Tiger Botia/Stocking aggression issues.
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Tiger Botia/Stocking aggression issues.

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Tiger Botia/Stocking aggression issues.
Old 09-24-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
 
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Tiger Botia/Stocking aggression issues.

Hey everyone,

New to the forum, always found helpful hints here, but now ive got a problem i need specific insite on.

I recently purchased a Tiger Botia loach, about 3-4" long from my lfs. I have semi aggresive 55g tank stocked with the following:

Tin foil barb x1
Green tiger barb x5
cae x1
Kribenses x2 1m 1f
Zebra danio x1
Dwarf gourami x1
ID shark x1
Tiger botia x1
Festivium x1
Rainbow shark x1
Bolivian ram x2

I introduced the festivium, tiger botia, rainbow shark, and a mated pair of bolivian rams that had lain eggs in the shop tank, last thursday (the 20th). I went away for the weekend and left the feeding and care to my roommate. When i returned early saturday my pleco was upside down on his last breath with his fins quite frayed and damaged, my male bolivian ram was nowhere to be found, my gourami, ID shark, and the female ram were all badly torn up, mostly the tail fins. I'm pretty sure its the Botia doing the damage as he constantly chases all the fish around and has clamied the entire bottom of the tank forcing the mated Kribenses out of their territory as well as all the others up out the plants and caves.

I attatched a picture of the tank, is there a problem with the amount of planting or anything? Its been running for over a month now after cycling for two weeks and has pretty balanced levels. Fish are healthy aside from bullying.
I also recently added a second Tetra Whisper 60 filter. Just putting that out there. What are thoughts on that much water movement?
Any thoughts on the tank in general?


I plan on returning the botia tomorrow, but i was wondering what other experiences people have had with them, whether my hunch is right about his aggresivness, and some thoughts on what other fish i might want to look in to that would be more compatible, or if i should just return him before he tears my tank apart and im left with nothing.

Im looking into the following with or without the Tiger:

Rosaline shark x3
Rummy nose tetra x5
Red tail shark x1
Raphael catfish or upside down catfish x1 or both
Bolivian ram x 5 2 male 3 female
Clown/bristlnose pleco x1
Oto x 2/3
Festivium x 2

Other suggestions??

Thanks alot everyone
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Last edited by focofish; 09-24-2012 at 12:36 AM..
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #2
 
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By tiger botia do you mean clown loach? Adorable, but they need a 6-foot tank when fully grown (if you want more Botia loaches, there are some better fitted to your size tank). Now onto the fin-nipping: botine loaches do have that reputation, but they are only fin nippers when they aren't in groups. These are shoaling fish, and the shoals have a pecking order. When there aren't enough conspecifics around, they try to make other fish part of their shoal, and this means nipping at them to establish dominance.

If you do want more botine loaches and have the space for a group of 4 or more, then you can look into the Zebra loach, Angelicus loach, or the Burmese loach. All of them stay small enough to live in a 55 gal tank.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
 
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I agree with Izzy, but i am going to go a step further and caution you about some of the other fish that are, or will, have similar problems. The mentioned fish are in our profiles, and each contains info on the numbers needed for the species, plus any compatibility issues. Please check the respective profiles to avoid more trouble.

When the name in the profile is used exactly the same in a post, it shades, as some did previously; you can click the shaded name for the profile. But the fish mentioned are all in the profiles.

Byron.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
 
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Nope, i mean Tiger Botia (Botia hymenophysa) .

How much damage does said "fin nipping" entail? Is it just minor damage, or can it result in severely shredded and damaged fins? Because I can understand fin nipping in a tank with semi-aggressive fish, but this is pretty severe.

After watching the tank for a while, i noticed my new rainbow shark who is quite small, under 2" is acting very aggressive towards my barbs and some of the other fish. I also find my chinese algae eater chasing other fish off, but never actually attacking them.

I havnt actually witness the Tiger getting a hold of any fish, but i have seen him chase all the fish in the tank. The Kribensis Chichlids are unscathed along with the Festivum, cae, tin foil, green tiger barbs, and rainbow shark. Its solely the gourami, bolvian rams, pangasius cat fish, and the pleco that died. Plecos are usually untouchable, male gourams can usually put up with some aggression, the ID shark is just as big as the Tiger, and rams were a full grown mated pair of dwarf cichlids.

