Aquatic Degrees of Aggression:

LEVEL 1     Peaceful:  A Fish that is not inclined to disturb other fishes or create agitation through confrontations.  Likely to be bullied by more aggressive fishes due to it’s peaceful nature.  May also be reclusive and shy.

LEVEL 2     Mildly Aggressive:  A fish that is not inclined to display extreme aggression towards other fish.  Likely to posture by flaring the gills or erecting dorsal fins or chasing an intruder out of its territory.  May be excitable, very active and nip at the fins of slower tank mates.

LEVEL 3     Moderately Aggressive:  A fish that is inclined to display aggression in a less severe manner, but more so than a fish that is mildly aggressive.  Confrontations may result in physical damage, such as split fins or tails, missing scales or damage to the eyes or abdomen.  A fish of this sort may at times harass other fish in the tank and display dominance over the other fishes by hogging food and territory.

LEVEL 4     Highly Aggressive:  A fish that is prone to display extreme aggression towards other fishes that results in severe physical damage and even death.  This fish may relentlessly target the eyes, fins, tail, or abdomen of a tank mate during confrontation.  This fish may consider the entire tank as its territory and pursue “invaders” with fervor.

LEVEL 5     Intolerant of other fishes:  A fish that displays deadly aggression towards any other fish in the tank.  With larger fish, this may include consumption of the other fish in part or whole to eliminate their presence in the tank.

LEVEL 6     Species-only fish:  Due to this fish's unique and special needs, it is best maintained in a tank by itself, often referred to as a "species tank."

LEVEL 7     Large predator:  While most fish are opportunistic feeders, this fish makes a habit of eating anything that will (all or in part) fit in its mouth.  It may not display outward aggression towards a fish of the same size, but turn around and inhale one that is a little smaller.  An indiscriminate palate coupled with a highly piscivorous (fish eating) nature relegates tankmates to all but the largest fishes.

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