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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Look at the pics of these 2 fish...I thought based on their colours and fins they're both males but my 6" red empress has been wooing them for 6+ weeks now and they often follow him to his nest and do the butt sniffing dance for a minute or 2 but never ended up holding. Are these females or just very submissive males? And if the latter why is the red empress male trying so hard to breed with them (he used to be super mellow but now terrorizes the tank since this breeding behaviour started)

1. OB about 5" (pics 4 to 6)

2. Ruby red 4" juvies

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also tried removing red empress for 3 full days ...he was in a dark bucket with no food. Within 5 minutes of putting him back he was at it again trying to breed with these 2 and terrorizing everyone else.

Then yesterday I removed the ob and red ruby and within a couple of hours the empress finally settled down.. Got his bars back, not attacking fish anymore just cruising around like he used to
 

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My guess is submissive males. Know that spawning behavior and aggression can look identical...he may just be attacking the other males.
 
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