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Behavior questions

i have six BPs in a 120 gallon tank and a lot of the time they seem to bop each other in the nose.  To me it seems playful.  I've heard it is a mating ritual.  I don't know if they are really fighting or not.  Sometimes a fish will hide in one of the caves in the tank while another seems to stand guard outside the cave.  And if any other fish tries to enter the cave or even swim by, the guard will chase them away.  This goes on a lot from time to time.  Anyone know what's going on there?


I am a total newbie but last week one of my BP layed eggs and 2 of them were guarding the eggs and would'nt let anyone come near them. They would not eat much at all and if they did, they would take turns coming out so the eggs would not be left alone. Maybe your BP have eggs in cave? I think they get aggresive when they are guarding for a few days then when the eggs are gone ( probably they eat them because they have turned white) then they go back to their jolly selves. Maybe someone else with more experince will give you more info ;)

Cichlids just love bunkers - they will use or build one out of gravel if one doesn't exist. They use them for laying eggs also, but not only for that. Mine didn't eat their own eggs - I would have to scrape them off and clean their "houses" once in a while.

We used to have a male convict cichlid that would build the most incredible bunkers out of gravel and stones that we set up for him like stonehenge. Quite the architect. However he was also a vicious little thing. He was about 2" long, and lived by himself in a little tank next to the oscar tank, where we had two oscars about 4 times his size. He would build his bunkers, then go over to the side wall of the tank and stare at the oscars. One day we decided to see if he could get along with the oscars, and put him into a net and hoisted him over into the other tank. He swam out of the net, zipped over and bit the daylights out of the oscars, then swam right back into the net, as if to say "OK, now take me back". So we put him back in his little tank!