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Splash Tetra ID and aggression issue

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
I have a 25 gallon cube with 2x A. panduro, 3x Copella sp., and 7x Rasbora. The reason I only have 3 splash tetra is because that is all the store had.

Recently, the splash tetra have become aggressive between themselves and against the rasbora. The dominant male is the only one being agressive. I think the issue is that I have 2 males and only one female. The dominant male picks on the smaller male and the smaller male hides behind the heater all day.

My first question: how bad would it be to put the bullied male in another tank by itself (with other community species) at least temporarily?

I want to get more to get more of the splash tetra but I am not confident in what species they are. The store had them labeled as “Arnoldi Splash Tetra”, but they don’t look like what I have seen on google. The closest I have found is copella natteri and copella sp. barcelos.

Can anyone tell me what these are?
If so, where can I get more?
img_3272-jpeg.14604

Male:
IMG_3281.jpeg

Female:
IMG_3282.jpeg


Thanks!
 

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dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,783
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Recently, the splash tetra have become aggressive between themselves and against the rasbora.
I've kept a few different Copella spp. and that is what has happened in all the different species, they really <"don't like one another">.
Can anyone tell me what these are?
Have a look at @Tom C 's web site <"https://www.tomc.no/slekt.aspx?gruppeID=5&ViewSelected=True"> and <"https://apistogramma.com/forum/threads/copella-id.24291/">.

cheers Darrel
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Hi all,

I've kept a few different Copella spp. and that is what has happened in all the different species, they really <"don't like one another"
So do you think it would be bad to keep one by itself?. It is always hiding behind the heater and am worried it isnt able to get enough food. Whenever it comes out for food the other one chases it back into the corner.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
So do you think it would be bad to keep one by itself?. It is always hiding behind the heater and am worried it isnt able to get enough food. Whenever it comes out for food the other one chases it back into the corner.
Having lot's of experience with tetras and pencil fish, and being informed Copella don't behave much differently: The only way to mend this is stocking up. I'd never keep less than 5 and if possible no less than 10 of them. then aggression spreads. All provided a bigger tank. One of them alone usually will have a leftover life expectancy of 6 months tops. A cube simply has too little space for them.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Having lot's of experience with tetras and pencil fish, and being informed Copella don't behave much differently: The only way to mend this is stocking up. I'd never keep less than 5 and if possible no less than 10 of them. then aggression spreads. All provided a bigger tank. One of them alone usually will have a leftover life expectancy of 6 months tops. A cube simply has too little space for them.
Yes, that is why I am asking for an ID so that I can look for more. They don’t look like the c. arnoldi I have seen online, and I think they might be a different species.
I have plans to get them into a 37 gallon (30*12*24) but its going to be at least a couple months. I think I am going to leave them how they are right now. The bullied fish was out and about earlier and it seems like the aggression mostly happens at feeding.
 

sortof_here

New Member
Messages
4
Hey!

That looks like what is commonly(well, rather uncommonly to be truthful) sold as Copella nattereri, but may actually be Copella meinkeni. They are from a different region than C. nattereri are and have a few physical distinctions. The primary of which is that they typically sport a lighter color with 5 rows of spots, while C. nattereri typically have a dark lateral line paired with just a row or 2 of red spots. I only bring it up so that you have a broader pool of info to search against, and so that this gets place in search results for both.

I have these and can confirm they are pretty aggressive amongst themselves. I have 9 in a 40 gallon that is heavily planted and has many line of sight breaks. Unfortunately, it seems that I wound up with mostly males, with only a couple seeming like they may be females. They are housed with a shoal of Nannostomus anduzei that they go after from time to time, a pair of Apistogramma hongsloi that they avoid, and a Farlowella vittata that they completely ignore.

I have found that they generally don't hang out around each other much, preferring to set up territories throughout the tank. When these territories are breached by another, sometimes aggression occurs. One of them seems to be the dominant and is more aggressive than the others.

I am still working on trying to reduce the aggression since several of them do have tears in their fins. What seems to have helped some so far is giving a larger clear area for feeding, feeding more often, and reducing the tank temperature from ~79f to ~76f. Emphasis on seems. It is hard to tell if any of the changes have done anything.