I wonder if im misplacing the blame and its actually the Rainbow Shark, or the Kribenses picking on the rams and Pangasius. Ill keep an eye on it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
 
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55g Stocking Decisions

I've got a 55g that ive been slowly stocking for a while now. The current stock looks such:
Tin Foil Barb x1
Green Tiger Barb x4
Chinese Algae Eater x1
Kribenses Cichlid x2 1m 1f
Dwarf Gourami x1
Pangasius Catfish x1
Tiger Botia x1
Festivum x1
Rainbow Shark x1
Bolivian Ram Chichlid x1

As of now, some of the less aggressive fish, namely the Bolivian Ram, Gourami, and Pangasius Catfish are pretty beat up. I'm setting up a 20 gallon long to house these victims and start a community tank. (I'm aware of the cat fish's eventual size, im just housing him after my little brother bought one and decided he didnt want it). I also recently lost a Common Pleco, a Green Tiger Barb, a Zebra Danio, and a male Bolivian Ram.

Now I have to decide and figure out what can deal with the fish left in the 55. Im looking in to more dwarf cichlids, but they all seem small and not aggresive enough to keep up. Id love to get some Denison Barbs, Rummy Nose Tetras, a Raphael Catfish, a Bristlenose Pleco, Otocinclus, and whatever others I can find that will do well.

The other option is to pull the more aggressive fish (the Tiger Botia and Rainbow Shark) and go from there.

Thoughts?

Edit: I merged this post and the one response post into the present thread since the subject is the same. Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 09-25-2012 at 02:22 PM.. Reason: Merge threads
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
 
My history with semi-aggressives and aggressives has taught me that I should stick to community fish, so I wish the best of luck to you if you go that route :)

Bristlenose plecos are awesome. You will never have algae on your glass again, but they're some of the smallest plecos out there and will not do well if your semi aggressives decide they're worth picking on. Make sure you've got at least a nominal bit of driftwood in there for them.

I personally would try to expand the barb school, maybe with some normal tigers or albino tigers for variety...

Right now you've got a bit of everything in there, so I give your instincts to separate the aggressives a thumbs up. Whether that's pulling out the picked on fish or pulling out the bullies is going to depend on what kind of tank you ultimately want, but be aware that if you pull the guys getting picked on, the bullies sometimes just look for other targets.

Again, I admittedly tried and failed at the semi aggressives game, so you will probably get better advice on who goes well with them elsewhere... I just see lots of singles in there with an undersized school of barbs and a few semi-aggressives and I see warning flags. :)
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by focofish View Post
Nope, i mean Tiger Botia (Botia hymenophysa) .

How much damage does said "fin nipping" entail? Is it just minor damage, or can it result in severely shredded and damaged fins? Because I can understand fin nipping in a tank with semi-aggressive fish, but this is pretty severe.

After watching the tank for a while, i noticed my new rainbow shark who is quite small, under 2" is acting very aggressive towards my barbs and some of the other fish. I also find my chinese algae eater chasing other fish off, but never actually attacking them.

I havnt actually witness the Tiger getting a hold of any fish, but i have seen him chase all the fish in the tank. The Kribensis Chichlids are unscathed along with the Festivum, cae, tin foil, green tiger barbs, and rainbow shark. Its solely the gourami, bolvian rams, pangasius cat fish, and the pleco that died. Plecos are usually untouchable, male gourams can usually put up with some aggression, the ID shark is just as big as the Tiger, and rams were a full grown mated pair of dwarf cichlids.

I wonder if im misplacing the blame and its actually the Rainbow Shark, or the Kribenses picking on the rams and Pangasius. Ill keep an eye on it.
If you took my suggestion and read the various profiles, you will see that most of these fish could be responsible. It is variable, because the fish are naturally so inclined, but the environment (tank size, water parameters, aquascaping, and other fish species) all factor in. Having said that, the Tiger Botia is fairly aggressive, here is some reliable data:
Syncrossus hymenophysa — Loaches Online

"Aggressive" tanks have to be very carefully thought out. I'll just pick up on the fin nipping issue you mentioned. Any sort of bullying or harassing of any other fish by a different species is highly stressful. When this occurs within the species, it may or may not be, depending upon the species, the number in the group, and the tank size. For example, take angelfish. A group of 6 in a 55g tank with one of them so dominant it is a bully will almost inevitably lead to the death of one or more others. But put this same group of 6 in a 300 gallon tank properly aquascaped, and the bullying will almost always be "normal" for the species, and any submissive fish will be able to escape the brunt of it.

