Study: cichlids are happier and produce more offspring if allowed to choose mate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Study: cichlids are happier and produce more offspring if allowed to choose mate

I just wanted to share this because it's an exciting find. I have been allowing my angelfish to choose their own mates from a group of at least 6 and not separating pairs because it seemed like the right thing to do (it's not like fish get to make a lot of decisions in captivity so this seemed very important especially because they are monogamous and mate for life if left to their own preference). This study shows that separating mates who have chosen each other actually makes the female fish more pessimistic and they lay fewer eggs. And beyond that, they miss and pine for their mate. Sad

Here is the study:

The results in case you don't want to read the whole thing:
The convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia is a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs with strong cooperation between parents for parental care. In this species, we showed that females paired with their non-preferred male had lower reproductive success than those paired with their preferred male. We then transposed the judgement bias paradigm, previously used in other animal species, to assess objectively affective states in fishes. Females that were assigned their non-preferred partner exhibited pessimistic bias, which indicates a negative affective state. By contrast, females that were assigned their preferred partner did not exhibit changes in their affective state. Our results highlight that the influence of pair-bonding on affective states is not human-specific and can also be observed in non-human species.
Here is the CNN article on the results:

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