I LOVE schooling fish. One of the reasons that I am into freshwater aquariums is because you can afford a school of fish.
Yesterday I went to 2 different pet stores. The second trip was to actually buy fish. I went for Cardinal Tetras, and bingo, they had them. They where pretty cheap too! $1.49 each or 4/$4.99. So I bought them up. I got 9 of them.
It took about 3 hours to get them into the tank. I had topped off the tank earlier in the day, and had filled it to almost overflowing. I let the bag float in the water for half an hour (I had to take a liitle bit of water out of the tank first, it was THAT full). Then the bag of fish got emptied into my water change bucket. A bit of airline tubing siphoned a bit of water out of the tank. Every 20 minutes or so, a little bit more water got siphoned into the bucket. After 3 hours, I had about a gallon of water in the bucket. I then netted the fish out of the bucket into my tank. This is about the most effective way I can come up with for adding fish to my tank. The fish get a slow change of water to adjust to, and no pet store water gets into my tank. I have also in the past added a drop of general cure-all type medicine to help keep the fish healthy – tetras are pretty lightweight, so I don’t do it to them.
The cardinals picked up their color pretty quickly once they where in the tank. I try not to take photos of new fish the same day as I got them, their usually stressed and their color is off. The Cardinals are getting along famiously with my 3 Neons that I have already had for a while. The 12 of them are back and forth in the tank. A dozen schooling fish is so much fun to watch! The Angels are laying eggs YET AGAIN as I type this, so they have been pretty teritorial the last day or so, so they would run the school off if they felt a little crowded.
It is so interesting watching my tank now. With just the 3 Neons, there wasn’t much schooling going on in the tank. When I FIRST got the Neons, I had a half a dozen, and they didn’t school up all that much even then. It looks like somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen might be the number to half to get good schooling behavior. We will see how many of the Cardinals make it a week.