Lake Malawi Species • One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

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One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby RayMontana » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:21 pm

I had a Red Zebra...(Metriaclima estherae).. That was holding. Aggression went through the roof with many assumed males chasing her relentlessly. And chasing everything else, plecos and synos included..I caught her easily due to exhaustion and put her in one of those hang on plastic things so she would be protected. She ended up spitting out some eggs I dont think all.

I know I probably have too many males in there, but some are hard to tell. They are all in various stages of maturing.

So is this a normal scenario? And if so, what do you do to keep it from happening? Short of getting rid of some males...
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:58 pm

What species are in the tank? Quantity, sex(if known) and size of the aquarium?
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby RayMontana » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:10 am

55 gallon , 4 Metriaclima estherae, 5 Labidochromis caeruleus, Two unknown aggressive blue barred males, a possible female crabro, one albino zebra probably female, a spotted fuelleborni female, and two other unkown probably female. The ones I say are female or possibly because of no aggression.

fish are now 2-3 inches, One zebra, one lab, and both blue barred fish went bonkers. Chasing everything in sight. Now that she spit them out they have simmered down quite a bit. The two blue ones are not the same type of fish. But they were fighting constantly. And chasing that poor female relentlessly.

Other fish are 3 syno eupterus, two trinidad plecos and a red tail shark

Heavily planted and plenty of rocks in there.

She may be dead or hiding, I only see 3 red zebras.
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:12 am

The stocking is quite random. Having 1 of this and 2 of that will cause issues, and you're seeing that now. For a 55 it's best to keep groups of 3 species, and work towards a manageable ratio. 2 species may be the better route, depending on which Fish you choose.

I'm guessing that female bred very recently. This got many of the males excited, regardless of species. Oftentimes, a male will continue to court and harass a female he has already bred with days afterwards. Even weeks.

For the long term, I'd suggest starting over. Keep either the labs or zebras and stock appropriately around that species. Remove/return the loners or unidentifieds. This section of the forum is a great place to ask about stocking.
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby Kanorin » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:19 am

RayMontana wrote:So is this a normal scenario? And if so, what do you do to keep it from happening? Short of getting rid of some males...

Yes, this is what I'd expect based on your ratios of males and females. You can either get rid of males, get rid of all the females, or buy more tanks and females to house with them.
125G: C. aurifrons (luwino), trewavasae (thumbi west), saulosi, caeruleus (nkhata), rusties, S. multipunctatus.
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby Aaron S » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:49 pm

These fish can be really hard on each other and the peak of that aggression is when you have a holding female. Normally you see increased aggression for a few days before and after the spawning behavior. However, there is a bit of heightened nerves the whole time she holds so you really need the extra females to manage aggression during that time or she will just get worn down since she is not eating and stressed for many reasons. I think you did the right thing getting her out of there if she was already to the point where she was easy to catch. It will continue to happen until the ratio's are fixed - and may get worse as more fish in the tank come to sexual maturity. FYI, in my tank when one of my females starts holding one of the other females starts pounding on her harder than before so it isn't indicative of male only behavior.
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby DJRansome » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:44 pm

As the others have said...totally normal and even predictable and rehoming extra males is the most common solution for this tank size.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby RayMontana » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:50 am

DJR and others said to rehome males before, I moved some to another tank, I have little options for rehoming here, toilet bowl or cat food...i live in a little town in bfe.

They killed her so I guess it solved itself :(
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Re: One female was holding...Mayhem ensued.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:40 pm

Only for her...not for the other females.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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