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Old 11-09-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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Question Wanted - SW Fish Psychiatrist

I know one can't "train" fish to behave the way one would like, but I would like to know if there's a way to reduce the "chasing" that goes on. There's no physical contact, but Matthew, my False Percula, has become aggressive with the Chromi (is that the plural or Chromis?), and Madonna, the largest of the Chromi is chasing Manny and Mo, the other two. The other three fish - a Blenny, a Goby and a Cardinal are all left alone by the others.

I have read all the "discussions" about how often to feed and the two LFS I frequent come down on different sides of the issue. I
have decided that feeding more frequently, i.e. twice a day versus once (but not more food), may lead to happier fish and less aggression.

Is there anything else I can do, other than making sure tank is not overstocked? (It's not - all the fish are juvvies.) One of the guys at my LFS suggested getting three - four more chromi since they tend to do better in larger numbers. My three chromi are not yet schooling.

Do fish tend to mellow over time with respect to chasing, or does it get worse?
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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I have two clowns that have chased each other for 8 yrs now. They havent killed each other and it`s not really that bad but they have to stay on oppisite sides of a 6 ft tank. When ever they get close they will chase and nip. I dont think you`ll change them but if it gets too bad someone will need to go. JMO
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:08 AM   #3
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More hiding places maybe add some rock???
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:29 PM   #4
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Depends on the species of fish you are dealing with .

I agree with fiji, maybe add some more rock ...
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Or you could try Re-Aquascaping your Tank I hear you can minimize the territory of your fish. He could just be in a territorial state
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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I'm going to go against your LFS advice for sure... don't add more fish. You've got a clown, 3 chromis, a cardinal, a goby, and a blenny in a 50g. Personally, I think you're pretty close to what would be a good stopping point. Adding 4 more fish would definitely put you over the top. Whether or not the fish are juveniles or not, the species need swimming room and their "own" space, so just because the fish are small doesn't mean you should cram a bunch in there.

Regarding the clown and the chromis... both clowns and chromis are from the same family (damsels) so it makes sense they're being territorial. It's an example of the "one fish per family rule" (with exceptions!) in action.

With that said though... my false Perc doesn't really care about anything in my 46g tank. And I have 3 blue chromis. And yeah... the chromis chase each other from time to time, but no nipping - just a game of tag now and then. My Bangaii Cardinal will get an attitude from time to time, and go after the chromis, but could care less about the clown. And no one cares about the yellow clown goby. Go figure.

I guess my opinion is that fish will be fish... they do the same thing in the ocean, but have a bigger tank there to chase in! As long as no physical harm is being done, I'd just watch and wait.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Wow...I've got the exact opposite situation I have a false perc and an O. clown hosting together in the same anemone, and my chromis and yellow tail damsel school together. Perhaps mid-west fish are a bit more laid back than their San Diego counterparts?

Anyways, just wanted to throw my support behind Mr. Nelson's in that adding more fish is probably not the best idea given your current stocking and tank. I also throw my support behind either adding more rock and/or setting up your rock work to create more 'caves' or hiding places. In fact, if you can use the rock in a way that breaks up sightlines across the tank so that one fish cannot always see everyone else, you might see less chasing. I've noticed that a few people can get this effect by placing all of the rock in a sort of horse-shoe type shape with each side having less rock than the middle of the tank...if that makes any sense.

IME, chasing is pretty common but if there is a bigger problem at hand, the bullied fish seem to hang out in areas away from the rock such as the upper areas of the tank and/or behind things like heaters, powerheads, spray bars, etc... I also agree that clownfish are very territorial and as I found out one day, surprisingly bold!
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:51 PM   #8
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Thanks very much for all the advice, all you shrinks out there!

Great video!

I may look into adding more rock, reconfiguring my set up, or returning the chromi to the LFS. Everything was fine until they showed up. The Clown is cool with the Blenny, the Goby, and the Cardinal.

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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LOL... Video was great!!!!....
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #10
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Chromis is a Genus of which cannot be pluralized. Dominance is always a problem and common with conspecifics of Chromis, of which will not normally school in aquaria unless large and there is an aggressor (your clown doesn't count). Adding other fish isn't necessarily a bad idea, just not of Chromis, and possibly one that can hold its own. There really are no guarantees just as there is no such thing as a peaceful aquarium. Maybe take bets on who wins the turf war? XD
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