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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just need alittle help as to some behavior between my two cichlids- they are about 6months old and in a 10-15 gal tank- yes I am hoping to upgrade by Dec- Lately one has been hiding in the Conche shell in there tank- he or she is way up in there- I tilted it so that I could see the fish and it appears to be alive and fine - not sure if the fish is sick or laying eggs? Well now the other fish is hanging out right on the edge- the behavior is just dramatically different- these fish are typically moving about- up at the top waiting for food- I am going to change out 20% of the water tonight- what I have tested everything is within normal ranges- no noticeable illnesses- my husband who has the icthology background thinks they look fine- but I wanted to get some expert advice as to if this is really just typical breeding behavior or should I be trying something else- thanks for any tips
 

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cichlidaholic
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One of the problems of keeping territorial fish in small confines is situations just like this. Basicly the one has chased the other in there and it is probably hiding for it's life. Seperating the two is needed since it sounds like they are both the same sex and that would likely be male. Texas cichlids are pretty obvious when they are about to spawn due to a dramatic change in color and pattern. Google some pics and you'll see what I mean. Also they wouldn't be hiding in a shell during this time . When you Upgrade , your gonna want to shoot for something around the 75-90g mark. Males can get 10" females a little smaller around 7-8". Since they are so aggressive (often towards eachother even when an established pair) you'll want something that gives some extra space incase the tank needs to be temporarily divided.

I would put a divider in this tank (one fish on each side) for now . This is a less than ideal sittuation for these fish , but will keep them from killing each other , or the one from harrassing the other to death, untill you can find them better accomodations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So feeding them less would not be a option as far as cutting the agression down- my husband suggested this- coming from a biologist and one who studied fish in great depth, I was shocked that starving something as a means to fix a problem would come out of his mouth but then again I spoil all my animals so he could be right- I will head out to get a divider today- they manage to survive the night- I got the one out of the shell- it was tiny and obviously stressed out- We made a homemade divider to get through the night- the color and size has improved somewhat on the victim~ Thanks again for the tips and help!
 

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cichlidaholic
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No problem. The feeding thing could work under other circumstances, but this situation is due to cramped conditions and one fish simply dominating the other for space .
 
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