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Old 12-14-2002, 10:22 PM   #1
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Unexpected Squabbles

Today I moved my male silver lyretail molly from my 10 gallon tank to my 20 gallon tank.

I soon discovered that he and my blue powder dwarf gourami had taken an unfriendly interest in each other. I'm not sure who started it but both seemed to be aggressive toward the other. They circled each other often and I saw the molly lunge a couple times at the gourami and also the gourami move close to the molly. Since I have noticed the gourami being aggressive toward the smaller mollies in the tank and suspect he may have been responsible for some of the ones that have vanished, I put him in a breeding net in the 20 gallon tank to isolate him.

At this point I thought everything would be fine. But oh no, the molly wasn't through. He picked a fight with my 2 inch long algea eater, who also has an aggressive streak on occassion. He lunged at the algea eater who ran. The molly, satisfied, turned to swim away and the algea eater darted after him. He left just as fast when the molly turned on him again.

Now I can't find the algea eater anywhere in the tank. There are places for him to hide so I don't think these two will ever do any serious harm to each other.

I would never have expected this from a molly. Have any of you ever seen anything similar?

I think I'm going to find a new home for the gourami and after getting some other algea eaters I'll probably find a new home for the current one which I suspect will become more and more aggressive. Of course he may be just the right size for my 55 gallon tank so I could move him there.
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Old 12-15-2002, 09:59 AM   #2
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More Tanks! :P
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Old 12-15-2002, 12:07 PM   #3
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Even though most would describe mollies as being unaggressive, there will always be exceptions! I know that I often end up with fish that differ from the norm, like the male betta that was so aggressive he killed neons and the other male betta that was so docile I kept him in a tank of male guppies......
Anyway, with regards to your problem, you could always move the gourami to the 55g. At least in a tank that large he shouldn't cause too many problems. As far as the algae eater, what kind of fish is it? A pleco, oto or a chinese algae eater, perhaps a flying fox?
If it's a chinese algae eater, then you would be better off getting rid of HIM as they can get very mean as they mature. They also have the reputation of losing their taste for algae as they grow. Instead they develop a taste for the sides of the other fish in the tank and can often kill them.
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:03 AM   #4
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I have to modify my answer above because when I wrote it, I didn't realise you already have a firemouth and convict cichlids in the 55g. A gourami is too slow to outrun these fish should it have to, so don't put him in there. Either one of those cichlids is quite capable of killing any slow fish.
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:04 AM   #5
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I want more tanks. I am restrained by my wife until we get a larger place.

As for the response to put the gourami in the 55 gallon tank. He used to live in that tank with the convict chiclid, but at some point the convict decided to target him and so I removed him before he got hurt. I've put him back two other times after reorganizing everything in the tank but that convict just doesn't want the gourami around. I do have other fish I consider slow in this 55 gallon tank such as the painted glass fish, a lemon tetra, an emporer tetra, and two diamond tetras and they have no problems.

I suspect the algea eater is a chinese algea eater.
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:07 AM   #6
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I've never had mollies just because I don't care for live breeders but I've had a lot of agression problems with both of my gourami's. It's only been towards individual fish though. I think they feel less powerful against schools. Maybe the gourami had threatened the molly before when you weren't aware so he was just watching out for himself. My two gourami's would do that - one would strike before any agression was shown I guess to warn the other one to stay away. I say keep them together and if you ever see any battle wounds then separate them. Or you could double up on each breed just to give them some security.
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:23 PM   #7
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I put my male silver lyretail molly back in my 55 gallon tank. He had only been out of the tank about a month (he was in my breeding tank). The only change in that tank that I think could have contributed to the behavior I am about to describe is that I moved 3 female mollies from it to the 55 gallon tank at work.

When I put him in the tank, he and the black male molly almost immediately started circling each other and striking each others tail fins. A month before they had lived peacefully together. So I put my open hand between them to stop the fighting. The lyretail molly attacked my hand and I think the black one attacked the back of my hand. I had to nearly grab the lyretail to get him to move away from my hand. He was oblivious to my hand, being focused on getting that black molly. I removed my hand and within a minute or so they were circling and biting each other again. After the third time I captured the black molly and moved him to my 20 gallon tank. I'm just a wee bit frustrated and tired of molly politics.

Another issue arose sometime after I removed the above mentioned silver lyretail molly from my 10 gallon breeding tank. The Betta in that tank decided to force the female silver lyretail molly down to the bottom in a corner and didn't want to let her up. I don't think he ever struck her, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't because he likes her. His side gills were puffed out in the same way he will react to his own reflection.

Since I think she will have babies in a week or two I moved the Betta to my 20 gallon tank. Hopefully he won't do this with any of the mollies in this tank.
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