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-   -   Apisto Agassizi male being bullied by female (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/apisto-agassizi-male-being-bullied-female-117579/)

fishybert 10-20-2012 10:14 PM

Apisto Agassizi male being bullied by female
 
hi peeps,

i recently got a pair of Agassizi's. At first the pair were pretty timid, but it's week 1 now, and the female seems to have gotten a mean streak. It chases the male around every chance it gets...and it's not the relatively harmless posturing/nudging/nipping i've observed in my GBR pair -- there seems to be real malice in the attacks. The male's tail is now in tatters.

The male agassizi is a timid little thing -- never raised a fin against the female ever.

And now the female is starting to nip the other fish as well...so i was forced to put the female in isolation.

Any suggestions on how to go about this? Should i put the two on permanent separation, or roll the dice and hope they get along? i can't help comparing them to my GBR pair -- sure, the male did chase the female around at first, and you see the occassional spats between the two(the female usually wins out)..but the aggression seems controlled compared to the female agassizis.

tia

fishybert 10-20-2012 10:48 PM

ok, i've been googling around for agassizi behavior, and it seems this is sort of expected then they're breeding. i hear the female puts on a "breeding dress" at this time, and i suspect the female has this on as well. It's pretty hard to tell if she's wearing bright yellow since the water is tea colored, but there is definitely a discernable dot on her body.

But here's the thing: she doesn't seem to be guarding a particular area in the tank; she attacks the male almost as soon as she sees him, be it during feeding, or even when the male is sulking at the bottom of the tank. and like i said, it's been taking nips at the other fish(harlequin rasboras, even the overly friendly endler )...but nothing like the level of aggression against the male.

Man...and here i thought watching fish would help me relax. My tank now looks more like the Jersey Shore ;p

Byron 10-21-2012 02:33 PM

This sounds like parental care of eggs or fry. But of course you may just have a particularly nasty female.

I've no personal experience with this particular species, but from my experience with other species in the genus, the females when guarding eggs/fry are very protective and will easily take on much larger fish if they perceive them as a threat. And they frequently dislike having the male close-by.

No mention is made of tank size, and sometimes this affects them; smaller quarters increases their aggression.

Byron.

Tazman 10-21-2012 06:06 PM

What size tank are we talking about here?

Females can be real nasty if she is guarding eggs or is in breeding mode and the male is not ready. What size are the fish?

fishybert 10-21-2012 08:56 PM

tank size is 24 gallons. i had to move the GBR pair out since they picked on the agassizi pair. i also have 6 harlequin rasboras, 1 white cloud mountain minnow, and 1 endler.

The male is about 1.5 inches, the female 1 inch.

Just an update: i've moved back the female for now, and now the roles are reversed: the male is now the aggressor, constantly flaring up in front of the female, and chasing her *and* the other fish away.

i think i'll just let things be for about a week or so, hopefully everything calms down after that. If the two are still misbehaving, i'm thinking about moving *them* to the separate tank, ang move th e GBR pair back in(at least they didn't pick on the other fish even while spawning).

Byron 10-22-2012 12:20 PM

Now that we know the tank size, and I will assume a 24g is going to be 30 inches in length (but no more), I can pick up on the problem with both cichlids. This is too small a space (surface of substrate) for more than one species of "dwarf" cichlid. You were wise to move the rams out. Someone would not have lasted long. The rams had that tank as "their space" and would naturally resent any intruder, meaning any other cichlids in particular. Maintaining more than one species of any of these fish in anything under 4 feet is risky; possible with the right aquascape, but still always a risk.

Many species of apisto do best in a harem, being one male with 2-3 females. I gather from my research that this species is OK as a pair, but not every cichlid male will accept every cichlid female--or vice versa-- in many species, and this may be one of those. Just a thought.

Byron.

fishybert 10-22-2012 08:53 PM

uh-oh. my tank is 25 x 15 x 16 in. i figured the more squarish dimensions would provide more floor area.

hypothetically speaking, how big a tank would i need to house both pairs? 50 gallons ?(man this is escalating quite rapidly)?

Update: aggression level has gone down considerably, although the male does flare up in front of the female every now and then. Fed them some mosquito larva treats, so everybody's happy for now.

Byron 10-22-2012 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fishybert (Post 1283633)
uh-oh. my tank is 25 x 15 x 16 in. i figured the more squarish dimensions would provide more floor area.

hypothetically speaking, how big a tank would i need to house both pairs? 50 gallons ?(man this is escalating quite rapidly)?

Update: aggression level has gone down considerably, although the male does flare up in front of the female every now and then. Fed them some mosquito larva treats, so everybody's happy for now.

I always suggest nothing under 4 feet in length for two (or more) of any of the South American dwarf species together. And this is a risk too.

Cichlids are, after all, cichlids. They have inherent behaviours that have evolved over thousands of years and some fish seem less inclined to display them than others. But one shouldn't forget this.

I recently had a pair of Apistogramma baenschi, one of the newer described species, in my 4-foot 70g. They spawned, naturally. The female was only about an inch, but she was rough. Anyhow, I let nature takes its course, and surprisingly two fry survived predation. Both appeared to be female, which I conclude because they took on the female yellow with black colouration, and one actually subsequently spawned with the male (there was only the one male). That was when things got really nasty. The original pair spawned again, and the female would charge the full length of the tank after either of the other females; it was interesting that the same fish she had gone out of her way to guard earlier was now athe target. Within a matter of days she killed one of them, and the other not long after that. She also made life tedious for some of the other fish, esp substrate fish like corys. I took them out.

Back to your fish. I would leave the apistos together, things may well calm down.


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