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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I only have two cichlids in my 125 gallon tank, they are roughly the same size and I believe them to be male and female. I've had them for about three years now and aside from occasionally chasing each other they don't bother one another but today the male has been keep the female in a slight hole in the gravel on the bottom of the tank. He swims away and as soon as she moves he'll swim back over and slap her back down, with either his whole body or just his tail. This has been going on for about three hours now. This is the first time I've noticed this behavior and I'm not sure what to make of it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Hello.
And, Welcome to Cichlid-Forum! :)
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This sounds interesting!
But, it will help to know what species of Cichlid these are. Plus, are these two the only fish in the tank? And yes, you probably have a male-female pair, but how do you know that?
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It would help A LOT if you could post up some pics of these Cichlids. From there, maybe we can help you figure out this mystery!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are African cichlids, and that's about all i know as far as species, and when I originally got them they were both blue with black stripes then after awhile one turned a golden color with brownish stripes. I also have four tiger barbs in the tank.
 

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I never heard of a Lake Malawi physically touching another, except for reputed body slams due to aggression (I have only seen lip locking and chasing). This sounds different. Can you get a video?
 

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The fish are Metriaclima lombardoi, commonly known as "Kenyi". The gold one is a male, the other could be a female. One of the more aggressive Mbuna species, though also one of the most available. You need more to split the male's attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've had these two fish for years, this behavior was very recent. I believe it was some form of mating behavior because they had babies. I have a whole bunch of little cichlids in my tank now, just noticed them last night was completely shocked.
 

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Well, they do eat their young. Some cichlids do not, but mbuna do. The period of protectiveness lasts for the time the fry are in the female's mouth and once they are spit...it is over.
 
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