My altum are shredding each other!!!

#1
They really are cruel to each other. No individual is immune or overly harassed. None of them have even remotely nice finnage anymore. This behavior started a couple of months ago. It gets to the point where they are all showing the opercula spot and bold black stripes. ALL 12 INDIVIDUALS. They are around 3 inches from the nose to the base of the tail. They are probably around a year old now. I have had them for 10 months. I have a 36 watt UV and the tank is a 120. I know its a little cramped for 12 altum but Dennis(Califish) has 10 and has no behavioral problems. He doesn't use a sterilizer or feed as heavily as I do. I spend quite a bit of time watching them every day and its my belief that they fight because they feel good. The fin damage seems permanent. Which I am ok with as long as I am not endangering their overall health. Please I would like some input from all of the other altum keepers here.

Mike
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re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#3
Hi Mike, the fin damage will repair itself in time once the activity slows down. For the age of the altum, 12 in a 120 shouldn't be too bad. It sounds to me like pairs are forming. Have you noticed any two fish sticking to one another? It is hard to say what is going on in there. Could you post a photo of your entire aquarium? It might give us more clues.

atb,
Michelle

re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#4
Hello Mike, your experience with Altum mirrors mine, this is what they do. I found that a larger group diffused the victimisation of one or two individuals, but any ammount of removing or replacing fish did nothing to stop it. As you suggest they seem to go in for a bout of "knocking lumps off each other" (usually in my case, just after a good meal) just because they are feeling good. It would be my guess that it is part of the pairing process and possibly to do with the sex ratio of the group as a whole (which of course we have no way of determining).
Regards,
Phill.

re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#9
I wrote Mike a bit last night in pm and mentioned that I thought it was due to them having a very good diet. I was able to see his aquarium in a video and it is a 120 tall, not a 120 long. This significantly shortens the amount of space for the fish. I also gave him my thoughts on what a good diet does for fish like altum. The behavior associated with with a good diet and what it promotes (not just healthy fish, but the mental state of mind of the fish as well) and the possible chemical releases a good diet would cause. But I am not as good at explaining that as some of you would be.

Michelle

re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#11
Hi Mike, thanks, but I really am not good at the technical aspect of diet. I love to hear others who are very well versed at explaining it in scientific terms.

Anyhow, and I hope you don't mind, I thought this would be the best topic to share my video of altum lip locking (rather than starting a new topic). You can clearly see that one altum's dorsal is nearly shredded, plus... his right eye has been injured. This fish did recover after they were put in a much larger tank. I almost wish I had kept them together in the QT tank just to see what would have happened. I have only three videos and a few pictures to share and though everyone might enjoy seeing them. Sorry... I am not the best photographer.

atb,
Michelle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-GBncF1f24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIUyN4s8zjw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ0sKBNVV_4
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re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#12
This is normal Mike, I had my 12 in a 120 (48X24X24) until February of this year. One jumped out and now I have 11.
They were always tearing their fins apart. One of the fish was so victimized they worked him down to the very stumps of his anal, dorsal and ventrals, to the point it had trouble to swim. But he recovered in about two months time with no help or isolation required. This was the one that jumped later on, after he had fully recovered.
As of February I put them in a 150G, 48X24X32 (High), I feel the height in this new tank has helped them. The fins are becoming very long and there is a lot less shredding...but still some.
Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#14
Hi Mike,

That's a rowdy group of altums you're keeping! Are they modeling after their owner bc mine are pretty civil to each other... heheh just kidding.

Your tank is a bit larger than mine, so I don't think lack of space is an issue at all. Could it be diet-related or water? Mine are strictly on Hikari FBWs now - I feed up to 10+ cubes a day for my 10 altums and 2 scalares, and really nothing else. They were eating predominantly Colorbits before, but I changed it after they started to show this "coughing" type reaction whenever I drop the food in.... and now they're so spoiled again on Frozen food they won't touch dry at all.

The altums chase each other and the pecking order is pretty size dependent, while the scalares are much more aggressive toward one another and would rip fins and show marks; they also occasionally chase the altums around. I have not seen the altums show aggression towards the scalares. The scalares have also killed all the male guppies and all my rummy nose tetras; they usually eat their heads and leave the rest alone.

re: My altum are shredding each other!!!

#15
The only difference I can think of is that I'm running a 36w 12X coralife sterilizer on the tank. I'm also running 2 fluval 404's with spray bars. With the sterilizer and the spray bars there is probably a lot more dissolved oxygen. Our water is probably identical in every other respect and so is their diet. That's what really boggles my mind is seeing yours and how nice they are to each other!!!???
cron