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Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)
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Baby keyholes in community tank

Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:51 am


Please only reply if you have kept keyholes rather than textbook responses. Thanks

Context: I've got two baby keyholes, 99% sure one male one female. They've been in my community tank with 4 honey gourami and 4 platys (platys not being replaced, these were remaining from my old live bearers tank) for 6 days. The male has started to chase after the female, she darts off although they do swim nicely together sometimes, although less so currently. At the beginning it was all very cute interactions between them but they are too young to form a pair yet.

Concerns / questions: over the last 24 hours the male has become a bit nippy and he's going after the female and the female honey gourami (there are 3 f 1 m honeys). Is this likely to settle? I would obviously love to have the keyholes pair but was told they could live peacefully together if they didn't as they will have grown up together. I did a lot of research on creating 1/3 territories and what they like in the way of decor but perhaps the advice on dynamics I was given is wrong. They came from a good shop so I could return one. Could two females live peacefully together? I want to do the right thing by the fish.

The tank is 125l hence not big enough for a group - note litres not gallons (I am in the UK).

Trying my best to upload a video of their behaviour but just not working :( This is a link to google drive where the video is https://photos.app.goo.gl/FsqWJZLV4to2G7S6A

Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:01 pm

That's a pretty tank, and the video was really useful in trying to determine what's going on. You have a male and a female who are exhibiting pre-courting behavior, and these little skirmishes are the first steps in formation of a pair bond. The key thing is that these episodes are followed by relative calm, during which the two fishes swim together happily. This is a very good sign. So unless the male becomes relentless in his pursuit of the female, to the point where he may actually damage her, you have nothing to worry about, but do keep an eye on them. Chasing the gourami is just a secondary behavior related to territory defense, which goes hand-in-hand with pair bond formation.

Don't be so sure that they are too young to be exhibiting these behaviours; my Mum thought I was too young as well, when i was 15. :roll:

Keyholes are wonderful fishes, and once a pair bond is formed, it tends to be very stable. That said, it's usually best to give the male a few females to choose from initially, but sometimes a young pair will work it out themselves. Fingers crossed that happens here. Good luck! :fish:

Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:47 pm

Thank you so much, they have been swimming nicely together for a few days, and pretty much always together so fingers crossed it stays that way! No room for more females. Also decided to rehome the platys.

I’m wondering how often I should be feeding them as they are still pretty small? They seem to accept all foods. Not sure if the brands will be the same over there, I feed fluval bug bite as their staple, occasionally a vegetable pellet and frozen bloodworm, daphnia etc.


Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:20 pm

Sounds like you have a pair; that's great!

Don't overfeed them; once or twice a day is fine. The diet you're feeding them is very protein rich. These are omnivorous fishes, so they do best with a varied diet. I might decrease the bug bites, and increase some vegetable-based food- I prefer flakes for the added roughage- and continue to use a variety of frozen foods as treats. Good luck! :fish:

Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:52 pm

Thank you :) Have got the but bite flakes and JBL vegetable pellets. Will get some more vegetable flakes. Is it ok to put pieces of cucumber and courgette in for them? Do I need to soak it or anything first?

Got another problem (health related) going to post about separately.

Thanks again :)

Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:15 am

I give them this also, it’s tiny granules like bug bite micro. Are flakes better in some way?

Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:18 am


Re: Baby keyholes in community tank

Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:43 pm

NatalieKeyholes wrote:I give them this also, it’s tiny granules like bug bite micro. Are flakes better in some way?

It's a personal preference more than anything else. I like flakes because their consistency is more like the kinds of things fishes eat in the wild: they never encounter a hard, concentrated food source like a pellet in nature.. But obviously pellets work as well.

I'd be surprised if the keyholes were to eat either cucumbers or courgette. If you want to give it a try, just rinse the vegetables and see if the keyholes will nibble on thin slices. Good luck! :fish:
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