to use up all of their energy! Try and keep a higher ratio of females to males, then they are less likely to fight.
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