Mistake? Or just overreacting. (Firemouth pair)

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Fish Crazy
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Feb 25, 2022
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I have a M/F pair of Thorichthys meeki, who had been in a community tank up until 48 hours ago. I noticed that they were getting more colored up, sticking close and just nitpicking everyone. I moved the pair quite quickly and easily to a 55 gallon planted that I have prepared just for them. They went from gregarious to hiding, and the male seems to not be liking the female close any more. He chases her but not in earnest. The timing is not great, I will be leaving for a week. I guess I am just looking for reassurance that the pair is going to be OK, that it is normal behavior for them to be a little off after being moved to their breeding tank.
It is quite normal for fish to be shy after being moved. So they will probably be less shy in the near future. Unfortunately, it is also fairly common for cichlids that have paired up to break their bond after being moved or having a tank rearranged. Their current behavior might just be temporary, and they might be spawning in a week or two now that you have given them their own tank. Don't hold your breath but hope for the best and feed them high-quality foods that include live or frozen foods on a regular basis.

If you are concerned that the male has become hostile towards the female, you need to make sure that she has plenty of protection before leaving for a week (Is at possible to divide the tank?). If they just seem a little "off," treat them well and hope that time brings them back together.

With firemouths I am hopeful that things will be looking up in the near future, but each pair is different, so you will have to judge and act accordingly with what your fish are doing.

Good luck!
Thank you for the response. I do not mind if they don't spawn right now as we have a lot going on in the next couple weeks. I just didn't want to leave them as they were with the community, only to hear or find they beat the daylights out of every other fish in the tank because they spawned.

I hope the male is just a little put off, she seems to want to stick near him even though I have seen him give her a jab with his nose. No gill flaring and nothing aggressive yet. Just kind of like he wants space and she insists on being right on top of him. I have a divider that I can use if needed.

These guys are definitely a bit different than my other fish, them hiding threw me a little as others that have been moved take an hour or two then they are right back at the glass like "where's dinner". I will try not to freak out, let things settle and hopefully they will get a bit more comfortable before we have to leave.

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