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I have 6 Rainbowfish in My 56 Gallon tall tank classified as "Australian" however they are two sub-types. My Male to female ratio is 4F-2M as recommended by many. My local LFS has told me that since these species do crossbreed its okay to mix them. He said technically I should less aggression with 2 Males and 4 Females as opposed to 1 Male and 2 Females. I have had the two males (A Goyder River Rainbow AKA Melanotaenia trifasciata) and an Eastern Rainbowfish AKA Melanotaenia Splendida longer than my females. Both are about 7 month old but were also fairly mature when purchased. They are now 4 inches each and getting very thick and colorful! Initially I was misinformed by a different fish store telling me not to mix sexes if I had less that 6. So at one point I had 4 males and no females. The females have been in the tank for about 4 months now.

Earlier on, the males would often flash at each other and at the females, but now its getting to the point where I am starting to see some fin injuries. They have also been shoving my Black Marble Angelfish who is At least 4 inches tall now into the corner. She has been snapping back, but has not done harm. So here are my questions... I am going to list out possibilities of what I am possibly doing wrong and it would be fantastic if people could give me some advice.... Thanks! :-D

The Two Males Sparring:

[/url]2014-12-17 16.13.28 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Possible issue #1:
I know my tank is overstocked :oops:. I am well aware and to have to break my back to keep water parameters ideal. However I am still saving a little more money so I can upgrade maybe to something like a 75g. I also have some space problems I am trying to work out :( My 56 Gallon Tank is not 48 inches like a traditional 55g, it is 30in in length X 24 height X 18 Width. I am starting to think the swimming space might be a big problem contributing to the aggression.

Possible issue #2:
Maybe the LFS was wrong about mixing Goyder River and Eastern Rainbows. In other words, Ideally the best situation would be to just keep 6 of one type or get a bigger tank and have 6 of both types 2F:1M Ratio.

Possible issue #3: My tank is too Crowded with fake plants, rocks, and ornaments not hindering swimming space. See pick below. I know real plants are better, but in the past I have had such a brown thumb with them LOL.

So I know #1 is most likely the biggest issue.... But are #2 and #3 making things worse?

Tank/Plants........

[/url]2014-12-17 16.22.00 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]


[/url]2014-12-17 16.24.36 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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probably not a big enough tank foot print or they are just two highly dominate males. Tank stocking isn't bad apart from the tank dimensions and the clown loaches. I would try to break up line of sight more if you want to lessen aggression between those two males. Then won't fight as much if they don't see eachother as much
 
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