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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Puffy is singling out one of my harlequins, and hurting him. He, Crookshanks has an odd, almost warped tail, but can swim really well, and came with an odd tail from the petstore. I assumed he'd be alright, and for the most part he is. But, Puffy is nipping him, and his tail looks more red and a bit raw then it should, also Crookshank's tail is a bit shredded.

Do you know why Puffy is singling out Crookshanks out of all the others to bother?

I've removed Crookshanks to my 1/2 gallon hospital tank, and he is with one other harlequin to help keep him calm. Before I did, he was hiding away from the school in the ivy. What should I do?!

Also, might I add that Puffy has just started this behavior today, and the only abnormality in the tank would be I have another male betta (simba) in a divided portion of the tank. But, Puffy and Simba still haven't noticed each other, so I doubt that's why Puffy would choose now to be a bully :p
 

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I would guess that if you bought him with the deformity in his tail, he has been singled out as weak and an easy target. In nature those with deformities, or those that are sick, are often singled out or abandoned for the betterment of the entire group.

Even though he seems to swim well, he may be an outcast and therefore an easy target. How many Harlequins do you have? Is it a large or small school? Was Crookshanks an integral part of the school or did he seem to be on the outside of the group?

I'm not really sure why he is being singled out, but I would guess the above is at least part of the answer. After he heals maybe increase the school number if you can?

Any more information on the school behavior of your particular fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He and the other harlequins make a school of six, and they are in a 10 gallon tank with 3 ghost shrimps and Puffy.

Crookshanks is part of the school, I'm pretty sure he was actually towards the top of the pecking order, but I'm not postive.

Before Puffy starting attacking Crookshanks, all the harlequins would school loosely together, they all seemed relaxed enough to spread far out. Last night when I took out Crookshanks, he was hiding away from sight, and didn't seem inclined to go out into the open, and the harlequins were a bit closer together than usual. I'm noticing small shreds on the other's fins, and I think some of them are recent. The other shreds were from when I first put the school into my tank, when the harlequins were establishing their own pecking order. Though, I have a feeling the recent nipped fins are from the other harlequins, seeing as Puffy is ignoring them.

The school has only been in the tank for less than a week, and with Puffy for about 5 days.

Next time I go to Petsmart (possibly this Saturday) , I think I'll pick up one or two more fish to add to the school, when I put Crookshanks back in and see if that helps.
 

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I have no idea if adding more to the school will help. I would think it would, that way it evens everyone out a little more... but I don't have direct experience with schooling fish.

I have a shoal of cory's... but haven't had any problems there.

If they are still nipping at each other, I really am not sure. My guess is a bigger school, but again, I don't know for sure. I'd also suspect your getting close to capacity for a 10g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, chances are the tank is close to full, so I might wait and see what happens before dumping more fish in the tank.

Crookshanks was so stressed in the little 1/2 gallon, and looking almost worse in there, that I ended up putting him back. He's hiding again, but Puffy is ignoring him. He's refusing to eat, or come out of hiding, but hopefully that'll stop. :p

Thanks for your help :)
 

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If he is deformed, Puffy could be perceiving him as a weakling and bullying him. It's natural for this to happen. Sick or deformed fish are often bullied. As much as we hate to think of our fishies as bullies, they can be. Let's hope Puffy ignores him from now on.
 
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