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Old 03-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #1
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Who guards the fry? Male or female?

I have a mature male bumblebee that is acting strange. He has the other 4 cichlids all crammed on one side of the tank and keeps digging holes in the gravel. There is a fake wooden log with a hole and I see him go in and out of it and won't let the other fish go anywhere near that side of the tank. I assume he's male cuz he seems so dominate, but maybe not?! Do males guard fry? Could that be what he is doing? How would I know if they are in there without disturbing them? It is completely black in the hole. Any clue if he's just being territorial? Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHughes77
I have a mature male bumblebee that is acting strange. He has the other 4 cichlids all crammed on one side of the tank and keeps digging holes in the gravel. There is a fake wooden log with a hole and I see him go in and out of it and won't let the other fish go anywhere near that side of the tank. I assume he's male cuz he seems so dominate, but maybe not?! Do males guard fry? Could that be what he is doing? How would I know if they are in there without disturbing them? It is completely black in the hole. Any clue if he's just being territorial? Sorry for all the questions.
I'm assuming it a African cichlid bumblebee one I have one also pretty cool fish. They are mouth brooders so the female would have the egg and wouldn't be eating if you noticed that. Some fathers eat there fry and sometimes they are ok with them. Mine claim their own "houses" but not too territorial. I would check the log for fry though. Females would more care for them though.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:42 AM   #3
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He has claimed his territory, arranged it to his liking and is keeping the others away from it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
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My male crabro did the same thing when his girl was holding. He got really nasty with my auratus and kenyi who "were" dominant. I ended up rehoming them both so my bumblebee would calm down.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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I agree with Gillie, it is displaying territoriality (and being very good at it).

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Originally Posted by LHughes77 View Post
Do males guard fry?
I've never witnessed mbuna paternal care. Maybe they being polygamous breeders has something to do with that.

Males are more apt to consume any fry the can catch.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:01 AM   #6
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Well that is very helpful. I assumed he was being territorial (and yes, he's good at it) but wanted to be sure. This is my first cichlid tank and I love them, but he is so brutal to the other fish sometimes (especially after feeding) that it worries me. I wish I had room for a third tank!!
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