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Old 12-15-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
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Swordtails behaviour

Have 1 male and 2 females. The females have established an order but get along ok until recently. The male always tries to mate with the top female and never the lesser so it seems. The alpha female always tries to avoid the male when he is trying to mate with her.

I've now noticed that the beta female has a large stomach. I've had or still may have a parasite in my tank but I'm doing everything to put a stop to it spreading. This female sure looks pregnant though.

The alpha female Won't leave her alone now. Doesn't attack her but kind if harasses her and stays really close. It's stressing the beta out. She's even clamping fins at times but this may be the parasite causing it.

How do the females act when they are pregnant? Is it normal for pregnant females to clamp up? Does the harassing fit in with pregnancy?

I know pregnancy when talking about fish may not be the correct term so apologies.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Unless my eyes deceive me buddy, you have two males and one female there. The fish at the top of the lower pic appears to have a developing gonopodium, although he has no sword on his tail at the moment.

Often, males swords don't develop for a long time when they are in a tank with a particularly dominant male or a group of more adult males. This gave rise to the myth that females could turn into males if the dominant male died off. The truth is, when the dominant male dies off, a younger male will take over and his sword will develop.

The more slender shape of the fish I said also gives a clue to his male ness (I know that's not a word, lol. It's my UK sense of humour!)
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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I'm from the UK too and still didn't find that funny only kidding.

Ok it does seem feasible. Maybe that's why the male male hasn't tried to mate with it. So the question is, why does it have a large tummy? Can stomach swelling be a secondary affect to a parasite?
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Oh, lmao. Thought you were from across the pond hehehe. Where in UK (have I asked you that before?) and why you not in bed, lol. (edit - just realised you posted at 9.15)

Its tummy isn't as large as that female.... it is all the cake you throw in the tank Seriously though, he may just be a greedy git. Could also be that the body morphs to look even more like a femmale. It's uncertain whether a male fish can tell another male other than by physical attributes, such as when the fish show external sexual dimporphism, such as the sword shaped lower caudal lobe.

It could also be that the young males remain looking like females so that they can sneak in undetected by rival males and have their wicked way with the girls. Other animals use this tactic... some squid for instance.

However, I don't suggest you try this tactic yourself.... wearing a dress to a nightclub may cause you some problems Anyway, it would seem from your avatar that you are already sorted
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