At what point do you consider moving a possibly harassed fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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At what point do you consider moving a possibly harassed fish?

What criteria do you use to decide to move a fish? I have four angelfish in my 75g tank. The smallest has been harassed since the beginning and is growing the least/slowest. For the most part, he stays by himself in one section of the tank. That being said, he appears to be healthy, is eating although seldom competes at feeding time, frozen bloodworms an exception. I've had them for five months and he's only grown from dime to quarter size. In comparison, two have 2" bodies and the Boss's body is 3". My options seem to be to leave him there, transfer him to my 10g with the plan of upgrading the tank to a 20H and using the 10g as a hospital tank, wait until I upgrade to a 20H, put him in my 20L, or wait until I get my 40B running. The potential problems are that the 20L has swordtails in it, so he would still be out-competed for food and I'm trying to raise the fry, which would be food for him. The 10g is small, so I'd have to plan on moving him again in a few months plus I'm toying with the idea of transferring the swordtail fry to it once they become big enough to catch. I want to do something different than an angelfish tank with the 40B. The bottom line is that I'd like to see if I can get him to grow as he has the nicest features. So any suggestions or comments welcome.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 09:22 PM
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As long as he doesn't have constantly ragged and torn fins or messed up mouth I would leave him in the larger tank. Just make sure there are line of sight breaks for him to get away sometimes. I wouldn't put him in a smaller tank.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 09:48 PM
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My general rule is that if a fish isn't "happy" because of harassment by its tankmates, either it or the bully fish gets moved. We put these creatures in tiny (by the Amazon river's standards) glass boxes so it's on us to move them out if things aren't peaceful. A little flaring and chasing is expected of course, but you'll know if things are to a point where... well, you wouldn't want to be that fish. This is why I don't keep cichlids any longer, and hardly keep fish that aren't placid shoaling species. I just constantly had my hospital and Q tanks filled with one fish. Even today while only keeping micro rasboras, tetras, guppies and various algae eating fish I still find myself moving things more often than I'd like for this reason. I have a pile of old books that suggest rearranging the hardscape, taking the dominant fish out for a couple of weeks then reintroducing, and so forth that have literally never worked for me after a lifetime of trying them.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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As long as he doesn't have constantly ragged and torn fins or messed up mouth I would leave him in the larger tank. Just make sure there are lines of sight breaks for him to get away sometimes. I wouldn't put him in a smaller tank.
He has an area by the Marineland filter that he hangs around. I'm more concerned about his lack of growth, he doesn't show ant signs of torn fins, etc. A lot of it seems to be when they think they're going to be fed.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 11:17 PM
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Runt fish are not all that rare and it doesn't always have to do with aggression from other fish.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Runt fish are not all that rare and it doesn't always have to do with aggression from other fish.
Is there a way of telling if a fish is a runt or not eating enough to grow as fast?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 01:44 AM
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As in all things, whether it is a fish tank or a country, somebody has to step up and be the adult! If it is not done, look what happens, lots of things go wrong and everybody suffers.
So you are the obvious leader for your tank and you have to set priorities to avoid the obvious breakdown.
so what are your priorities? Keeping more fish than you can handle has the obvious result of many of them dying.
Moving fish around may work but then you do have to figure out what you want to be the priority.
But then there is the obvious solution of choosing which to keep and which to move on, either in swapping to a shop or selling.
But doing nothing is definitely not doing your job of making decisions, is it?
Look at Covid-19 to see where your lack of action is likely to lead. Somebody has to be the leader and it sure isn't going to be your fish----or is it?
I prefer to get rid of fish in whatever way seems best, rather than watch them all sicken and die slowly.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 06:35 AM
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I had a similar dilemma with my 9 angels that I bought as dime-sized babies After 10 months the runt is less than half the size of the largest male. It's not being picked on--there's much more aggression amongst the largest fish. It just hangs back at feeding time--and sometimes literally has food drifting by its face and it doesn't do anything. Makes me wonder if it had vision issues or something. But put in flake--which is like crack for them, it's in there pigging out with the rest. I've set up a larger tank, and after it cycled and some new fish went through quarantine, I put it in there to fatten up. I feed it flies, which it relishes, and seems to hold its own among the more aggressive female guppies when competing for pellets & flake. Hoping it'll have a growth spurt. But you can tell it's lonely for it's own kind--it keeps looking at the glass & trying to interact with its reflection. Plenty of other fish in the tank--6 otos, 5 super red plecos, 6 mollies & 5 guppies.

