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Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)
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Wow - green terror just got REALLY mean

Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:56 pm

I brought home a 4" green terror for my bully tank a couple of months ago and he ended up being the wuss of the tank. He got bullied and lost some tail chunks, mostly to the smaller of my two distichoduses (6") and the convict cichlid (4-5"). He seemed pretty peaceful and eventually the other fish left him alone. Things were fine and harmonious.

Till yesterday. Now he's trying to kill everyone. Yesterday I noticed my little jewel was a very light pink instead of the usual super bright red/pink, and today the convict is cowering in a corner with a bunch of little wounds. (It's nice to see someone put him in his place but he looks a little too beat up now.) The smaller distichodus has a bunch of marks on his body too. Meanwhile the GT just sits in the upper foreground of the tank looking at me as if to say "are you going to feed me or am I just going to have to eat these other fish?" even though he just had a meal. It's weird. There are plenty of rocks and territories and he hasn't claimed any of them - he seems to prefer the open spaces and chases the other fish when they swim into the open.

He has grown some - maybe half an inch - since I got him, but he hasn't really developed the head hump at all, if that gives any indication as to his age. Has he just matured and come into his own, or is he perhaps just reacting to something like water quality/temperature? It has gone up a few degrees in the tank just because of the recent warm weather we've had.

Just wondering whether to expect this to be his true personality or if he's just cranky. Cause if he's going to always be like this I'll probably have to sell him. I'll be getting a larger (140-180) 6 foot tank soon so I'll see how he likes it with more space before making any decision like that though.

Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:01 am

They arn't called terrors for nothing :P.

Most GT's go through a phase of wussiness, then they 'snap' and live up to their name. This size is around 7" most people say, it seems that yours has matured early.
The bigger tank may help, but be prepared to change things around.

Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:18 am

Heat deffinately affects aggression in south and central american cichlids too, even a couple of degrees can change behavior.

Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:54 pm

It's cooler today and the bullied fish are out and properly colored. Weird.

I'll keep an eye on him. I bought him with the assumption that he might be too mean for the tank and was prepared to have to get rid of him, but then he blended in well. He's a nice looking fish but the tank is all about the distichoduses and dats so if he's not going to behave I'm sure there are plenty of people around who would love to have him. We'll see. Hopefully I can strike a balance, because his colors do look great against all the red in the tank.

Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:18 pm

What size tank do you have them in now?

Do you have any way of lowering the temp?

Kim

Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:01 pm

They're in a 90 but going to be upgraded to a 150-180 in the very near future. Currently my only means of lowering the heat is turning the heater down. It's a 200w set at 74 but the water is a constant 79-80, and popped up to about 82 for a couple of days. Last summer I had it at my house (it is now at my girlfriend's) and it was in a cooler basement and still didn't even have a heater during the summer. I'm thinking I may need a cooling device this summer. Chicago is not exactly tropical but I guess my lights are pretty hot.

Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:56 pm

Try turning the lights off more...I'd suggest leaving the top of the tank open, but I'm afraid you might have some jumpers with the increased aggression.

Good luck!

Kim

Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:45 pm

Yeah, the dither/topdweller fish are some giant danios and I have lost one of them to jumping. The tank has to stay well covered. What I'd really prefer is having a nice looking canopy that I could drill to mount the lights in, but 6 or more inches from the tank, with a few fans. Right now the lights are right there on top of everything.
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