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About 4 days ago, i picked up 4 Neolamprologus Brevis, two larger ones and two smaller ones,
So after acclimatizing them and putting them in the tank, the two larger ones staked out their territories and have been out and about (mostly just around their shells)

2 of my brevis seem to have paired off and are a happy couple, the female has been coming out more and more - or rather the male has been letting her out more and more,(today i saw her eat for the first time =]) although he still will quickly push her back in if any danger comes.

The problem are the other two, the other larger (male i'm basically 100% sure) will often hang in the "no mans land" and try to "challenge" the other male. He however has the other small one holed up in a shell in his territory. He very violently pushes the smaller one back in the shell, and the smaller one seems to try to escape. Once the smaller one did manage to break free and immediately went to the other male and started flaring/displaying as if trying to get him to take her in.

So is this poor abused fish trying to get away from the violent male and ask the other male to take her in?
Should i leave things the way they are? or do i need to separate or something?

i guess i'm also worried because i've never seen the abused smaller one eat, well its never out at all really.
 

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i only keep 1 pair so i have no idea about multiple pairs and interaction, but what size tank do you have? and how many shells?
 

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Sounds like both the males want both the females. One using bully by tactics the other the nice family guy tactics. Not sure if but think you would get more peace with just the family guy left in the tank with the two hopeful females.
 
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