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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default firemouth bullies

    0 Not allowed!
    hello, i have a 55 gallon tank that currently has 2 firemouths, a severum, and a gourami
    i got the firemouths at the same time and they were the same size, a couple months back
    for some reason one has grown much larger than the other and bullies the hell out of him
    i had to put the little guy in a QT for a few weeks with some melafix because his fins were all withered away
    im not really that experienced with aggressive behavior so what do i do about the mean fish
    i put the little one back in yesterday and it was right away that the other fm started chasing him around
    i already rearranged my rocks and stuff thinking that it would help and i also made spots for my little guy to hide but hes still getting chased all over.
    any input is appreciated

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    If they're two male firemouths, it will spell trouble. Best to keep one in the tank or if it's a pair. Find a new home for the smaller firemouth.
    Think with logic and rationality more than emotion. Act with moderation and consideration. Contemplate ideals and realistic goals and weigh out possibilities and options. Temper not with personal delusions or false hope but learn to accept and move on.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    I agree that this doesn't seem like it will end well. My son bought 2 firemouths several years ago that the LFS thought were female/male, although both were small at the time. He experienced the same bullying you are seeing and removed the smaller one for a few months as its tail had been pretty shredded. This one recovered and was added back to the main tank, but the bullying continued and it eventually died.

    He still has the bully by himself now. He's a beautiful fish, but I just can't warm up to this one. He's mean, has taken out a couple of other fish he tried, yet he flares and then runs into his cave if you approach the tank.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I generally agree with the others no good will come of keeping them in there unless you put a divider up and isolate one of them or take the other fish out and breed them assuming you have a pair.

    If one FM is basically keeping the other hiding for it's life up behind the filter intake or the like which I've seen before you need to definitely act unless you want a dead fish.
    Long time fish keeper most experience with CA/SA cichlids, natives like sunfish, and aggressive catfish.
    Currently have a 29g planted with 14 candy cane tetras, 6 sterbai corys, 6 melini corys, a rescued Siamese fighting fish and 1 mustache wearing albino longfin pleco.

  5. #5


    1 Not allowed!
    In all my years of keeping fish, when one fish (cichlid or anything else for that matter) decides it's war on another fish there is little you can do to change their mind (unless you dramatically increase the size of the tank to allow for larger territories) and they will remember. A period of separation does not tend to improve matters or allow them to forget their victim, I'm sorry to say.

    Urgent rehoming required. If you can, I'd isolate the bully fish in one of those frame/hanging net inserts you can get. Keep them separate until you can rehome one of them.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    Usually cichlids are the worst when it comes to conspecific aggression... anything that looks like them is enemy #1 - I would take the small FM whos getting out competed for food and send them to a better home. Other option is to take the big guy out and sell them. The small one will grow quick with the less competition.

    Lines of sight breaking is overrated in a 55gal with fish at 4in or larger... There just isnt the room.

    The only major option thats works is Dither schools... Like a school of congo tetra or something that gets big enough and fast enough to distract the big guy.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I'm happy to see people recommending dither fish congo tetras, silver dollars, and zebra danios all work. My personal favorites are silver dollars they really are great looking fish if you have the room for up to 6'' schooling fish. It always helped having them and lots of driftwood/caves but you are limited in a 55g.
    Long time fish keeper most experience with CA/SA cichlids, natives like sunfish, and aggressive catfish.
    Currently have a 29g planted with 14 candy cane tetras, 6 sterbai corys, 6 melini corys, a rescued Siamese fighting fish and 1 mustache wearing albino longfin pleco.

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