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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, to make a long story short my old sorority setup was 3 girls who were from the same spawn and sadly when Baby passed I had to separate her sisters because there was too much fin nipping. I missed seeing girls, though, so I thought I'd try to set up a more "robust" sorority with more girls.

For the rest of my girls aside from my remaining 2, I tried to pick out girls that were healthy and roughly the same age, because I thought that would help cut down on aggression. I quarantined them just to make sure there wasn't any disease, too.

They were introduced and placed in the tank yesterday...and things seemed ok.

However, one of the girls i got is now building a bubble nest? :shock:

My 2 older gals have been behaving and have decided to claim ownership of one of the caves, and there's been relatively few spats. For the most part everyones' fins are ok and everyone is coming up to be fed, so I figure no one feels threatened.

BUT I'm worried about the bubble nest builder. Is she really a really young plakat male? Should I jar her/him and hope that there's no bloodshed if I disrupt the peace that seems to be existing?

Tank: 10gal, cycled, planted, temp is 78 and all other params are good. There's 6 girls plus 2 nerites. My worry is that maybe one of those 6 girls is really a boy because of the bubble building?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, it wasn't hrutan, your girls have been so pretty but so hard to take a decent pic with on my phone.
 

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OK, haha. I had one "girl" turn out to be a short-fin boy in the spawn. No idea where he came from...so I was worried you got another, haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This fish was in a female veiltail jar, I liked how pastel blue she was and didn't seem much bigger than any of the other girls. She's roughly the same size as my other girls, unlike my older boys the beard is not so pronounced and I don't see it ever fully flaring, just building the bubble nest and chasing the other girls away.

I'm still not sure what to think :-/
 

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That is one heck of a bubble nest. She looks iffy to me. Maybe female maybe not. Have you tried putting her in a jar, and a male in another jar, and putting them next to each other to flare? See how they react to each other.

We might not be able to tell, but the fish always know.
 

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That suspect fish definitely looks male to me.

My reasoning is that the body looks too "robust" and the dorsal fin is way too big/wide to be a female. All of my females have very skinny dorsal fins, even those with longer, fuller caudal and anal fins.

I could definitely be wrong, but I have had quite a few females (6 currently) and "male" is my strong suspicion.
 

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I'm also, hesitantly, leaning towards male, but I'd still do the jar test to be sure. I have plenty of chubby girls with big dorsals, but the front of this fish's body doesn't have a bulge indicating ovaries. This guy might be a "tweener," (a hybrid between short and long), a throwback to short fin, or a bad plakat. Can't see the rays real well, but the spread in the caudal suggests that no matter what, (s)he doesn't appear to be a veil, so you're already working with a mislabeled jar.

If it's male, he'll continue building that nest and driving the females away. The females, if they are unsure of their pecking order, will squabble, and eventually the dominant female and he will wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is one heck of a bubble nest. She looks iffy to me. Maybe female maybe not. Have you tried putting her in a jar, and a male in another jar, and putting them next to each other to flare? See how they react to each other.

We might not be able to tell, but the fish always know.
I tried the jarring when I first got Robin, just to try to see what the personality was and to gauge aggression because it's one thing to be passive in the store, and another to react once in a more stable set-up. This fish wouldn't flare, but I'll try again and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That suspect fish definitely looks male to me.

My reasoning is that the body looks too "robust" and the dorsal fin is way too big/wide to be a female. All of my females have very skinny dorsal fins, even those with longer, fuller caudal and anal fins.

I could definitely be wrong, but I have had quite a few females (6 currently) and "male" is my strong suspicion.
Thanks, artemis, looking at older photos of Robin the dorsal has definitely grown in the time I've had her/him and I think that it was likely in a mislabeled jar and actually a male fish.

I've decided I'll remove the fish into one of my other empty tanks for now, and hope it doesn't disrupt the other gals too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fins on Robin keep growing, tricky badly labeled gal! Is now happily building bubble nests in his new 3 gal. setup :)

The gals seem to still be setting up a pecking order, the 4 girls that were in together at first know where they stand in relation to each other. The 2 newer girls added Sunday are still testing the waters, but thankfully no more nipped fins or chases going on.

Feeding seems to bring all but 2 of the girls out regularly. The 2 that aren't coming up (but are still alive, I see them swimming & hovering lower where there's more plant cover) are the cambodian-ish girl, who was bottom of the first pecking order, and one of the newer blue girls who is I guess submissive as well? Their bellies look good, so I know they're eating, I see they tend to wait for a pellet to sink or go unobserved by the others before making their way to it.

I've seen some baby snails which must have hitch-hiked with some of the plants I got, I tried to make sure they were rinsed but I guess I didn't do a thorough enough job. I suspect that these 2 may be supplementing their diet with some snail babies, is this ok?
 

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Subscribing. I also just set up a 10 gallon sorority. :) One of mine was a secret male, too!

"Pest" snails are a perfectly good snack for them. Sometimes, when my snail populations get too large, I'll crush them and feed them to my platies. They seem to like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for subscribing, MameJenny! I was expecting that there might be a "secret" male so I was prepared with a back-up tank, so far that seems to have been the most challenging aspect of getting the sorority underway.

I didn't know that about the snails, but will try it if I happen to see any get big enough :)
 

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Some of them eat snails and snail eggs, some of them don't. It's a perfectly healthy and nutritious meal for them, well within the range of their natural diet. My Phoenix kills Ramshorn snails in his tank after they have reached a certain size, and then eats them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is the cambodian-ish girl, Rose, and she's the one that's gotten the most fin damage but it's not hampering her swimming so I think it's ok to leave her in for now.

 

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She looks like a big version of my Cambodian girl. Her fins will heal up in no time. :) One of my girls got a shredded tail from an aggressive female a few days ago, and she's already completely healed up today. It's amazing how fast the fins grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MameJenny, I'm impressed that the fins are healing as quickly as they are! It's been a little over a week, but the fin is almost fully healed except for coloration, it's slowly getting color back. I've decided to put the nippy/greedy gal in a floating breeder container for now, I'd really like to have her be in the sorority but she's still flaring at everyone when they come by and when she was loose would chase the others away from food...so she was a round little ball and everyone else was considerably thinner.



That's Rose there flitting in the back, and Sharon's the lil blue gal darting in the shot. The jarred girl stripes up whenever she sees the camera flash :-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And this gal is Ariel, not sure if it comes through in the photo but she's such a pretty emerald green color after being out of the pet store situation:

 

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Sharon is so pretty! I hope you can get a hold of your nippy girl better than I could with mine. I had the same issue with mine - she'd nip and relentlessly chase the others whenever they came up for air or food. I ended up needing to remove her. It's strange - the other girls' interactions got a lot more peaceful after I took out the trouble making girl.
 
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