After just a few days, it's interesting to see a new pecking order emerge among the remaining 8 angels. And--you guessed it--there's a new runt. BlueRidgeReef is right: with cichlids there's always going to be one fish on the bottom of the pecking order. Waiting to see how it settles, but the new runt will eventually join its sibling in the new tank. The plan is to get two pair of golden/back velvets to breed, and rehome the rest. But cichlids seem to be like people--they're always sparring amongst themselves for dominance

That's a beautiful angel--I can see why you'd want to ensure that it thrives. Good luck!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 05:52 PM
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After four months (I believe you said) it may be too late for this fish to catch up. It looks perfectly healthy to me. No obvious wounds, missing scales, split fins, snipped caudal fin streamers. And has been mentioned, if you remove this fish, another may very well take its place as the last to get fed. Another consideration is this fish may be a veil judging by the proportion of its caudal fin to its body size. Veil angels typically have smaller bodies especially super veils.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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As in all things, whether it is a fish tank or a country, somebody has to step up and be the adult! If it is not done, look what happens, lots of things go wrong and everybody suffers.
So you are the obvious leader for your tank and you have to set priorities to avoid the obvious breakdown.
so what are your priorities? Keeping more fish than you can handle has the obvious result of many of them dying.
Moving fish around may work but then you do have to figure out what you want to be the priority.
But then there is the obvious solution of choosing which to keep and which to move on, either in swapping to a shop or selling.
But doing nothing is definitely not doing your job of making decisions, is it?
Look at Covid-19 to see where your lack of action is likely to lead. Somebody has to be the leader and it sure isn't going to be your fish----or is it?
I prefer to get rid of fish in whatever way seems best, rather than watch them all sicken and die slowly.
In my case part of my inaction has been that I have observed no damage to Bashful, the runt. My concern was questioning if his runt status could be caused by not eating as much as the others. Other than him being the smallest and growing the slowest he appears healthy. The tank, a well-planted 75g has 4 angels, 7 corys, and some nerite snails, so it's hardly overstocked The COVID-19 response shows the need for decisions to be made using good science, and that knee-jerk responses are not a good idea, which is why I'm trying to learn more before making a major move.

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I had a similar dilemma with my 9 angels that I bought as dime-sized babies After 10 months the runt is less than half the size of the largest male. It's not being picked on--there's much more aggression amongst the largest fish. It just hangs back at feeding time--and sometimes literally has food drifting by its face and it doesn't do anything. Makes me wonder if it had vision issues or something. But put in flake--which is like crack for them, it's in there pigging out with the rest. I've set up a larger tank, and after it cycled and some new fish went through quarantine, I put it in there to fatten up. I feed it flies, which it relishes, and seems to hold its own among the more aggressive female guppies when competing for pellets & flake. Hoping it'll have a growth spurt. But you can tell it's lonely for it's own kind--it keeps looking at the glass & trying to interact with its reflection. Plenty of other fish in the tank--6 otos, 5 super red plecos, 6 mollies & 5 guppies.

After just a few days, it's interesting to see a new pecking order emerge among the remaining 8 angels. And--you guessed it--there's a new runt. BlueRidgeReef is right: with cichlids there's always going to be one fish on the bottom of the pecking order. Waiting to see how it settles, but the new runt will eventually join its sibling in the new tank. The plan is to get two pair of golden/back velvets to breed, and rehome the rest. But cichlids seem to be like people--they're always sparring amongst themselves for dominance

That's a beautiful angel--I can see why you'd want to ensure that it thrives. Good luck!
Which brings me to another question. How often should you feed frozen bloodworms? It's the one food that he seems to aggressively go after. I currently feed it once a week, I'm thinking of going once a day or once every other day. They get new life spectrum ultra red as their staple food.

