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Old 06-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #1
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identifying a julidichromis marlieri pair

Hi, so I think I messed up trying to get a pair of these julis. I started with 4, one got cornered and rejected from the groups and banished from the rocks minutes after putting them in. This lasted about a week but the rejected one was just getting chased some if he came too close so I kind of tried to catch him out but it was impossible with the rock work so since it wasn't physical attacks I just left him in. The other three were getting along but then suddenly overnight the biggest of the three just started relentlessly attacking one of the other three. This went on a few days as I tried strategies for reducing aggression like adding more visual breaks and rearranging rocks, to no avail, and constant fighting and lip locking continued with no peace at all. Eventually I took out all the rocks and gave the two rejected ones to the pet store.


Now I have two that seem to have gotten significantly more aggressive with the synodontis petricola focused in the area of one cave, though they both wander away often and are often not together. Does this seem like pair formation? I didn't realize pairs often fight among themselves so I wonder if I removed the wrong ones and gave up too soon. The two I have left have never once fought or chased each other. It's more out of curiosity since with 7 synodontis petricola in this 90g as well I doubt many if any eggs will even make it to fry stage let alone survive, but I'd still just like to understand what is going on. There is a size difference as one is 3 inches and the other about 2 so I'm not sure at all if they're even sexually mature.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
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They are solitary fish, only pairing up for spawning.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfestae View Post
They are solitary fish, only pairing up for spawning.

interesting thanks, so perhaps their continued toleration of each other is evidence of a pair. just this afternoon I caught them together under a small cave they'd dug out from under a flat rock.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:37 AM   #4
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And to update I guess super luckily just happened to catch them doing what I'm 99% sure was spawning this morning in a depression they dug out under a rock (I was able to see both of their tail fins right next to each other moving together in such a way I've never seen before for a sustained period of time and some sort of organ on the underside, presumably sexual, on one that I've never seen before ). Not a super defensible site in my opinion since it's a spot with a couple of openings but fingers crossed at least a few fry make it, and they've done a pretty good job chasing out catfish to the point where I never see them under there anymore. I was always worried about being overwhelmed with fry and the chore of having to net them out to re-home them (nearly impossible without removing all the rock work as I discovered removing the rejected julis) so I stocked the synodontis partially to handle that problem (though mostly because I think they're a great fish), but now I find myself hoping at least some make it, and little later it definitely appears they're standing guard in this one area in a way they were not before.
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