Flame Dwarf Gourami and Bolivian Ram: strange behavior
I've noticed a little "ritual" if you will between these two characters in my 30 gallon tank and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what they are doing.
Today I noticed that my Bolivian Ram started swimming towards my flame dwarf gourami. It gently picked up the pace as it got closer.The Gourami meanwhile just stood its ground and watched. The bolivian ram all but looked like it was going to run into to him, and then it put on the brakes and gave him what looked like a kiss. It opened its mouth and pushed it out and gently laid one on him. The gourami then turned it's side towards the Ram and it did it again.
A little bit later, they both had a stare down about two inches from eachother, only this time the gourami inched slowly closer and closer, and the ram backed up in reverse. After a few inches it stopped and the gourami creeped right up to the ram and the were nose to nose. Then they back up about a centimeter or so and gently butted snouts. Then they turned around and went on their way.
Periodically after that they'd do some form of that stuff over again. ONe would gently pursue the other, and at other times the one being chased would stand their ground and they'd meet.
They are not chasing eachother violently or anything like that. In between these displays they'll hover right next to each other or near each other and go about their thing.
What's going on? Are they socializing? Playing? Is this playfull behavior or is this aggressive in nautre? Just curious as I've never seen this before. Thanks
Its most likely aggressive behavior. They are probably trying to find out who is stronger. It might not be a good idea to keep these guys together for to long.
I agree. My bolivian ram was always very aggressive towards gourami.
Sounds like they're establishing their territory it could end up in one or both being hurt. I'd keep a very close eye on their behaviour. Are there plenty of hiding places/plants in the tank?
99% of the time, They leave each other alone. I've only seen this behavior once. The tank sits right next to the couch and I'm constantly watching it as I sit and watch TV. The particular behavior I posted about originally was only observed that one day. The rest of the time, they swim in front of eachother, around each other, etc.
The only other thing I've seen other than that sequence of events, is occasionally one will pick up some speed towards the other the other will move away...and the pursuit ends. But it's hardly a pursuit. More like one tail thrust by one to get close, a tail thrust by the other to move away, and that's it.
If it is aggressive behavior, it sure is tame. Looks more like curiosity, or playfull aggression. But if it turns noticably more violent, I'll remove one, more than likely the gourami.
Here is a pic of the tank. Stuctures that can be hid in or under: All along the back (The large rock cave to the left, the center coral, and the anemone to the right) and the Titanic down in front is hollowed out.
Update: Haven't seen this behavior again. Since that day. It may have been due to feeding. It occoured after I fed them. Perhaps they were not happy with eachother in their realm while going after food. Hasn't happened again, even at feeding.
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