Are my catfish fighting or playing??

Xife

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Hey guys, im pretty new to the hobby and I have a question about two of my catfish, one is a spotted Raphael catfish and one is a stripped. They live in a 10 gallon with 6 other guppies, i had them for about a month and plan on upgrading tanks in less than 2 weeks. I noticed when i turn off the filter and airstone the spotted catfish likes to go to the stripped catfish and just move him around pretty aggressively and seems to chase him inside the tube i have them to hide in. usually, during the day they spend time in different tubes. I cant tell if he is being bullied or if its them just being... them. (i also took out the catfish that looked like it was being bullied and its fin is torn.)


Thank you for your guys help.

here is a example of what they are doing, I uploaded it
 

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PheonixKingZ

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How long has the tank been setup? What are your water parameters?
 

utahfish

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Wow a 10 gallon tank is way too small for Raphael cat fish. They can grow around 8 inches, surely wont in a ten gallon. Plus once they get bigger they will eat your guppies. Not only that guppies are hard water fish and raphaels soft water fish from the amazon basin. Raphaels can also be territorial and slightly aggressive, a 10 gallon tank is way too small for 1 let alone 2 and without the space they both will be competing for territories in the tank. 1 raphael needs about 30 gallons to house 2 id go no smaller than a 55 gallon. Either get a much bigger tank or take them back re home them. A 10 gallon is perfectly suitable for guppies though.
 
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Xife

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I plan on upgrading my tank in the next week to a bigger tank for them!! I had them for a month so haven’t had them for too long. And then once I get my bigger tank I plan on moving the catfish in there. The tank has been setup for a month now
 

utahfish

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I plan on upgrading my tank in the next week to a bigger tank for them!! I had them for a month so haven’t had them for too long. And then once I get my bigger tank I plan on moving the catfish in there. The tank has been setup for a month now
Well until you get a much bigger tank your fish will continue to exhibit behavior and health problems. Good luck. Also when you do get a bigger tank hope you dont also put the guppies in that bigger tank like i said not only do raphaels and guppys require different water but the raphaels will eat the guppues, most likely at night as raphaels are nocturnal. Good luck!
 
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Xife

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Well until you get a much bigger tank your fish will continue to exhibit behavior and health problems. Good luck. Also when you do get a bigger tank hope you dont also put the guppies in that bigger tank like i said not only do raphaels and guppys require different water but the raphaels will eat the guppues, most likely at night as raphaels are nocturnal. Good luck!

Thank you ! But for further reference for me, that is them being aggressive and not just playing around right?
 

Byron

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Thank you ! But for further reference for me, that is them being aggressive and not just playing around right?

Correct. But you must separate these two fish, no matter the larger tank. If you get for example a 4-foot long tank, this will house one of them, but not both. Another problem is that having them together in the very small space has apparently increased the territorial aggressiveness of the spotted raphael (species Agamyxis pectinifrons) so no matter what tank you put both of them in, this will most probably continue and worsen.
 
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Xife

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Correct. But you must separate these two fish, no matter the larger tank. If you get for example a 4-foot long tank, this will house one of them, but not both. Another problem is that having them together in the very small space has apparently increased the territorial aggressiveness of the spotted raphael (species Agamyxis pectinifrons) so no matter what tank you put both of them in, this will most probably continue and worsen.

Dam that makes me sad :/ do you think it’s worth a shot? Even if I put a lot more hiding spot in my bigger tank??
 

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Dam that makes me sad :/ do you think it’s worth a shot? Even if I put a lot more hiding spot in my bigger tank??

Let me put it this way. If you have no other option than to have them together in a larger tank (at least 4-feet in length), that is better than the present situation, though it is likely but not certain that the aggression will continue. The picked on fish is under severe stress, and this quickly becomes chronic stress which cannot reverse, that is basic biology. Individual fish can exhibit behaviours and traits that are not in line with the normal for the species and we cannot possibly second guess this; we can only assume the norm will apply. But my point is that the aggressor may relent.

The other options would be to return one of them to the store, or to another aquarist that can care for it. Worth exploring for the sake of the fish, but I appreciate not perhaps very likely.
 

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