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Aggressive fin-nipping

Subject: Aggressive fin-nipping
by worwood on 5/1/2012 13:01:55

Hey everyone ? it?s been a while!

I have a problem - has anyone ever experienced an aggressive fin-nipping goldie? My boyfriend decided to surprise me with a new goldfish a couple of months ago and this [insert expletives] fish is driving me insane with what seems like really aggressive and premeditated fin-nipping.

When I say she?s fin-nipping it?s more like ripping-to-shreds ? you?ve all probably seen goldies shred plant leaves off now replace that plant with a tail and that?s what she does. She?s already effectively killed one of the fish (who got a bacterial infection as a result of the fin-nipping and never recovered) and the other goldie got velvet as a result of the stress.

Water quality ? ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <10
dosing - 10ml easycarbo every day, 10ml TPN+ once a week
Feeding ? twice a day, varied between: tetrafin gold japan, Tera Natura Algae Mix, Tetra Natura Bloodworm mix, frozen spinach, frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworm and the occasional peas and courgette and broccoli and excess Salvinia natans from the tropical tank (when it threatens to take over)

This has been my train of thought about why she does it:
Boredom ? possible, but has plenty of plants and hiding places not sure what else to give them
Territory ? 240L fluval roma with 2 goldies <4 inches long? doubtful
mating behavior - well she?s female and he?s male so it?s the wrong way round and as I explain above this is ripping of tail not a slight nibble
Hunger ? I used to just feed once a day but noticed they were getting a bit lethargic with the strongish flow in the tank so have upped it to twice a day
Mistaking tail for floaty-plants ? possible but even when the fish swims off she actively chases them to start the nipping again

I?m at my wits end and was about to take her back to the LFS after seeing my other goldie?s tail torn to shreds again but boyfriend made me feel guilty so now I?m off to buy a tank divider so she can live in isolation before she kills the other one

Argh any ideas?