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HerMooness 04-09-2013 02:33 PM

Guppies becoming suddenly agressive.
Just a quick one. I have 4 male guppies that have been living in harmony for a good month or so in a 24L tank. Day before yesterday they moved to a newly set up planted 65L tank. Transition went smooth for all 4 guppies and 2 Glowlights + 2 Penguin Tetras. Slight Hiccup with Nitrite spike in the middle of the night (50% water change at 4:20am, trying to be quiet boiling kettles and with noisy taps not fun, but hey ho...the things I do for my fish!) All were happy for the first 24 hours.

Came up to do a water test after tea and noticed the largest guppy Barry was pestering the other guppies (none of the tetra's) especially Bubbles. They were all cowering away most of the time, only a few times did it go nose to nose. Then all the guppies turned on Barry at once and gave him hell for leather around the tank. Barry now has his own little bachelor pad in a breeding net to cool off!

I suspect this is finding out who is most dominant, but I do not want to leave it to chance over night. Is it ok to let him out? Any ideas on why all of a sudden he's being a thug. They've all been friendly for aaaages with no hiccups until now!

Thanks in advance! :)

fish monger 04-09-2013 06:45 PM

Do the male guppies ever sidle up to the tetras as if they think they might be female guppies ? This would start up a stronger drive to prove dominance for breeding rights among the males. Just a thought.

HerMooness 04-09-2013 09:31 PM

Not that I've noticed, but I shall keep an eye out for that now. Any reason a bigger tank could have started this? How can I discourage it (if I can)? While its not relentless bullying (I've let him go back in - too cruel to keep him netted for long) there's clearly 'high tensions' the majority of the time!

Thanks for your suggestion. :D
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MoneyMitch 04-09-2013 09:43 PM

could be the new environment, new layout. i know my Africans are normally aggressive towards each other but after a re-scape its a free for all for a few days then it settles back down.

HerMooness 04-28-2013 05:38 AM

Update: I let Barry the Bully out (I felt mean keeping him in the breeding net) and for the last nearly 3 weeks he's just been pestering them. Its not gone as far as outright violence, but just constantly harassing them. I was watching them today and I noticed that the 3 other guppies were looking really dull and lost a lot of colour on the top of their body between nose and dorsal fin. I'm guessing its due to them being stressed out with this constant aggression from Barry the Bully.

I have two friends with enormous community tanks I think he would be compatible with. Shall I move him out? I was hoping the bullying would ease off eventually but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Thanks again. Hoping for a quick reply because he can move tonight if so.

HerMooness 04-28-2013 05:46 AM

Barry's now back in his bachelor pad until further notice and I've double dosed the tank with StessCoat+. I guess if it is stress causing the loss of colour it can only help!

RobertTheFish 07-15-2013 02:09 PM

I'm no guppy expert but I'll throw these 2 ideas out:

You said you have 4 males. Have you considered adding a couple more to the mix? It may be that if you add 2 or 3 more, your bully will be distracted and not be able to focus on anyone in particular.

You said you went to a larger tank and it's planted. How thickly is it planted? You may need more plants and hiding spots. If there's a lot of wide open space, they will see each other more often. Especially try to have plants all the way up the water column as guppies tend to spend a good bit of time at mid- to high-level.

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