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Devilish Dovii – Tales of a Destructive Fish

Some days just don’t go like you expect them to…spilled blackworms on the fishroom floor, overflowing systems…all the little things that can make a good day go bad. I had one of those days a few weeks ago all thanks to my male dovii.

Juvenile DoviiMy guy is a bit of an idiot. He likes to hurl himself out of the water and smash into the water droplets that form on the glass canopy of his aquarium. At first, it was funny and cute (at least to me), but when he does it every hour, it starts to get old. He doesn’t just tap the glass, he hits the glass with such force that with the door closed I can still hear him make contact. One day, soon after arriving to work, I happened to get a call from the leasing office in my apartment complex. Apparently, water was leaking into the bedroom of a tenant below my apartment from the room where the tank is set-up housing my Dovii pair.

The first thought running through my head was that the tank had cracked. I couldn’t imagine how the fish could have done it…there were no rocks piled high enough for the dovii to knock over, so how would he get enough momentum to fracture the glass?  I raced home, trying not to get pulled over, still not able to come up with any reason how or why my tank would have cracked. I stopped at the leasing office first. After swapping insurance info, we went to check out the damage. Fortunately, in the other person’s case, it wasnt much. A $30 walmart-brand bookcase took the brunt of the leaking water.

Next, we made our way to my tank room. As we approached, I could hear the ugly, grating sound of a filter running dry. I run a Rena 3 Canister filter on their tank with a “do it yourself” spray bar. To my surprise the glass was intact! The male must had an angry burst and took it out on that spray bar, because it was resting in the bottom of the aquarium, leaving the return hose to empty the water onto the floor. I guess I should have taken an extra step and clamped the tube to the tank…but I never thought I would own a fish that would have been so angry and destructive! After the lady from the leasing office left, I took a closer look at the damage. During summer months, I unplug my heaters and it was a good thing, too! He must have decided that he didn’t want the heater in his environment either, since it was shattered on the floor of the tank as well. What a pain! Well my insurance went up and I bought my neighbors a new bookcase. Now the spray bar is clamped to the tank and the heater has a guard to protect it from his temper tantrums…lessons learned.

He’s 7 1/2 inches long right now, I cant wait to see what he chaos he causes when he’s a 12 inches!


One comment

  1. avatar

    Wow, what a story! I too have issues with demon fish. My two Ocellaris just recently tortured–yes, tortured–a Xenia into submission. For weeks I would notice the extremely healthy frag would get knocked to the gravel. I assumed it was just water movement, and all was well. He prospered, he divided and multiplied.

    Then I saw the fish were knocking him off the rock into the sand. Then they started biting at him. They wouldn’t let up. They were not trying to host; they were attacking it, even though they never actually ate a polyp. They would not let up, though. I placed a magnetic feeding clip in front of the coral which warded them away for a few days, but they came back. Over the course of two weeks, they took a perfectly healthy coral and killed it–I came back form vacation one day and saw that it had ejected the last of its heads (I saw them), leaving only some flesh.

    Really ticked me off. I had nursed that Xenia back to health and it was really doing well. I would have expected something like this from an angelfish, but not from a clown. That death caused a small hair algae outbreak that is now all over my tank. Stupid fish. 🙁

    I still want my Xenia–even if it multiplies like crazy!

About Jose Mendes

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That Fish Place’s resident “Cichlid Pro.” In addition to working at TFP for 13 years, Jose’s been breeding Cichlids for over 14 years and has produced over 200 different species. Jose is the man to question for everything cichlid. Check out Jose’s work in the article: Keeping and Breeding African Cichlids in Small Aquariums, and his many other contributions on cichlid husbandry, behavior, and his personal experiences with keeping cichlids from across the globe.