Pictus decision help!

RushingSpirit

Hello all. After all this time I've finally registered an account so that I can ask this question of you. I currently have a 60 gallon tank with 3 pictus. It started as one, Peter. So Peter is the largest. Throughout my research I found a lot of contradiction regarding how much these fish actually like each other/ want to be housed together. Many said that they are communal with their own kind and to have at least 3 whereas others claimed that they only enjoyed the company of others while they are young but then transition in to more territorial, solitary species fish. So when I began my fish venture I started this tank with 1 of these fish about 10 or so months later I added a new pair. They were approximately the same size as each other when I took them home. One began to prove to be less vivacious than the other and had at some point gotten his whiskers cut short. I can't ever tell who is the culprit or how it happens. The only other inhabitants in the tank are 1 dwarf gourami, 1 3 inch clown loach, 3 2 inch clown loaches, and 2 clown pleco. Peter is the biggest fish at approximately 6 inches. I'm pretty convinced that Peter helps the smallest catfish (Cheese) on occasion like we once saw Peter bring a mouthful of food over to cheese who was hiding under a log. I've only ever seen Peter like 'chase' Burger (the medium pictus) if Burger seemed like he was 'chasing' Cheese.
I've don't a few tank rearangments to promote better territories. So though Cheese kinda seemed picked on by his original partner from the pet store, Burger, Cheese would always remain by his side. There would be so much room in the tank and so many other places to be and still they would be right up with each other. This is what makes it difficult to determine if they're picking on each other or relying on each other. Now enough time has passed that Burger is growing at a rapid rate, as Peter did, but Cheese is still so little and right now his whiskers are still very short after I knew they were growing back a bit. He spends all day under one log rather still. He moves a bit bit consistently but he really does have consistent periods of remaining still in between each movement. Whereas Peter is always swimming back and forth throughout his area and now Burger has the other side and he mirrors with his own route while Cheese's log is basically protected/ inside Peter's territory.
The original loach, Bebe, and Peter are like best friends. The other loaches are also super harmless and don't interact at all with the pictus'. Sia, the Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, hangs out with everyone and also themself and doesn't pose anyone any sort of threat. The clown pleco Peanut and Butter are rarely seen. They often chill all day inside the crack in the driftwood alongside any number of loaches crammed in there with them peacefully. No one bothers anyone ever.
I really don't know how his whiskers are getting nipped.

My question is this. I have a new Fluval Flex 15. Should I transfer Cheese to this tank alone (? I hate the idea of one fish being alone in a system) to grow out so that he can easily eat and grow or should I just leave everything the way it is?
They have been in there for like around 8 months.
The concern is that if I move him to a new established home that is really only a 13 and he grows rapidly then how will the transition go reintroducing him to the larger tank. Even though these fish have all this room they really do only patrol a very small area. Most of the time when you look at my tank it looks empty. A part of me thinks that the Flex would be enough for him especially since he literally spends all day not moving and under the same log in one spot. But then if he's super happy to have been moved and starts exhibiting more normal behavior then he will need more room. Will he then be strong and large enough to live peacefully with the other pictus or will they fight? I've never seen them fight but still.
 

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AggressiveAquatics

Have you sexed them? My guess would be cheese is a female and the others are males and they might be trying to mate with her and it’s stressing her out. But this is just my guess I don’t have any experience with these fish
 
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RushingSpirit

Have you sexed them? My guess would be cheese is a female and the others are males and they might be trying to mate with her and it’s stressing her out. But this is just my guess I don’t have any experience with these fish
I have no idea their sexes. Research says that they have never reported in captivity apparently. I did not know that they were wild cought when I bought them. Also just because they can't or won't doesn't mean they aren't stressed about it. It's a possibility. I'd be interested to find out if anyone knows any facts or details.
 
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Pictuscats

How is your Cheese doing? hopefully better and not in the 15g.
He may shy in such a small group and being out competed by the other 2 and loaches (you do know how big they will get right?) for swimming space.
How is your current? They like a little flow.
As for breeding, its never been documented in an aquarium because they dont reach sexual maturity in confined spaces.
 
