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Question RE: spawning chase initiation


JamieMonster

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Ok- so, apparently the fish LOVE the new tank look, and it has made them get big time bedroom eyes. Unfortunately, I have a very strongly male dominant tank- like to a ridiculous degree. My poor fish, Lily's, milkshake, apparently, brings ALL the boys to the yard, and she was swarmed today. It got ugly. She is now in a colander taking a break, because they literally wore her out to the point that she was side rolling at the surface, and it was scary. The other females in the tank were left totally alone, even Nellie- who has been having squiggle egg carrying poops the past 2 days.

My question is this: is there something that triggers the boys to behave this way? Like as in, do they release a special pheromone when they are gravid that will go away when she isn't, or is it something that will happen all the time (like the boys just think she's the hottest lady in the tank, and are all going for it, regardless of eggs ready to drop or not)? We have had cycles like this before, and they will be at her like that for a few days before calming down, and it seems to go in 2-3 week cycles (a few days of spawning attempts, calms down for a couple of weeks, then starts back up). Sometimes we will have breaks for 2 mos or so where they aren't trying to spawn.

If it is a pheromone that only lasts while she has eggs, would it help to give Lily (or whatever lady fish happens to be the object of desire) and a boyfriend a honeymoon suite, where she can release her eggs safely, and without danger of getting spawned to death, help to resolve the situation, or could I help her pass the eggs by rubbing her belly to get the pheromone to stop, or is it not triggered by being presently ready to drop eggs?

Thanks for the input- I really don;t want to have to get another tank (no space or funds) and I love my lady fish, so I'd prefer not to rehome them for their own safety, if there is a workable alternative to provide for their safety. :krazy:

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The quick answer is yes, the females do release something into the water during spawning. This is why the males all focus on her, and none other.

Here is one description of such a pheromone in goldfish

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v325/n6101/abs/325251a0.html

Yes, please take her out and place her in a vacation suite with 1-2 males, along with ample spawning mops/plants etc. This way you can actually remove them and save the eggs when done lol

Good luck! :)

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Good questions, all of them lol

And great answer, I have wondered this myself.

Also, one other question for you Alex. Is there a certain spawning cycle? There were eggs in the tank over the summer on and off but now over the last four months maybe only once. It is cyclical or does it take certain environmental factors for the female to have eggs? or are the eggs always there waiting for the right environmental infuence? Is there any negative impact on the female fish if you never see eggs or only rarely? I guess that was way more then one question :)

Edited by CindiL
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I agree with Alex, but suggest just one boyfriend unless getting fry is your priority. I think some girls are more attractive to the boys and they can suffer for it.

When my front pond went through a spawning frenzy last spring, even though there were multiple females being chased, the largest, Pumpkin, always got the most attention, with multiple males slamming into her. By the time the spawning season eased up, she looked pretty ratty with lots of missing scales. About a month later, she started to bloat, but I wasn't sure she was really ill. Then one day she was round as a pearlscale with every scale at a 90o angle from her body. She wasn't eating and looked miserable, so I went out and got some clove oil. After I caught her, I decided to try to treat her. After two-three months of treatment, dozens of 100% water changes, and lots of money spent on medications, she was in perfect health. She's now in a pond with a 5:1 female:male ratio.

I think a new tank/pond frequently stimulates spawning. It's happened with my fish a lot.

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I don't really want fry, as I really have nowhere to raise them, and then anywhere for them to go, if I had survivors. I wouldn't kill baby fish, ever, but I am also happy with not having any. Next time they start up, would the 2 of them in a heavily filtered, cycled 10 gallon "honeymoon suite" for about 48 hrs be sufficient? (water changes taking place, of course)

I am guessing that she actually did release her eggs at some time yesterday, as they are leaving her alone completely today, after being released from the colander. She spent the night in there, since they go nuts with the spawning at around dawn, and I am usually not awake to catch it. Yesterday they were psychotic about her, today, they couldn't care less.

She is active, happy, & eating today, but there may be 1 spot on her side with a couple of raised scales. Whether or not this is bloat starting, or her scales got ruffled during yesterday's antics, I don't know yet... keeping a very close eye on her for now. She is acting completely normal and happy, and eating well, so I am hoping the scales just got ruffed up a bit, and that she isn't getting sick.

THANKS SO MUCH, guys!

I will pair her up with either Harry, my white fan tail, or Jack, my beautiful red oranda boy with the red and white swirled fins if they start at it again... should be pretty babies with either pairing, if there are any, and you guys will have to make room in your tanks to adopt them. LOL.

Love is in the air! hehe.

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I'm sure she's fine. Pumpkin apparently got an infection in one of her wounds.

Once the eggs are laid in the morning, they quiet down the rest of the day.

They'll be fine in the 10 gallon.

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Don't forget the Barry White and a bottle of wine :rofl

Oh, you got it! I was thinking a nice feast of bloodworms upon entering the honeymoon suite (aka what would be a "steak dinner" for goldfish), a 90s style, high school "mix tape" playing for them, which would feature Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Sir Tom Jones, maybe a little R. Kelley, and, of course, Barry White. (I have no idea where I will find this music, as I have none in my collection, but we'll work on that!). For mood lighting, I will set up a row of those little battery operated, flickering tea light "candles" from the dollar store, and maybe sprinkle some rose petals on the top of the water.

And the first song on the "mix tape" will be...

:edit- this post has made me realize that I really do NEED to add some Marvin Gaye to my music collection. Sometimes, you just can't beat the classics...

Edited by JamieMonster
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Oh lord your getting me all hot and bothered

Oh boy!! :wa

Careful, Koko... she might like the beaten with a stick thing... she just may be "THAT kind of girl". **cough* FREAKY DEEKY *cough* (I kid because I love)

Oh lord your getting me all hot and bothered

LOL- that's what she said. Quite literally, this time.

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Oh lord your getting me all hot and bothered

Oh boy!! :wa

Careful, Koko... she might like the beaten with a stick thing... she just may be "THAT kind of girl". **cough* FREAKY DEEKY *cough* (I kid because I love)

Oh lord your getting me all hot and bothered

LOL- that's what she said. Quite literally, this time.

Thats the problem she does like it :rofl

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