Odd behavior in my male guppies?

biofish

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
107
Reaction score
50
Location
California
So I’ve got a 29 gallon tank that’s divided in half. On one side I have my male guppies and the other my female. Anyway, I have one of the male guppies in an isolation box because he kept endlessly harassing a single other male guppy. The isolation box is mesh so it just sits in the main tank.

so I have the bully in the box and the victim is in the tank. And. Well. The two seem obsessed with each other. The victim fish, Sketch, constantly swims just outside the box, watching the bully, Axel. And every time Sketch does this, Axel clamps his back fin, curves into a U or a C shape and shudders. He doesn’t run away and the two are frequently nose to nose with just the mesh separating them. And as soon as Sketch swims away, Axel expands his back fin again and swims normally.

are they frenemies? Is this a gay enemies to lovers trope? Did I mix up the bully and the victim?

before I put Axel in the box he was hounding Sketch, constantly hovering over him and the two would go nose to nose and swim in circles around each other. It kinda looked like dancing and together they made an S shape during this dance but then Sketch would run and Axel would be hot on his tail. I’ve just never seen this behavior before and I am confused.

for the pictures: Axel is the bright yellow with black spots and Sketch is the black and white one.
 

Attachments

  • 48504688-E7ED-46C1-9CF0-BB549C56C0DA.png
    48504688-E7ED-46C1-9CF0-BB549C56C0DA.png
    581.1 KB · Views: 35
  • 4498F005-AC67-47BF-9627-780C59E33072.png
    4498F005-AC67-47BF-9627-780C59E33072.png
    576.8 KB · Views: 33
  • 5F2C2ED1-E99E-4D36-9FC9-85FB6CA3569B.png
    5F2C2ED1-E99E-4D36-9FC9-85FB6CA3569B.png
    576.6 KB · Views: 35
  • A65573C3-A1E2-47F6-9C33-19D6AA1FF86E.png
    A65573C3-A1E2-47F6-9C33-19D6AA1FF86E.png
    578.2 KB · Views: 37

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
29,256
Reaction score
13,388
Location
Perth, WA
Guppies and other common livebearers (mollies, swordtails & platies) live in groups of males or females with an established pecking order. The biggest meanest dominant fish is in charge and all the other weaker fish have their place lower in the order. However, if you add a new fish, they will fight to gain position in the group. You have 2 males that are similar sized and both want to be boss. They will keep fighting until one submits or dies.
 
OP
biofish

biofish

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
107
Reaction score
50
Location
California
I placed my male guppies that were in a 10 gallon into the male side of the 29 gallon and the bullying has severely decreased.
I also learned that my female beta, Rem, is an angel. I filled the water up higher than usual and two of the males hopped over the divider into the female side and were there for probably hours (I wasn’t home) and only one of them had a slightly nipped back fin. When I realized what they’d done I was fully expecting two dead guppies. But nope. One had nipped fins and the two men were avoiding Rem like the plague. But. I quickly put the men back on their side and powered the water level.
 

Most reactions

Top