Originally Posted by Innovator
Assuming that both are the same specie and of relative size (either one larger than the other or both similar in size), this behavior is quite common. Prior to pairing, flashing tends to kick off the "romance" and the aggression will usually heighten from there. As in cichlids, lip biting can occur in sw
fish. If both have calmed down and they are beginning to favor each others company, keep a close eye on the damaged lip. I would hesitate to move the fish to qt or perform a water change as this might disrupt their pairing and territorial aggression commencing once again; however, if the lip does not begin to heal I would move both into a qt and medicate with an anti-bacterial.
That's what i was thinking, I didn't want to separate them for fear of disrupting their natural cycle, but at the same time, I didn't want one or both of them to die.
No they were not mated, however I did get them out of the same batch (in the same tank). They, with many others, were shipped together. I tried to get the smallest of the entire bunch. They are approx. the same size. The fighting (and consequently, the lips/jaws) is getting better. I only see them nipping at each other a little here and there now; nothing like what they were carrying on with before.
I have, and will continue to keep a close eye on them. What worries me at this point is infection of their healing lips/jaws, and the fact that they are somewhat less active from before. I think as far as infection goes, this is unlikely, just because these two are the first fish ever in the tank (as of the new setup), and I have been feeding them a veriety of foods (including some with garlic), so that their immune systems can better handle what may be to come.
Their activity level concerns me more. They still waddle back and forth, but at a much slower rate. They don't really swim around the tank a whole lot more, but seem to stay to the right side, where there is considerable less water flow/current. The sleep in the same two places every night. Sometimes, the will sleep together in one of their homes, other times, apart and bickering. I'm hoping they will start becoming more and more accustomed to each other and work out just who wears the pants in the relationship, so that we can continue on in aquatic bliss
Anyway, let me know what you guys think. Oh and sorry for the long reply time, I just got assigned another research paper and this time it has to be 14 pages. Many of you may be joyed to hear that I am writing it on the conservation of coral reefs and how the reef aquarium hobby can aid in the process. Anyway, have to get back to writing that