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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently thinned the stock of my tank. Currently I have a male chocolate and a trio of keyholes.

Well, apparently the Keyholes are very happy with the extra real estate, because I think the trio just turned into a pair. One of the two males is now forced to one side of the tank and is constantly showing his dark coloring and hides in a hole in the driftwood. The other two now stay close together, flare and flash for eachother and do NOT want him coming near. I think they have had a love connection.

Anyway, its a 75 gallon and I have two questions:

1) Should I remove the third wheel or will the peaceful nature of these cichlids allow for me to keep him around/should I keep him around?

2) What sort of decor do Keyholes appreciate for breeding purposes if they do, in fact, pair up and spawn?

Thanks everyone.

Taylor
 

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unless the pair are causing enough stress to the third Keyhole to do some visible damage leave him where he is, it might help to put something in the middle of the tank to break up the line of sight to.

also if you haven't already got one Keyholes like to spawn on a large flat stone, i would hide it behind some stem plants or an upright peice of slate just to give them a little more privacy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
awesome, thank you.

would it be good/bad to add one or two more? i think it would probably be bad, or at least unnecessary, but i almost feel like the outcast needs buds.

thank you again.
 

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I had exactly the same problem and the sweet little keyholes turned pretty fierce. They harass the outcast male and chase him and only occasionally bite him. He is stressed however. It will always be like this; the keyholes are bonded and the other male is harassed whether they are spawning or not. The advantage of adding others would be to spread the aggression, but don't count on them being buddies, fish aren't like people. If you can put him in another tank or re-home him he would be better off and your breeders might well be less stressed if a rival is removed from their territory. Good luck with the pair; mine spawn regularly but never raise a brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Bruce Haynes. I watched them for a few hours tonight and though the outcast male is not being damaged or hurt, he is definetely stressed out. He hides, trieds to come out but gets chased.

Thanks for the suggestion. I guess I can take my time since theres no damage being done, but maybe I should shop him around.

The "pair" is now digging a pit in the sand behind two rocks i placed together. one thing i have noticed is that the female is a bit washed out, but her eyes are an intense red. Anyone else ever noticed that?
 

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personnally i would remove him if they are a true pair and actively spawning together. I know this is contradictory to what i said yesterday but this is just personal preference.

Im short on space you see so why take up room in my display tank with a spare fish when I've already got a breeding pair? if you've got plenty of space there wont be a problem as Keyholes look fierce but never really do any damage to each other.
 

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The "pair" is now digging a pit in the sand behind two rocks i placed together. one thing i have noticed is that the female is a bit washed out, but her eyes are an intense red. Anyone else ever noticed that?[/quote]

My female looks like that too when ready to spawn. She becomes a very pale chino with the keyhole a very vibrant black. Quite a lovely lady IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
huh, thats interesting. i need to try to place the stones so i can see what they are doing. they are doing whatever they are doing in a spot that i really cant see. one minute i think they are fanning and guarding eggs. the next minute they are on the opposite end of the tank acting normal. they are funny fish.

im going to leave the outcast in for a little while and keep an eye on them. i think he would be ok long term, but if hes looking stressed and unhappy for long, i will move him.

thanks everyone for the suggestions, i will keep posted if anything exciting happens.

by the way... they are in with a chocolate who could care less that they exist. just a quick rant, chocolate cichlids are seriously the coolest fish ever. i am loving my tank right now with the keyholes doing their thing and my big old floating pig of a chocolate. good times.
 
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