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Harems or pairs?

aarhud

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
343
Hello,

Which spawning behavior do you find more interesting in larger tanks? Harems or pairs? Why?

Thanks!
Aaron
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,776
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
As long as you keep away from the pair forming species (The A. panduro, baenschi etc group) they are more interesting as a harem. I've found for A. cacatuoides and A. trifasciata that you can have at least 7 females to every male, as long as the females all have enough space to form territories and there is sufficient cover/caves. The combination I've found that didn't work very well was 1M 2F as this always leads to dominant female and stressed non-dominant.

The advantages of having a harem is that it gives the females a rest, if you only have a pair the male tends to bother the female constantly (a particular problem with A. trifasciata), and it also gives some "outside interest" for the male when the female has fry and she is in "aggressive defence" mode.

Another advantage is that you get female - female interaction with boundary disputes, fry stealing etc.

I don't have any large tanks, so I've never been successful with more than one male in a tank, but this would be a possibility for species like A. borellii.

cheers Darrel
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,232
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
A. panduro, like other members of the nijsseni-group, generally form breeding pairs. These aren't permanent like some of the larger cichlids, but only for one breeding session. If is better partner is found, then the pair will split and a new one will form. In aquariums without major threats, pair bonding can break down and sometimes a fish (usually a male) will breed with more than one partner.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,232
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
1 m + 3 f is a good way to buy this type of fish. Allow the male to choose a mate. Then sell the other females. Too often hobbyists buy only a pair and end up with only a male, because the "pair" is not compatible.
 

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