Being Personable, Amount Of Human Exposure And Aggressiveness With Other Fish

RonJ

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Today I have been observing my SA and CA cichlids, across various tanks. One thing that stood out of, being personable is directly related to being aggressive. Are the most personable ones are the most aggressive ones. And does a fish become more personable than other counterparts, if it had more one-on-one interaction with the keeper in the initial stages of its life? Does such interactions define it's personality with other fishes also for time to come? I have a a story.

I had got this severum as a trade with one of better looking female convicts. He(i really assume it is a he) was hardly 2" when I got him. I QT'd him in a very small 8G 45cm long tank. for for 3weeks. His tank being rather small was on my Bar cabinet'd top. So I could see him every now and then I move around. I also fed him looking straight into his eyes. As bartop+tank was my eye level. And after 2-3days, I noticed that he started swimming up to me, doing the food begging dance, something I never ever seen my severums, do. I could hand feed him. He even let me touch him. Which was so weird because even my 6-7" severums actually run like **** and bang on to the opposite glass if I put my hands in.

I have 5 more severums, I never had interacted with them in a one on one personal manner. The smaller ones are in grow out tanks with a lighting kept to a very minimum(like in their natural habitat)

Anyway coming back to our bar-top dancer, I introduced him to the said grow out tank a week ago. And he turned out to be a bully. Always chasing all other severums including some adult ones.

So I put him to my more aggressive 60G CA grow out tank, which has a 4" shortbody Texas Cichlid female, a 5" Green terror and a 4" Jack Dempsy and two adult electric blue acaras. And believe it or not, this puny 3" Gold spotted severum takes turn to chase all of the above fish, terrorize the tank in such way that my Green Terror is now permanently hiding out in a pleco cave.

So the question, is it nurture or nature? Those 3 plus weeks on the bar-cabinet-top did anything to change his nature? Or was he born this way? I saw him being challenged by the 4" texas female this morning, only to have her pushed and showed to the corner... And she finally hid behind a drift-wood.
 

Mcasella

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RonJ said:
Today I have been observing my SA and CA cichlids, across various tanks. One thing that stood out of, being personable is directly related to being aggressive. Are the most personable ones are the most aggressive ones. And does a fish become more personable than other counterparts, if it had more one-on-one interaction with the keeper in the initial stages of its life? Does such interactions define it's personality with other fishes also for time to come? I have a a story.

I had got this severum as a trade with one of better looking female convicts. He(i really assume it is a he) was hardly 2" when I got him. I QT'd him in a very small 8G 45cm long tank. for for 3weeks. His tank being rather small was on my Bar cabinet'd top. So I could see him every now and then I move around. I also fed him looking straight into his eyes. As bartop+tank was my eye level. And after 2-3days, I noticed that he started swimming up to me, doing the food begging dance, something I never ever seen my severums, do. I could hand feed him. He even let me touch him. Which was so weird because even my 6-7" severums actually run like and bang on to the opposite glass if I put my hands in.

I have 5 more severums, I never had interacted with them in a one on one personal manner. The smaller ones are in grow out tanks with a lighting kept to a very minimum(like in their natural habitat)

Anyway coming back to our bar-top dancer, I introduced him to the said grow out tank a week ago. And he turned out to be a bully. Always chasing all other severums including some adult ones.

So I put him to my more aggressive 60G CA grow out tank, which has a 4" shortbody Texas Cichlid female, a 5" Green terror and a 4" Jack Dempsy and two adult electric blue acaras. And believe it or not, this puny 3" Gold spotted severum takes turn to chase all of the above fish, terrorize the tank in such way that my Green Terror is now permanently hiding out in a pleco cave.

