Lake Malawi Species • Do females ever spit sand?

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Do females ever spit sand?

Postby aconite » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:37 pm

The largest fish in my sauolsi tank is about 2" long and appears to be a female - still a solid golden yellow/orange, with no hint of any colour change. Over the last couple of days this fish has been clearing a nest area under one of the rocks by spitting sand. I've seen other male mbuna do this, but never seen a female behave this way.

Do females make nests? Or just clear caves in general? Or could this be a male that hasn't started changing colour? There is a smaller fish in the tank that is just getting some blue along his dorsal fin and some banding across the top of his head, along with some changes to his body colour. He has a golden egg spot, whereas the larger fish doesn't. There are 12 juveniles in the tank, with these two being the biggest of them.
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Re: Do females ever spit sand?

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:42 pm

Females and male alike just like to suck up and spit sand from their territory. IME it is not a sign of gender. Nor are egg spots.
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Re: Do females ever spit sand?

Postby aconite » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:01 am

Thanks for the info, DJRansome.
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Re: Do females ever spit sand?

Postby ironspider » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:16 am

None of my females do it.
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Re: Do females ever spit sand?

Postby aconite » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:10 am

I hadn't seen it in my other tank either, but that tank has males that are clearly in charge of things.

I suspect it's happening here because this particular fish is the biggest and is laying claim to territory. She's pretty much in charge of the tank at the moment, and has chosen a cave to hang out in.
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