Fish Aggression?

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Cosmo

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So I added a pearl gourami, 6 zebra danios, 6 neon tetras, and an angelfish to my newly set up tank. Water tests looked good. On the first day, the angelfish never came out of hiding, but on days 2-5, he was out and about, looking very healthy and happy and quick to snatch up food.

On day 6, I added another smaller angelfish who didn't seem shy at all. But on day 7, I noticed that the gourami and the other angel started harassing him .. nipping at fins, chasing a bit, etc. The next day, the small angel was dead.

On day 9, I noticed that the gourami and a few of the zebras were beginning to harass the first angelfish. The next day, he was dead as well.

Any ideas as to what might be causing this behavior? Having looked up these fish here at Fishlore, these all seem to be good for community tanks. Any thoughts?

PS. I do have a betta in there as well, but he keeps to himself and seems to be having a great time fooling around with the plants and air bubbles.
 

burnellhman

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Well welcome to Fishlore and Good Morning bettas and angelfish dont get along very well because of the angels fins.Gourimis tend to be agressive in small tanks.Actually with a big school and small tank everyfish becomes sick or agressive.So whats your size tank.
 
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Lucy

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Hi Cosmo
Could you fill in your aquarium information? It's found under My Settings at the top left on the blue bar.
It would help the members to know what tank size, parameters etc.

Thanks!
 
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Cosmo

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Ok, I added some info. It's a 35 gallon aquarium, and the water quality is still good (no ammonia or nitrites and just a trace of nitrates), and it falls within the 1"/gal rule of thumb (I know it's not a perfect rule, but I figure I can't go too wrong if I stay well below that threshold). So as far as overcrowding goes, I thought I was ok, but perhaps not.

I did not know about any issues about bettas and angelfish, but ty for the info. Thankfully, there haven't been any problems yet with the betta. He doesn't seem to bother anyone.

So do you think a 35g tank is too small for a pearl gourami? It was actually quite shy and in hiding for the first few days, but then came out and started being aggressive (but only towards the two angelfish).
 

Meenu

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Welcome to fishlore. Danios are nippy fish, and don't do well with long-finned fish like bettas, guppies, and angels, in my opinion. I'm not familiar with pearl gouramis, but believe that they can be pretty aggressive. I can tell you that I would get the betta a 3-5 gallon tank for himself. https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Betta.htm

Also, you say your ammonia fluctuates in your aquarium info - do you know why it is doing that? If the tank is cycling, your neon tetras are unlikely to survive. They so best in an established, cycled tank.

Enjoy the forum.
 
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Cosmo

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I suspect that the fluctuation is just user error on my part (I find it hard to distinguish the colors on the chart and when I ask around, some people tell me it's 0 and others say it's .25).

I did not know about the danios being nippy. Ty for the info. They do seem like hellraisers though. They are always chasing each other and zipping around the tank nonstop. I get tired just watching them, lol. I also read that they are schooling fish, but none of these guys seem to do much schooling .. they are all over the place.
 

Jaysee

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If your pearl gourami is aggressive, it's because it's stressed. Pearl gouramis are about the most peacefull gouramis there are. Things to be stressed about - danios, betta and angels.
 

Meenu

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Mine didn't school either, but then my tank is always so non-aggressive that not even my neon tetras schooled.

Danios are very fast and very nippy, in my experience. They can stress out slower fish. I ended up having to rehome mine when they turned psycho on me and ate my guppy's tail.

Jaysee said:
Pearl gouramis are about the most peacefull gouramis there are.
Hmm.. that's what I get for not looking at the profile first. Kissing gouramis are the aggressive ones, then.

Both angels are dead, so no more of them in the tank, right?
 
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Cosmo

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Unfortunately yes, no more angels

On the other hand, the betta seems to be doing very well. No aggression from him or against him except rarely when the gourami will nip at him. But the betta nips right back and the gourami goes back to minding his own business. I've only seen this happen maybe twice in the past few weeks.
 

bassbonediva

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Bettas and gouramis don't mix well. They're both anabantoids (I think I spelled that right) and inhabit the same area of the tank (the top). Add to that the fact that bettas are extremely territorial (in general) and you have a recipe for disaster. I would put your betta in its own 5gal tank. They just don't make good community fish. I had my son's betta in his 29 gallon with some platies, guppies, an upside down catfish and a couple of otos. He seemed fine at first, no one bothered him and he just kept to himself. Then, he was hiding all the time and his color completely faded out. He never regained his color, even after I moved him to his own tank.
 

Mikey Doodle

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Cosmo said:
I did not know about the danios being nippy. Ty for the info. They do seem like hellraisers though. They are always chasing each other and zipping around the tank nonstop. I get tired just watching them, lol. I also read that they are schooling fish, but none of these guys seem to do much schooling .. they are all over the place.
Well, when you think about the amount of water they have in their natural environment compared to the amount they have in an aquarium, they are still pretty tightly schooled In the wild they may exhibit this exact same behaviour, but when you think about it they are still pretty close together. Personally I don't think a lot of fish swim in really tight schools unless there are hundreds of them, but then if you watch them closely they are not necessarily all swimming in the same direction all the time

I have 6 zebra danios in a 25gal, and they love to go off and explore. Sometimes they chase each other, sometimes they split into groups, and sometimes they look like they have all fallen out with each other! lol

They are VERY greedy, though, and will almost certainly be the first ones to the top when you lift the lid
 

LyndaB

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When you set up your tank, was it raw (no media taken from another tank) or did you have some way of trying to instantly cycle your tank? If you are not familiar with the nitrogen cycle, please read up immediately.

It may be that your fish are dying from stress related to being in a non-cycled tank. If you're showing ammonia readings at all, you are not cycled.

And yeah, get that betta out of there.
 
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Cosmo

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I cycled the tank with old filter media from the LFS as well as Stability and a piece of frozen shrimp. I've also been dosing the tank daily with Prime just in case. So far, ammonia readings are either 0 or .25. I really can't tell the difference on the chart

I will keep a close eye on the betta, but I will not be moving him yet as he and his tank mates seem to get along very well (at least for the past 3 weeks). Any sign of stress or aggression though, and he (or the gourami) will be moved out.

I really would like some angelfish in there though, even if it means putting the gourami in a separate tank. But from everything I've read, the pearls are generally peaceful. I guess I still need to figure out why the pearl was going after both angelfish. The only things I can think of are stress due to either nitrogen cycle issues, overcrowding, or community make-up. Or just simple incompatibility between pearls and angels.

On another note, the pearl seems to be going up for air every now and again. It's very infrequent (maybe once per hour?) even though I have 2 air stones in there. I have also never seen him eat the fishfood, yet he seems very healthy. He does seem to suck on the plastic plants though.
 

LyndaB

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While your fish are in an uncycled tank, don't expect them to exhibit what will end up being their typical behavior. What your seeing now is fish in distress.

Please remove the betta before something happens.

When you pick your fish species, the compatibility between the species is crucially important. You really can't just pick all the species you want, jumble them together in one tank, and expect all to go well. You can either have fish or keep fish. The difference between the two is huge.

I mean what my siggy line says..... seriously. It's not about you, it's about the fish.
 
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