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Freshwater Semi-Aggressive

includes barbs and some tetra species

Barbs and Semi-Aggressive Tetras, such as the black skirt, silver dollar, serpae and red-eye Tetras, should not be kept with other fish with long, flowing fins. These brightly colored schooling fish add movement and color to aquariums. Most species are recommended for beginning aquarists.

Freshwater Semi-Aggressive

Freshwater Semi-Aggressive Facts

average adult size: 1 1/2-8 inches long, depending on species
average life span: depends on species
diet: omnivore
minimum aquarium size: 5+ gallons, depending on species
water temperature: 72-82°F

Diet

A well-balanced Freshwater Semi-Aggressive fish diet consists of:

  • Food may be pellets, flake, frozen or freeze dried.
  • Treats include bloodworms or brine shrimp (frozen or live).

Feeding

Things to remember when feeding your Freshwater Semi-Aggressive fish:

  • Feed small amounts 1-2 times a day. No more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen food before feeding.

Housing

  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plenty of space for swimming and hiding places.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Petco provides free water testing.

Characteristics

  • Very active, most species will swim in the middle to lower levels of the aquarium.
  • Feel most comfortable in schools of five or more of the same species; odd numbers are recommended to prevent pairing.
  • Can be aggressive if kept singly or in pairs.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.

Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.

Monthly: change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.

Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.

Compatibility

Check Petco’s freshwater compatibility care sheet for species specific information.

Health

Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Eats vigorously
  • Clear eyes
  • Swims actively
  • Regular breathing

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • erratic swimming
  • labored breathing
  • elevated scales
  • frayed fins

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health IssueFin rot Symptoms or CausesFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens. Suggested ActionImprove water quality; commercial antibiotics may be effective.
Health IssueIch Symptoms or CausesWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly. Suggested ActionQuarantine fish immediately; use a commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks.

Sources

Ask an associate about Petco’s selection of books on Freshwater Semi-Aggressive Fish and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note:The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.