Throughout my fish keeping journey over the past two decades, I have kept many species of cichlids. We know that every cichlid has its own personality. We also know that the size of the fish is not indicative of its aggression level (e.g., not all big fish are mean and not all little fish are friendly). In fact, some of the nastiest species I’ve kept are dwarf species.
Case in point is the little Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell”. I have kept this species for a while. Though territorial and males are intolerant of each other, they’re not just ridiculously aggressive….normally. But there is always that one.
In the video above, I have a lone male in a 40g breeder. This used to be my wife’s tank containing just a variety of barbs and tetras. The tank used to have small gravel as a substrate but I swapped it for white sand. I added the the little telmat and you’ll also see a Julidochromis dickfeldi in there.
When the video starts, the little telmat swims quickly across the top of the large, round rock in the middle of the screen. That flat rock sits on top of a small clay cave, which is his home. You’ll see him dart real quick at the very beginning and then he’ll settle just to the left of the cave entrance behind the plant. You can see his head (notice the little nuchal hump). He’ll eventually move back to the cave entrance and hang out, but a couple of times in the video he’ll go after a few fish, which get too close to his cave.
The little guy is simply sometimes intolerant of anyone being around his cave. So I thought I would capture a little video where you can see him keeping everyone at bay. He’s a pugnacious little ass sometimes!