Question on angelfish behavior

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CarissaT

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Fighting again last night. Mouth lock for a solid 5 minutes while I was watching ending with some fin nips. But neither one is hiding or running away. The smaller one is now behaving more aggressively towards the other fish in the tank, chasing them away from what she’s decided is her plant. But both of them hang out in those plants and she doesn’t chase the male away. Since nobody seems to be getting seriously hurt or bullied right now I‘m going to leave well enough alone and see if this plays out.

I’m just going with the idea of being a m/f now because between the breeding tube difference and the egg bulge in suspected female I would be surprised if they were both male. So if we go on that assumption (m/f) what is this behavior all about? Two cranky fish reaching sexual maturity and deciding how things are going to be? The female not ready to spawn yet? The male not sure if he likes her?
 

anewbie

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mouth locking is normal when a pair is forming. The female is 'testing' the male for suitability or something along those lines. After she doesn't want a 'wimp' for a partner ;)
 
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CarissaT

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Well I did a water change last night and today, the same thing happened. Suspected male chasing suspected female into hiding. Just now, they are actually hanging out together for the first time all day. She has a little bit of fin damage. Nothing major that won’t heal in a couple days. It must be something to do with the pheromones that are getting removed with a water change, maybe?

edit: just looked up ‘angelfish aggressive water change’ and it’s apparently a big thing. Guess I’ll have to reduce my water change amount…I’m doing about 30% now, I’ll try 20% next time and see if I notice a difference.
 
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anewbie

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Odd - i do 50% all the time and my angels never showed behavior change.... hum... maybe something about the type of water you have.
 
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CarissaT

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Yeah I was sort of wondering what other variables may be in play here. My water is pretty soft, GH and KH of about 80ppm. Nitrates are near 0. TDS at 204. Temp is 77. The fish are well fed twice a day. Maybe I should turn up the heat a little? 79/80? I‘ll give that a shot, it can‘t hurt anyway. They are still cranky today but she’s hiding less than she was yesterday. It’s got to be the pheromone thing, I wonder if they are less or more potent in different types of water? Going to have to read a book on it now.
 
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anewbie

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My tank is kh 3 gh 7 tds 130. During the winter i have 77/78; during the summer the room gets it up to 83/84. To be honest I think you are fretting too much; give them 60 days to work it out.
 

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