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Seeing what appears to be cleaning behavior in a fish that doesn't clean.

676 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Betta132
Lately, I've seen something a bit odd. My angelfish will slowly approach one of my sunfish, and the sunfish will respond by tilting itself head-down and going pale. The angelfish will then closely inspect the sunfish's flank, and after a moment of inspection it will either lightly nip at one spot or leave without doing anything.
The posture and pale coloration looks like what's displayed by fish at a cleaner station, and the angel's behavior doesn't seem aggressive- no flaring, no posturing, just an inspection and then maybe one little nip. Could this be a couple different species worth of intimidation attempts that are getting cross-wired and look like cleaner behavior when combined, or is there any this is actual cleaner behavior?
The angel is little, if that makes a difference- under 3" long including the tail.
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Don't those sunfish poop a lot?
I tried keeping bluegill as a child, I remember how big their droppings were.

They are a pretty common invasive fish here, it always struck me how many colour variations they have according to the colour and parameters of the water.
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