Is Hemichromis Fasciatus the most aggressive cichlid?

neutrino

Potamotrygon
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Jan 22, 2013
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Honestly, what’s the point of this video? It’s just animal cruelty. Improper mix of cichlids, in a too-small tank, fought for sport and views on YouTube. That crap doesn’t belong in this hobby.
+1. Pointless, antithetical to what fishkeeping is supposed to be.

I don't want to get into a thing about all the complexities of man's relationship with animals and I don't have a problem with keeping aggressive fish in proper circumstances, they can be beautiful and have interesting behavior. I'm directing this at the video and the filmer of the video, not participants in this thread, so let's not get into a thing about it-- But:
There are extremes on both sides of animal rights in my view, and I'm not one who thinks it's my right and duty to police everyone elses' treatment of animals, but there are times when Mark Twain's observation is an apt one: "I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me."

Intentionally putting fish into circumstances like fighting dogs and allowing one to tear another apart just for entertainment qualifies imo.
 
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FINWIN

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 21, 2018
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+1. Pointless, antithetical to what fishkeeping is supposed to be.

I don't want to get into a thing about all the complexities of man's relationship with animals and I don't have a problem with keeping aggressive fish in proper circumstances, they can be beautiful and have interesting behavior. I'm directing this at the video and the filmer of the video, not participants in this thread, so let's not get into a thing about it-- But:
There are extremes on both sides of animal rights in my view, and I'm not one who thinks it's my right and duty to police everyone elses' treatment of animals, but there are times when Mark Twain's observation is an apt one: "I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me."

Intentionally putting fish into circumstances like fighting dogs and allowing one to tear another apart just for entertainment qualifies imo.
Agree. Sometimes I think people have mental issues and project that onto the fish...seeing themselves as "tough" if they have a "tough" fish. It's some kind of bizarre release for them to see violence and mayhem in a tank. I've even heard of people who get a fish to 'teach another fish a lesson'. And the Dovii legend conveniently overlooks the fact they outsize a lot of other aggressive cichlids, so I hardly call that making them more 'badass'. If I throw a Dovii in with a crocodile does that make the croc more 'badass?'
 

lunsforj

Aimara
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I'm not sure if fasciatus is the meanest cichlid out there, but they were the meanest I've ever kept. I've kept most of the bad boys from central america and buttikoferi so I'm not sure what else there might be. Most centrals don't want to lip lock with them. Buttikoferi also tries to avoid lip locking after the first time as well. My theory is their teeth must be super nasty. Anyways if these things got to be the size of dovii, I think it wouldn't even be a question.
 
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Cichlid_Guy

Exodon
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I'm not sure if fasciatus is the meanest cichlid out there, but they were the meanest I've ever kept. I've kept most of the bad boys from central america and buttikoferi so I'm not sure what else there might be. Most centrals don't want to lip lock with them. Buttikoferi also tries to avoid lip locking after the first time as well. My theory is their teeth must be super nasty. Anyways if these things got to be the size of dovii, I think it wouldn't even be a question.
Very interesting. I also think that they have very powerful bites because their mouths are shaped similarly to other powerful biters like umbee or grammodes. They also seem to have convergently evolved with grammodes on other aspects as well, like their general body plans. So I think that grammodes is the closest and the best comparasent to fasciatus. They occupy the same niche in the nature, they are same sized and even their combat tactics are similar. Both have developed to deal with larger cichlids (fasciatus with buttikoferi and grammodes with parachromis), and they often target the most vulnerable parts like the belly, eyes or fins. Other cichlids that I think come close pound for pound are neets, labiatus and the most aggressive mbunas.

When you have kept fasciatus, has any other cichlid that was approximately the same size been able to defend themselves from the fasciatus, or form a territory?
 

Cichlid_Guy

Exodon
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That video is just shameful, anybody into that fish combat stuff, let alone making videos about it, is in simplest terms a plain *sshole, no different than putting dogs into a pit to fight.
I agree, if someone keeps lots of aggressive cichlids together, it is their responsibility to make sure that things won't get out of hands, and forcing fish to fight each other by putting them in a too small tank is just stupid.
 
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lunsforj

Aimara
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Very interesting. I also think that they have very powerful bites because their mouths are shaped similarly to other powerful biters like umbee or grammodes. They also seem to have convergently evolved with grammodes on other aspects as well, like their general body plans. So I think that grammodes is the closest and the best comparasent to fasciatus. They occupy the same niche in the nature, they are same sized and even their combat tactics are similar. Both have developed to deal with larger cichlids (fasciatus with buttikoferi and grammodes with parachromis), and they often target the most vulnerable parts like the belly, eyes or fins. Other cichlids that I think come close pound for pound are neets, labiatus and the most aggressive mbunas.

When you have kept fasciatus, has any other cichlid that was approximately the same size been able to defend themselves from the fasciatus, or form a territory?
No
 

lunsforj

Aimara
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Fasciatus are reported to hold huge territories in the wild. I would highly recommend frempongi if you like these types. They look very similar but are much more manageable IME.

As far as the video goes, the owner of that fish often kept all those rowdy fish together in order to pair his 5 spots. The fish were not kept together long term. As soon as a pair formed they would be placed in a seperate aquarium for spawning.

Anyone who has ever tried to pair fasciatus, knows that it is a monumental task most times. It usually takes much larger central american cichlids in order to keep their aggression from turning on each other. Since fasciatus can and will dispose of conspecifics in no time, these larger centrals are usually a better option for target fish.
 

Cichlid_Guy

Exodon
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Apr 29, 2019
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Fasciatus are reported to hold huge territories in the wild. I would highly recommend frempongi if you like these types. They look very similar but are much more manageable IME.

As far as the video goes, the owner of that fish often kept all those rowdy fish together in order to pair his 5 spots. The fish were not kept together long term. As soon as a pair formed they would be placed in a seperate aquarium for spawning.

Anyone who has ever tried to pair fasciatus, knows that it is a monumental task most times. It usually takes much larger central american cichlids in order to keep their aggression from turning on each other. Since fasciatus can and will dispose of conspecifics in no time, these larger centrals are usually a better option for target fish.
Frempongi are also unfortunately nearly impossible to get here in Finland, and if I one day find these cichlids, I think I'll go with the real deal (fasciatus) :). My dream is to have a huge tank (around 8 feet long) with pairs of fasciatus and grammodes, and convicts and jewels as dithers. According to everyone's experience, that setup wouldn't probably work, but it would also be quite cool to have the African and Central American cichlids on their own sides separated by a divider.

Hemichromis elongatus, tough, might be available occasionally here. My next aquarium is most likely going to be a community tank of medium sized cichlids, so do you think that elongatus could be mixed with cichlids like salvini, texas and jack dempsey in a 190 gallon tank?
 
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