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Old 05-19-2012, 09:13 AM   #1 
Pogthefish
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How to tell who is highest in the hierarchy?

I knew before when I first put my girls in, but it was liek I could just tell.

Now I have some other fish and I really don't know who anymore and nobody is agressive. All I know is I think Xog (zog or csog) is last because she may be a male, but I don't think so. No fights yet, just doesnt hang out with the rest of the girls. The other 2 new ones started following the rest of the girls after a few days, but Xog is usually off doin her own little thing. so she cant be very high up. Aphrodite used to be highest, and she, demeter, and persephone are larger than the others, but are they necesarily higher? and how can I tell? I have had them 2 weeks tomorrow.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #2 
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I am no expert since I just started my sorority a couple of days ago. However, I think I know which fish is the alpha, or at least the ones near the top.

I was unsure about the sex of one fish. He has the longer fins of a male but has an egg spot and a wider abdomen (viewed from the top) than other males. He was noticeably bigger than the females. Because of the egg spot and belly I put him in with my girls at first.

I figured out he was totally male by his behaviour. He was roaming around the entire tank picking fights with EVERYONE, no exceptions. If they ran he'd chase them and not give up until he ran into another one to chase. I realized he wasn't trying to join the pecking order, he was on a mission to chase away and kill the other fish, who he saw as a threat to his territory. None of the females were behaving this way. Needless to say I scooped him out and he will be alone from now on.

My "alpha" fish doesn't run around picking fights. She has her territory and inspects every fish who enters it, showing a bit of flare at them, but she doesn't attack them unless they provoke her. She is the one with the least fin damage after the first free-for-all when I released them all into the tank. She sometimes wanders around the tank but again doesn't pick fights, just flares a bit and then swims leisurely away if someone tries to chase her out of their territory.

I also notice most of my fish except the bottom ones are becoming comfortable enough to hang out together and explore each other. This mainly happens near the surface of the tank.

The bottom ones spend their time patrolling with deep colours, vertical bars and fins erect, but will run away fast with stress stripes if a higher fish chases them.

Speaking of colour, I think colour has something to do with seniority. Four of my girls are red, and they battled fiercely with each other at the beginning. They are now secondary to the alpha, who is the only fish of her colour (Cambodian with grizzle). The two blue ones are at the bottom.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:52 PM   #3 
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hmmmm, well mine ALL stay together and have since they first met. well once the fighting was over. Anyway, they dont have territories at all. Does it REALLY matter if you know who is where?
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:05 PM   #4 
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Does it REALLY matter if you know who is where?
I'm not sure how important it is, though I've read posts about people separating fish or removing them/putting them back based on order of seniority. I haven't got to that point other than removing my male (important to know he was male). I just find their behaviour interesting to watch, including the pecking order and how it's being established and maintained.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #5 
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Personally, I know who my alpha is (because lately she's been very particular about her personal space, and the others flee before her) but I don't know the order of the other girls. Frankly, they don't seem to care. Circe and Demeter keep out of the others' way, but that's because they are half the size of Persephone, Hera and Artemis.

As for having territories, girls don't. In the wild, males will claim a territory and stay in it, but females will range all over. They just want personal space.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:34 PM   #6 
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mine alwyas stay together. except xog.. she sorta tags along sometimes..
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #7 
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Honestly, you don't need to know for sure, and it'll be more apparent as you keep them and get used to their interactions. Eventually you'll just be able to tell :). The first two weeks are so are when there can be a lot of fluctuation in the pecking order, but after a while it solidifies.

Just keep an eye on the agression levels and their interactions, make sure they don't get out of hand.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #8 
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ok, i think its the old one aphrodite, but I know nova has followed in her footsteps since I got her and will try when sshe is older.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:11 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Cattitude View Post
I was unsure about the sex of one fish. He has the longer fins of a male but has an egg spot and a wider abdomen (viewed from the top) than other males. He was noticeably bigger than the females. Because of the egg spot and belly I put him in with my girls at first.

I figured out he was totally male by his behaviour. He was roaming around the entire tank picking fights with EVERYONE, no exceptions. If they ran he'd chase them and not give up until he ran into another one to chase. I realized he wasn't trying to join the pecking order, he was on a mission to chase away and kill the other fish, who he saw as a threat to his territory. None of the females were behaving this way. Needless to say I scooped him out and he will be alone from now on.
.
One of my baby betta's labelled as female also turned out to be male. However he is pretty mellow and sticks to a corner nearest where I sit by my computer and just chills.

The 5 neon tetras that share the 15 gallon long with my sorority + male betta are far more aggressive with one another.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #10 
Sena Hansler
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I have a female, Minny, who is the tiniest now that Rose died. She doesn't hang with the big girls, mainly because she is not aggressive, the smallest and the lowest in the ranks. It's common to have a couple who do their own thing... Mine scout territory, but not all of them do.
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