Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 90 gallon all-male Malawi rift tank with 16 peacocks and haps, most of which were imported. I recently relocated, and while I had the tank locked in between 74-76F with a peaceful community, my new place and the lack of insulation keeps the water between 78F-80F -- I'm in South Florida, btw, with quite possibly the worst tap water for aquarium keeping south of Flint.

Since moving, I've noticed my Tetrastigma has become much more aggressive, as well as others, but he's clearly become the alpha; I've even witnessed mouth-locking between my Kadango Red Fin and Usisya Albino to determine this, which had never happened before. Most fish are relegated to mid-tank and above, and seem to get along fine, however, I've been rotating ice packs until figuring out if I need a chiller to curb the aggression and what's actually going on, and then...

Today, while temps were again at 79F-80F, my alpha totally re-landscaped the sand. And, there's only one fish allowed anywhere near the sand - what I assumed to be a male Protomelas species ordered online, who I assumed was slow to color up. It has the faintest of blue along its scales in the right lighting, and the tips of its fins barely show any red.

Female Protomelas.jpg


After chasing everyone off and getting this little one's attention (about 4" in length), this fish and my Alpha have danced the afternoon away in the naturally lit corner of the tank he has claimed and dominated. Whenever they're not dancing, he's flashing his fins and darting around to entice it back to his chambers, until it returns and the dance continues. I haven't even had a chance to vent it yet, and I'm aware females may pretend to be males to curb aggression, but that can't possibly be happening the other way around, right?

Given the higher temperatures, increased aggression, dulling of colors in my larger, subdominant males, and the apparent courtship going on, does it look I have a female in my tank? If so, how has no one been killed, including her? I plan on venting the fish later tonight and potentially moving it into my quarantine tank, but any thoughts would be appreciated. I'll try to get better photos of the fish later too as well.

Here's the tetrastigma that has taken over:

Tetrastigma.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,048 Posts
Welcome to C-F

The fish is showing a juvenile/female pattern. Is the anal fin have any point to it? Or is it rounded. What you're describing certainly sounds like courtship. If the fish is a female, it appears too thin to spawn, if it is a recent photo.

It's only February. If your home is that warm already you'll need to do something to cool down your water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome :) I'm looking forward to sharing my tanks (and pains); got back into Africans this past winter after an 8 year hiatus, and wouldn't you know it, I already have a 90 Malawi, 55 community, and 29 gallon QT.

I agree that it looks too thin to be ready to spawn, but the behavior caught me off guard and has me asking questions now. And I have noted the rounded fins not only on the anal fin, but the end of its dorsal fin is curved and not as pointed or sharp as the rest, considering the fish is nearing adulthood.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top