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Strange Apisto Behavior

4849 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mick74
Within the past 2 days I've witnessed strange behavior coming from my apisto pair. The male has been slinking off into the darker corners of the tank, and every once in awhile cruising around. The female, has been active, but has been trying to attack her reflection, often times spending 10 mins biting at the glass and flaring, the male used to do this about 2 weeks ago. Before the female turned gold and wasn't ready to breed the male was a bit aggressive to her constantly showing his fins and shaking, but when she turned gold, she build up the sand around her cave and I thought they had mated, once this had happened, the male seemed to have lost all of his spunk. Anyways, I think the female ate the eggs or they died because she eventually came out of her cave and stopped tending to it. But now its almost 100% role reversal, the male no longer responds to the female, and just slinks off when she shows her fins, its almost like he is hiding from her, but whenever they interact, there is no attacking, just the female flaring. Eating is normal from the female, but the male has only eaten the pellets that fall near him, instead of coming out.

The only thing I think which could be problematic is the Nitrates; they were at 10 ppm, I find it strange for them to be that high in a planted tank with a low bio load, and only 1 day after a water change. I just did a water change and rigorous vacuuming for fear of pollution from decaying plant matter.

Any ideas on what could be going wrong?
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10ppm nitrates isn't what I'd consider high, especially in a planted tank. I add nitrates to my high tech tank to keep the level at 15-20ppm. I seriously doubt that would be the cause. Your fish may have an illness, has he been eating regularly? Do you feed good flake or pellet foods or mostly live/frozen/freeze dried foods? I've heared about fish getting depressed when a spawn doesn't produce viable fry, maybe you need a fish shrink?
this has to be a 10g tank... that male is, unfortunately, likely too far gone already.

A 10g tank is possible, but very difficult to breed apistos in. The male is hard on the female until eggs appear and then the female takes on a whole new personality... she will bite the male (coils into an S shape for extra power). His job is to then make his rounds to protect the larger territory... when he returns, he's welcomed back to the spawning site... if he doesn't go do his job, the female hits him again... and again... and again...

in a 10g tank, if the female doesn't think he "left" then he's a dead man...

I've had females that are fine in 10g tanks, and then I've had females that (literally) chased a male out of the tank. Found him on the floor, flip flopping around... at least when I tossed him back in the female welcomed him back... I guess the floor was far enough for her to think he'd done his rounds! :lol:
Yes they're in a 10 gallon. Number6, I have been watching the tank closely and the female has never attacked him, and I've witnessed many interactions. He looks like he might be doing better, because I actually saw him flare his fins. Still seems a little "depressed" through. He is definitely one of my favorite fish, his color is still awesome despite his problems of late. Is there nothing I can do to fix this, or has the pair bond been broken or something?
they don't pair bond... at all. These are harem breeding fish. One male usually has three or more females in his territory.

IME, you don't have to actually see the attack to know it happened.

There is a chance that what I guessed didn't happen... I have had cases where (for no discernable reason) a male apisto spawned and that alone was enough to trigger some mystery illness. I think anyone who has ever kept Apistos for a long time has ended up with a tank full of widows and widowers through no fault of their doing that anyone can pinpoint.

Perhaps the act of spawning triggered some illness?

I'll keep this updated with his status.
I have a 40 gallon long with 2 male and 3 female appisto cacs. I originally had a single pair. I mistakenly killed the female of the pair when doing a water change.

I replaced her with 3 females and 1 male. The original male played the role of dominant male to the 3 new ladies. He showed them around when they were first introduced. The girls had their favorites but the dominant male had all the breeding rites. Eventually the weakest female died of unknown causes. She was constantly chased so I assume the stress got to her. The dominant female mated with the dominant male. Once the fry were free swimming she up and ignored them. They were easily eaten by the two males and the penguin tetras. The sub dominant female mated with the dominant male. She was a much more aggressive mother. She killed the sub dominant male and shortly after that killed the dominant male and the dominant female. I was left with only her and about 20 free swimmers. She protected them day and night. Anything got near them she was on the attack.

I am now left with her, two of her sons, and 2 of her daughters. She paired up with a son when he was really young. At the time I thought they were all girls they were still small. But there she was with Free swimmers. None of the fry survived more then 4 days. The sub dominant daughter has recently mated and she is guarding the most fry I have ever seen. She is quite small compared to her mother but she keeps everybody in check. One interesting thing I have noticed is the dominant male is allowed near her and the fry. He doesn't eat them. In fact I have seen him help her guard them. I have never seen this behavior before.

Just my experience.
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Well, it seems like they're back to normal. The male is eating again, and they actually laid eggs again aswell. They didn't survive but I figure it will take a few times because this is their first 2 spawns.
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