Acara aggression

Stefan3289

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So currently I have a 75 gallon tank that has..

1 red spotted severum
1 golden severum
2 Electric blue acaras
1 blue acara
1 synodontis catfish

All the fish I got I have only had for a few months while the synod I transfered from another tank.
All the water perameters are good.
I do a 25 percent water change every week or two.

Everything has been peaceful besides the occasional chasing by the one EBA. I recently tried to add two new blue acaras, but one of the EBAs (same one that chases) and one of the new acaras started fighting immediately (locking lips). I removed the blue acara that was fighting, but now the other new acara is hiding and whenever he tries to come out, the (chasing) EBA and the other blue acara attack him.

I'm not sure what to do now. Is there any way to stop this aggression or should I just return both the fish?

I am currently thinking of changing around the decorations, putting the new acara back, and removing the (chasing) EBA for a day or two. Could this help?
 

Metalhead88

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Moving fish back and forth will likely not help your issue and probably only make things worse as moving can be stressful.

You have quite a few fish for this tank.... and a few that get quite large. I'm assuming its a 75 4 ft tank?

Aggression with cichlids is to be expected. Even lip locking is ok as long as they are even. If a fish is being bullied to the point where it has no where to go, something needs to be done. You can try adding hiding spots such as caves and even plants to block the view of other fish. The bigger the tank, the easier time you will have with cichlids.

What temperature is your tank? Lowering it a bit is actually said to lower aggression.... I have not witnessed this first hand however.

A little off topic, but I would HEAVILY suggest altering your water change schedule. Cichlids are messy and your tank will greatly benefit from at least a 75% water change EVERY week.
 
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Stefan3289

Stefan3289

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Moving fish back and forth will likely not help your issue and probably only make things worse as moving can be stressful.

You have quite a few fish for this tank.... and a few that get quite large. I'm assuming its a 75 4 ft tank?

Aggression with cichlids is to be expected. Even lip locking is ok as long as they are even. If a fish is being bullied to the point where it has no where to go, something needs to be done. You can try adding hiding spots such as caves and even plants to block the view of other fish. The bigger the tank, the easier time you will have with cichlids.

What temperature is your tank? Lowering it a bit is actually said to lower aggression.... I have not witnessed this first hand however.

A little off topic, but I would HEAVILY suggest altering your water change schedule. Cichlids are messy and your tank will greatly benefit from at least a 75% water change EVERY week.
Moving fish back and forth will likely not help your issue and probably only make things worse as moving can be stressful.

You have quite a few fish for this tank.... and a few that get quite large. I'm assuming its a 75 4 ft tank?

Aggression with cichlids is to be expected. Even lip locking is ok as long as they are even. If a fish is being bullied to the point where it has no where to go, something needs to be done. You can try adding hiding spots such as caves and even plants to block the view of other fish. The bigger the tank, the easier time you will have with cichlids.

What temperature is your tank? Lowering it a bit is actually said to lower aggression.... I have not witnessed this first hand however.

A little off topic, but I would HEAVILY suggest altering your water change schedule. Cichlids are messy and your tank will greatly benefit from at least a 75% water change EVERY week.
I appreciate your help! This is my first all Cichlid tank as well as my first tank over 20 gallons.

They do look evenly matched and they are all around the same size so I hope they will be fine. I will definitely try to add some more tall plants. I also read that over crowding the tank a little would help reduce aggression by making it hard to pin point one fish to bully.

My temperature is around 78-80 depending on how cold the room gets.

As for the water change, whenever I do a 25/30 percent water change weekly and check the water parameters they are all perfect. Are you sure this much is needed? They are all about 2 inches long other than the catfish who is 5.

Also, if the acaras shake and twitch their tails, what does this mean?
 

Metalhead88

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What are your water parameters right now?

Even though the fish are small, I'd still recommend getting into the habit of large water changes because they will grow fast. I change that much water regardless of stocking.

Over crowding is not really the best of ideas. This is common practice for African Cichlids, but that is because since they are just so aggressive that is really the only way to keep them. With American Cichlids, they are best kept to where they can have their own territory. They are also large and messy and contribute heavily to the bio load of the tank.
 
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