Agressive Fish problem , breeding season? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Agressive Fish problem , breeding season?


I have a 32gallon, fully planted and cycled for 2 years.

I have 7 neon tetra,4 glass catfish, 2 otos, 1 glass barb. Very peaceful and active group of fish.

Recently I added 4 black phantom tetra and that is where it all went down hill. It was two males and two females. The males would not stop fighting, but I assumed since they were tetra they needed a bigger school. So I got 2 more females, which didn't do much. So I had to take out one male and exchange him for a female. With a total of 5 females, and one male now they all fight.

Worst part is that my neon tetras are now aggressive as well, nipping and fighting among themselves

My water is always perfect, 30 percent changes every 2 weeks or less.

Only thing I can think of is that I recently (because of plants) I started using flourish and excel. I also started to use a different kind of water conditioner at the same time, the bigals stuff (my old topfin stuff ran out). All these were at the exact time I put in the phantom...

But could it be mating season for tetra? they are only being aggressive with their own breed. Is this a stupid thought? all my pther fish are peacefu ad keep to themselves.

Any help would be amazing....

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post #2 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 11:52 AM
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I highly doubt that inferior water quality can be the cause of heightened aggression between fish, although a more experienced member might be able to contribute more over here.
Also, I dose fertilisers daily so I don't think they can actually cause your fish to be aggressive.

I'm assuming your tank is fairly heavily planted and so should provide enough cover for any harrased fish.
I would consider the possibility of returning the Phantom Tetras to your LFS if I were you.

If things do get out of hand you can place the fish which is taking the brunt of the aggression into a small meshed container which would float near the surface of the tank, at least until a permanent solution is found.

You should continue observing your fish for any further aggression for now.
All of this aggression could be a natural part of the Tetras' way of organising a heirarchy, much like the largest of my Angelfish pecks the other ones from time to time to get them to display submissive behaviour (or so it seems).
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I have given them a few weeks to settle down, which they have but it still goes on from time to time. I will continue to keep a close eye on them.

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post #4 of 5 Old 04-24-2011, 11:59 AM
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I watched my Lemon tetras chase each other around this morning. I saw somebody else post that this is normal. It looked like a game of tag. One was mostly the aggressor, then I saw another fish come from the side and bump him. Fast little suckers, but during the 15 minutes I watched I didn't see them nip. Just chase each other.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-24-2011, 03:15 PM
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I think we need to be more clear on what you mean by "fighting." Shoaling fish, which all characins (tetra, hatchetfish, pencilfish) are, need a group and the more the better. Some species have normal "aggression" between rival males, or display behaviours, or a hierarchy like a social order, etc., and this varies between species. Sometimes it gets "physical" but usually not. Can you give me a better grasp of exactly what your fish are doing? This is where a video would be perfect, but even your best describtion in words will probably suffice.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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