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After four months (I believe you said) it may be too late for this fish to catch up. It looks perfectly healthy to me. No obvious wounds, missing scales, split fins, snipped caudal fin streamers. And has been mentioned, if you remove this fish, another may very well take its place as the last to get fed. Another consideration is this fish may be a veil judging by the proportion of its caudal fin to its body size. Veil angels typically have smaller bodies especially super veils.
Yes. He's the only veil in the group from what I can tell. It's also a bit like Schrodinger's cat in quantum mechanics. He seems most hassled when I'm near the tank. If I sit still on the couch 8'-10' away, the boss seldom bothers him.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 10:21 PM
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I have 7 baby Steatocranus (buffalohead cichlid) in my 120. All introduced at the same time when they were about an inch long. Now 6 of them are all 3 inches long and the last one is still just about an inch long. No aggression from the others, eating fine, just not growing. It happens sometimes.

Now is your fish just not that voracious a feeder or is it being picked on and bullied and stopped from eating?


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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I have 7 baby Steatocranus (buffalohead cichlid) in my 120. All introduced at the same time when they were about an inch long. Now 6 of them are all 3 inches long and the last one is still just about an inch long. No aggression from the others, eating fine, just not growing. It happens sometimes.

Now is your fish just not that voracious a feeder or is it being picked on and bullied and stopped from eating?
Bashful appears to not be a voracious eater. The Boss tends to chase others away from him when feeding, but if I spread out the food he seems more intent on eating.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 12:42 AM
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It's also a bit like Schrodinger's cat in quantum mechanics. He seems most hassled when I'm near the tank. If I sit still on the couch 8'-10' away, the boss seldom bothers him.
Perfect analogy. Fish come in two kinds, those that are all a carbon copy of each other (most shoaling fish) and those that can never have a care sheet written you can count on regarding behavior. I had a 125 gallon tanganyikan tank with julies, brichardi and various shell-dwellers and one big male electric blue hap. It was the perfect community tank until I'd feed. That is the only time he would attack the calvus but he did so 2-3x daily when I approached the tank, and in that case it was quite vicious. Yet I could stand 5 feet back and watch that tank all day and he never seemed to notice them. I've had 3-4 male EB haps since, one was mean, at least another was laid back -but none were such selective jerks. Just in my time keeping fish alive in boxes, I'd say this variance applies to many fish species.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 11:59 PM
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In my case part of my inaction has been that I have observed no damage to Bashful, the runt. My concern was questioning if his runt status could be caused by not eating as much as the others. Other than him being the smallest and growing the slowest he appears healthy. The tank, a well-planted 75g has 4 angels, 7 corys, and some nerite snails, so it's hardly overstocked The COVID-19 response shows the need for decisions to be made using good science, and that knee-jerk responses are not a good idea, which is why I'm trying to learn more before making a major move.

Bump:

Which brings me to another question. How often should you feed frozen bloodworms? It's the one food that he seems to aggressively go after. I currently feed it once a week, I'm thinking of going once a day or once every other day. They get new life spectrum ultra red as their staple food.


Yes. He's the only veil in the group from what I can tell. It's also a bit like Schrodinger's cat in quantum mechanics. He seems most hassled when I'm near the tank. If I sit still on the couch 8'-10' away, the boss seldom bothers him.

I only use freeze-dried bloodworms as an occasional treat, so hopefully some experienced cichlid keepers can weigh in. NL Spectrum is what was recommended to me also. Using treat food to entice picky eaters can backfire--they may prefer the tasty treat, and ignore the regular, better balanced food. And if the other fish love it as much, you'll really have a feeding frenzy....

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Bashful appears to not be a voracious eater. The Boss tends to chase others away from him when feeding, but if I spread out the food he seems more intent on eating.
Spreading the food out may be your answer.

What's your goal for your angels? Were you planning to breed Bashful? (Great name! Are the rest named after Snow White's dwarves too?) If you think things are bad now, wait til they start pairing off and hormones are raging. Though in my experience, the runt gets ignored and it's the bigger fish sparring with each other as they compete for spawning territory & mates. Never a dull moment, but in a 75g they should be able to sort things out without any serious damage. Though in the long term, once you get a pair you'll probably have to remove the others.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by butchblack View Post
In my case part of my inaction has been that I have observed no damage to Bashful, the runt. My concern was questioning if his runt status could be caused by not eating as much as the others. Other than him being the smallest and growing the slowest he appears healthy. The tank, a well-planted 75g has 4 angels, 7 corys, and some nerite snails, so it's hardly overstocked The COVID-19 response shows the need for decisions to be made using good science, and that knee-jerk responses are not a good idea, which is why I'm trying to learn more before making a major move.

