Peacock gudgeon breeding?

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The Big Figfetti

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Hi!
I’ve got some peacock gudgeons from my LFS that had the same group for about 3 weeks prior. (Possibly longer). I have 2 males and 4 females.
On day 2, I was watching weird behavior that I thought might be stress. But by day 3, I realized that it could have been territorial behavior between the males.

It’s now day 6 and I’ve noticed that one of the females is being chased. But she’s also flaring her fins at the male. They go to a cave or other small space. And if he leaves, to make another fish go away, she pops out and flares at him and it’s almost as if she’s leading him back.

I know the males lead the females but I didn’t know to expect that behavior from the female.
Is that normal?

Lots of flared fins and wiggling!
It’s been very fun to watch them in this behavior. And watch them in general. They’re quite entertaining.
 

Rocky998

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Hi!
I’ve got some peacock gudgeons from my LFS that had the same group for about 3 weeks prior. (Possibly longer). I have 2 males and 4 females.
On day 2, I was watching weird behavior that I thought might be stress. But by day 3, I realized that it could have been territorial behavior between the males.

It’s now day 6 and I’ve noticed that one of the females is being chased. But she’s also flaring her fins at the male. They go to a cave or other small space. And if he leaves, to make another fish go away, she pops out and flares at him and it’s almost as if she’s leading him back.

I know the males lead the females but I didn’t know to expect that behavior from the female.
Is that normal?

Lots of flared fins and wiggling!
It’s been very fun to watch them in this behavior. And watch them in general. They’re quite entertaining.
I LOVE peacock gudgeons. Breeder them myself actually!
How big are they and do you know their apx age?
They may be doing "practice" breeding behaviors but not actually laying eggs...

Do you ever see them dance with eachother? (Yes they'll actually dance. It's quite romantic to watch actually lol.)

Flared fins can mean a few things. If it's a flare and chase, it's most likely going to be a territorial/aggression thing. But if it's a flare and the male drifts towards the female, he is trying to court her. The female will either accept this, or reject this. It all depends...

That sounds like they may have paired off if the female and male are in a cave together like that... Try not to disturb that area much cause there COULD be eggs... Sometimes my gudgeons went into their cave and looked like they were breeding but never did, it was weird... But I did get fry from them multiple times... They've now stopped producing fry. Which I'm fine with but also confused lol.
 
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The Big Figfetti

The Big Figfetti

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I LOVE peacock gudgeons. Breeder them myself actually!
How big are they and do you know their apx age?
They may be doing "practice" breeding behaviors but not actually laying eggs...

Do you ever see them dance with eachother? (Yes they'll actually dance. It's quite romantic to watch actually lol.)

Flared fins can mean a few things. If it's a flare and chase, it's most likely going to be a territorial/aggression thing. But if it's a flare and the male drifts towards the female, he is trying to court her. The female will either accept this, or reject this. It all depends...

That sounds like they may have paired off if the female and male are in a cave together like that... Try not to disturb that area much cause there COULD be eggs... Sometimes my gudgeons went into their cave and looked like they were breeding but never did, it was weird... But I did get fry from them multiple times... They've now stopped producing fry. Which I'm fine with but also confused lol.
That’s so great to hear!
I don’t know their age, unfortunately. All I know is that they’ve been at the LFS for at least 3 weeks before I purchased them.

If dancing means they get close and circle and wiggle, then yes, they are doing that. Both the male and the female are doing the flare and drift toward each other and toward a spot. This was also the first time I’ve seen that behavior and it was right after a water change.

Is there a way to tell if the female has eggs that she’s ready to lay? I don’t think there have been any laid yet, because both males are still swimming around and I thought the male would stay put to guard them once they are laid?
 

Rocky998

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I don’t know their age, unfortunately. All I know is that they’ve been at the LFS for at least 3 weeks before I purchased them.
What's their size then? And can you take pictures?

If dancing means they get close and circle and wiggle, then yes, they are doing that. Both the male and the female are doing the flare and drift toward each other and toward a spot. This was also the first time I’ve seen that behavior and it was right after a water change.
Yup! That's their mating dance basically. Q beautiful sight for sure...

Is there a way to tell if the female has eggs that she’s ready to lay? I don’t think there have been any laid yet, because both males are still swimming around and I thought the male would stay put to guard them once they are laid?
You will see the female's stomach turn bright yellow and it will be bigger than normal (not huge, just bigger). Then after maybe 2-3 days of being in the cave she'll come out and her stomach will be an off white and it will look smaller... That's how you know
 
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The Big Figfetti

The Big Figfetti

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What's their size then? And can you take pictures?


Yup! That's their mating dance basically. Q beautiful sight for sure...


You will see the female's stomach turn bright yellow and it will be bigger than normal (not huge, just bigger). Then after maybe 2-3 days of being in the cave she'll come out and her stomach will be an off white and it will look smaller... That's how you know
The smallest female is about an inch and a quarter. The larger male is about 1 3/4”.
 

Rocky998

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The smallest female is about an inch and a quarter. The larger male is about 1 3/4”.
Yah, that sounds like their adults then... They reach sexual maturity at 6 months and they may grow a bit more after the 6 months, but usually they stay whatever size they reach at 6 months.
So yours may still be young and LEARNING how to breed... They may be sexually mature, but their just trying to figure it all out lol
 
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The Big Figfetti

The Big Figfetti

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Yah, that sounds like their adults then... They reach sexual maturity at 6 months and they may grow a bit more after the 6 months, but usually they stay whatever size they reach at 6 months.
So yours may still be young and LEARNING how to breed... They may be sexually mature, but their just trying to figure it all out lol
I fed them this morning. I only saw 4. It took a while, but the other two came out and ate.
I have only seen 4 at a time all day today, since then. I looked everywhere!

