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Agressive bristlenose

5756 Views 39 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  GCNZ
I have a 15 gallon planted tank which I set up about 4 months ago, the first fish to go in the tank were 8 neon tetras, followed by a small female bristlenose catfish, 2 weeks after adding the bristlenose I decided to get a male to keep her company, knowing I would soon be upgrading to a larger tank. since day one of introducing the male bristlenose the female has been extremely aggressive towards the male, if she gets sight of him she will chase him around the tank, away from food etc.
It's been afew months now and the fish all seem healthy but the female is still aggressive towards the male, and she is growing at a faster rate than him probably because she is dominant over the food.

Has anybody got an explanation for this bahaviour? The only thing I can think of is not enough room for 2 of them in a small tank, there is plenty of driftwood and plants, but maybe the female thinks she rules the place since she was there first...

I have now setup a 40 gallon tank and have transferred the male into this tank on his own so he can get some confidence back and get a good feed all to himself to try put on a bit of size before I introduce the female and the neon tetras to the tank with him.
Hopefully the female will leave him alone this time since they have alot more room now...
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Yes, one of them. Goes to show you that not all fish act the same even if they are the same type. I also have one at my LFS who has to be away from other BN's because she's too aggressive.

EDIT: and it wasn't just to other BN's either, mine was tail slapping any fish that got in her way.
Dang that is weird. Did you get them as adults? I got mine when they were babies. So they basically grow up with each other and everything else in the tank. That might be why I don't have any problem.
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No, the aggressive one I had since she was an inch and a half, so basically a baby.

It's not really weird, especially if you take a look at the wide variety of Betta personalities, some are super aggressive and others couldn't care what you did to them as long as they get food lol.
Well I just don't expect it. Cuz I have had 5 and not one issue. Also 6 of my friends have multiples as well, and no issue.
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I know but again, you can't judge all of them just because some of them are what you would deem "normal" is all.
Ya I know. I would still trade it in.
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Thats the thing, I'm not sure whether or not she is actually attacking him or just chasing him... She doesn't really get a chance to attack him because he is quick to react and get away from her, this makes me think she would attack him if he didn't get away fast enough. And also because of this he may not be getting as much food as he needs.

I would rather not get rid of the female as she is a nice looking fish and very active so I guess I will just keep an eye on them and make sure the male isn't hungry or getting beatin up.
I do agree she is beautiful, it's a shame you're in NZ otherwise I'd take her! lol
Well it's almost been a week and I can't say I have seen a lot of chasing going on... I only really get a few hours of watching the fish after work each night while i'm chillin watchin tv but if anything it seems like the BN are taking turns hiding for a few hours while the other ones out eating/exploring and vise versa. I still don't see them getting along together in close proximity but maybe things will keep getting better... the main thing is the male is out getting food every now and then so he should be keeping healthy. Hoping for the best, looking at getting more plants and maybe more fish this weekend
Well that's good! As long as he's getting enough food, they should be fine. But as always, just best to keep an eye on them when you can, but I don't think she'll be too much of an issue once they both settle in finally :)
I ended up getting 3 Kubotai loaches today, theyre making themselves at home in the tank nicely and the female BN started chasing them around but the more she chases them the more curious about her they get, I think she's starting to realize if she doesn't chase them they won't annoy her, they don't take any interest in the male BN so I can only see this as being good for the females aggression.
Oh lol!! That's pretty funny, well hopefully she'll learn a lesson from all this ;-) good luck with the new loaches! They sound like a hoot!
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Well the loaches have won me over, they are an awesome fish to watch and I noticed how they like to be in groups so I decided to increase the group from 3 to 5 today, however when I went to buy 2 more, there was 3 left at the store so who would I be to leave one on it's own, so it came home with me too haha, so I have ended up with a group of 6 swimming around in my tank.

Feeding time tonight was madness with the loaches, really cool to watch. The female BN seems to be the most on edge out of all the fish but it looks like the introduction of a curious group loaches is doing good for the socializing of the BN, yet to see them in close proximity to each other though...
I also meant to ask what you guys think of my current tank stocking capacity...
8x neon tetras
6x Kubotai loaches
2x BN

tank size is also closer to 35g, not 40g like I mentioned earlier...
What do you guys think of this, room for more? overstocked?
You've got plenty of room in the tank. What's the footprint of the tank?

You could bump up your Neon school to around 10-12 and add a centerpiece fish like a Dwarf Gourami or something nice ^_^
The tank is 92cm long x 38cm wide... it is long rather than tall so this will be good for the loaches. I might hold off getting more fish until I have stocked the tank with all the plants that I want, I might also go looking for another taller piece of driftwood to swap with another piece I have in there at the moment.
Here's a pic of my tank, photos not very good quality though sorry :)


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Looks good! But yeah, I definitely suggest bumping up your plant stock, it will make your fish feel more safe and thus in return, your female BN might not feel like she completely owns the tank if there are "walls" of plants up, you know? But so far so good it looks like :)
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Looks like a great tank! :)
I would seriously think about adding a centerpiece fish as the tank looks a bit bland IMO.
But getting some more plants will really make the tank pop, so crypts would do well, along with java fern and anubias. See if you can get some floaters, it really adds another "dimension". :-D However, I am not sure what type of plants you can get in the NZ though...
(BTW, I would think about moving the val towards the back as they will grow big...)
I agree it does look a bit bland at the moment, I still have more plants to transfer from my 15g tank so with a bit of luck and a bit of time it should be quite heavily planted, I also want to find a different piece of driftwood to replace the one of the left of the tank. The tank has only been set up for maybe 4 weeks now so it's still early days :)
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