07-31-2012, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by fishybert
i'm no GBR expert, but it seems the male stops just short of inflicting massive damage on the female. There were lots of times when it had the chance to get a nasty nip or two, but so far my female's fins are intact. Of course, "pyschological" damage is just as bad, but at least...
What's interesting is that the female is the "braver" among the two: e.g. just goes on her merry way picking at food while a hand is in the tank, stares you down waiting for a food drop, etc...while the male hides out under the filter :p
You are quite correct, the pyschological impact is the thing. My Bolivians rarely got physical, just clear signals to each other, and it went both ways during spawning. The first spawn, the female had the male cowering in the plants, I was quite surprised; she had no intention whatsoever of allowing him anywhere close. The second spawn, he defended the territory more. But in time, he clearly got tired of her, and with no physical interaction I witnessed but with clear threats, he had her cowering. And then she died, likely of stress. One must remember that fish secrete pheromones and allomones into the water, and other fish read these chemical signals which can be even more forceful than physical altercations.