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Old 04-18-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
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Constant Aggression Issues

Greetings everyone!

I hope you can spare me a bit of your time, as the recommendations of pet store owners can put me off a bit. First a little history before my question. At start I originally had an Albino Angelfish, A Pearl Gourami, Two Moonlight Gouramis, a Neon Tetra, and a spotted Pleco.

The tank is approximately 32" x 16" (which would make it..what..35 gallons?Ish?), 40 gallon Whisper Filter, heating kept at around 78, bubble wand, fake plants, plenty of hiding caves.


First some declarations, I am aware that the Angelfish should technically eat the Neon, originally the combination of these two fish was a bad recommendation from a pet owner. However at this point, the 2 have literally grown up together, and the neon is pretty much the only fish out of the tank that is not chased! Quite amazing if I do say so myself.

I am also aware that the spotted Pleco can get too large for my current tank, however the fish store has a return policy and I just like the little bugger, so they are perfectly OK in taking a trade in once he gets to big. Once again, a bad recommendation from another pet store owner lead to his purchase.

Now that we have all that out of the way to save from having to get any more info replies I hope, my original issues came about when one the Moonlights grew quite a bit larger then the moonlight, pearl, and angelfish. He began to chase everyone around (from my understanding, due to his reaching sexual maturity) but it was quite a large tank, and baffled me why a particularly docile fish was being so overly aggressive.

I couldn't find any reason to it, and eventually the Pearl gourami gained a few cuts on it's side, got infected, and died. The other moonlight also turned up dead another day, though I am unsure what killed it. When the angelfish began to show signs of it's fins being injured, I removed the larger Moonlight from the tank and returned it.

I gave the angelfish a few days to regrow it's fins, and decided to restock the tank a bit. At this point there was only an Albino Angelfish, A Neon Tetra, and a Pleco in the water and everything was dandy.

I had recently added a Blue Panchax Killifish (once again, I know this guy may eat Neons, but the Jumbo neon is about the hardiest and smartest fish I have in the tank, so there hasn't been a problem there) a smaller female moonlight gourami, and a Flame Dwarf Gourami (which I was told was not as prone to disease as your average Gourami).

Now it appears that the Albino Angelfish is looking for revenge for being bullied by the once dominate and now removed Moonlight. He chases EVERYTHING but the Neon Tetra, to try and control the entire tank. He lets them eat without issue, but he will literally go around the tank looking for trouble, and I know the stress levels in that tank have to be high for the 3 new fish.

After all that my questions are this, why are my tankmates being so aggressive? During my original configuration the pearl, and the 2 moonlights would take turn chasing each other until the one finally gained dominace through size. My chemicals do not seem off, I use a bit of Aquarium Salt and PH modifier, yet I seem to generally have angry fish. I can return the Albino Angelfish I suppose (Really dont want to though, hes awful cool) but im just thinking it might continue.

I am unaware of what the cause of this is, or heck if maybe I can just let it alone and maybe it's natural to have a "dbag" fish in the tank. Any information or advice on how to increase the quality of life for these fish would be most appreciated!
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
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I would remove the gourami's. More than one gourami can cause aggression between the two and your angelfish may be reacting to this.

Do you have plants or ornaments in the tank? Hiding spots can help with aggression.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Multiple gouramis can create aggression in a tank. Do the gouramis show aggression towards each other or any other fish? Is the angelfish the largest fish in the tank? If so it may be the cause of the aggression. More information would be helpful.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
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At the moment, there are only 2 gouramis in the tank. A very small Flame Dwarf Gourami, and a decent sized Moonlight Gourami. The Dwarf Gourami and the Moonlight Gourami show no signs of aggression (as they are new fish, the original aggressive gouramis were the larger Moonlights I got that I removed)

The issue Im having now is with the Albino Angelfish. He is indeed the largest fish in the tank, and chases everything but the Neon Tetra, pretty much constantly. He seems to pick on the Moonlight Gourami (perhaps for revenge from the original large Moonlight gourami picking on him? ;p)

Obviously I can remove the Albino Angelfish if all this chasing really is bad for the fish, thus far its been about a week and a half and everyone is eating and swimming fine, however I understand the negative effects of stress on fish. I just don't want to take the Albino Angelfish out of the water (I like the guy) unless its necessary. If theres an issue in the tank, I want to solve it, because it seems as though no matter what combination of fish I have in there, someone has to control everything.

Also I dont have real plants, I have fake plants and rocks. I have multiple hiding spots in caves, formations, plants etc. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to matter because the Angelfish goes looking for trouble, and will chase the gouramis out of there hiding spots. Upon watching hijm, he really only seems to chase the Moonlight Gourami and Flame gourami, and leaves the Neon Tetra and Killifish alone (Neon has been there for a long time, and Killifhs stays at the tip top of the tank).

Thanks for any input you can give!
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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If you can you may want to remove the angelfish and place him in a different tank for a couple days. Being that he is the most established fish, it seems that he is bullying the "new kid" your new gouramis. This might give the gouramis a chance to establish themselves in the tank. This is just a suggestion. Hope it helps!
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