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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Territorial Fish

Betta splendens Now that you already have an established aquarium with some fish in it, you want to add some more fish to complete the look. Adding new exotic fish can be a fun and entertaining process.

But before you add more fish to the aquarium, you should know something: fish can be territorial and try to protect their ground from intruders such as your new fish. Yes, those cute little fish you've spoiled this whole time can be mean when a new potential tank buddy comes.

Here are some of the signs that your fish may exhibit when they become territorial:

- You might notice your fish hanging out in particular areas in the aquarium more than others. That rock in your tank can be the most prized possession to one fish and they will want to protect it from others trying to claim it.

- Fish chasing fish away from the particular parts of the aquarium. If you see fish nipping at other fish's fins, they are trying to chase them out.

- Fish being bullied into a corner or being constantly chased in the aquarium in an aggressive manner. You'll a fish that has become submissive and will no longer present a threat to that fish so it will hide in corners or behind aquarium decorations.

If you find your fish are acting or behaving aggressively and claiming territory, there are a few things that you can do to help before adding the new additions:

- Switch the decorations around in the aquarium. By switching the decorations around, this will eliminate staking claims on territory. It also makes your tank appear brand new! :)

- Start the new additions off by entering them into a relaxed environment. You can create a relaxed environment by leaving the aquarium lights off and keeping the room light dim. The less stress, the better the introduction of the new fish into the aquarium.

*Tip: If your fish are continually showing signs of aggression or territorial behavior towards the other fish, it may be time to consider moving the aggressive fish to another tank. Also, please make sure to check the compatibility of all the fish in your aquarium to make sure they are all compatible.

If your fish are only showing mild sign of territorial behavior, try switching the aquarium decorations every now and then. Fish do like a lot of variety and get easily bored in an aquarium that never changes.

Now for the fun part, adding the new additions.