what is normal gbr behavior?
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
Ras
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what is normal gbr behavior?


I have a male who chases my female around in the early mornings after feeding and the lights come one he starts the chase, not a constant thing but more like if he sees her out of the corner of his eye he will dart at her and she will dart away, he then stops and goes back to what he was doing lasts about an hour or so then he will slowly start to leave the female alone.

Im constantly getting different, contradicting opinions "oh thats normal it means he wants to breed etc etc" or "ohh you need to remove him or the female will die from stress, no amount of aggression is good" " aslong as the male isnt continuously chasing her, and shes not hiding than its fine"

3-4 months later of keeping gbr's and I still have no idea what is "ok" and what is not because info I get always seems to be completely opposite of other info I will get.

somebody please help.

its a 38 gallon long tank, heavily planted and understocked (one small school of embers 12-15, 5 otos, 2gbr)
all my parameters are good, 0/0/10 for ammo/nitrite/nitrate
I bought the two rams as a "mated pair" from a trusted breeder (yunite) who said they paired up naturally. to be safe i had an extra female in the tank to give the male an option, he still chose the female he arrived with so I kept her. since I have had them they have laid 3 batches of eggs, all of which were eaten

any ideas what to do?
is this type of chasing normal or is it going to be a problem?
are "mated pairs" supposed to be chasing? there is no actual nipping going on from what I can see. the female's fins are all still in tact and her color looks good


p.s this is my 3rd time making a post like this over the past couple months. so if it looks familiar its for a reason. unfortunately the answers in the other threads were very contradicting and left me confused

Last edited by Ras; 06-13-2014 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: extra info
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:29 PM   #2
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The reasons you're getting so many conflicting answers is because cichlid behavior can be very complex.

Probably most of the things that have been suggested to you are realistic possibilities.

It's going to boil down to a judgment call on your end. If it looks like the female is not losing weight, her color is good, and you don't notice any other problems, I'd probably leave well enough alone and just keep an eye on things.

You do need to keep in mind that there is a possibility that the male is rejecting the female, though. This can happen sometimes even with "mated" pairs, for lots of different reasons. If the female does start to look cowed or injured, I would separate them.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
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Yep ^^^ If you've had them for 3-4 months you should have a good idea of the particular fish's personality and how it goes about its daily business. My rams (gold and bolivian) will chase eachother like that, but it is not incessantly and not stressful for the chase-ee. If the female in question appears to be looking worse, then its probably best to separate them and try a new mate. As with all cichlids, you might have a bad apple that will not tolerate any other fish of its kind in the aquarium, but from your description, it sounds pretty normal and you shouldn't be concerned.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:09 PM   #4
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Agree with the above posts. I have a twice spawned pair of Bolivians and the male still chases the female back to her corner constantly. The only time they act like a pair is when they spawn.

Just be sure to have lots of wood or rocks to break up line of sight so the female can evade the male easily. This will reduce the stress for her.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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well shes definitely not losing weight. shes very plump, and colorful most of the time, fins look good. she just gets bullied alot, every day . so even when the male stops chasing her and starts trying to be sweet she is still in flight mode and wont let him near her. I kinda want to try and repair him just to put my mind at ease.

i was thinking of going to find a 20 gal and a female or two and trying to add them, then put any rejects in the 20 gal. my only issue is I am not sure if adding only one new female to my existing pair would give him enough of a choice. and I am not sure how well 2 females would get along together in a 20 gal tank if I did add 2 new females instead of one.. from what I understand if there is no male present, than there will be less chance of them being aggressive to each other. is this true for the most part? (sorry for being confusing)
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:13 PM   #6
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You can try rearranging the hardscape. This can often ease territory disputes and sometimes stimulates a spawning.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsantucci View Post
You can try rearranging the hardscape. This can often ease territory disputes and sometimes stimulates a spawning.
I actually just did this last water change and it worked very very well, for around 3-4 days there was no aggression at all. but he slowly went back to his old ways
I suppose I can leave them alone for now. I hope to upgrade to a 60 gal box tank soon so they will have more room. as for now Ill try and find more driftwood and keep an eye on her fins, belly and color
thanks for the info guys
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:48 PM   #8
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Just like humans.
If you want real problems, just add another female.

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Old 06-14-2014, 02:50 PM   #9
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Rams are nutters. I have a mated pair that will go at each other hammer and tongs unless they start to spawn. After the spawning, they are at each others throat. A few rules. 1.) If it is just chasing and no real contact, then it is 100% ok. The female maybe ready to spawn but the male is not. If it is lip locking and and actual hitting each other, then they need to be removed. 2.) Break the sight line. If the two aggros I have, they will be ok until they see each other. I planted some giant hair grass in the middle of the tank. It stops them from randomly going at each other. 3.) Feed at different times a day. Don't feed the aggros at the same time every day, it causes them to get territorial. If they feel they need to wonder around to get food, they are thinking about food not fighting. 4.) Turn on a dim light in the morning before turning on the normal lights. This will probably fix most of your fighting. My two will fight endlessly if the normal light is turned on. But if I slowly increase the light, they seem to take it better. 5.) Actual contact, damage, and lip locking is a sign of stress and one of them needs to be removed. If they are paired, they will suffer if you break them up. So a divorce is the last resort.
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