One of our goldfish was found outside of the pond, on the ground and the cat was sitting next to it, playing with it. We are not sure if the cat fished the goldfish out or if it jumped out, as the pond was very full due to recent rain.

The fish was put back in and seems healthy, but could have minor injury that we cannot see, as we have not examined him/her, just allowed her to swim and relax.

When I fed them the next day, one of the fish was bumping the other one out of the way when they fed (and I cannot tell which is the one that had been out of the pond). This used to happen when there was a larger fish in the pond with them and this larger fish has subsequently been put into his/her own pond.

This just may be a coincidence in the timing with the out of pond misadventure, but I know birds can peck at an injured bird. Can the same thing happen to goldfish.

Could this bullying bumping behavior be the result of being injured perhaps?

  • I've actually separated them since I originally posted this, a the bullying was getting worse. But I don't like where one of the fish has gone, it receives too much full sun and we are about to jump into summer
    – user6796
    Nov 23, 2013 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


So, the short answer to that question is yes, but it's not necessarily bullying, it may actually be a natural reaction to a sick fish. Basically an attempt to avoid getting the same illness or because they're attracted to the damage.

It could also be that the aggressive one is the injured one (last para). In this case, it may be acting aggressive to protect itself from further injury and to get more food to help with healing.

Either way, if the aggression is the result of injury, then separating the two is probably the wisest idea, if possible.

The other possibility, which the first article mentions, is mating. It seems unlikely, given the behavior described, but given you're entering summer, the tanks are warming up and getting more light, it can't be entirely dismissed. Look for the signs of a male looking to mate (white dots on the gills and pectoral fins), signs of white spots elsewhere may mean that it has ich.

  • Yes I wondered if the aggressive one was the one out of the bowl, because when I fished out the other one, I got a really good look at it and there was not a mark. So they are currently all in their our ponds! I have used my daily vote quota, so you'll have to wait for tomurra for a +1, I will release another of my fish questions .. now that this has an answer :)
    – user6796
    Nov 24, 2013 at 15:25
  • Now this question is partly answered here pets.stackexchange.com/questions/1470/… but I think it is worthwhile having it as a separate question, as it is acutally a different question, which really is the best reason to ask separate questions omg
    – user6796
    Nov 24, 2013 at 15:27
  • 1
    Wow that article you linked to is fabulous. Wish I could +1 the article
    – user6796
    Nov 24, 2013 at 15:41
  • 1
    Yeah, it was the best consolidated source that I found. I found similar, less detailed, articles elsewhere as well, this just had it all put together.
    – Joanne C
    Nov 24, 2013 at 15:47
  • Interesting, I had a close inspection of both fish. The one bullying has a white speck on his side, up high, almost on his back, towards the front.. I need a photo or a sketch. It doesn't seem consistent with breeding, but may be health related. Will let you know stay tuned for Yvette's fishy tales
    – user6796
    Nov 25, 2013 at 23:00

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