Bump:

Which brings me to another question. How often should you feed frozen bloodworms? It's the one food that he seems to aggressively go after. I currently feed it once a week, I'm thinking of going once a day or once every other day. They get new life spectrum ultra red as their staple food.


Yes. He's the only veil in the group from what I can tell. It's also a bit like Schrodinger's cat in quantum mechanics. He seems most hassled when I'm near the tank. If I sit still on the couch 8'-10' away, the boss seldom bothers him.

I only use freeze-dried bloodworms as an occasional treat, so hopefully some experienced cichlid keepers can weigh in. NL Spectrum is what was recommended to me also. Using treat food to entice picky eaters can backfire--they may prefer the tasty treat, and ignore the regular, better balanced food. And if the other fish love it as much, you'll really have a feeding frenzy....

Quote:
Originally Posted by butchblack View Post
Bashful appears to not be a voracious eater. The Boss tends to chase others away from him when feeding, but if I spread out the food he seems more intent on eating.
Spreading the food out may be your answer.

What's your goal for your angels? Were you planning to breed Bashful? (Great name! Are the rest named after Snow White's dwarves too?) If you think things are bad now, wait til they start pairing off and hormones are raging. Though in my experience, the runt gets ignored and it's the bigger fish sparring with each other as they compete for spawning territory & mates. Never a dull moment, but in a 75g they should be able to sort things out without any serious damage. Though in the long term, once you get a pair you'll probably have to remove the others.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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I only use freeze-dried bloodworms as an occasional treat, so hopefully some experienced cichlid keepers can weigh in. NL Spectrum is what was recommended to me also. Using treat food to entice picky eaters can backfire--they may prefer the tasty treat, and ignore the regular, better balanced food. And if the other fish love it as much, you'll really have a feeding frenzy....



Spreading the food out may be your answer.

What's your goal for your angels? Were you planning to breed Bashful? (Great name! Are the rest named after Snow White's dwarves too?) If you think things are bad now, wait til they start pairing off and hormones are raging. Though in my experience, the runt gets ignored and it's the bigger fish sparring with each other as they compete for spawning territory & mates. Never a dull moment, but in a 75g they should be able to sort things out without any serious damage. Though in the long term, once you get a pair you'll probably have to remove the others.

Bump:


I only use freeze-dried bloodworms as an occasional treat, so hopefully some experienced cichlid keepers can weigh in. NL Spectrum is what was recommended to me also. Using treat food to entice picky eaters can backfire--they may prefer the tasty treat, and ignore the regular, better balanced food. And if the other fish love it as much, you'll really have a feeding frenzy....



Spreading the food out may be your answer.

What's your goal for your angels? Were you planning to breed Bashful? (Great name! Are the rest named after Snow White's dwarves too?) If you think things are bad now, wait til they start pairing off and hormones are raging. Though in my experience, the runt gets ignored and it's the bigger fish sparring with each other as they compete for spawning territory & mates. Never a dull moment, but in a 75g they should be able to sort things out without any serious damage. Though in the long term, once you get a pair you'll probably have to remove the others.
I hoped that at least one pair would develop. There was no logic per se in my naming. The Boss got named early as he was always the biggest and most aggressive. His companion is Number One, a Star Trek reference, as he is the one who is always swimming with him and the Boss never seems to bother. The third I named Tuffy, after a drummer I used to play with in a band, street smart takes no grief, knows how to duck. Bashful was a Snow White reference. I thought it fit his personality as he seems content to stay by himself, unlike Tuffy who is usually around the other two. The Corys are the Squad named after the politicians.

So it looks like after I get my 40B running I'll want to get another tank going and either move the Boss and Number one into it or move Bashful into it, maybe with Tuffy.

I think you were the one who originally suggested NLS food. Thanks. I have all of my tanks on it except the 10g which only has dwarf corys that I feed one Hiraki sinking carnivore pellet a day. As the angels are getting bigger I may find a good carnivore wafer that I can sink so that my corys get enough to eat. At this point, I'm just feeding enough that some sinks to the bottom, and the corys can get to it. As far as the bloodworms are concerned, I thaw them in a little warm water for 5-10 min and drop them in a bit at a time. As someone else mentioned, Bashful just does not appear to be a voracious eater, though he will get in the scrum for the first dropping of the worms. We'll see what happens.

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