Growing Pains

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tmarie created the topic: Growing Pains

So, guess it was too good to be true. Have two Oscars--got them around same time when they were little (and harmless). They are probably around a year old now--I just call them males b/c its easier and they act like it. The dominance has always been a bit back and forth...but for most part they were best buds and inseparable up until a couple months ago. Was hard to tell at first which was bully. They are together in a 125 gallon tank. One ("Oscar") is slightly smaller and seemed to have claimed a corner. He would get aggressive when the other ("Clyde") would come around. Then it started to appear Clyde would go after Oscar in the corner. Oscar typically turns his back and does some shivering (can't tell what it means exactly--but assuming its an aggression thing). Would be a few scales pulled here and there, but I did get concerned when I saw Oscar's gill was nicked pretty bad even though it healed up quick. These days Clyde is the obvious aggressor. I've moved the tank around but ends up with Oscar finding a tiny nook and hiding out with Clyde randomly going after Oscar. They wont do it when I'm at tank. They feed well together. If I upset them, they end up pouting together like nothing is wrong. Found Oscars gill nicked again and hate seeing him hiding under a log all the time. Suggestions? Any experience with dividers? I like both of them and really don't want to part with either!!!
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Phantom replied the topic: Growing Pains

I've never kept more than 1 oscar at a time but it sounds like both your oscars have hit maturity and Clyde has decided to claim the whole tank. It won't matter how often you rearrange the tank. I know you don't want to part with either of them but Oscar is probably under a lot of stress from Clyde's bullying and in my opinion your either going to have to divide the tank (this will limit swimming space), rehome one of them or possibly get another tank for Oscar or Clyde.
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tmarie replied the topic: Growing Pains

I'm considering a divider before rehoming b/c only rehoming option I have is pet store. If divider seems to make them both unhappy then rehoming may be it. Would love another tank but no doubt husband has drawn the line already---have a smaller cichlid tank as well. Not even sure I can find an adequate divider that would be big enough for a 125 but I suppose its time to explore that option. Welcoming any advice on dividers as well!
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DRACO replied the topic: Growing Pains

have you heard the "spanking" procedure? where you netted the bully fish, put him in a bucket with water from the tank,,, and after 10 to 20 minutes, put him back to the tank... he will act as new comer and the smaller one will surely flared at him as an intruder... try this first before considering the divider ...
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tmarie replied the topic: Growing Pains

I've not heard of that! It has crossed my mind that there might be some trigger that would knock down Clyde's "confidence" a notch. Just enough to keep them on the same level. He gets intimidated easy--if that makes sense. I think he can distinguish my angry face through the glass by now! Lol! When he gets intimidated he turns sideways and starts to sink....its comical I have to say. I will def give this a try!
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Rocksor replied the topic: Growing Pains

DRACO wrote: have you heard the "spanking" procedure? where you netted the bully fish, put him in a bucket with water from the tank,,, and after 10 to 20 minutes, put him back to the tank... he will act as new comer and the smaller one will surely flared at him as an intruder... try this first before considering the divider ...


I haven't had this work large growing fish like oscars. They can remember up to 2-3 months what their territory is. I've removed the aggressor on many different types of large growing fish. Every time they come back and still bully the same fish.
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tmarie replied the topic: Growing Pains

Update: So the dominance situation has unexpectedly settled itself, atleast temporarily! I was about to have to rehome a male Kenyi cichlid from my 50 gal tank. Soon as he was old enough to ID as a male, he started terrorizing my husbands favorite cichlid...I tried all I could to alleviate the issue but the Kenyi had to go. Apparently it got BAD a cple days ago, I get home and my husband put the Kenyi in with the Oscars!! Turns out this is working! The Kenyi is loving it (although he's pressing his luck constantly), Clyde has chilled out and Oscar hasn't been hiding! Hopefully the Kenyi can hang in there and not get eaten!
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tmarie replied the topic: Growing Pains

Latest update, Kenyi not only hanging in there...but he is actually finding a way to bully my big Oscar Clyde. He is too quick to be eaten and he has taken to sneaking up behind Clyde to nip his back fins when Clyde gets near his area. The other Oscar remains near Kenyi and doesn't get nipped at. Clyde has forgotten the other Oscar for most part and Other Oscar is gaining confidence to not get totally bullied. Kenyi only goes after Clyde. Clyde has reverted to just being fairly submissive. Now just gotta watch Clyde's well being! Oh the balance is tough to achieve!
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