Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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adiumroot 05-22-2010 01:02 PM

Jewel Cichlid pairing?

I have a group of 7 juvenile blue jewel cichlids in my tank. I've read that in order to get a sure pair, I should get a group and a pair will form among them, which I did. And as of now they're still peaceful in their tank.

What are the signs that a pair has formed? I want to detect this as early as possible as the pair will be very agressive towards the others so I will remove the others right away.

Also, at what size do they usually pair up?


bettababy 07-12-2010 02:28 PM

When they pair up you should notice they spend a lot of time together apart from the other fish, and protecting each other from the other fish. They also will likely choose a territory in the tank for their own and defend it from all other fish in the tank. Noticing a pair will take some watching.

As for what size when they begin to pair up... size is really of no issue, it is more age/maturity level that dictates the formation of pairs and the beginnings of spawning behavior. This is possible as early as 6 - 8 months of age, or can be as prolonged as 14 - 16 months of age.

Also, be aware, that even with male/female both present in the tank, that does not guaranty any of them will pair up. Fish can be as fussy about selecting a mate as people are.

If you have caves in your tank this will help to promote pairing if male/female are both present, and be sure water quality is very good. Poor water quality can have many effects on fish, not just health problems but behavior changes as well. A wide variety of nutritious food will also help to promote spawning.

adiumroot 07-14-2010 11:59 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I'm positive a pair has formed already. They've dug out a pit in the substrate behind a piece of driftwood. The pair defends the area too, chasing out the other fish (all the fish in the tank are jewels) but outside of their chosen territory, they're quite sociable with the others. Nonetheless, I'm adopting out the others ASAP. I've also noticed the pair displys much brighter color than the others.

Thanks again.

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