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Re-introducing a Bullied Fish

L.W. Wetarm

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Hello... I'm looking for some advice on the best way to re-introduce a bullied fish back to the general population. 

We're talking about a 60 gallon tank with a starter colony of 8 N. Brichardi about 1 to 1.5 inches long I'm guessing when introduced 8/28/20.  Most of the fish have coupled up or at least found their territory in the tank...except for one little guy. The only one of them with a name, Pokey. He was the fish that didn't want to come out of the bag when I brought them home. Has always hung around at the top of the water right up against the front glass. He will eat but only what is floating right at his nose and not aggressive about going after it. I was always especially trying to get what ever was on the menu right in front of him...probably one reason for my high nitrates. For most of the 5 or 6 weeks the fish have been in the tank he was mostly ignored and would either fight off or escape any attacks. One day I look and poor Pokey is getting ganged up on by two or three of the other inhabitants. It was so bad that he was having trouble swimming upright and was sliding backwards. 

I got Pokey out and put him a 10 gallon hospital tank with a couple of teaspoons of salt and a little extra Prime. He had some fin damage and some hurt feelings so he sulked behind the sponge filter mostly. He's been separated for about 10 days now. He's eating and swimming around now after sulking for about a week. I only have the one main aquarium so it's either back to gen pop or I'm going to have to turn the hospital into a sanitarium. 

 I was thinking about moving him after the lights go out and everyone is dormant.  I have added some Java Fern in a couple of places while he was away so I'm hoping that he might find some refuge in one of those. On the other hand; one of the pairs has 4 new babies (first brood) so they are hyper attentive. 

Any tips on how to get Pokey back home with as little drama as possible?

Edited by L.W. Wetarm
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Likely hard to pull off at this point, but you could pull out all the fish except Pokey.  After he/she settles in, introduce the others a few at a time.  Of course you would need to rearrange the tank, but it would give him\her a chance to have first pick on territory and only he/she would only need to defend against one or two other at a time.  

But who has a 60 gallon qt tank?

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