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Rejected Female


New Member
Hello everyone! I am new to the forum and I have a question for you. I have a male Apisto cacatuoides and 2 females that were purchased together when they were very young. They have grown to maturity, and my male has chosen one female and rejected the other. They have never reproduced, but are definitely are what I would consider a mated pair because they shake their little tail fins at each other constantly and chase off the other female. The other female is the one I’m concerned about. Her color has darkened and she is obviously stressed. I had considered getting a third female just to give her some company, but I worry about the male being even more aggressive. The tank is a 20 gallon long and is well planted with plenty of caves and site blockers. There are 10 other fish in the tank, but they are very small and docile. Neon tetras, Harlequin Rasporas, etc.
What can I do to cheer up my rejected female?


Well-Known Member
Doesn't work that way - the male will reject any female that is not ready to breed; and breed with any female that is ready to breed. If he is 'rejecting' her then she is not ready to breed. And the female he has 'accepted' he will reject when she is no longer ready to breed.

To 'cheer' up the rejected female put her some place where the male won't harrass her until she is ready to breed.

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Also note that it is the female that initiates courtship and breeding, not the male. The male's primary interest is establishing a territory - in your case the entire tank - and breeding with any female who is interested in breeding in his territory. The female not interested in breeding with your male is now an unwelcome intruder in the male's territory and he will try to drive her out of his territory. Since this female cannot physically leave the male's territory, then it would be best to remove her.

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