Finally found the cave they are using. They’re both in there. Must have been in there all day.
Super exciting! Although I don’t plan to breed them, I am super happy that they feel comfortable enough in the tank to breed!
 
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The Big Figfetti

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I also feel like they made this cave that they’re in. I can see that the sand looks like it’s been dug out, so to speak. It’s well hidden, small enough just for them, and dark.

Do they do this type of behavior in the wild? Making their own spawning place?
 

Rocky998

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I fed them this morning. I only saw 4. It took a while, but the other two came out and ate.
I have only seen 4 at a time all day today, since then. I looked everywhere!

Finally found the cave they are using. They’re both in there. Must have been in there all day.
Super exciting! Although I don’t plan to breed them, I am super happy that they feel comfortable enough in the tank to breed!
Yah, usually the male will stay in and you won't see him AT ALL. Very rare unless of course the cave is pretty open... In that case you may see breeding activity, but no actual breeding.

I wasn't expecting to breed my fish either but they did anyways! Lol. It's definitely a compliment to any fish tank when they feel comfortable enough for that.
Do you have a photo of you're tank? I'd live to see it!
And your fish lol.
I also feel like they made this cave that they’re in. I can see that the sand looks like it’s been dug out, so to speak. It’s well hidden, small enough just for them, and dark.
I've personally never seen this activity or heard of it! But not a lit of research is really out there so it could be possible but idk how they'd do it...
 
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The Big Figfetti

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Yah, usually the male will stay in and you won't see him AT ALL. Very rare unless of course the cave is pretty open... In that case you may see breeding activity, but no actual breeding.

I wasn't expecting to breed my fish either but they did anyways! Lol. It's definitely a compliment to any fish tank when they feel comfortable enough for that.
Do you have a photo of you're tank? I'd live to see it!
And your fish lol.

I've personally never seen this activity or heard of it! But not a lit of research is really out there so it could be possible but idk how they'd do it...
Am I able to upload videos? I have a few of the ‘love shack building’ behavior. 😂

I’ve been watching the tank for the last 3 hours!
And I’ve witnessed the male (the second one, that didn’t have a female yet), create his cave. He cleaned the outside of it. He went in and fanned sand out of it. He went in, then came out and had sand in his mouth and dumped it outside of the cave. All the while, he would stop to pursue this one female in particular. But then he would go back to making the cave. So so neat to see!

Then I finally watched him try several times to chase her and get her to his cave. She finally went in. I was able to get that on video too.

Now both of my males have a female in their respective caves. 🥰

I also noticed that yesterday, while watching the first male, they were in a different spot. Very close to where they are now. But it wasn’t as dark and secluded. I think between yesterday and today, he made the one where they’re at now.

Here are a few pics from left to right (if they come up in the right order)
This was from Tuesday. My frogbit was covering the whole tank and made it a lot more dim. So yesterday I took a lot of it out and now the tank is more bright. My S. Repens wasn’t doing so great with little light. I’m hoping it recovers.
 

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The Big Figfetti

The Big Figfetti

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This is the whole tank. I’m still trying to get a pic with good lighting. It’s not hazy like this in person. 🫠
 

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Rocky998

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Am I able to upload videos? I have a few of the ‘love shack building’ behavior. 😂

I’ve been watching the tank for the last 3 hours!
And I’ve witnessed the male (the second one, that didn’t have a female yet), create his cave. He cleaned the outside of it. He went in and fanned sand out of it. He went in, then came out and had sand in his mouth and dumped it outside of the cave. All the while, he would stop to pursue this one female in particular. But then he would go back to making the cave. So so neat to see!

Then I finally watched him try several times to chase her and get her to his cave. She finally went in. I was able to get that on video too.

Now both of my males have a female in their respective caves. 🥰

I also noticed that yesterday, while watching the first male, they were in a different spot. Very close to where they are now. But it wasn’t as dark and secluded. I think between yesterday and today, he made the one where they’re at now.

Here are a few pics from left to right (if they come up in the right order)
This was from Tuesday. My frogbit was covering the whole tank and made it a lot more dim. So yesterday I took a lot of it out and now the tank is more bright. My S. Repens wasn’t doing so great with little light. I’m hoping it recovers.
WOW! That's amazing!! I've never seen that behavior before! (Maybe cause my caves are already kinda ready and they didn't need to dig? Idk lol)
I'd you can get a video of them doing that, that would be AWESOME!!

Also, your aquarium looks really nice!

I hope you get some fry maybe!
 
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The Big Figfetti

The Big Figfetti

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It's totally fine! I get it lol. It looks great!!
Just wanted to give an update. My first male has been tucked away in his cave for about 10 days. He just came out yesterday and ate, so I knew I should be on the lookout for some fry.
I didn’t see them until this morning. I believe there are only 4 that made it safely up to the top of the water to hide amongst the frogbit roots. But who knows, maybe there are more in the cave. I’ve fed them today with a variety of powdered things. I’m hoping they make it! They’re so tiny! But I don’t plan to take them out or raise them in a separate tank.

Meanwhile, my second male was 4 days behind him. He went in the ‘cave’ on Wednesday. So today is 1 week. They spawned between a rock and the glass on the side of the tank, so I’m getting to see the whole thing close up!

Here’s a pic of the 4 babies.
 

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