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Old 07-23-2013, 04:30 AM   #1
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Whats going on? I have a pair of murderers

Just set up a 28 gallon bowfront, freshwater, 2 Emperor 280's, jager 100 w heater, water tested at petsmart and they said everything was perfect ph may be a tad high but nothing to worry about....

I got 5 zebra danios until I knew the cycling was done since they were hearty, First few days all 5 danios got along great. I started googling like crazy because I was so excited and found out I had at least 2 females and 2 males, not sure the sex of the 5th. One of the females looked like she was about to bust with eggs...

Then its like the tank turned into a murder scene.... It was the fat female against the rest.... literally one died everyday. The best way to describe it is they literally got bullied to death, the female was relentless! She would attack and then they would basically get so worn out they would stay at the top of the tank isolated in a corner or behind the filter, and by the next morning that one would be dead.

Now there's just the female, and the one male she let live.... and the aggression has stopped. Its literally like she just wanted to take out everyone but her selected mate, it was the weirdest thing. All petsmart can say is "wow, I've never heard of this happening."

NOW here's where it starts getting weird.... Its like the tables have turned, they will swim together some, but now the female kind of stays in one spot and the male is like more active than hes ever been. Hes constantly exploring the tank and just looks "happy." The past few days it was the female who was roaming all around the tank and the male was kind of skiddish (probably thinking he was next on the hitlist.) He doesnt bully the female though, literally all the aggression is gone. The female looks more normal now, so im assuming all of her eggs have been released...

I guess my question is do all females who are about to release their eggs go all serial killer on the rest of the group? I mean I know hormones can cause moodiness in people, but i mean she went from calm and happy with the rest of the group, to being the "leader of the pack," to bulling all the others to death except for one male, then laying her eggs, and now finally in a state of depression.

Has this happened to anyone else, or did I just happen to get a bipolar, jealous, murdering, moody fish? I know these fish are supposed to be kept in groups of 6... but I refuse to buy more since literally one was killed by her each day. Its like she just wanted her man and no one else. I mean they're healthy fish... I feed omega one, dont over/under feed, have good water chemistry, am majorly over filtering, wasn't anywhere near being over crowded.... I mean its like she had a hitlist, targeted one each day... then stopped the killing spree when she killed all but one male.. now shes depressed and the male is happy.

Sorry if this was a jumble of thoughts, but I'm just soooo confused.... This behavior is mind boggling and from what I can see I'm not doing anything wrong (other than maybe not having live plants yet.... the tank is a work in progress, kind of buying add ons when the extra money and vision for the tank comes along.) Light is on a timer, roughly 12 h on 12 h off.... Used prime for the water, both Emperors have the optional media basket filled with the Diamond blend with carbon and ammonia neutralizing crystals... used bacteria starter, and both biowheels had been used previously so they had a good amount of beneficial bacteria built up too...

This is soo weird, I feel like I'm watching an episode of Deadly Women: Bipolar edition or something. ANY advice, tips, or knowledge about what went on would be great. Thanks yall!
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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That is crazy!
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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so, is the tank cycle? i couldn't get a straight answer from the reading. how long have you had this tank running? i would decrease the time from 12hr to 6-8hr.

Back to original topic: do you have any hiding place in the tank? this might reduce aggression from the beginning. a full tank shot would be very helpful. when the females are pregnant, it's usually the males who are doing the defending. can you imagine a pregnant woman defending her home with a baby in her? i'm shocked by what you have described.

so, unless you speak in fish language, i think we're never going to find out what happen. Which goes back to my original intention of the reply: it's better off if you do the aquascaping first before adding the fish. an example of the benefits is you can get started with the nitrogen cycle. by the time you fish with the cycling, you probably have enough hidding spaces/decors that would aid in reducing the new tank syndromes that fish tend to have. with that been said, i would get some decors/plants if i were you immediately before getting anymore fish.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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I got bacteria starter, and also were using 2 previously used bio wheels (1 large one in each Emperor 280), and I took a water sample in to petsmart, they tested it and said based on the parameters of the water the cycling looks complete.

Def should have added more hiding places, I'm assuming that was a big cause of the stress. Definitely plan on adding more plants before fish though... The 2 remaining male and female Danios are doing perfect now! That's what is just so weird lol, wake every day to one being bullied to death, and now they're just acting like nothing has happened!

Thanks for the info on the 6-8 hours of light a day also! Def need to tame down the timer thanks guys!

By the way the tank should be my main profile pic. It is on the website, it's not showing on the mobile app though for some reason.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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The male is fine now, recently added some Red Minor Serpae Tetras (3), and a Chinese algae water. He's doin great. Lol so weird
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:18 AM   #6
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The male is fine now, recently added some Red Minor Serpae Tetras (3), and a Chinese algae water. He's doin great. Lol so weird
Watch out for Chinese Algae Eaters ! They get big and mean.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:08 AM   #7
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Watch out for Chinese Algae Eaters ! They get big and mean.
I've heard!!! Def wasn't expecting that when I got him. He's small now so I should have about a year of harmony lol
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:37 AM   #8
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I've heard!!! Def wasn't expecting that when I got him. He's small now so I should have about a year of harmony lol
He'll get mean before then. Check your fish in the mornings to see if they show any signs of stress from the night before.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:43 AM   #9
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He'll get mean before then. Check your fish in the mornings to see if they show any signs of stress from the night before.
Okay! Of all the fish the cae is the most calm now.... But he's really little.

What are signs of stress I should look for in the mornings?
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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Okay! Of all the fish the cae is the most calm now.... But he's really little.

What are signs of stress I should look for in the mornings?
Less active, drooping fins/tail (they may not have been able to sleep well), nervous darting or hiding, pale colour, not eating well.
They are very active at night, and that alone can be disruptive, but in the absence of something better to eat, they may target the slime coat of sleeping fish.
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