Do these fish nip fins?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Answer - DAVE S, EMAIL

Please can you tell me whether Blind cave fish are OK to keep with other fish? I’ve seen them la­belled as com­mu­nity fish, but have also been told they of­ten nip fins when they're feed­ing.

My tank has var­i­ous other tetras, a pair of Blue dwarf gourami, Panda corys and hatch­et­fish. Will any of these be both­ered by the Blind cave fish?

Blind cave tetra, Astyanax mex­i­canus, are of­ten sold as 'oddball' com­mu­nity fish and are a pop­u­lar choice for those seek­ing some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, but that’s still hardy and easy to keep.

As you say though, there’s con­flict­ing ad­vice out there about how suit­able they ac­tu­ally are for the av­er­age com­mu­nity tank, but my own ex­pe­ri­ence has been that they’re rather bois­ter­ous and a bit nippy at feed­ing times. This seems to be more to do with their method of find­ing food by smell, rather than ac­tual ag­gres­sion, and the bit­ing is just a mis­guided at­tempt to grab food. Af­ter all, if you live in to­tal dark­ness in a food-poor en­vi­ron­ment you have to make sure you get your fill when any feed­ing op­por­tu­nity presents it­self.

As a re­sult, I would say they’d be a poor mix with your cur­rent stock, which are largely peace­ful, placid fish who may find the Blind cave tetra a bit much, es­pe­cially given its sur­pris­ingly large adult size of up to 10cm.

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