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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had 3 yellow labs for almost a year now. All 3 have black on all their fins and 2 look kinda dirty and bearded now. Since I've never seen any of them holding, I've decided they are all males. Recently one of the bearded ones started staying in a tree stump ornament cave thingy. I figured it was just claiming the cave as his. Occasionally when a fish would pass by one of the openings to the cave, he would stick his head out and nip at the passer-by. I wasn't to concerned until he stopped coming out to eat so I took the cave out to see if he was ok. He seemed fine except his tail was a little ragged. I thought it might be from rubbing up against the inside of the cave because it's kinda rough inside and around the openings. I left the cave out of the tank and went to work. When I got home from work that night, I saw the other beared lab picking on him, nipping at his tail and trying to fight. An acei joined in and was harassing him too. He was acting weak and kinda hurt so I put him in a breeder box. I honestly wasn't sure he'd make it through the night. I added a little salt solution and a bit of Melafix to the breeder net thing knowing it wouldn't stay in it long but couldn't hurt. I really need to get a quarentine/hospital tank set up :oops: . Will get one soon. Anyway he made it through the night, it's been a few days now and he's doing alot better.

My question is three part,
1. why would they pick on him? I didn't think the sex of labs mattered so much but it's the only thing I can think of (the labs being all male). I think the acei just joined in the harassment because it saw that the lab was getting weak and giving up.
2. I went out and bought another tiny lab hoping it will be female but it's so small it stays hid all the time so I went to another LFS and got another one that's breeding size hoping it's female too(it was the only one they had). The guy in the LFS said he thought it was male because it's fins on it's belly had a bit of black on them but I took it anyway because I heard here that that's not a reliable way to tell. I only had the fish 1 day and I think it's holding. Here's a pic of it though not a very good one.

Do you think it is holding or need a better pic?
3. I'll keep the raggedy tailed one in a hospital tank and get his tail looking good again but then should I try putting him back in the tank? Maybe after the "holding" one spits (if it is holding and not something wrong with it) and after the tiny one grows a bit.
Sorry so long. Help and advice appreciated.
 

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sounds like they are larger and he was the 3rd male out but u never know.. looks like it may be holding but a better pic is needed.. watch her for a chewing motion and that will help to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the responce copasetic.
The 2 bearded ones were the biggest (same size) and it was one of them that was getting picked on. The third one, that's a better looking fish, is a bit smaller than the 2.
Maybe 3-4F. per M. isn't that important with labs but I'm thinking all males isn't a good idea either. Maybe because there are females in the tank, even though they are different species.

The new fish does look like it's chewing. I'll try to get a better pic (I'm not very good at photography). I'm pretty sure it's holding though. I was just surprised it happened so quick and when I first noticed it, she was hanging out at one spot in the tank vertically at the front glass so I could really only see her underneath side. It looked like a small round ball in her throat & I thought she might have a tumor or a piece of gravel caught in her throat or something. The more I've watched her the more I think she's holding.

Do you or anyone think the one that was getting picked on can eventually be put back in the tank?
 

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I think there is another post where Cichlidaholic asks what your current stock list is. That could make a difference to the answer. Two general rules to keep in mind: (1) labs do better in large groups and (2) adding a single fish to an established tank can be a problem.

Depending on what else is in your tank, when your male is ready to return, I would add additional labs to make a group of six, even if you have to get juveniles. Also you might try adding the "recovered" one with other new fish, and removing the "aggressive" one for a time out. Then later when the aggressive one is returned, hopefully the subdom will be well established.

Best of luck!
 

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Between the bearding on the two and the tattered fins on the one, it sounds stress related, Dewdrop.

DJRansome is correct on all counts.

If all the fish you originally had are still in this single tank, odds are your seeing the changes we initially predicted as they mature.

Yellow labs do best in larger groups. 1 female with 3 males may be harrassed to death.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help DJRansome and Kim. I'll have to look for that other post :wink: and give an updated stock list.

For this problem here... the 2 labs got bearded as soon as they got some size to them and before the tank was so crowded but the stress could have been from not having enough labs to begin with. About the 2 new ones I just got... the one that I thought was holding isn't holding now and the tiny one that was hiding came out and got killed by an albino auratus. I think it was just wayyyy to small and I learned a lesson there. I'm just going to leave it as is until the bigger tank comes through unless it would be removing more fish because of new problems.

I don't know why I ran out and got more labs for the problem when I wasn't really happy with the quality of the original labs to begin with. Just kinda instinct I guess :( .
 
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