Jewel Cichlid Aggression... Help!!

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by soyquail, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. soyquailNew MemberMember

    A bit of background: running a 36BF, tank has been established since early 2017. Originally setup with EB acara, Jewel cichlid, Tiger barbs (4 regular, 3 green) and peppered cories. When i added the tiger barbs (from petco, ugh I know) I had an ich outbreak that killed the acara, all but 1 Cory and all but 3 tiger barbs. The tank has been treated and cleaned and is back up to running well.

    Once the ich was cleared for a month or so, I started adding tiger barbs and filling out my Cory school. Unfortunately, the lfs around me only had small tiger barbs which had never been a problem before (EB Acara was the top dog and she basically left everyone alone but the jewel). Ever since Acara died my jewel has been super aggressive to the smaller barbs. I lost a few tiger barbs, finding them stuck to the filter intake looking like they had been chewed. Just this morning I witnessed the jewel attempting to eat my small albino tiger barb and must have done some damage because it is having a hard time swimming, getting stuck to the filter intake, and just lazily floating around.

    I am concerned about adding more tiger barbs since I am unable to secure large enough fish to not become a snack for the jewel. The jewel never exhibited this behavior until after the Acara passed. I need to limit the aggression so I can fill out my barb school but don’t want to continue losing fish. Would my tank benefit from additional Africans to remove the jewels aggression/focus from the smaller barbs? If so, which would you recommend?

    This tank will be upgraded to 55 or 60 gallons in the next few months but I am worried about losing the rest of my barbs in that time frame. I only have another 10 gallon but it is fully stocked with harlequin rasboras and tetras - barbs will not be able to go in this tank.
  2. SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    Wow. Usually Barbs are ther ones who attack other fish! Geez! Sounds like your Jewel perhaps lost his friend. : ( Hmmm...well I'd be wary of adding additional Cichlids, as there's a high probability of them adding fuel to the fire, by everyone becoming more aggressive--thus, possibly more dead Barbs! Sometimes when there's a smaller group of schooling fish, it's easier for an aggressive fish to single one out, and therefore making it very stressful on the entire school. But if and when there's a larger school, let's say about 8-10 smaller fish, the aggressive fish's malice intent can be much more rescinded, since it's much more difficult to single any one fish out. The same concept can be understood and applied, for example, such as Lions hunting ibex in Africa: If there's less ibex, it's much easier for the aggressive predator to prey on a single target. However if there's a lot of ibex, the probability decreases that one or more of the ibex will become a meal etc. etc. Perhaps add addtional Barbs/schoolers, other than adding any additional Cichlids, on the theory and gamble of the Jewel's aggression being channeled to other Cichlids instead...
  3. soyquailNew MemberMember

    After much research and consideration today, I think this is exactly what I will hold out for. I’m going to search for some medium to larger tiger barbs that may (hopefully) be able to stand up to the jewel lol.
  4. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Jewels are usually fairly aggressive. They are not a great peaceful community fish.