So the question, is it nurture or nature? Those 3 plus weeks on the bar-cabinet-top did anything to change his nature? Or was he born this way? I saw him being challenged by the 4" texas female this morning, only to have her pushed and showed to the corner... And she finally hid behind a drift-wood.
A fish is going to be aggressive whether or not you hand feed it and talk to it. A good example is bettas, while some can handle communities generally all of them will interact with their owner.
Another example I can offer you is my angels, I have some that are gentle giants and some that actively try and murder other fish just for a quick snack - i can hand feed all of them and all of them come over when i approach the tank and wiggle before me.
A fish that has had no competition and have had a larger Qt can become a bully when placed with other fish that aren't used to having to fight out territories (as they have already settled that), a fish that realizes it is the biggest bad in the tank isn't going to stop for just anything, sometimes it comes down to whether you want to try and fix the behavior by breaking up the current landscape of the tank to make brand new territories (that everyone boxes over) or just by getting rid of the new comer that is torturing the other fish. (If I have an overly aggressive angel it gets put with bigger angels that will not take its **** and generally it calms down once it knows it isn't the biggest bad in the tank - the tank remains the same and angels are moved in and out to keep the balance, if an adult gets too aggressive for the others it gets moved out to another tank with other aggressive larger angels that equal out the behavior and everyone levels out.)

If your fish are cowering you will need to try to rearrange, remove the newcomer for an hour then place him back after the tank has been rearranged to try and knock out the aggression.
 
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RonJ

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Mcasella said:
A fish is going to be aggressive whether or not you hand feed it and talk to it. A good example is bettas, while some can handle communities generally all of them will interact with their owner.
Another example I can offer you is my angels, I have some that are gentle giants and some that actively try and murder other fish just for a quick snack - i can hand feed all of them and all of them come over when i approach the tank and wiggle before me.
A fish that has had no competition and have had a larger Qt can become a bully when placed with other fish that aren't used to having to fight out territories (as they have already settled that), a fish that realizes it is the biggest bad in the tank isn't going to stop for just anything, sometimes it comes down to whether you want to try and fix the behavior by breaking up the current landscape of the tank to make brand new territories (that everyone boxes over) or just by getting rid of the new comer that is torturing the other fish. (If I have an overly aggressive angel it gets put with bigger angels that will not take its **** and generally it calms down once it knows it isn't the biggest bad in the tank - the tank remains the same and angels are moved in and out to keep the balance, if an adult gets too aggressive for the others it gets moved out to another tank with other aggressive larger angels that equal out the behavior and everyone levels out.)

If your fish are cowering you will need to try to rearrange, remove the newcomer for an hour then place him back after the tank has been rearranged to try and knock out the aggression.

Thanks for the long post and the tips on managing aggression I am sure it will help many.

As for me, my question was mainly whether it is the learned behavior. I myself was not really concerened with the aggression as I have had my learning very early on, and currently pretty confident in dealing with the same(as I suffer from MTS, aggression is always manageable).

I was rather making some observations and was wondering whether human interactions has any reinforcing effect on aggressive behavior. Or whether agressive fishes are always rather personable. It was more of an academic discussion than a question for help.

As for the offending severum, he is a juvenile, and he already is a good boy in my 67G with a parachromis loisellei, a female flowerhorn, a very short tempered female convict and George. Whoever goes in there, learns humility. So did he. If he misbehaves again, I have meaner tanks with red-devils juveniles and a juvenile male flowerhorns. HHAHAAH
 

Mcasella

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RonJ said:
Thanks for the long post and the tips on managing aggression I am sure it will help many.

As for me, my question was mainly whether it is the learned behavior. I myself was not really concerened with the aggression as I have had my learning very early on, and currently pretty confident in dealing with the same(as I suffer from MTS, aggression is always manageable).

I was rather making some observations and was wondering whether human interactions has any reinforcing effect on aggressive behavior. Or whether agressive fishes are always rather personable. It was more of an academic discussion than a question for help.

As for the offending severum, he is a juvenile, and he already is a good boy in my 67G with a parachromis loisellei, a female flowerhorn, a very short tempered female convict and George. Whoever goes in there, learns humility. So did he. If he misbehaves again, I have meaner tanks with red-devils juveniles and a juvenile male flowerhorns. HHAHAAH
I do not think it is a learned behavior, a more aggressive fish is going to come over because you are first perceived as in his territory then it knows you as its food provider, hence the learned begging behavior (to catch our attention for the most part with the wiggles, everything but my indifferent bottom dwellers and licorice gouramis do it when i approach), but aggression is bred not learned in the case of fish, and cichlids just have a greater dose of it for the most part.
 
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