Aggressive Electric Blue Acara?

  1. A

    Acara New Member Member

    Hi everyone!

    Long time lurker, first time poster! I apologize in advance for the novel I’m about to write lol.

    I have a 46g bowfront tank that finished cycling about a month ago (0,0,5-10). I started with a few platies, and although I was planning to add my EBA last to try to minimize any aggression, I was at my lfs and fell in love with the tiny juvies and picked up a 1” EBA.

    It was incredibly peaceful and got along well with everyone. It’s growing like a weed and is already about 2 inches. It’s always the first to greet me looking for food. A couple weeks ago I added a few more platies and the acara didn’t care at all, still as peaceful as always.

    Then, a week ago, just a week or so after adding the platies, I added a few black mollies about 1.5” in size. (I made sure the parameters were good before adding them). I asked the guy at the lfs for 2, but after catching 2 and bagging them, he noticed that one of them was sitting at the bottom of the bag not looking great. He bagged another and told me to take all 3 because he didn’t want to stress the other one out by rebagging it. I also noticed that it was sitting at the bottom of the bucket when I was acclimating them. (I know it’s best to quarantine but unfortunately it’s not an option for me so I apologize!)

    Once they were acclimated and I put them in the tank, my EBA immediately started going after all of them. It was constantly going out of its way to chase after them. I was watching carefully but looked away for a couple minutes and turned back just in time to see the EBA attack the Molly that wasn’t doing well. I won’t get into the gory details but I had to euthanize it.

    I remembered shortly after that I didn’t feed it before adding them, and I was thinking that maybe it was more aggressive because it was hungry. I fed it and it stopped going after them, and I haven’t seen it go after them since. It did, however, go after my hand last night when I was digging around in the substrate moving some plants.

    Now, I know some EBAs can be aggressive and some can be peaceful. I’m regretting putting it in before putting in all my other fish that I want but I’m going to chalk this up to a lesson learned. I still want to add more fish but I’m scared of the same thing happening again. So, my question is: is it possible that this was a fluke and it hasn’t turned aggressive, or should I come to terms with the fact that I got an aggressive one? I’m pretty set on an EBA as a “centrepiece fish” but I do still want more fish in there with it. As crazy as it sounds, I would be okay with rehoming this one, adding the rest of the fish I want, and then getting another juvenile if that’s the best option, but I’m hoping this one attack could have just been a fluke.

    Thanks in advance for any opinions!
     
  2. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    If the EBA is 2" and the Mollies were close I think it might have felt that it was a threat to it and decided that it was either me or him that had to go.

    EBA are peaceful but lets not forget, they care cichlids. I have a EBA that beat the heck out of the angel fish and that died.

    What size is the tank and what do you currently have in the tank?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    A

    Acara New Member Member


    Thanks for the reply! It’s a 46g, planning to upgrade once it’s fully grown. It’s the EBA, 6 platies, and 2 mollies. Would you recommend making sure any additional fish I add are significantly smaller so that it doesn’t feel threatened?
     


  4. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    It's a crapshoot really...cichlids are what they are...some are mean and some are not. Those that we thought are not mean can be mean, especially when they are the big man on campus. The problem with adding fish would be that will it be a snack later on? The EBA will grow to about 5-6".

    You need to be aware since you have live bearers in the tanks, when the platies and molly start producing babies they'll eaten by not only the parents but the EBA will likely make it's way to trying to get the fry's as well.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    A

    Acara New Member Member

    Oh yes, definitely. I don’t have the space or time to raise fry. Plus hey, free meal! Lol.

    I guess I’ll just keep an eye on the EBA when adding newbies and if it gets out of control I’ll have to make the decision to rehome it or not to add any more fish.
     
  6. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Valued Member Member

    Cichlids are inherently aggressive, people might say “acaras” are on the lesser aggressive side but in reality any cichlid can be modwrately peaceful or aggressive.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    A

    Acara New Member Member

    Yeah I totally get that! I’m more wondering if since I saw aggression one day if that automatically means that it will always be aggresssive or if it was potentially having a bad day and still has potential to be one of the peaceful ones lol
     
  8. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    If it just feels threatened, then more hiding places and lots of plants may help. Can we get a picture of the set-up?
     
  9. K

    Kody Grieve Valued Member Member

    to reiterate what everyone has already said, its a cichlid. it will be a dick if it gets the opportunity. having lots of hiding places for the mollies is a very good thing but remember that big fish eat small fish and when this Acara reaches 6 inches, your mollies are going to be balancing on a sword's edge when it comes to not getting on its bad side. especially if your EBA has shown aggression particularly towards the back mollies. but as long as it grows up with them, you may be in luck. hopefully, it can get used to the peaceful community type setup but make sure for the love of god that you dont put any blue fish in there hahahaha.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    A

    Acara New Member Member

    Thanks everyone! I totally understand that cichlids are aggressive, I’m just hoping that I still have a chance that he’ll be a peaceful one lol. I’ll upload a picture of the tank later tonight. I do have quite a few plants but I could add more if need be!