Ctenochaetus Agression?

wizardgus®

Reeferus Horribilus
Premium Member
Another great article. But it leaves me with a question and possible embarrassment, as it is at odds with my observations and therefore some of the advice I've given on the board.

That would be regarding their attitude toward tank-mates. I have a small Kole. Most of the time I would say it behaves as you stated as far as ignoring its fellow inhabitants. But it will often chase (briefly say 6" to a foot) other fish. It seems to take a dive at the CBB most. It will sometimes make a fake at the Flameback. Seldom but sometimes at the Perculas. I guess until now I would have characterized its personality as a bully. None of this seems serious or that it stresses the other fish. I would have said it is establishing that it is at the top of the pecking order.

It's been in my tank for 7 months, I've never seen what I would call stressed behavior. It spends most of the day picking at the rocks, sand and glass. Swims in and out of the rock-work caves and passageways. Rarely makes a high peed lap around the reef. Eats flake, mysis, and frozen Formula2 with gusto. Picks at the Nori clip off and on all day. But it has always had this attitude.

After reading your article I am left with three possibilities:

1. What I am observing is within your description of basically ignoring tank-mates.

2. I have a strange specimen.

3. Contrary to what I have thought, mine is somewhat stressed in its environment.

Hoping for your thoughts on this. TIA
 

Sloeber

New member
hmmm, it probably hasn't read my column, yet. why not print it out for your fish and inform him of how he is suppose to act? :rollface:

if it isn't tail-swatting the other fish, it is not being a bully. surgeonfish need immense amounts of room, and do not like anyone invading their territory. future additions of large, open water swimming fish may become a problem. it is best to have only 1 open water fish in small aquariums. i'm not sure what size aquarium you have, but between the surgeon, CBB, and angel, you have 3 open water fish in your aquarium. this will cause problmes no matter what the species are. they simply will bump into each other all day long. this can create tension amongst tankmates. however, if all you are getting is a 6 - 12" dash, no worries.

HTH
 

wizardgus®

Reeferus Horribilus
Premium Member
:eek: I wasn't aware that all 3 were open-water species. I need work on my research technique. Tank size is in my sig. profile and with this info I think I see the problem. Hmmm, ViaAqua just added a 6 foot 150 to their line-up. Guess I better show this thread to Mrs. Wiz. ;)

Thanks for the quick info.
Best,
 

wizardgus®

Reeferus Horribilus
Premium Member
If I could impose just a little more...

I want to make sure I got this right. The Pygmy Angels are considered in the same class as the Surgeons and Butterflys as far as tank size? Man, I thought the steep part of the learning curve was behind me. :( So instead of being marginal as I thought, I am in the grossly over stocked/under sized category? Of course as long as I'm being painfully honest here, I didn't realize it would be an issue with the CBB. It did a beautiful job doing what it was hired to do...eradicating the fan worms in my tank. They had grown in number until they were going to kill off some of the corals! Literally hundreds of them.
 

Sloeber

New member
The Pygmy Angels are considered in the same class as the Surgeons and Butterflys as far as tank size?

uhm, no, not really. they will do fine in aquariums smaller than what is needed for surgeonfish. the "open-water" swimming thing is not in reference to the size aquarium they need, but rather the swimming habits of the fish. anytime you mix fish that have the same swimming habits, you are asking for trouble IMO. i prefer to stock aquariums with fish that fit into different niches.

for example, with a surgeon you already have an open water, actively swimming fish. prolly best to avoid more unless the tank is really large because the end result would be 2 (or more) fish that are routinely crossing each other's path and getting in each other's way. this will cause stress and with each time the cross each other's path you have another opportunity for a fight or hierarchy struggle. instead, i'd opt for fish that occupy a different swimming characteristic. for instance, sand gobies. sand gobies will in no way impact the swimming traits of the surgeon. another example would be a lawnmower blenny or even clown gobies, as they sit perched on corals or rock they will not interfer with the open water fish. or maybe even a marine betta, as it hides deep in caves and only comes out at dawn/dusk. does that make more sense?

So instead of being marginal as I thought, I am in the grossly over stocked/under sized category?

IMHO, absolutely.
 

wizardgus®

Reeferus Horribilus
Premium Member
Well...embarrassment is bad, but learning is good. I understand it better now. Will need to start figuring on corrective action.

Thanks for the info.

Best,
 
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