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Sexual Orientation/ Fish Confusion

513 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  DJRansome
I've had my tank set up for about a year now and have what I thought was a male Melanochromis sp. "Brown"... Everything has been all well and good, until these past 2 weeks or so. He has been acting more and more spastic (I say this because I can't think of another way to describe it). He's started to chase everyone else around and when showing dominance over another fish, he becomes a very bright white and his fins all become a vibrant orange.

I guess my first question is, Is this the fish I thought it was?

Everything I've seen/read about these particular fish has never mentioned anything about them turning white.

The other odd piece is that I've got a male Metriaclima Greshakei that has (until today) acted quite normal. When I got home this afternoon, however, the two were mating. Having had a breeding pair of fish, I understand what they look like when holding, as well as what the act itself looks like. There was no doubt about it.. The Melanochromis had eggs in its mouth and was visibly 'tumbling' them. Then, [he] would go chase everyone again. At one point, the eggs fell from both the mouth and the gills and the other fish came and ate them.

So, my second question is, Huh?! ... lol Can anyone lend any insight to this?

I'm fairly confident that both fish are male. Everything else just seems abnormal.
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In Ad Konings Malawi in their natural habitat, 4th edition published in 2007 he provided an update on the fish formerly identified as Melanochromis brown. They are really Metriaclima sp. chinyankwazi females. The fish was observed in the lake being courted by Metriaclima sp. chinwankwazi males, thus the conclusion.
That does make sense..

And this may be a dumb question now, but do females act as dominant fish? I.e. 'Going up against' males for tank dominance?

Here's an image of the two. Top- Metriaclima Greshakei Bottom-Melanochromis Brown

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Females will fight with males. Not sure what their underlying motive is. :lol:

There have been reports of tanks with a female tank boss. Nobody messes with my estherae female, but I would not call her the boss. The rest of the tank dramas just happen around her.
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