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Thread: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

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    Default Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    In the past I have only kept adults and they were mostly laid back. At the moment I have 6, 3" discus in a 55 and the aggression seems a bit high due to what looks like a claiming of territory. The two blues dominate one side while the largest Heckel rules the other side. The other three are kinda caught in the middle being chased back a forth. This doesn't seem constant, but definitely a trend.

    I am thinking of moving the two Blues to another tank and keeping the four Heckles in the 55 because they already have a pecking order. Possibly adding more to each tank in the future.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Has anyone ever curated a school of the least aggressive they own? Counter intuitively, could adding a few more minimize aggression?


    I understand they are cichlids and some aggression is inherent. The tank is well maintained and they all have healthy appetites.

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    I've had harmony with as few as 5 together, but in general the more the merrier.
    Each group is dynamic and its hard to know how the pecking order will settle in.
    Moving things around and or adding fish can help, at least in the short term.
    The best situations for me have been when I started with a group of 10+ of the same size from the get go

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by slicksta View Post
    I've had harmony with as few as 5 together, but in general the more the merrier.
    Each group is dynamic and its hard to know how the pecking order will settle in.
    Moving things around and or adding fish can help, at least in the short term.
    The best situations for me have been when I started with a group of 10+ of the same size from the get go
    Thank you for the feedback. I am thinking that the largest group possible is the best way to go.
    Last edited by Emanresu; 05-30-2019 at 08:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    I'd add that you understand the typical precautions in doing so.
    1. It's no guarantee that things will be better.
    2. With the increased bioload you'll have to do more water changes.
    3. Best to get fish from the same source and size
    4. Still do a QT for the new fish.

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by slicksta View Post
    I'd add that you understand the typical precautions in doing so.
    1. It's no guarantee that things will be better.
    2. With the increased bioload you'll have to do more water changes.
    3. Best to get fish from the same source and size
    4. Still do a QT for the new fish.

    Yep, I understand the implications and best approaches. Before I go through the process of adding additional discus I may try removing the two blues to study the Heckel's behavior.

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    I ended up getting rid of the two blues to a another local keeper and added a German Wonder. This has balanced things out nicely. Now, there is only one alpha.

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    Default Re: Questions about keeping the right group together to minimize aggression

    It's nice when things work out.
    Good luck with them.

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