A troublesome threesome

Discussions on cichlid behaviour in nature & captivity.

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Dagman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:03 am

A troublesome threesome

Post by Dagman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:30 am

I am new to Kribensis Cichlids, and would like to tell what, to me, is a remarkable story. I have had a most interesting last two weeks with my Kribs, in terms of development and behavior, and might benefit from others' experience.I have had a Kribensis (pelvichromatus) for about 5 months in a heavily planted 200 liter community tank who has grown to 5-6 cm, with a beautiful black polka dot tail and yellow orange dorsal fin. He (i'm pretty sure about this) is the only survivor of a foursome that I had bought several months ago. His cohorts died, along with 10 or so neon tetras and other fish in a horrible attack of I'm not sure what. In any case, this fish has thrived and now that the aquarium's chemistry has settled down (I had severe drops in kH due to the Amazonian base substrate, which was likely part of the problem), I was finally able to find additional Krib's to put in. The two were small, both with a beautiful black stripe along their sides, about 3 cm long and with no color or iridescence whatsoever. Both were being hounded by the big Krib and tended to stay together and hiding. Well, last week, both started to show faint yellow coloration along their dorsal fins, and one day, one of them developed generalized lemon yellow color with deep plum colored belly coloration. On the day this happened, she (that's my understanding of what's happened), suddenly was "hanging" out with the older, larger fish, who would periodically position himself diagonally in front of her and "shiver" . Meanwhile, the third fish, who has been developing faint coloration (but none really on its belly), has become the victim of chasing and even physical attacks by the other small, now beautifully colored fish. I just actually saw tiny nips in this victim's tail. The larger fish will chase after it when it sees the smaller fish, and the poor thing hides under an Anubia leaf or anything it can find until the bullies are gone so it can get food. My interpretation of this whole scenario is that the older fish is a male and the smaller, now colored fish is a female who, now that she has acclimated and matured a bit, is now displaying herself and has paired up with the older male. (I have potential shelters for their nest, but I haven't seen them do anything about it yet). Meanwhile, the "left out" and victimized fish may be a male, or just a "fifth wheel", whose life will just continue to be made miserable and stressful. I was thinking of transferring this fish to my smaller (80 liter) planted tank. Is there any wisdom in leaving it in the tank with the other two? BTW: is it possible to post a picture of my fish, he really is beautiful.

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