Cardinal Fish

I have two Cardinals and one of them is way too aggressive towards the other one. The weaker one just hides behind my overflow box and is too scared to come out.

I took the more aggressive one out for 3 whole weeks to let the weak one establish territory and defend him/her self. However, after 3 weeks I put the aggressive one back and he still wont let the smaller one come out. Its just not happening…

I don’t know much about cardinal behavior – These are my first two. I bought them because I like how they swim and was told that they are very peaceful fish. And its true, they are very peaceful with the other fish, but not with each other. I was also told that cardinals should be kept in groups of 2 or more but obviously that is not working out.

Do I need to take them out or is it ok if they keep going at each other the way they have been. No injuries have happened. Just a lot of chasing around. The big one doesn’t let the small one come out of his or her hiding place…is this a problem?

I couldn’t catch these two fish even if I try all day long. I really really don’t want to remove my rocks again (this would be like 5th time in less than 2 months I have had to remove my rocks for one reason or another, im just getting tired of it).

They are a schooling fish.Having only two doesn't allow them to have a pecking order.They do best if you keep only one or three or more.The higher the amount the better but that wouldn't be wise in a small system.
They are a schooling fish.Having only two doesn't allow them to have a pecking order.They do best if you keep only one or three or more.The higher the amount the better but that wouldn't be wise in a small system.

So do you suggest to buy one more or try to catch one and return it to LFS?

Buying one is easier. Catching one is a pain. Right now im trying to set traps but they dont fall for it. All my other fish do lol but that damn Cardinal is like a rocket.

I refuse to take out the rocks again. (and again, and again...its a never ending story with me). This time i want to go one full month without removing the rocks...:)
I say go ahead and get yourself another cardinal.
In an 80 gallon tank you shouldnt have any trouble with 3 of em.
Before I go and get a third one, can you guys tell me how the third fish will stop the aggressive one from chasing the small one I have right now?

What exactly will happen because of the third one? What if he starts chasing the new one too?
Right now, there are only two of them. One wants to be dominant over the other, and they don't form a school with only two fish, it's just a competition between them. Having three of them induces this school mentality that they are just supposed to hang together.

The same thing works for firefish, a lot of times the red firefish don't get along in pairs, and they need to be kept in odd numbers so one doesn't always pick on another.
Cardinals build a strict social structure.I have no idea how that keeps one from bullying the others,but it works some how.
I went through the same thing with two Bangaii,one would chase the other one around.I actually added two more,at first the aggressive one would chase the new ones but individual gave up and started to all hang together doing absolutely nothing but hover together.Well,I liked them better when that one was chasing the others around.I guess what I'm saying is they became some boring ass pigs.Pigs as shoving a cube of food in their mouths being such a small fish.
I hate them big bug-eyed fishes.No offense to whoever likes them.Great fish for people who like to breed them.I believe one of the few live bearers where the males actually carry the fry in their mouths.I guess thats prolly why they have big mouths.

I don't know who Domo and Arigato is?
LOL yea they are kind of like robots. That's why i got them. Not because they look nice or anything. Actually, they look pretty boring. But the way the swim is really cool.

My aggressive one will just stand still in one spot like they're hovering similar to UFOs. Just at one spot, no movement - its kinds of amazing how the can stand still.

kinda cool to see a fish just frozen like that. And then they just rocket away like there is no tomorrow when they feel scared.

But yea, they do look kind of ugly and boring I agree freak.