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Old 12-08-2017, 12:33 PM   #1
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What behaviour is this? Male Guppies

Hi all!
Trying to sort out my male guppies. My biggest guppy was being picked on rather relentlessly last night, in particular by the orange small one. It would give him short breaks >1 min then go back at him for a good while again.

I sort of described the situation to my LFS and they didn't really tell me what was going on other than that it was probably best to separate him from the rest rather than let them continue to harass him to death. They said more guppys might help, but might also make things worse. I opted to try for more, since I was happy to have more anyway.

Brought them home and I'm now seeing the same behaviour directed mostly at one of the new guys, he's very dull coloured, grey and navy. The other one that was being picked on before is now also going for this fish [though sometimes is still targeted by the others + the orange fish] I suppose was also somewhat less colourful than them. He has a grey base with splotches of bright colour, but unlike the navy one he has an orange + black spotted tail making him a fair bit brighter.

Can anyone help identify the kind of behaviour I'm seeing? I would like to know if this is causing stress to the fish under 'attack', or if this behaviour can be fixed in anyway? I'm not sure if they're attacking, confusing the dark one and the biggest one for females or just trying to coax eachother into playing.

The fish sort of circle their target trying to nip at the base of the tail area, where the fin joins the body. And will chase them all over the tank trying to do this. This is not the same fighting behaviour that I've seen in videos, where fish face eachother and aim for eachothers faces. I have on occasion seen them aim more for the pectoral fins.

I would assume if it was stressing them out too much, these fish would go into hiding? Or is that just not a behaviour they exhibit? There are tall bushy plants in the tank, two pieces of driftwood and a hide.

Right now I was just watching two [orange and the large, previously bullied one] go after the navy one. It would dart away but at one point went at the corner to eat algae from the glass and sat there doing that while they were going at him. I assume if real pain was being caused he wouldn't still be trying to eat..?

So I'm really at a loss! I don't know what the behaviour is and if it's an issue or if it's just what guppies do when they're comfortable or what! The ones being picked on rarely ever 'fight' back, they are much more interested in being left alone.

Thank you all for your help!

Edit: As additional info, a friend said this is definitely aggression. I'm not sure how to deal with it - I can remove the navy guppy and hope the others don't go back to picking on the big boy.
I really don't want females in there, they're not a fish I want to keep.

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Old 12-09-2017, 01:55 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have both males and females, and the males are picking on the females. Can you share a picture?
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by nirbhao View Post
Sounds like you have both males and females, and the males are picking on the females. Can you share a picture?
Hi there1 thanks for your help
I would but my ipod doesn't handle the movement well at all, even in the breeder box the pictures are very blurry.
But I can assure you they all have a thin long gonopodium. It doesn't appear to be mating behaviour, if one does start circling the other it has a strafing C shaped motion. In a "You're facing me but I'm trying to bite you while keeping my tail away" sort of deal.
This video here kind of explains what I mean - however my issue is much less violent. The fish being targeted usually has very little interest in displaying this behaviour back, no matter if it's my big boy or the new navy one i added the other day. [or any of the others, but these two were the most bullied]
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:27 PM   #4
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Sometimes guppies are just jerks.
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