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Bully Fish Or Breeding Behavior?


Alana10

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Alright, so I've had my 2 orandas since December, and the both of them have always been best buds. The past few days I noticed the smaller oranda (Michael Buble, lol) has been very aggressive towards the larger oranda (Goldie Hawn, I know, so original). While I am fairly certain Goldie is female, I find it difficult to tell if Michael is a male. After researching his behaviors, everything seems to point to breeding behavior, however he is not displaying any breeding tubercles. In fact, I thought he was still too small to even be able to breed, which may explain his lack of breeding tubercles if he is male.

Another confusing point, I recently had to recycle my tank due to the bacteria dying off (long story, it's in a previous post of mine though.) The tank has finally completely cycled as of 5 days ago with perfect water parameters. Would this have sparked mating behavior (if that's what it even is?) He constantly follows her, pushing her around from the side, back, and below her while nipping at her. She's obviously stressed and exhausted, I feel terrible for her. She comes out to eat, but otherwise will stay in her cave as to say "Keep the **** away from me." She's in obvious distress, but shows no other signs of potential illness or disease that could be causing her to be so lethargic. Since noticing this sudden change of behavior, I bought a tank divider. I kept them apart for 24 hours, then put Michael on her side. He immediately sought her house, started pushing her around, and now she's bruised/hurt/red (lesion?) near her vent where he had been headbutting her. I have her on an antibiotic food to rule out any bacterial infection causing her to be lethargic, and now more importantly, her fresh wound. Prior to this they had no issues and were very peaceful together, even sleeping next to each other.

Despite the names I gave them, I didn't exactly intend to buy a mating pair nor planned on breeding them *facepalm* So I guess we'll see what happens.

Anyway, if someone could please help me out with what else I could do or maybe help "diagnose" my issue, I would be much appreciated. If she is carrying eggs, would it be detrimental to keep them apart since the male wouldn't be present to help stimulate the egg laying? I feel like Michael being there is causing more harm than good.

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It sounds like breeding behavior to me. It can get very agressive. Seperation is a good plan here. I wouldn't medicate for it except for maybe .1% salt. I would just keep them apart until they settle down. Water changes and tank changes can induce this sort of behavior. A little video may help as well, but if most of this is nose to butt behavior it sounds like breeding to me.

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I agree with Amy. I had a fish that was so aggressive after a water change, he went after eyes. I would keep them separate for a while. Unfortunately for my guy, he had to be permanently separated.

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