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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen a few post a long while ago about this but can't seem to find them or remember what folks had said about this.

I have a 55gal tank with 5 yellow labs and 2 synodontis eupterus catfish and had plans to add more. I probably will add another species soon, but that's besides the point.

I have had the labs and cats for about 6 months now and had bought them from a local store.

The labs are now 3.5 - 4.5 inches and were beautiful in color when i brought them home and for the past 5 months or so. Now that they have started maturing more I have noticed a few of them have started getting gray coloration on their faces. One of them has more than the others.

I have checked my water and everthing seems to be normal. The pH could be raised a little but it is still around 7.6-7.8.

My question is, is this normal? What may cause this?

I will add, one of the catfish is around 6 inches and the other is like 3 inches. Could the big catfish be stressing them out somewhow? I know these species are able to live together but you never know.

Thanks!

Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Gray or black on the face is called bearding and is a sign of stress and/or breeding without regard to this feature.

Actually another species might be exactly the point. :thumb: Sometimes fish are stressed if there are not enough of them in the tank to feel safety in numbers.

I would not add eupteris though...they are not as happy in a group as multipunctatus or lucipinnis. And as you mentioned they get big. Are they bothering the labs? They can be territorial.

If the synos are not bothering the labs (they are nocturnal, you would have to watch at night) then I'd add the next species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually have not payed much attention at night so I will definitely give that a shot. What do you suggest I do if the problem is the synos bullying the labs? Pull the synos out? or Add more labs?

Also I am not completely positive, but.... one of my labs does look like she may, and i mean may, be holding. So if breeding is a cause of bearding, this may also be what is going on. Im not completely positive because they are still pretty young though.

I will watch the catfish behavior at night and get back to you.

Thanks!
 
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