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Strange behavior macmasteri pair

danbb

Member
My macmasteri red mask pair has spawned with no success for 4 times until now (from what I saw). First 2 egg-laying happened inside the coconut cave, the hole has big enough for the male to enter, he drove the female outside the cave and "taking care of eggs" (after 2-3 days the eggs was gone, in that period the pair was not eating, after that everything back to normal). I changed the cave with one with entrance small enough only for the female, but ... surprise: the female spawned on the exterior of the cave, around the cave entrance. Same scenario, male chased the female away from the eggs and after 2-3 days... no eggs.
My next move is to take out the eggs and move them alone or with mum in another tank.
What can be the problem? Can I have 2 females or a pair with the male too thoughtful? If I have two females can them/or one of them spawn consecutively without a male around?
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
It is normal for the eggs to disappear after 2-3 days. They should have hatched (if fertile) and the mother (or maybe father)? could have moved the wrigglers somewhere else. If your "male" looks like a male, it probably is a male. With many cichlids two females will pair off and one or both will spawn if no male is available, though i have never seen Apistos do this. Young pairs sometimes have failed spawnings for a few months before they get it right.
 

danbb

Member
Thanks gerald. I believe they are a pair even if the relation between them is quite tense: just few times I saw them one next to each other without chases from the male. From what I have read, this can be normal to some macmasteri pairs. I will post some pictures with them.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I tend toward your 'male' being a female. The soft dorsal and anal tips are not as pointed as on a typical male. I could be wrong, of course. It could be just a very young male. How large are the fish?
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
If that's a male it's an unusually colorless one. Sometimes an older dominant female in the absence of a male will get somewhat male-like coloration and behavior. There's also the faint possibility that it WAS a female and is becoming male. Dwarflover had this happen with a cacatuoides, a female who had laid eggs, raised fry, then transformed and bred as a male with another female.
http://www.apistogramma.com/forum/threads/female-changed-sex.14548/page-2#post-76654
 

danbb

Member
It can be a female turning into a male. I had also a female cacatuoides who laid eggs and after a time she turn into a male and bred with other female. I can't be wrong with that because she had a particular sign (a pectoral fin damaged, probably born with that problem). My "male" can be a female, like I said before, when the cave entrance was big enough to enter - the eggs was laid inside and when the cave entrance was smaller - the eggs was laid on the exterior side of the cave.
If both are females, what is the best to do: let them like that and see what happens or try to find a male (very hard here).
 

danbb

Member
I've decided to buy a male and today I received the fish. It's a juvenile fish but quite different from the females: more color on the neck, much more pointed anal and dorsal tips.
 
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