Bickering goldfish

Hello, my eldest daughter and Mrs D wanted some pet goldfish so we bought a tank, filter, pump, some bits to go in it and two goldfish a few weeks ago. All seemed well. This morning I noticed that the bigger of the two fish, Stavros, was bullying it's smaller counterpart, Broccoli Head, going after it's tail and chasing it off (not sure of gender so I'm being neutral with he/she). This was happening when Broccoli Head was foraging around the gravel for food. When I feed them in the morning they're both too busy to argue until the initial feast of floating food is over and it comes to foraging. I haven't noticed this before and Stavros was pooing at the time. Does that make fish grumpy? A friend had one goldfish kill another and I'm concerned for the wellbeing of Broccoli Head. Any ideas?
Sounds like Soapbox...:sad:


Über Member
Give Broccoli-head some spikey armour to wear, that should discourage Stavros in the short to medium term. What happens after that is anyone's guess.

Ghost Donkey

walker said:
how big is the tank for the two fish?

they could just be playing too
It's a 54 ltr tank which I read on t'internet is supposed to be big enough for two fish. I could be wrong.
Ghost Donkey said:
A friend had one goldfish kill another and I'm concerned for the welbeing of Brocoli Head. Any ideas?
You mean like a hired assassin? And you think Brocoli Head is next in line?

I know sweet FA about goldfish (we had 19 when I was a kid, they all died, one by one, and we never knew why! I always suspected my brother. :sad:

This might help, though, if you can be bothered to read it (I couldn't). ;)


Smutmaster General
Top fish names!
No reason (I guess) why one should not try to be dominant, or the big fish, so to speak. Also, given their reputed memories, they'll start at it every 7 seconds or so, so Broccoli head's going to have a miserable existence. Cant you get a friend for B-H, then they can gang up on the curly-haired greek/new-york detective-fish.
get a pet Grebe... the fish will be so scared of that they won't fight.

as it's quite a small tank you might want a Little Grebe

Big Bren

New Member
'Brocolli-head' sounds like one of those god-awful fancy goldfish; that being the case, does it have an ornate tail? They're quite often the target of nipping by tank-mates and are often outfed by their non-deformed colleagues:

Wiki says:

As fish they can be described as “friendly” towards each other, very rarely will a goldfish harm another goldfish, nor do the males harm the females during breeding. The only real threat that goldfish present to each other is in food competition. Commons, comets, and other faster varieties can easily eat all the food during a feeding before fancy varieties can reach it. This can be a problem that leads to stunted growth or possible starvation of fancier varieties when they are kept in a pond with their single-tailed brethren. As a result, when mixing breeds in an aquarium environment, care should be taken to combine only breeds with similar body type and swim characteristics.


New Member
Bromley, Kent
My F-I-L used to breed Koi. And every now and then he would have the odd tidler. a few days would go past and the tidler would disapear only to be found in the pump or dranage unit as it was scared of the bigger fish.

My suggestion is to get a little vegitation in the tank for Bhead to hide if need be. or maybe some other furniture for the tank.

Ghost Donkey

Thanks for that. I may buy some more vegitation for the tank. I think they both get enough food luckily, as Stavros is too busy eating to bother Broccoli Head. They are both pretty bog standard fish with no apparent mutation. The names were picked by my four year old so have no relevance on size/looks, they're just names she likes :sad:.

Ghost Donkey

Bigtallfatbloke said:
It's probably a territorial thing between two males...but that is just a guess. My tropical freshwater fish uded to fight all the time until the weak ones left us for the tank in the sky!

I even got inspired to write and play an instrometal toon about the battles called Dance of the Killer Goldfish:biggrin::
Great tune, an appropriate level of fret w@nk for goldfish :sad:.


More serious cyclist than Bonj
Flush the one you dont like down the toilet, and get a new one. Do it over night so your 4 year old doesnt realise and your done.
Really, you could ask at the pet shop what is happening.
We had them a few times as kids, they all died after a few days no matter what we did. We gave up in the end.
I'm surpirsed they remember what the other fish is, or which bit is there terratory.
Top Bottom