I have been debating on ordering more of them to see if that reduces aggression, or spreads it out, but I also feel like this may just exacerbate the problem. Unfortunately, there just isn't much information posted about Copella species in general, let alone specifics like C. nattereri or C. meinkeni, and most of it errantly calls them very peaceful fish. From what I have experienced and seen here and there, their temperament is more akin to that of pencilfish than tetras. Which I guess makes sense as Coppella, like Nannostomus, is a genus of the Lebiasinidae family.

As for where to get more, if you are located in the US you may have some luck at The Wet Spot. It is where I got all of my fish, including my C. nattereri(which I suspect are C. meinkeni). They don't always have them in stock, but you can set up alerts for them. If you do want to set up alerts, set them for every size option they have.

Best of luck!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
From what I have experienced and seen here and there, their temperament is more akin to that of pencilfish than tetras. Which I guess makes sense as Coppella, like Nannostomus, is a genus of the Lebiasinidae family.
Absolutely. I could replace Copella with "Nannostomus eques" for your whole post and it would still fit.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
I think it could be either C. meinkeni or Copella callolepis (sensu Zarske) nattereri (sensu Marinho).

Right now I’m pretty confident its C. callolepis based on the tail fin spot thing which tomc’s website shoes.

As for the agression issue, for the moment they seem to be getting along better. The two males spar against each other but it doesn’t seem like one is dominating the other.

At some point I want to try to breed them so I can have a larger group. I was able to find mine in a LFS so if I can find more there I will get those too.

Is there a correct m/f ratio?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
I'd rather stock up to a bigger group and breeding will then rather maintain the population. Starting off with a too small number will make successful breeding rather harder.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
I'd rather stock up to a bigger group and breeding will then rather maintain the population. Starting off with a too small number will make successful breeding rather harder.
If I could find more that would be great, but I am still not 100% sure on the species. Also, Copellas of any kind are very difficult to find here. I think the most reliable way to be sure I can get the same species is to breed what I already have.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
Patience is THE most important trait of a fishkeeper. Followed by tenaciousness and fersatility.

But: A small group has slim chances of the offspring reaching adulthood and considering the fishes relatively short life span, it might not work out and you might have put all your efforts in it. Three fish are not breeding stock, it's a genetic bottleneck. That's setting yourself up for failure. Also if the males should harrass the prosepective female too much and you lose her, it's Game Over anyhow.

So: Keep looking for them once you have a sure ID, AND set up a breeding tank.
Do both or put your money on a bigger group of another related species, putting the ones you have in retirement.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Patience is THE most important trait of a fishkeeper. Followed by tenaciousness and fersatility.

But: A small group has slim chances of the offspring reaching adulthood and considering the fishes relatively short life span, it might not work out and you might have put all your efforts in it. Three fish are not breeding stock, it's a genetic bottleneck. That's setting yourself up for failure. Also if the males should harrass the prosepective female too much and you lose her, it's Game Over anyhow.

So: Keep looking for them once you have a sure ID, AND set up a breeding tank.
Do both or put your money on a bigger group of another related species, putting the ones you have in retirement.
I sure do have a lot of fersatility

I am not sure you understand. If I ever breed these ones I would keep enough so that I can maintain a decent group but after that I would stop. I am not sure I will ever be able to get a sure ID and the chances of me finding them even if I do is small.

There would be no point in buying a small group of a related species because then I would still only have 3 of these.

Why is there a slim chance of the offspring reaching adulthood in a small group?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
I am not sure you understand. If I ever breed these ones I would keep enough so that I can maintain a decent group but after that I would stop. I am not sure I will ever be able to get a sure ID and the chances of me finding them even if I do is small.
I do understand, no worries. The point is you have 2 males and a female. This is a very small base to build a working population with and once you get them to breed, you might want to stop them, but they might not stop. In my experience starting with three specimens of a species like these can go haywire. Also: What if the female won't get into spawning mode? What if she's too old? It all comes down to this one fish.

