Thursday, 25 October 2007

Macropodus social organisation

Macropodus (Paradise fish) are supposed to be aggressive and territorial, unlikely to tolerate others of their species. Siblings are sometimes described as being more tolerant. Having started off with a pair and gradually added several of their offspring into the tank, I seemed to have the perfect Macropodus society. Aggression was minimal, and I saw no evidence of the sort of behaviour I had read about. I gave away the first batch of progeny, and had the same experience when I added some more juveniles from the breeding tank.

My second purge was more extensive, and I ended up giving away all the large Macropodus. So when I added a new batch from the breeding tank, the effect was very different. They have remained much more aggressive with one-another, displaying at (and chasing) their siblings. No clear dominance hierarchy seems to have emerged either. Since it makes for far prettier fish, and since I haven't seen any evidence of fin damage or wounding, I am not too worried - just interested in how social dynamics seem to emerge.

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