Trouble-Making Fish

When you are looking to have a mini aquarium at home, you generally want all your fish to get along. Some people purchase these fish just for the tranquility of having them at home. That being said, they certainly don’t want the fish fighting each other and disturbing that tranquil peace that they are trying to create and view. There is occasionally a time, however, when things go wrong and it creates a concern. A fish suddenly starts to act violently and disturbs the rest of your created community. We all know that the weak lose to the strong, and the bigger creature beats and bullies the smaller, that is how nature works. It is a cycle and it doesn’t always end in a way that satisfies everyone. Some fish will always be food to other fish, and no matter how “good” of a reputation the fish has, it can always act out.  This article is going to focus on telling you why fish fight, and how to stop it.

cf A fish suddenly starts to act violently and disturbs the rest of your created community. We all know that the weak lose to the strong, and the bigger creature beats and bullies the smaller, that is how nature works. It is a cycle and it doesn’t always end in a way that satisfies everyone. Some fish will always be food to other fish, and no matter how “good” of a reputation the fish has, it can always act out.  This article is going to focus on telling you why fish fight, and how to stop it.

 

trouble-making fishWhat creates a trouble-making fish?

First, we need to make sure you understand why fish do what they do. Fish fight for a lot of reasons, some similar to reasons we fight. They can fight over: partners, space or territory, and most obvious, food. Thankfully fish don’t up and kill one another over stupid things like we can do. One of the biggest issues can be territory for a fish. Think about it. Fish are meant to live in the vast, deep and almost never ending ocean. We move them to a tank, and they now have a severe issue with space. Their territory is now invaded by whatever other creatures you may have in the tank with them. The territory is necessary, though, as it is a safe haven, a place for rest, breeding, or hiding when necessary. This does not mean that the fish will not allow any others nearby, it will just be selective of what few it does. The space they claim might be small, but to them it is home and they are selective to who can reside there.

Fish are meant to live in the vast, deep and almost never ending ocean. We move them to a tank, and they now have a severe issue with space. Their territory is now invaded by whatever other creatures you may have in the tank with them. The territory is necessary, though, as it is a safe haven, a place for rest, breeding, or hiding when necessary. This does not mean that the fish will not allow any others nearby, it will just be selective of what few it does. The space they claim might be small, but to them it is home and they are selective to who can reside there.

What determines what fish can, or can’t come in another’s territory?

First, think of how you feel about your own home. You let your family in, those you trust. It is similar for the fish, except, they are most territorial with their own kind. They mainly are aggressive with fish of their own species that are of the same gender. Kind of like how humans are jealous when their partner is close with someone of the opposite sex. It is the same response here. They are even more protective when there are babies or eggs involved. Fish see others of the same gender and species as rivals. They will also be more violent depending on the reaction they receive from the fish who is invading. There is also an option that the fish may be the opposite sex, and as a result, you may witness a mating display.

What determines an enemy?

To find out whether or not a fish is an enemy, quite a few things will help to find this out. The shape, color, or even pattern can make all the difference for a fish to become a target. Betta fish chase off other red fish. Why? Because the original betta fish, before breeders bred them for coloration, had red fins. This can make these fish aggressive toward fish that may not even have an interest in competing for the betta’s territory.  This is the same for other species of fish as well. It doesn’t always matter on the specifics.

What to look for as a sign of a trouble-making fish

If you actually witness the fight, it is easy to see what fish is the problem, obviously. More often than not though you will only see the damage done by the trouble-making fish and not which fish is the trouble maker. The fights are more likely to occur when no one is watching rather than if someone is watching over the tank.  This isn’t really due to the fish’s  intelligence, but due to the fact that you can’t always keep your eyes on the tank.

So to know whether or not you may have a trouble-making fish or not, you need to be observant. Check out the fishes fins. Do you see any signs of splitting on the fins? This is a sign of fish having fought with one another. Tail rot looks similar, but it instead causes a ragged appearance for the fishes fins. Another sign to watch for is if your fish seem to be hiding more than they usually do. That can be caused by a trouble-making fish.

They may also be switching their person areas or territories around. Another big sign is that your fish may have scratches, sores, scrapes, or missing scales. They could even be missing an eye. All of these are signs that you have a trouble-making fish in your aquarium.

What happens when fish fight?

Fish establish themselves in what is known as a pecking order. This comes from the fact that it was named after how chickens interact. They have an order and the lower status of the fish the more likely they are to be bullied.  If you happen to witness a fight, then you may think that you have to remove one of them to separate them. This may work for a moment, but it will not last forever. The fish that were fighting, will do it again. Let the fish fight. This may seem like the wrong thing to do, but it allows the fish to work out their issues themselves.

 

It can sometimes be something as simple as a fish needing to know where it’s place is in the tank, not that this means they will always stay in that place. If the problem doesn’t get better, then at that point it is time for you to take action. Fighting is normally due to a territory based situation, so the first thing you can do is change that. The territory can be moved around, the plants, rocks, driftwood, it can all be moved. You can also add more to the mix to create a more vast territory.

Arrange the items in your tank in a manner that allows multiple and an abundance of places to hide. This helps to keep the situation calm, and under control. It will also help to force the bullies to find a new territory.

Separation.

A worst case scenario would be that you have to separate the fish. If that happens there are a lot of products available to purchase for this issue. One of the products that you can purchase is a fish trap.  If you want, you can also try a temporary separation. The question then becomes which fish do you need to move? If the injuries to a single fish are severe, then you need to move that one as it will become a target to other fish. If not then you are essentially rewarding the trouble-making fish and allowing it to choose another target.

What you can do is set up a separate area for the fish by placing it in a net in the tank. It can still smell and see the fish, but cannot harm them. You could also buy dividers for the aquarium if this first option doesn’t work. None of these are guarantees, however. The injured fish may require a seperate tank to heal from more severe wounds. If this is the case you may not need medication, since fish can heal themselves.

 

 

 

 

Source:

www.fishchannel.com