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Old 10-21-2008, 06:50 AM   #1
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More Guppies - Less Bullying?

Hello everyone.

I recently bought a small group of Guppies, five in total, and they seemed to be getting on well at first. They'd play in the current and chase each other around and all five would stick together all the time; they were a joy to watch! Now though, one of them seems to have become a bit of an outcast as four of them continue to play in their group whilst this one in particular sits by himself over by the filter or hides behind plants. I rarely see him now, even during feeds, as he seems very shy and reluctant to come out from his hiding place. I've also noticed that his tail looks as though it has been nipped in several places and I'm fairly certain that this is from one of the other Guppies (other tank mates are four Dwarf Gourami and two Upside Down Catfish who have always been completely peaceful).

I don't like to see my fish bullying each other and have been thinking about what I can do to stop it or at least reduce it. I can't really remove any of the fish as I don't have anywhere else for them to go and I can't take anyone back to the shop either. I was wondering if increasing the size of the group from five to perhaps eight or nine might help though as it might distract the meaner Guppy and give the shy one some new friends to play with so he doesn't feel so left-out. Does this seem like a good idea? Also, if I do buy some more Guppies, should I buy them from the same place as I bought the first group or would it be OK to get them from another (closer) supplier? I can't see that this matters as I've never had any problems with any fish from either supplier before but I thought I should ask anyway.

Although I've only been keeping fish for a couple of months, I haven't lost any yet and I don't want poor Flame to be the first... :-(

Dan
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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If you're tank wasn't cycled, it's possible he's reacting to ammonia poisoning.

How big is your tank? What's the gender composition of your guppies?
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:13 AM   #3
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Hey, thanks for the reply.

The tank's cycled - I test the water every couple of days and I've been getting 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 15 - 20 Nitrates for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

It's a 60-litre tank which works out at slightly more than 16 US gallons. I know that this isn't big and that I run the risk of over-stocking given what fish I have in there already but I can't think of what else I might be able to do other than sit and watch it get eventually bullied to death!

All the fish in it are male. I've always bought males as I don't want to have to deal with any fry just yet...

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:16 AM   #4
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I think you might be at your limit now for fish.

I'd check to make sure that it's not the catfish doing the bullying (check after you turn the lights off), and maybe just accept that the male guppies aren't always going to get along perfectly.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:23 AM   #5
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Well, I had always intended the guppies to be the last fish I added to the tank until now but I guess it's not fair to potentially risk the health of all of the fish by over-stocking.

I'm fairly sure it's not the catfish as I've seen one of the other Guppies in particular chasing the fin-nipped Guppy around. I hardly ever see the catfish though so I guess it could be either...
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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male guppies will "nip" and show aggressive behavior twords each other.. sometimes its worse than others all depends on the fish

I would possibly returen at least 2 of the dwarf gouramis (i know dwarfs are peaceful) but i wouldn't keep more than 2 ina 16 gallon tank...
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #7
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Hi haykay, thanks for the advice.

Based on what I've learnt about Dwarf Gouramis since getting the 4 of them, I wouldn't keep more than 2 in a 16 gallon tank either. In fact, I'd probably only keep 1. It's too late for that now though and I can't take any back to the shop. At least I'll know for next time...

That said, all 4 of them look very healthy, aren't especially aggressive towards each other (or anything else) most of the time and certainly aren't off their food! I've got quite used to having the 4 of them now and they're such friendly fish that I'd miss any of them if I did get rid of them.

Thanks,
Dan
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