Emperor Tetra Aggression

TomClous

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Hi,
I got into the fish keeping hobby only a couple of weeks ago and I think I am experiencing issues.
Currently I have 10 neon tetras, 2 guppies and 5 emperor tetras. I have noticed that one of the emperor tetras has shown quite a fair amount of aggression towards all the other fish. It is always roaming around the top half of my tank, chasing away and bullying any other fish that swims up to that half. I have also noticed that this emperor tetra and another like to pick on my male guppy causing the guppy to hide away at all times.

What should I do?
 
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TomClous

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Here you are
 

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itiwhetu

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Everything will settle down if you get some plant to fill the gap between the plants you have there and the top of the tank. More stemmed plants. I think that's a female and she just thinks that the open water is her space. If you can break that up it will be better.
 
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TomClous

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Everything will settle down if you get some plant to fill the gap between the plants you have there and the top of the tank. More stemmed plants. I think that's a female and she just thinks that the open water is her space. If you can break that up it will be better.
Great! I will try that, thank you.
 

itiwhetu

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Hygrophila, Cabomba, Ambulia. Ludwigia. Anyone of those that you can find maybe put some floaters on the top as well. Emperor Tetras don't like bright lights and are happier in a darker tank.
 

Byron

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The solution is not likely so simple. I had a group of 12 of this species, Nematyobrycon palmeri, several years ago. They were in a 5-foot long 115g tank, heavily planted. All seemed fine for several weeks until one day I went in to the fish room to feed the fish and there were no fish visible in this tank. Looking closer, I saw all the 100+ characins hiding at one end of the tank behind some plants, and a male Emperor was patrolling the rest of the tank, going after any fish that dared to show itself. I left this for a day or two, but it did not improve and fearing the stress this was clearly causing the other fish, I netted all the Emperors out into a spare 20g tank. I gave the group away to another aquarist, after I had outlined exactly what was the issue, and she had planned a 55g 4-foot tank for just this group of Emperors.

The small size of the group (five) you mention is likely to increase this aggressiveness. But as noted above, even with a group of 12 the individual fish can decide to take matters into their own hands.
 

Slaphppy7

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Welcome to the forum.

The tank is only a couple of weeks old? Is it cycled?
 

Myraan

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I was going to ask if you have room for a bigger shoal of Emperors, but going by Byron's experience that might not work either.
 
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TomClous

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Hi,
The tank has been cycled, it has 0 ppm amonia.
I have been reading other threads about emperor tetras and it just seems that some are aggressive.
I think my best option is to buy another tank for them.

Thank you for all the posts.
 

dmaccy

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I've had the same problem historically. I had one male emperor tetra thay every now and again decided he wanted to be top fish and every other fish would hide under the filter.
However the couple of times he did it it was easily fixed by moving the decoration around and ensuring there were tall plants or decor to break up the sight lines. After that things calmed so quickly. The other fish in that tank were flame tetras and julii cory. The emperor tetras now live in my larger 240 litres tank with no trouble at all

This was with a shoal of 4 male and 2 female.
 

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