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Aggressive Pencilfish
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia.

PostPosted: 2011.08.20(Sat)23:04    Post subject: Aggressive Pencilfish Reply with quote

H, I recently added a group of golden pencilfish (Beckfordi) to my 680L/180g planted tank. They had been doing well for 3 weeks now but have started to act aggressively towards the cardinals and Lemon tetras that they share the tank with. The males especially tend to chase and nip any fish that is near them, including their own species. I have not read that they are an aggressive species.
Would changing the stock levels help?
So far I have 22 cardinals, 12 Lemon Tetras, and 12 Pencilfish. I had planned on increasing my school of cardinals.
Thanks for any advice.
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

PostPosted: 2012.01.13(Fri)4:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure about the stocking point, but...

Pencilfish can be aggressive, especially towards males of their own species. Are there any ways that you can create visual barriers or use items (driftwood/rocks/plants) to define 'territories' so that the pencilfish may claim them? Typical pencilfish aggression/dominance displays should be rapid circling with occasional pauses. You can also try removing the male pencilfish from the group - these 'should' be the most colorful fishes (haha, and the ones doing all the spinning).

Good luck!
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.01.13(Fri)5:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had a problem with these fish - if anything IME the lemons can be a bit nippy.

Do you have plants to the surface of water lettuce or similar? I used beckfordi as dithers when I was breeding Apistos and they tended to keep to their own hang out near the top. (Their fry helped condition the imported cichlid pairs)

Maybe throw in some sight breakers and see how they settle. Have you though about adding more females?
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