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Old 02-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
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Aggressive Firemouth

So I am in a situation. I have a 75 gallon cihclid / community tank. However lately my male firemouth thinks he is boss and well.. he is acting like one. I noticed today one of my african cichlids ( can't remember the name but it looks like a tiger sorta with maybe 4-5 black stripes, and a yellowish tint to its body) has a chunk of his tail missing. I can only guess who could have done that. Also stocked in the tank is another firemouth ( much more friendly and peaceful ) , a buffalo head, a keyhole, 3 GBR, a jewel cichlid, a convict, an opaline gourami ( he seems to get along fine with everyone ) and about 10 cories. I tried to pick out relatively peaceful cichlids while aquiring my fish, however this boy just doesn't mess around. Is there anything I can do? I really don't want to get rid of him because he is a BEAUTIFUL fish, I've never seen a firemouth like him. He's probably the priettiest of all my fish. Any suggestions? Also, I can't rearrange my decor and put him back in the tank, it is heavily planted and I won't pull up all my plants haha. Thanks for replies!

And one more thing, don't harass me because I have South/Central and African cichlids mixed. I know this. I've done my research and made sure all would be well, and all is except this aggresssion issue.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:25 PM   #2
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Is it a breeding pair of firemouths?
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:20 PM   #3
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It's not that you mixed continents so much. It's just that you mixed fish that should never be in the same tank. You'd need to do a lot of trading and buying and selling to get it all right IMO. Are you willing to do that?
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:04 AM   #4
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You have a bunch of fish that don't belong together to begin with and now you have problems....

Try rearranging the decor I know don't want to but you need to at least try it

Try the time out method moving aggressive fish to another tank for a week but again you need to rearrange the tank before he comes back

If all else fails rehome him
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:50 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention sometimes firemouths get the crazy switch turned on and go nuts killing everything they can.
Don't know why it happens but those are usually rehomed
But it's your call keep us posted on what happens always interesting what happens in a mix tank good or bad helps the debate rage on old vs new works mixed tanks
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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Are you sure it's the firemouth that's doing this because Jewels are known for fin their nipping.

By African do you mean Malawi cichlids? If so I'm surprised that any other fish are actually still alive.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:12 PM   #7
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No the firemouths are not breeding. And yes I'm 95% sure it is him. He's just a boss. Literally. I will be rehoming the gourami, I know that was a mistake. But a lot of these fish are rescues so I never intended to put them in my tank. My jewel is pretty peaceful. She doesn't do much. And no, I don't believe I have any Malawi. The Africans I have are pretty docile. I made sure to research them even before rescuing them to make sure they weren't super aggressive.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
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Aggressive Firemouth

Than you know sometimes firemouths go psycho and their is not much you can do aside from the already mentioned alternatives but if those fail to calm him down.
It won't get any better so you would have to rehome him
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:00 PM   #9
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Sounds like he has reached sexual maturity. You may have a m/f pair. They are very hard to sex. If he starts beating up on the other Firemouth but not causing damage you may have fry in a few weeks.

If that happens there is no way of curbing his aggression. I had to separate my pair. I have my male in with my fry and he just sulks behind a rock and it has been weeks.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:53 PM   #10
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I have a single male firemouth who went psycho when I tried to house him with my then itty bitty baby flowerhorn a pair of sunshine bnp and a clown loach. I moved him there to stop my redtailed black shark from picking on him. I put him back into my 150g SA/CA cichlid community and placed my 8 inch redtailed shark into the 60g and all was right with the world, lol. He now just lives peacefully among the taller fake plants occasionally venturing out to harass the pollini cichlids that are being housed in the 150g waiting to be rehomed to the right people. I think the only reason why he isn't more aggressive is because his tankmates are all at least 3 inches larger than his 6 inch adult form.
The one thing that I have experienced in keeping mixed cichlids is this- every single one has their own personalities and it is up to them and not you whether or not they will be a good fit for your tank. If you really want to keep him there you could try adding lots of cave like structures along with plants (real or fake) of assorted heights and shapes to stagger the line of vision as much as possible and rearrange your decor regularly to keep them from truly establishing a territory. Also if you're up for the task of constant cleaning a school of medium sized dither fish (diamond, lemon, bleeding heart and copelandi tetra come to mind) can help give your aggressive guy a not so easy target so as to not stress out any of the others that are being singled out. I'd be careful if they are a true pair- they can be VERY evil when brooding takes place

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