Severum aggression??

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GabbyCat12

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Hi. I currently have a red spotted Severum in my tank I’ve had him for a few weeks now. He’s probably like 3 - 4 inches. I’ve decided to get another one and this Severum is maybe 2 inches. My bigger Severum won’t stop chasing my smaller one everywhere, and when doing this my bigger one swims sideways?? I was wondering if anyone has ideas on what this could possibly be. It’s obviously hard to explain without a video. I’m not sure if it’s aggression, or just him checking out a new fish, or just being a dominant fish. He doesn’t nip at the smaller Severum it’s just chasing him. I’m hoping it will settle after a few days but it’s making me nervous. Oh I feel like I should add that the bigger Severum is also kindof bullying everyone else now too. He has never done that before
 
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territorial aggression. You introduced another cichlid into the bigger one's environment and now it is upset and trying to drive the intruder out of the area.

If you are going to keep cichlids, try to get a group of young fish and grow them up together so they can all settle in at the same time. Adding new cichlids to a tank already home to a bigger cichlid just about always ends up with fights.

You can try rearranging the tank to break up the old territories, but if both fish are the same sex (especially if they are males) it won't help.
 
It does sound like the bigger Severum is showing some dominant. 2 is probably the worst number of cichlids to have in a tank as it does not diffuse aggression enough.

What other fish do you have in the tank and what size is it? Just wondering what might be best to add or remove to improve the situation

Wills
 
I would also suspect both fish are males. @Wills has a great suggestion, but short term, life is going to hard and stressful for the smaller fish.
 
Sorry im a bit late to replying. I have a couple pictus catfish, a group of diamond tetras, and a group of cherry barbs.
 
Sorry im a bit late to replying. I have a couple pictus catfish, a group of diamond tetras, and a group of cherry barbs.
And how big is the tank? The Cherry Barbs could be at risk when the Severums and Pictus Catfish get to adult sizes just FYI...
 
The pictus catfish are adult sizes and have never picked on the barbs. I'm not to worried about the barbs, but yes as the severums mouths get bigger, it might be an issue. The tank is 75 gallons but i'm looking to upgrade it soon to a 125 gallon for when the severums get bigger.
 
The pictus catfish are adult sizes and have never picked on the barbs. I'm not to worried about the barbs, but yes as the severums mouths get bigger, it might be an issue. The tank is 75 gallons but i'm looking to upgrade it soon to a 125 gallon for when the severums get bigger.
Fair enough :) I had some pictus that just ate everything, including a young pleco!

I think a 75 could be ok for now but 6 months to a year a 125 (or bigger would be good). I'd say to either remove one of them or add in some more South American Cichlids of around mid size, Geophagus (smaller species), Blue Acaras, Royal Acaras, Threadfin Acaras could be good contenders.

Its hard with some set ups but South Americans having a long term game plan can yield really good results. Eg a great long term goal, especially with Severums would be to be looking at a 180g and contemplating what options you have as having gone down this route before I feel most South American set ups end up as a 180 haha.
 
Fair enough :) I had some pictus that just ate everything, including a young pleco!

I think a 75 could be ok for now but 6 months to a year a 125 (or bigger would be good). I'd say to either remove one of them or add in some more South American Cichlids of around mid size, Geophagus (smaller species), Blue Acaras, Royal Acaras, Threadfin Acaras could be good contenders.

Its hard with some set ups but South Americans having a long term game plan can yield really good results. Eg a great long term goal, especially with Severums would be to be looking at a 180g and contemplating what options you have as having gone down this route before I feel most South American set ups end up as a 180 haha.
Since I made the original post the aggression isn't as bad. When you say I could add more South American Cichlids i'm assuming that's after I get a bigger tank? I originally went with Severums because I heard they where one of the most peaceful cichlids their is. I've been terrified to get any other cichlids since apparently they tend to be super aggressive. I want more of a peaceful community tank. But I guess I have already messed that up.. btw I really appreciate the advice!
 
Aggression in fish is a bit of a complex thing to get your head around sometimes, even in some of the 'super safe' categories of fish like live bearers or tetras you can get aggressive fish. Its not always something to be scared or worried of but something to plan around and with.

Severums are gorgeous fish great personalities and generally pretty placid but very inteligent. I had one for 8 years and tried to keep her with others but it never worked so settled with one and kept other cichlids around her. If things have calmed down you might have found some kind of balance for now but there is a chance things change as they mature.

If they have settled down I would wait to upgrade before you add more fish.
 

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