General Aquaria Discussion • Do fish recognize their own species?

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Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby Joseph0721 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:48 pm

I got a new cichlid for the tank today and got an O.B. peacock. It is the smallest in the tank now and the boss of the tank is also an O.B. When I put the fish in our big one stayed with it and wouldn't let any of the other fish near it. Is it possible it knew it was the same?
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Re: Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby DJRansome » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:16 am

Yes fish do recognize their own species. Yes you would expect two OB males to fight.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby LeeAberdeen » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:54 pm

I have two fully-grown OB males in my 150g and they get along fine. One of them is the boss of the tank too, but he's pretty laid-back most of the time, just a very occasional bit of chasing, but never with his fellow OB. I guess it's the luck of the draw though because, as mentioned, it would be reasonable to expect them to clash. Not sure if they recognise each other, though? They don't seem to pay each other any special attention at all.
75g - Mixed - Yellow labs, Jalo Reef, Red-Top Hongi, Rubin Red
150g - Mixed all-male - Protomelas Steveni 'Taiwan Reef', Jacobfreibergi Eureka, OB Fire, Aulonocara Sunset, Fryeri Blue Ice, Chromobotia Macracanthus
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Re: Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby KiefKommando » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:14 pm

I have found cichlids to be very visually oriented fish, I am by no means an expert but I have noticed that they recognize "faces". I had Malawi Haps/Peacocks at one time and had a C.Borleyi that would chase the others around and charge them, however if the dominant male Protomelas would turn around the Borleyi would halt in his tracks and hide. So I would assume that they could recognize the shape of their own species' face.
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Re: Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby aquawoman101 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:57 am

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Re: Do fish recognize their own species?

Postby fmueller » Tue May 12, 2015 2:37 am

If they did not recognize their species, they would not know whom to breed with, and hybridization would occur. Case in point, when Lake Victoria became more polluted, visibility decreased, and fish who had previously bred true suddenly started hybridizing with other species. This showed that those fish rely on visual cues such as color for mate recognition. In summary, by and large fish do recognize their own species, but in some cases this system can fail.
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