Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Aoibhell 09-03-2012 07:10 AM

Festivums Not Getting Along
I got a Festivum (Jerry) a week ago, then I added another one (Cosmo) last night. Jerry won't leave Cosmo alone and it appears as though he is constantly trying to lock lips. Cosmo is completely submissive and backs away. He tries to hide, but Jerry always finds him.

Is this display of dominance permanent or do cichlids have to establish dominance like animals do? I don't want Cosmo to get beat up and will take him back to the LFS if need be, but I really just wanted Jerry to have a buddy in there.

Is there any way to improve this situation or is it hopeless?

FYI: 56G Column tank with live plants and rocks. There are caves, but my loaches and ram kind of took those over.

jaysee 09-03-2012 08:13 PM

The tank is not large enough for both of them. I know it's 50 some gallons, but column tanks are mostly wasted gallons as the fish do not swim up and down.

Aoibhell 09-04-2012 06:21 AM

I realize the footprint isn't that long, but I was told that Festivums are like Angels in that they don't need a lot of horizontal room, as they are calm hoverers. I wanted to just stick with the one, but I read that they are happier in pairs. It was also to my understanding that they are generally a very docile and calm cichlid, so I didn't anticipate a problem. Maybe it's just that Jerry's individual personality does not tolerate another of his kind.

Currently, they are hanging out on opposite sides of the tank, but I don't think either are very happy, so I will be rehoming the new Festivum.

My question remains, though, just for my own knowledge... Is there a period of displaying dominance to new tank mates, or is it pretty much a permanent problem if one is picking on the other from the beginning?

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