Aquariums are a sensitive ecosystem. When one or more fish are being aggressive towards other inhabitants in the tank, things can quickly get out of hand. Like school bullies, fish bullies pose a serious problem, and should be dealt with decisively before they can inflict harm on the other aquarium inhabitants.
- Plan out your aquariums to account for the habits of different species. The easiest way to avoid any problems is to plan out your aquarium well in the first place. For example, Tiger Barbs are widely known for biting the fins of other fish; they’re best kept away from the “general population”. Oh, and skip piranhas altogether. Do we even need to say why?
- Keep an eye out for signs of aggression. Many acts of aggression happen when you’re not looking, and are only apparent after the fact. Fish with split or ragged fins are one potential sign that acts of aggression might be taking place in your aquarium. Another sign is fish that are suddenly hiding from the others.
- Once you identify the culprit, split them off from the herd. Unfortunately, fish are not a species that lend themselves to being trained. So, you basically have two options: remove the aggressor from the tank, or, if you’re fond of the aggressor, move the fish that’s being bullied to a different population where it will be safe.
As with anything else, careful planning of which fish species will play well together during the time you’re initially designing your aquarium will save you lots of trouble down the road.