Juvenile Guppy behaviour

Niton

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Joined
30 Jun 2018
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179
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne
Hi,
I witnessed a juvenile male guppy begin to attack its father last night. This consisted mostly of nipping at his tail fin that was considerably shredded by the time I noticed it.

A little while later the adult females also seemed to be taking part in attacking the adult male.

This morning I discovered that the adult male was dead and most of the other guppies in the tank were enjoying dad for breakfast!

Has anyone had any experience of this before? I've done a few searches and found nothing that suggests that a juvenile male would readily turn on an adult fish.

Should I be concerned about this or pass it off as 'natural behavior'?

Any advice/experiences would be most welcome.
 

Polly

Member
Joined
23 May 2009
Messages
164
I've never seen it.
I've also not seen any fish consume a dead fish in decades. And certainly not Guppies or Endlers. But then there's plenty in my tanks for them to eat. The Guppies, in the past, and now the Endlers always seem to find some tiny bits of Algae to pick at in between meals, even when i can't actually see any.

Of course, it may be because I have a policy of removing any fish that looks remotely dodgy, or is being attacked by its tankmates. Mainly because that's the easiest way to head off disease outbreaks. But there has been the odd in tank death, and when i discover them, they haven't been munched on.

Is there any reason why you didn't remove the attacked fish from the tank?
 

three-fingers

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15 Sep 2008
Messages
360
Location
Scotland
Hungry fish of most species will take advantage of weakened individuals...how many fish are in the tank and how often/how much do you feed? That particular juvenile guppy might have been more hungry for some reason, or even just genetically more "aggressive", and once the other fish observe an individual taking advantage of an atypical food source, they will follow suit.

The father must have been ill or weakened in some way that the other guppies could perceive better than you - maybe even just very old?

Although it's sad and distressing to watch, it is totally natural behavior that doesn't surprise me at all.
 

alto

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Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,626
Some guppy populations (domestic) seem more aggressive and prone to this sort of behaviour, same with regards consuming the weak and dead

Local shop has been importing ju joon (gorgeous fancy guppy breeder) guppies and they just don’t seem to eat their babies (even in small display tank) or their dead
 

Niton

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2018
Messages
179
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne
@Polly thanks for the reply. I was setting up a hospital tank for the fish and was waiting for the morning for water to be dechlorinated. Sadly this was not soon enough.

@three-fingers and @alto thanks for your observations. I feed the fish twice a day and thought that they were OK with that. Never seen them nipping at each other nevermind all out attacks.
 
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