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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm hoping that someone can chime in on my small issue. I recently stocked some rainbows in my 75 Gallon community. I got 3 Red Irian and 3 Boesemani. All of them are doing great, but the most colorful and beautiful boesemani is a bit of a jerk.. Especially in the morning (which I know is fairly normal for rainbowfish), but sometimes he does it in the evening too.

He's not nipping and he mostly chases the other rainbows, but every once in a while he'll chase away my cardinals, which I think are starting to get stressed a bit. Usually they're out and about, but for the past two days they've been mostly chilling in my plants. I have a feeling that the boesemani is trying to breed, and he's not happy that my female picked the more calm one of the two. I saw them doing their dance and swimming together and any time the bigger male saw them he would break them up.

I guess my question is if this kind of behavior comes and goes every once in while depending on whether he wants to breed. Or is he going to be like this all the time. Do they grow out of it? He's only about 2.5 inches right now.

I don't want to give him up because he's beautiful, but if he keeps this up and stresses out the other fish I'll have no choice.

@Greggz - any input?

Thanks
 

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In general Rainbows can be boisterous, and a bit pushy. This varies with the individual fish, as you have seen.
I think the answer is to get 2-3 more females, so the ratio becomes closer to 1M:2F or even more females.
The males will compete, showing off their colors, and so on, but then there will be enough females to go around.

Cardinals can be a bit shy, they seem to prefer somewhat shaded areas. With the additional stress from the Rainbow, it might be better to put them in a separate tank and get a more outgoing schooling fish that will better stand up to the Rainbows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips. I ended up getting some more females. Along with a few splendida rainbows.

I think I also figured out why my cardinals were acting weird. The temperature in my house was high and when I checked my tank it was 5 degrees higher than normal. I turned on the AC and the temperature has been dropping in the tank. The cardinals are out and about again.


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He's not nipping and he mostly chases the other rainbows, but every once in a while he'll chase away my cardinals, which I think are starting to get stressed a bit. Usually they're out and about, but for the past two days they've been mostly chilling in my plants.

I don't want to give him up because he's beautiful, but if he keeps this up and stresses out the other fish I'll have no choice.

@Greggz - any input?

Thanks
I don't know about Cardinals but I had a very bad experience with Male Boesemanis 5 in number and a Male Western Rainbow which massacred 26 of the 50 Neon tetras which I added into their tank and ate about 23 of them between the 6 of them. So perhaps You have added the Cardinals first and hence they have been spared this massacre but I think they just don't get along together. You may have to make a choice in the future between the Rainbow or the Cardinals.
 

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I guess my question is if this kind of behavior comes and goes every once in while depending on whether he wants to breed. Or is he going to be like this all the time. Do they grow out of it? He's only about 2.5 inches right now.

@Greggz - any input?

Thanks
The behavior doesn't come and go, it's pretty much daily. They don't grow out of it. I have 9 year old Rainbows that flash and spar every day.

Personally, I enjoy watching the behavior, and a full grown male Rainbow flashing his brightest colors is a site to behold. The good news is it very rarely results in any actual damage.

The more Rainbows you have, the more it is spread around. And interestingly, they mostly only bother those of their own kind.

As to the Cardinals, like any other fish, Rainbows will try to eat anything it thinks it can get in it's mouth. They do have a smaller throat, so a fish has to be pretty small to actually get eaten. That being said, they might not give up trying.

I actually lost a Rainbow once when he choked to death on an Otto. Found him with the tail of the Otto hanging out of his mouth, but he couldn't get it down all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The behavior doesn't come and go, it's pretty much daily. They don't grow out of it. I have 9 year old Rainbows that flash and spar every day.

Personally, I enjoy watching the behavior, and a full grown male Rainbow flashing his brightest colors is a site to behold. The good news is it very rarely results in any actual damage.

The more Rainbows you have, the more it is spread around. And interestingly, they mostly only bother those of their own kind.

As to the Cardinals, like any other fish, Rainbows will try to eat anything it thinks it can get in it's mouth. They do have a smaller throat, so a fish has to be pretty small to actually get eaten. That being said, they might not give up trying.

I actually lost a Rainbow once when he choked to death on an Otto. Found him with the tail of the Otto hanging out of his mouth, but he couldn't get it down all the way.
Thanks, the one boesemani actually doesn't care which rainbow he goes after. But since I've added more he's splitting his aggression between all of them. And I got some bigger splendidas that are fighting back a bit.

But I love his colors! At such a small size he's a deep blue/purple and a nice orange. Can't wait to see how he's going to look when he gets older.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

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But I love his colors! At such a small size he's a deep blue/purple and a nice orange. Can't wait to see how he's going to look when he gets older.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
If he's showing nice colors now, it will get even better as he matures and grows out. But I must tell you, Boesemani's grow slowly. Be patient. Here's one of my full grown guys.
 

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I have just added 10 Black Phanthom Tetras and 12 Lemon Tetras to my 4 by 2 by 2 tank . It already has 1 Male and 5 female Boesemani rainbows.

I am not worried about the Lemon Tetras but the BP Tetras look delicate. Will my Rainbows harass them?

Overall I have these fish in my tank :


  • 7 Angel fish
  • 6 Boesemani Rainbows1 Male 5 females
  • 12 Lemon tetras
  • 10 Black Phanthom Tetras
  • 1 Pearl Gourami
  • 1 Bristlenose Catfish
 
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