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Guest maribelt

Newbie question on aggressive vs mating behavior

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Guest maribelt

I am new. I need help. I set up a 10 gallon starter tank. Got 5 juveniles

from a friend of mine for my 4.5 year old. 4 orange and 1 pale blue. All

identified to be Red Zebra (African cichlids).


I just realized I have 2 males instead of 1. One of the orange ones also

have fake egg spot on its anal fin.


My emergency question is :

They seem calm for the first 4 days. But today, the orange male started

chasing all the 3 females like crazy. The females are running away from



Is this mating behavior. He is just barely 1.5 inch long. The others are

just about 1.25 -1.5 inch long. although this orange male seems stronger

than the pale blue male.


Strange thing is it seems to leave the blue male alone, just chasing the

orange females all over the place.


Will he kill the female this way ? Should i remove him ?


I can get another bigger tank eventually, I just thought it is a start ...

10 gallons, since they are all juvenile. Is this one just being aggressive ?

or is he trying to mate with the other babies ? or they are not as babies

as i thought they are at this size? The male orange one seems to be biggest of the group. The first 4 days in their new home, they were even sharing caves,

although i did put 4 caves and row of plants for 5 (I thought were) juveniles

Red Zebra.





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Getting a bigger tank would work for now, but you may have to get rid of one. Pseudotropheus are pretty aggressive, so that is also the norm. So there really isn't a lot you can do right now. If you don't feel like getting another tank then put more hiding places in.

I have also heard that if there are tons of plants in the tank then it makes it easier for the chase' to get away because the chaser gets tired of losing her in the plants.

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10g really isn't large enough for any Pseudotropheus fry over 1" or so. I would really work on getting out of that tank and into something larger, like a 55g, as soon as possible.


It could be mating behavior but more likely its just plain old aggression. Red Zebras can be pretty aggressive and it starts earlier than you would think. Usually if your fish is trying to get his ladies in the mood he will do weird shaking 'dances' more than out and out chase them.

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