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RushingSpirit

How is your Cheese doing? hopefully better and not in the 15g.
He may shy in such a small group and being out competed by the other 2 and loaches (you do know how big they will get right?) for swimming space.
How is your current? They like a little flow.
As for breeding, its never been documented in an aquarium because they dont reach sexual maturity in confined spaces.
Yes, Cheese is doing better! Thanks for asking.
How is your Cheese doing? hopefully better and not in the 15g.
He may shy in such a small group and being out competed by the other 2 and loaches (you do know how big they will get right?) for swimming space.
How is your current? They like a little flow.
As for breeding, its never been documented in an aquarium because they dont reach sexual maturity in confined spaces.
Yes, Cheese is doing well! Thanks for asking. After I asked this question
How is your Cheese doing? hopefully better and not in the 15g.
He may shy in such a small group and being out competed by the other 2 and loaches (you do know how big they will get right?) for swimming space.
How is your current? They like a little flow.
As for breeding, its never been documented in an aquarium because they dont reach sexual maturity in confined spaces.
Yes, Cheese is doing better thank you! After I asked this question and didn't get any guidance I decided to try so I went so far as to try to net him gentlyyyy and he zoomed and made it very clear that he didnt want to be netted so I did not and left him in place. I know that you aren't supposed to net them because their whiskers may get caught. I was using the net mostly to try to get him to swim in to the pitcher. Also his whiskers were all super short at that point so idk. What I do know is that experience awakened him. It was exactly what he needed. He was allowing himself to get pushed around and whatever I guess and then after I tried to net net him unsuccessfully he immediately became a bit more assertive and coming out for food more on his own and since then his whiskers have been doing nothing but growing I'm very happy to report. Otherwise nothing else in the tank changed. Also yes I do know how large the loaches will become and desire greatly to give everyone more space. We had plans on moving and buying a house and long story short I lost out on the deal when it all fell through and no one was able to move neither us nor the occupants of the house that were trying to sell the home. They're still there because now the housing market is in total crash mode so yeah as soon as we're able to move we're going to go as big as possible and continue to not overpopulate.
In other news the electric blue acara's heads turned from black to yellow and then shortly thereafter there were fry. They did indeed become aggressive to protect the fry which lasted for about a week and as soon as they weren't guarding anymore they immediately went back to super chill mode. They were hanging out right next to and with the pictus' and the loaches like nothing had happened. I don't know what happened to the fry and why they lasted for a while and then disappeared. The parents seemed to be doing quite a good job at protecting them, but of course I have no idea what happenes most of the time and especially at night. Either way if they did all gang up and eat the babies at night the parents who were so protective are not at all vengeful. It's quite interesting really.
 
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Pictuscats

Sounds like good things .. and I would venture a bet your beautiful but very opportunistic pictus cats had themselves a little snack.
 
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Amatyi1

Yes, Cheese is doing better! Thanks for asking.

Yes, Cheese is doing well! Thanks for asking. After I asked this question

Yes, Cheese is doing better thank you! After I asked this question and didn't get any guidance I decided to try so I went so far as to try to net him gentlyyyy and he zoomed and made it very clear that he didnt want to be netted so I did not and left him in place. I know that you aren't supposed to net them because their whiskers may get caught. I was using the net mostly to try to get him to swim in to the pitcher. Also his whiskers were all super short at that point so idk. What I do know is that experience awakened him. It was exactly what he needed. He was allowing himself to get pushed around and whatever I guess and then after I tried to net net him unsuccessfully he immediately became a bit more assertive and coming out for food more on his own and since then his whiskers have been doing nothing but growing I'm very happy to report. Otherwise nothing else in the tank changed. Also yes I do know how large the loaches will become and desire greatly to give everyone more space. We had plans on moving and buying a house and long story short I lost out on the deal when it all fell through and no one was able to move neither us nor the occupants of the house that were trying to sell the home. They're still there because now the housing market is in total crash mode so yeah as soon as we're able to move we're going to go as big as possible and continue to not overpopulate.
In other news the electric blue acara's heads turned from black to yellow and then shortly thereafter there were fry. They did indeed become aggressive to protect the fry which lasted for about a week and as soon as they weren't guarding anymore they immediately went back to super chill mode. They were hanging out right next to and with the pictus' and the loaches like nothing had happened. I don't know what happened to the fry and why they lasted for a while and then disappeared. The parents seemed to be doing quite a good job at protecting them, but of course I have no idea what happenes most of the time and especially at night. Either way if they did all gang up and eat the babies at night the parents who were so protective are not at all vengeful. It's quite interesting really.
My Pictus was extremely shy and I was worried about him because someone had gotten his whiskers so I moved him to another tank for about a week I could tell he didn't like this tank (the flow isn't as hard in this other tank and he didn't have the room it's just an emergency tank) so when I moved him back into the 75 gallon it was like he was a different fish. He got all confident and established his own territory and gets along with all the other fish now. I just figured I would share my experience although I only have one pictus in there. The change in his behavior after moving him was crazy. Now he is right at home in the 75 gallon and loves it. I'm not an expert and this is my first pictus catfish just thought I would share my story. Glad Cheese is doing better.
 
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