My two new Black Ghost Knife fish, Blake and Devin, are still fighting. Some of the fights are getting pretty nasty. I haven’t seen any serious damage, but there are ripped fins, which I would prefer not to see. Last night they spent most of the night fighting. They will chase each other (actually Devin will chase Blake) and then they will just entwine themselves around each other and nip and bite. Then they would take a rest for a few minutes and then they go back at it. It reminded me of a boxing match. The way that the two fighters will dance around each other for a while and then they actually come together and fight, and then they each go back to their respective corners before they start all over again.
In some ways it is very beautiful the way they dance around each other and entwine themselves, but it is also very violent.
I’m thinking that I need to move them over to the big tank sooner rather then later. I’m not sure if I should move them over one at a time or move both together. Part of me says that I should move Blake (the non-aggressive one) first so that he can establish “ownership” and maybe get a leg up on Devin. But on the other hand I would rather move Devin first so that if something goes wrong (like a big fight between Cole and the new fish) I would rather that Devin gets hurt then Blake. On the other hand (if I had three hands that is 😀 ) I think it would be better to move both of them at once so that they are both on equal footing.
I’m hoping that when I move them Cole will end up in charge. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that will take Devin down a notch or two. I know that some times “alpha” animals will become submissive when their pack is changed. That was the case with my cat Sammy. When it was just her and Shadow, she was the dominant, but when we got Smokey the order went Shadow, Smokey and then Sammy. That was a hard transition for her, going from top dog (or cat in this case) to being the bottom of the totem pole. And it was weird that the addition of Smokey left Shadow in charge, but that’s the way it worked out.
But anyway, back to the fish:
I’m nervous about how the introductions will go. Cole hasn’t ever had takemates other then the zebras he shares this tank with. He has never shown any aggression towards the zebras, and I’m hoping that it will be the same with these new BGKs. But he’s never been around his own kind before (well since I’ve had him anyway) and I don’t know what his reaction will be. And I don’t know if Devin will take it upon himself to fight with Cole, who just happens to be almost twice his size. It could be that everything will go fine, and all this worry will be for nothing. But it also could be that I could end up with fish that are hurt or even dead.
So here’s what I’m thinking (as of this moment anyway): I’m thinking that I’ll move both of them over on Saturday morning. That way I have the whole day to watch how they interact with each other. I think I’ll also rearrange the stuff in the big tank. I need to create room for the two new slate caves anyway. If the two of them got along I would have just put the two caves right next to each other, but with the way things are now I want them to be as far from each other as possible.
Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well!