When it comes to different species, bullying or aggression of one species toward members of another is always stressful and will cause weakened fish, health issues that would otherwise not occur, and premature death. This is guaranteed. You can read more on the effect of stress here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-fish-98852/
So the physical damage to the fin is somewhat secondary to the real problem, and that is the psychological impact this constant aggression has on the fish. And it is more than just physical aggression; the allomones released by these fish are chemical signals being read by other fish. In their natural habitat, the fish would easily escape, which is why one can see films of huge fish swimming alongside small fish. But in the closed confines of the aquarium, and considering that species which would never come into contact with each other naturally are being placed together--the result is not surprising.

Last edited by Byron; 09-25-2012 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
 
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I'm on board with Byron.
Could be any one from chinese algae eater (notorious for aggression to tankmates),Kribensis ,rainbow shark, or the loach.
Would in my view need a tank of a couple hundred gallon's and lot's of cover for some of these fish to get along reasonably well.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
 
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I understand, and I've done my research. The guy at my lfs said they would all probably work, and lo and behold they haven't. Lesson learned.
Everything was fine before introducing the Tiger and the Shark, and I'm very sure that they are the culprits.

As of now I have returned the shark and my male Bolivian Ram has reappeared since I tore apart my tank trying to catch the loach. After watching him (the loach), he doesn't seem too aggressive, only in certain areas towards certain fish, and he has his claim under a log. He is very active as long as I am not standing right next to the tank or messing around with nets and decos in the tank, and is a beautiful fish, fun to watch. Ill hold on to him and see how the fish are now that the shark is gone.
I lost my Dwarf Gourami and Pangasius last night. Both were pretty beat up already and just succumbed.

I bought 3 normal tiger barbs who have already begun schooling with the 4 green barbs and the tin foil. I wont be getting any more single semi aggressives, solely schools of fish that can put up with what is in there now and some more bottom dwellers. The loach is always nosing around the gravel, so i assume hes doing a decent clean up job, but i wouldn't mind getting a more rounded and larger clean up crew.

The cae is aggressive, yes, but all the fish in there now can get out of his way. Ill probably be getting rid of him in time though.

Thank you all for the input, ill keep you updated. Now I need suggestions concerning future fish. It seems the levels of aggression have severely diminished since the shark left and I'm confident that with the right fish, this tank will do fine.

So my potentials list is:
Denison barbs x3
Raphael Catfish x1
Bristlenose Pleco x1
Upside down Catfish, or Coryadoras x2/3
Rainbow fish, or Giant Danios x3
Weather, or Khuli Loach x 1
Festivum x 1 (if i can sex mine I'd love a 3rd mated pair, and their territory is at the top of the tank, so it wouldn't bother the cichlids)
Scissortail Rasbora x5
Rummynose Tetra x5

I need suggestions of what bottom dwellers would fare well with the current stock. If these^ will do, or if i should look in to something else. Id also love to get hold of a flying fox.

I'm also setting up the 20g long as a secondary to pull out any fish that cant handle the 55g. Id like to keep it community, but id also love to start an apistogramma tank. Thoughts on that?

Last edited by focofish; 09-25-2012 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
 
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I'm going to rain some more on your parade, sorry...but it would be useless for any of us to not point out problems when you ask, so I hope you can continue to understand the concern we share for the fish which is frankly our only concern.

Denisons Barb should have a group of no less than 8, and this means a much larger tank. Here again, with fewer, aggression may rear its head among the 3 of them, or to other fish in time. It also has specific temperature needs. And it will eat the rasbora and rummys. As will some of the other fish too for that matter.

Can you please read the profiles for the fish you have listed? I want to offer assistance, but when I am just repeating the profile data it doesn't make much sense. A great deal of time went in to write the profiles, and they are there to provide this type of information.
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