There would be no point in buying a small group of a related species because then I would still only have 3 of these.
It would, if you forego on trying to reproduce the ones you have now or if you won't get them to breed.

hy is there a slim chance of the offspring reaching adulthood in a small group?
Unless you setup a dedicated breeding/growout tank and manage the whereabouts of the adults, it'll not be that easy. They sometimes prey on their own fry and juveniles might get harrassed too much.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,783
Location
Wiltshire UK

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
I do understand, no worries. The point is you have 2 males and a female. This is a very small base to build a working population with and once you get them to breed, you might want to stop them, but they might not stop. In my experience starting with three specimens of a species like these can go haywire. Also: What if the female won't get into spawning mode? What if she's too old? It all comes down to this one fish.
If she won’t breed then I just won’t be able to breed them until I can find more.
It would, if you forego on trying to reproduce the ones you have now or if you won't get them to breed.
If I bought another species I would be stuck with only 3 of these which as you said earlier could cause elevated aggression.
Unless you setup a dedicated breeding/growout tank and manage the whereabouts of the adults, it'll not be that easy. They sometimes prey on their own fry and juveniles might get harrassed too much.
I just don’t understand why this would be more of an issue in a smaller group. Wouldn’t the adults prey on the fry less when breeding in smaller group? I also have separate tank I could use to grow the fry.

Splash tetra are a species which can be bred in pairs.
 
Last edited:

sortof_here

New Member
Messages
4
I think it could be either C. meinkeni or Copella callolepis (sensu Zarske) nattereri (sensu Marinho).

Right now I’m pretty confident its C. callolepis based on the tail fin spot thing which tomc’s website shoes.
Thanks for directing me to the Tom C page for them. After comparing the shots of C. meinkeni there and on AquariumGlaser with the shots of C. callolepis on Tom C, the ones I have are for sure C. callolepis. This is based on the tail spot as well as the knowledge that the Wet Spot got them from Colombia. Looks like some of the confusion for identifying them comes from C. callolepis being classified as C. meinkeni for a bit. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

For your situation, it may be worthwhile reaching out to the shop you bought yours from and seeing if they can give you any information about where they got them from and if they can order more of them for you.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Thanks for directing me to the Tom C page for them. After comparing the shots of C. meinkeni there and on AquariumGlaser with the shots of C. callolepis on Tom C, the ones I have are for sure C. callolepis. This is based on the tail spot as well as the knowledge that the Wet Spot got them from Colombia. Looks like some of the confusion for identifying them comes from C. callolepis being classified as C. meinkeni for a bit. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

For your situation, it may be worthwhile reaching out to the shop you bought yours from and seeing if they can give you any information about where they got them from and if they can order more of them for you.
I probably will give them a call… its a bit of a drive.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
283
With my Copella (compta I think) I found that aggression was actually much less in a smaller group than when their numbers increased. I started with 6, they bred and at one point I had over 20, by this time they were in a 120cm long tank, densely planted, but the aggression got much worse, they literally started stressing and killing each other. I gave some away, a few died and I now have 6 again and they are peaceful again. And they don’t seem to be breeding now, or at least I haven’t seen any breeding behaviour and no young are surviving.
 

sortof_here

New Member
Messages
4
With my Copella (compta I think) I found that aggression was actually much less in a smaller group than when their numbers increased. I started with 6, they bred and at one point I had over 20, by this time they were in a 120cm long tank, densely planted, but the aggression got much worse, they literally started stressing and killing each other. I gave some away, a few died and I now have 6 again and they are peaceful again. And they don’t seem to be breeding now, or at least I haven’t seen any breeding behaviour and no young are surviving.
Tragic to hear how the population went in your tank, but I'm happy to hear you have peace again.

As much as it saddens me to get rid of some of mine, since I'm not likely to find people that already have them locally(SoCal, if anyone here is interested), I have been debating on rehoming 3 of my males to a LFS. I'm at 9, with a ratio that looks like 3 males to each female. Ordering more when they are back in stock runs too high of a risk of just adding more males when it seems all of the available territories are claimed. 6 at 1 male to 1 female still may not be ideal, but I think it might mellow them out a bit? Who knows.
 

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