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Jenna Antonelli

Bachelor Tank Problems

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Hi everyone! First post :)

 

I have had a real issue with what I now call "The bachelor tank". A few months ago I set up a new 40B with three small butterfly telescopes and my only ryukin/telescope fry (now about 8 months old). I am adding a new 40B this week so it wasn't  permanent stocking. Simple sponge filter and 40 gallon HOB, a few live plants in planters, bare bottom, LED light.

 

SO! I am posting this to see if anyone has experience with bachelor tanks and chasing. I also just want to post my experiences/ observations for others if they run into this problem.

 

So I wanted to groom/ grow out these fish and track their growth. I added a heater to raise the temp to around 77 and fed lots of Repashy, New Life Spectrum pellets, and various frozen food blends. It was all going very well. The fry doubled in weight in one month, catching up to his LFS telescope buddies. 

 

Well, now i've had to stop the whole grow out because they all developed breeding stars on their gill plates and fins (DUH! What was I expecting >_<). They started out chasing, what turned out to be, the sole female, my black moor. I kept an eye on it but I was pretty confident she was too young and too new to my tanks to have eggs yet. Unfortunately they ran her ragged and she had to be moved to the 55gallon.

 

I thought without her they would stop....I was WRONG. They chase each other incessantly! ALL DAY! The ryukin fry and my calico telescope are good swimmers and can give/take the chasing without too much issue. The orange telescope, Bumble, is NOT a good swimmer (hence the name) and he gets tired out quickly. They gang up on him, pushing, chasing all over.... I separate bumble in a floating basket for a few hours to give him a break at least once a day. I don't want to remove Bumble if I don't have to, but even with the tank at room temp (68 F), a more limited/ less rich diet, and less daily "sunlight"...the stars and chasing remain. 

 

I did some reading on this forum to see if anyone had spoken about this already and I came across a linked article about male goldfish hormones. http://wordpress.cfans.umn.edu/sorensen/files/2012/08/goldfishpheromone.pdf

So, it seems even without a female present, who is almost ready to release eggs, the males release their own hormone into the water. It seems that it's a way to assess the competition and gear up for when a female shows up. It seems it triggers the males into chasing each other and battling it out for dominance. My calico telescope and ryukin fry seem to be tied for dominance...

 

SO! In theory if I do more frequent water changes it should lower the amount hormone saturation in the water. Hopefully "calming" them down and lessening the frequency of chasing. Also, maybe exposing them to a mature female for periods of time. Maybe one male to a female, can help get rid of the mating urge?

 

Anyway....I hope to get this figured out. I really like have serene tanks...but these BROS are killing me with their urges! 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Kokos!!!!!

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:hi welcome!

 

I was faced with the same challenges you are having, a couple summers ago.  So frustrating.  In my tanks, more water changes just seemed to increase the mating behavior, but I don't know how that would differ for you now that they're separated.  

 

Here's what I did - because there's really no stopping them.  I used a plexi-glass tank divider for awhile, but didn't like the look of it in my pretty tank - it also scratched the glass really badly where the sand got caught between.  

 

In the end, I separated out the female and the gentlest male - both teles, like yours.  The remaining males (fantail & oranda) then were a more fair match, and I didn't feel too bad if they bothered each other, because they weren't causing injury anymore.  The gentle male and female then went on to breed "nicely" as they were a better match (not of size, as the male was probaby 2x the female's size, but slower) - and produced a lovely little batch of surprise fry for me. :D

 

This was much longer than a few weeks, if I remember right, so I was very frustrated and on the verge of rehoming some of the males before we finally came to the above arrangement.  I'd say keep trying different configurations of tanks/mates until you find one that works without injury. :)

 

ETA - the fish in my avi are the teles who ended up doing well together. 

Edited by SweetMamaKaty

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Welcome to Kokos! Very interesting article - thanks for linking. Here's some data from my fish, not sure it'll help you, but here it is.

