Aggressive pleco

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Guyb93

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I’m not sure if the video has uploaded and if it has its notoriously bad quality and just fed fish so tank was disturbed but my green phantom pleco has become aggressive I would say ,the video is shot over 1.5ft of a 5ft tank so it’s not cramped . This fish is only half size 3.inches but has no issues in body slamming into corys or other plecos and green phantoms known for aggression ? Iv read they can be aggressive with other green phantoms but not so much to others , should I worry it will kill. Or is it just flexing its dominance over the other bottom feeders
 
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Guyb93

Guyb93

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I'd say it is hungry
I would agree but it’s a over fed tank really I over feed it so my cichlids don’t get as so aggressive and my corys all look like they need fat camp
 

Slaphppy7

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Agree with DD, looks like typical pleco feeding behavior
 

TwoTankAmin

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Plecos are territorial. Also, do you have any caves in the tank? Plecos tend to feed at night. So you might try dropping for for them into the tank after lights out. If the plecos is well fed at night it might be less belligerent about it during the day,

Plecos will compete for food. Since Hemiancistrus subviridis is omnivorous so it will see most foods as something it wants to eat. Does this pleco behave the same way with tankmates when there is no food in the tank?

This species generally lives in fast current. However, it will adapt to calmer conditions. So the fish may also be adapting to this.

Finally, in a community tank aggressive feeding is not uncommon.

Given all of the above, its behavior is not unusual. Until another bigger or more aggressive fish out competes the the phantom, it will continue to take what it can get and will be happy to bully others for it.
 
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Guyb93

Guyb93

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Plecos are territorial. Also, do you have any caves in the tank? Plecos tend to feed at night. So you might try dropping for for them into the tank after lights out. If the plecos is well fed at night it might be less belligerent about it during the day,

Plecos will compete for food. Since Hemiancistrus subviridis is omnivorous so it will see most foods as something it wants to eat. Does this pleco behave the same way with tankmates when there is no food in the tank?

This species generally lives in fast current. However, it will adapt to calmer conditions. So the fish may also be adapting to this.

Finally, in a community tank aggressive feeding is not uncommon.

Given all of the above, its behavior is not unusual. Until another bigger or more aggressive fish out competes the the phantom, it will continue to take what it can get and will be happy to bully others for it.
I have lots of slate caves and wooden hide holes and he occupied the prime real estate centre tank , the behaviour you see towards the clown pleco is on sight regardless of food being in the tank he will actively evict the clown from any place he sees it hanging about , it only tends to bully the corys when food is involved , water parameters are comfortable . My tank is slow flow per say but iv had the fish probably a year now so it’s used to the surrounding my only fear is the phantom will out grow the clown by a few inches they are a similar size now but wonder weather this will worsen in time
 

TwoTankAmin

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Territorial :)

I cannot say what might causes an individual of one species to see an individual of any other species as being a rival. But it happens. Being relatively close in size and/or having similar dietary preferences is often all it takes. Some individuals will never change, even when their opponents essentially surrender/defer.

Breaking up lines of site is one way to help handle this sort of thing. More stuff on the substrate would be applicable here. The other option you cannot control, and that is for the plecos which are being attacked to become more adept at staying out of sight of the phantom better. More than just hidey holes may be needed. The clown may need ways to move about under cover.

There must be a reason the phantom chose the center of the tank. They do like high current bud do not have to have it. So that may be where on the bottom of the tank it is strongest even if that is not much. Or it just might be because how the tank is scaped that makes it the best spot in the mind of a pleco

So, one thing to try is to change the aquascaping and the flow pattern. Hopefully, this will cause the phantom to pick a new spot more towards an end of the tank. Then you can do a bit of rescaping so when in its area the phantom cannot easily see more than a third of the way across the rest of the tank. When you feed make sure the phantom does not have to go far from "home" to find food.

Another help for the clown is to create a space where the clown can move about some under cover. The clown needs to be able to run for cover and, once there, move someplace where it can get in or though but the phantom cannot. This will get easier to create the bigger the phantom gets than the clown.

If the corys are not being harmed but chased off, the above set-up should minimize that some too. But corys are usually curious and all over the place. If they are being harmed they should learn that they need to avoid the phantom and his territiory.

Of course there is always the option of last resort. You can rehome either the phantom, and get a new one or get a different species that will live with the clown. Or else to can replace the clown with a different species that cannot be bullied by the phantom and wont bother it unless the phantom gets stupid.

To paraphrase Yogi Bear, remember, "You are smarter than the average fish." :nod:
 

DoubleDutch

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I'd personally start feeding some vegs (leaving it in the tank for some time) and see what happens.
 

TwoTankAmin

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This is what the clown (Panaqolus maccus) eats: "A wood-eating fish, the tank should be decorated with several different types of driftwood. These fish really like to have something to chew on. Squash, cucumber, and other vegetables should be readily available to them (yams are a favourite). Supplement two to three times weekly with frozen foods."

This is what the phantom (Hemiancistrus subviridis) eats: "The fish is omnivorous and easy to feed. Although an effective algae eater, it should be given a varied diet of prepared foods."

Dietary preference/needs above are from Planetcatfish. There is an overlap between what the two species here want to eat and which are good for them. In the wild they take what they can get ut in a tank with multiple species, most fish will eat anything they can even if it is not the best food for them.

I still maintain this is a line of sight issue. Whenever the phantom can see the clown, an attack ensues. Then, if the clown has a hard time getting away so that the phantom gives up, that makes the situation worse. I think veggies will attract both fish.
 

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