Jump to content

When to isolate?


Recommended Posts

Once again I have a fish which has been picked on and gone into exile mode, refusing to eat and living at the bottom corner of my display tank. He is a crimson tide and is a subdominant male. There are only two males in the tank and while the dominant male has picked on him in the past, he has seemed OK apart from a few tattered fins.

In the past this has happened to a blue dolphin who I treated for bloat and kept in a fry saver. However when recovered he had been away from the others for so long that he was severely beaten up by all other fish and I eventually had to give him away to a better home.

My concern is that if I separate the crimson tide from his tank-mates, by the time he has recovered he will have trouble settling back into the rough-and-tumble of tank life.

Should I wait to see if he gets his appetite back?

Should I treat immediately for bloat to reduce the chance of a prolonged absence from the tank?

Should I remove him just for a short time and get him eating again?

I realise that every situation is different however is there a rule-of-thumb which proves more successful than not?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I would think that if he doesn't eat he will die. Thus I would ensure this happens. So if that means removing him then so be it.

When I reintroduce a fish I always ensure that the fish is absolutely fit. Good body condition, no sunken belly and good normal looking fins.

Just before I do the transfer back I do a big water change and gravel siphon (really disturb the natural running of the tank) and then follow this by moving all of the tank furniture around in the tank. Even if it is only for a few days then by all means change it all back.

Try adding some others pieces to the tank as well. recently I had a tropheus male that was being picked on. I didn't remove him because this would almost have been suicide for him upon his return. Instead I moved a few bits of rock around and then I tried something new I added something to the top surface of the tank. It was those Black plastic "ag pipes".

The fish that were hassling him, were suddenly not so secure as there was this black thing above. They were much more interested in this thing than the ailing male. He has since recovered and the black thing removed, to be used again should the need arise.

You can also try adding more caves and/or pipes (Eg 90mm PVC pipe) to the tank as aggro will often decrease once the fish is able to get out of the aggro fishes sight.

Bottom line is try a few things to see if you can divert the packs attention and then reintroduce the fully recovered fish.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Matthew. I was aware of this concept but did not remember to associate it with this situation. If he does not start eating soon I will remove him, get him back to health and then re-arrange the tank when he is reintroduced. thumb.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...