How much chasing is too much?
I have a pair of Stiphodon Elegans gobies. They are great little fish and I really enjoy them. The male, now that he is more comfortable and settled in, chases the female away quite a bit. When it is feeding time he gets especially ornery. Because their mouths are underneath, I don't think he actually nips at her - her fins look fine. She's not constantly hiding or anything, and she will still approach him. She doesn't appear overly faded in coloration, but she's not overly colorful - just with black stripes but they look normal to me, although I haven't had these two for very long.
Anyway, I know that fish can be this way, but I worry about her. How do I know when it's too much for her? There are lots of hiding places, and I am sure to break up my algae pellets into two pieces and put one on the side of the tank that he chases her to, and one on his side so she does definitely get to eat.
Is this just life for a female goby? Am I just over-worrying? (I feel like when getting a new tank set up my enjoyment of it is always mixed in with a nice dose of worrying anyway... ;-))
Should I get another female to spread out the chasing and give her someone to hang out with?
I posted about them in a general way a bit ago to chat with others who have experience with them, but no one replied so am not sure that anyone on the board has these guys... either way I'd like opinions in general even if not specifically goby related.
How big is your tank? I don't have personal experience with these fish, but from what I read, it seems like they are somewhat territorial (as you've found!). You might be able to add another one but don't over-crowd. Here's the link where I found this info:
Stiphodon elegans - Practical Fishkeeping Forum
I wonder if adding another female would make it worse and not better, then. Maybe as I add more fish he'll not single her out as much as there will be more distractions. Right now it's just them and 11 dither fish.
I wonder if I posted too soon - today I put some screen over my light fixture as we had determined that it was likely too bright for the fish (dual T5). I have floating plants but they don't cover the entire water surface. The screen seems to be a great solution so far. On top of that, today he is much mellower, and has been leaving her alone, at least when I have been watching them. So I'm wondering if the brighter light was affecting him, keeping him a little on edge and making him more ornery.
The true test will be to see his behavior at feeding time. I'll keep you posted!
Well he definitely hasn't given up on his chasing at mealtime/evenings. But he's a little less relentless about it. Daytime he was most definitely chasing her less.
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