 

I have a bachelor tank (75 gallon, 4 males all about 2 1/2 years old). I originally had a 5th fish, but she was the only female & I rehomed her. I do get intermittent chasing behavior (usually lasts 4-8 hours per episode), generally starting around 10-12 P.M. in the evening after the weekly 90% water change. Three of the fish were raised together almost from the start, & the 4th was added at the 1 year mark, & has never been quite as socially integrated - he gets along well with the others, but is a little bit of a loner; also, all are single tails, but the late addition is a little fancier in structure & not as robust. The less robust fish was not included in the chases until a little over a month ago (when water temps dropped from 78F (summer weather temp) to 72F (heater setting), & since then, I've taken to putting him in a floating colander before I go to bed the night of the water change, & letting him out the next morning, when the wild frolic is over (I can tell they've been at it - dug up plants, substrate piled into hills in the corners, thermometer knocked askew). If the chasing behavior lasted longer or was more unpredictable, I'd probably put fish number four in his own tank. Also, they're not getting damaged fins or anything, they just chase & jump & look like they're trying to squash each other.

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New and different water, whether from heavy rain in a pond, a new tank, or a large water change can stimulate spawning behavior.  You might consider smaller and more frequent water changes.   I would definitely remove Bumble. 

 

Shahbazin, could we see a picture of that "fancier and less robust" fish?

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I actually have video of mine still at it on a morning - where they're not bothering fish four, he's just along the periphery. Please excuse the pixelation, you can still see what they're doing:

 

 

 

Rainbow is fish four - he's sort of like a shubunkin (I call him that), but he looks to me like there's a recent fantail cross in there - he's got the sail-like dorsal, & stiffer, longer fins of a fancy & while still long bodied, he's a little rounded. If chased, he gets tired & ends up turned upside down on the surface & pushed around, which doesn't happen to the 2 commons or the comet.

Rainbow31Dec6070_zpsrqeowq6q.jpg

 

This is what I do with them the night after the water change (pic taken with flash), just stick Rainbow in the colander while the others buzz around:

Colander19Dec5869_zpsvfjkdtpf.jpg

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Shahbazin that's amazing! I'm glad you got video, I've never seen that. Now I understand Rainbow in the colander! He's a beautiful fish :)

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From your description, I was expecting a calico fantail nymph, but Rainbow looks like a very typical shubunkin, long bodied, with a longer than average tail fin.

I don't see any stiffness.   The tail fin has the most important role in swimming speed and endurance.  A twin tail slows the fish.  Think of the tail like a canoe paddle.  A common tail is like a normal wood paddle.  An American Shubunkin/Comet tail is like a rubber paddle three times the normal length.  The twin tail is like two paddles tied together.  

 

Also, long tails weigh more.  Consider the

 It has a twin tail one to two times the length of the body and has no forking-- all of the tail fin has the same length.  This makes for a very slow fish.  

 

To me, Rainbow looks more like a 4-5 year old fish than 2 1/2 years.  (I'm not saying that he is.)  Fins keep growing after the fish has nearly stopped getting longer.  

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Neat video & beautiful fish! Except for the English fish, the shubunkins I've been seeing pics of - until now - just looked like calico comets to me. Some of the fish in the video look like mine. Are those fish yours? By "stiff fins" I don't mean to imply they're not perfectly functional, just that they don't have the maneuverability of a common - see how one of his tankmates can actually do ripples with his dorsal (& tail) to go backwards/forwards? The commons can sort of "dart" & the shubinkin has more "body wriggle" to his swim.

ClownieSearch5972_zpsgxz4fizj.jpg

 

Anyhow, do you think it's significant that the chasing behavior in my tank is so predictable? And for the OP, I am thinking that Bumble needs to be moved, also.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone, and the welcomes :)

 

Bumble has been moved. No worries. Makes for uneven/ not so ideal stocking though. I'll have to rotate them around and see what combo fits best between the two tanks.

 

Also, I am aware that the simulation of spring rainfall triggers spawning. I've had experience with it before. It was more of a theory based on the article and what is stated about male hormone release/saturation. 

 

Shahbazin- Those are beautiful fish! Love the set up! 

 

ALSO! Since Bumble was moved, two days ago, the calico and the ryukin fry have settled down quite a bit. It maybe backs up my suspicion that Bumble is not a true male. When I first brough bumble and the calico home only the calico telescope chased my large nacreous ryukin, despite them both showing plenty of stars. That chasing actually cause my ryukin fry lol (realy hoped he got his dads tele eyes :(.  ) Anyway...Bumble never really chased..just showed stars. 

 

Plus "he" has a more female shape like the moore.

FKZnSiz.png

 

Bumble color progression:

JzTZq4G.png

Edited by JRambles312

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This thread has been very interesting and educational for me too! :D

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