Aggressive Male Emperor Tetra

LeoFil

Hey everyone,
I have an issue with my largest male emperor tetra, he has bullied other fish a lot, he would nip at their fins (other emperor tetras and harlequin rasboras), he chases them and at one point he actually injured a female emperor and she died from the infected wound. He bullies them so much I fear its a detriment to their health.
It's a 50liter tank, and there used to be 5 but now there is only 3. He had calmed down a lot after the other two died (one from the infection and the other got sick shortly after (possibly caused by stress caused by said male)) a few months ago but now I notice a similar pattern of aggression and I notice that the stress it's causing on the other fish.
There are a lot of places to hide and I've been trying to find 2 (I don't think I can do more otherwise it'd be overcrowded and the fish store employee told me 5 would be enough) more female Emperor's to add (can't be juveniles cuz he's an **** and will nip at their fins) but it can take some time because stores around me only sell young ones. In the meantime is there anything I can do to minimize the stress it's causing on my other Emperors??
 

MacZ

First of all: No, he's not a bully, he's behaving normal. The only problem I see is the tank being far too small for emperor tetras. That's why this escalated.

The usual ratio m:f in a sufficiently big tank (100x30x40cm) would be 3:8-10 and the tank should be not too brightly lit, while floating plants, driftwood and twigs give the necessary cover and structure.

So either re-home the emperors or upgrade the tank. Everything else would be not appropriate for the species.
 

LeoFil

First of all: No, he's not a bully, he's behaving normal. The only problem I see is the tank being far too small for emperor tetras. That's why this escalated.

The usual ratio m:f in a sufficiently big tank (100x30x40cm) would be 3:8-10 and the tank should be not too brightly lit, while floating plants, driftwood and twigs give the necessary cover and structure.

So either re-home the emperors or upgrade the tank. Everything else would be not appropriate for the species.
Thanks, I didn't realise the fish tank size was an issue since before we aquired them we asked some experienced aquarist and they didn't flag anything, so I'm really glad you guys let me know.
 

WRWAquarium

I didn't know emperors needed such different requirements to most tetras before you posted and I had a bit of research.

Every store and online store I have looked at simply states they are peaceful community. I assumed as they get a little bigger they would need a bigger tank but still.

Hope it all works out for you anyway. There are other fish who will thrive in a 50 litre :)
 

TClare

Emperor tetras are sold when they are very small and many people don't realize how big they get. Definitely too big for 50l. I have a few males but they are in a 576 liter tank. Even there they squabble quite a bit.
 

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