Lake Malawi Species • Male Auratus in hiding this morning

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Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:27 am

Just feeding my guys and noticed that my male auratus is in hiding this morning....he is hanging out at the top of the tank behind the hob filter flow. Yesterday I saw him behind the big rock that I have in the tank and was wondering why he was back there.

Sitting and watching I saw one of the females swim up to him and then he and she doing the circle dance pretty aggressively. As they moved across the tank another of the females joined in and they all circled and shimmied around for quite some time.

I currently have a 1M/4F ratio in this tank as I've been waiting to rehome some of my other fish to make room for a few more auratus (wanting to up the ratio to 1M/7F).

Oh and he did not eat this morning as when he came out he was immediately chased by one of the females. He is approximately the same size if not a little larger than the females but I do notice that all my females now have a slight orange cast to the top of their bodies under the dorsal fin. Its quite beautiful really.

My question is this...I thought that the male was supposed to wear the females out not the other way around. Could this indicate that my male is not well or not as fit as he should be since he seems to be the one that is getting worn out but the mating rituals? Or could the females aggression towards him be something other than mating related...possibly indicating that they sense something is wrong with him?
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:47 am

also water parameters are 0 on ammonia, 0 on nitrites and 0 on nitrates...and he does not look or appear to be bloated
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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cichlid-gal
 
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Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby Michael_M » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:51 am

I've never kept auratus but fish not eating is not a good sign. I'd recommend removing him if possible and seeing if he will eat on his own. If he won't I'd suggest a bloat treatment.

Posting the tank dimensions and other tank mates would help people who have kept these answer the questions about the aggression.
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:22 am

75G, 30% water change on saturday, my tanks post has the other fish counts those being

5 Melanochromis auratus
7 Labs (hybrids)
2 Metriaclima estherae (Red)
2 Jewel Cichlids
1 Red tailed shark
1 plecostomus
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:23 am

I can remove him to my 20G and see how he does
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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cichlid-gal
 
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Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:26 am

Nitrates shouldn't be zero. What type of test are you using? I have not kept auratus either, but... Stupid question- are you certain of the sex? I know they are sexually dimorphic. What size are they?
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby DanniGirl » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:27 am

You should have a nitrate reading. Do you have plants in the tank?
Remove him for the time being and see what happens.
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:13 pm

I do have plants in the tank...not a lot but a few...and I just did the tests this morning...tank has been up and running at my house for over a month now...came to me with all old filtration and fish in it...was set up with them in it and then we rehomed those fish (angels and silver dollar and crawfish)...and put some of our guys in it

I can try the nitrate test with another test kit...we have a saltwater test kit...is it the same test stuff as for the freshwater?

Have netted him and put him in the 20G...he seems fine...a little stressed...swimming up and down on tank...took a rest when he first went into the tank...but doing fine seems

pic below of removed male...not the best but you can see he is a male and I'm pretty certain the other 4 are females...they have never ever showed signs of being anything but that...all have dorsal, thin color line, then black stripe, then wider color stripe, then black again, then wide belly color...but like I said their color this morning in that top wider color stripe seems a little more orange today than I've seen before

Image

Would you recommend I leave him in the 20G for a bit?
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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cichlid-gal
 
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:19 pm

a little better pic

Image
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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cichlid-gal
 
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:21 pm

and API test kit
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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cichlid-gal
 
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:41 pm

used my API test strips...it reads around 20 on the nitrates
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
User avatar
cichlid-gal
 
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:34 pm

I have a stand alone API ammonia test kit, along with an API freshwater master kit. On the stand alone, there are 2 different cards- one for fresh, one for salt. Not sure on nitrates though...

I think you did the right thing removing him. Good luck.
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby MONEYCYCLE » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:45 pm

Auratus is one of the more aggressive sprecies and breed well with much competition between male and female because of their morphing capability. Most likely what you have is a strong female getting ready to take your males place as the new alpha male. Most likely the old male will be killed. If this is the case the strong female will morph regardless of what you do she has already paved the road.
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Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby cichlid-gal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:57 pm

thanks everyone for your replies and input...

I have a API freshwater master test kit also but it read 0 while the strips read 20ppm...gonna get some new test material for that kit. Did a water change just to make sure that there was nothing I was missing in the water parameters

I was going to give my guy the day to rest and then return him to the tank maybe later today or this evening after lights out...then see how things are in the morning

And Moneycycle...there is one female that is just a little larger than him and she is showing some dark on her where there was no dark before...just showing a "darkening" on her face and belly..looks kinda grey on the yellow or like she ran through some soot...so your observations my be correct...but I would hate to lose this male as he's been such a pleasure to watch growing up...geez...these fish (shaking my head)
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
User avatar
cichlid-gal
 
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: Male Auratus in hiding this morning

Postby MONEYCYCLE » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:04 pm

If there is another darkening up this surely is whats happening. Yes these fish are great entertainment but the auratus do tend to change roles often.
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