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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 1m/5f yellow labs in a 55g hex.
One female is always hiding out at the top of the tank behind the filter intake. The other 4 are constantly being corralled by the male towards the front of the tank.
My question is has she been rejected from the harem and if so why? Could it be that the male sees her as a threat since she is larger (she is the largest of the females)?
I know she is a female as I have seen her hold a couple of times (unsuccessfully).
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I have seen some of my fish do that hiding behind the filter intake thing but in every case it has been a male who was hiding from the dominant male. I'm afraid I have no experience with a female who has been rejected like this. I have been keeping cichlids for less than a year so I know there are things I haven't seen yet. What you describe does not make sense to me though. I have seen a small male spawn successfully with a female much larger than himself, so I don't think that size is an issue between the sexes. If your female is intimidated into hiding, I would suspect the other females before accusing the dominant male.

My two cents...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. However, when she is not in hiding she is usually chasing the others around, and if anyone gets near her hiding spot she'll chase them away. The male hangs alomst directly below her as if he trying to keep her there...
 

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She is just low fish on the totem pole. Watch for injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess so. She looks great never any injuries, eats well, just always hiding. I'll keep an eye on her and pull her out if need be.
Thanks.
 

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I had a female rusty that was rejected by the other females. She had actually held a time or two, but one day she was excommunicated from the group. After trying "time out" unsuccessfully, I gave her to a friend who needed another female. No problems there.
Makes you wonder what goes on in the fishy social network?
 

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IME, a rejected possible mate should be taken as a sign that this fish is unfit for breeding.
I used to pair these rejects up with a different fish but back in the times I used to do that, I often had deformities or other undesirable traits to cull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nmber6
That is very interesting, I wonder if the rest of the group can actually sense this?...

Well, I have had the week off from work so I have had plenty of time to watch the tank. I've noticed the fish in question spending a lot more time out with the others. However, she always retreats back to her spot after some time. Could it be that she considers this place her "cave" as she will chase the others away when they get too close (except for thre male that is)?
 

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eeztropheus said:
Nmber6
That is very interesting, I wonder if the rest of the group can actually sense this?...
When I began moving cichlids from small tanks up to large groups into large tanks (e.g. 6ft tanks) with lots of line of sight breaks I got to see some fascinating mate selection strategies.
Dominant males were "rejected" by females only for me to see them sneak off to a spot hidden from everyone else to spawn with a different male. If I left the dominant male in the tank, a female might eventually spawn with him but it could take a while. If I removed the male then the female's choice would quickly bloom into the new dominant male and every female would be holding in short order...

I am guessing that the fish knows what makes for a good mate more than we do. :lol:
 

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I have seen my female zebras chase holding females into a corners. Once the holding female spit the other females would then become more tolerant to her.

I wonder if female mbuna sense that when a female of the same species is holding that somehow maybe their future fry will be at risk or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It turns out that she is a he and he was missing for 2 days. I took out some of the rock work and found him in really bad shape. I put him in a breeder net and through a few pellets in and he ate 'em up. I'm confident he'll make a full recovery, then I'll find a new home for him.
 
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