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A Surprise While Laying [Eggs] In the [Moon] Rocks.

Well, it's been a rough few weeks since my last posting... 

Sherbet started bullying Zipper again, forcing me to remove Zipper for awhile. I then grew tired of seeing Zipper in that makeshift tank--made of a transparent storage container--and of the Iridescent Sharks as well, since all they did was swim in the corner with their noses against the glass. I wantedcto reintroduce Zipper, but I didn't want her to be nervous and always hiding, nor Sherbet to keep bullying Zipper.

It's then I realized what needed doing: Having to "break" them both!

Break Sherbet of caring Zipper was in the tank--break Zipper's spirit and fight, as I've found. And get both comfortable with one-another sharing the same tank! But how?

Fortunately, I had just gotten a breeding containment basket, in case I needed to keep something small safe from predators, while using only one tank.

Well, it couldn't have worked better... Hanging it in the corner, a placed Zipper inside, and Sherbet was at it in a heartbeat, getting at Zipper while Zipper kept poking at the walls, trying to get out. This kept-up for a few days, with Sherbet giving-up after two--just noting Zipper's presence--then Zipper finally sitting peacefully in the basket after three. 

I finally decided to free Zipper when I noticed Sherbet excavating the tank's substrate, which I've noted cichlids do only when mating is intended. Once Zipper was free, it was after Sherbet--waving tail in Sherbet's face, never giving a minute alone! And before I knew it, they were working together on clearing substrate... Which makes how they decided to spawn inside of Sherbet's Moonstone Palace (see videos in previous post) more intriguing.

Oh! BTW... If you're wondering why I only referred to this pairing by their respective names throughout this post, it's because with my latest check on them, I got a surprise: I had them sexed wrong--Zipper's a male, and big ol' Sherbet's female!


Sometimes they just have to get used to each other. I found that if I dropped new ones in the tank sometimes I could see them observing how the others behaved, and then would change their own behavior like a lightswitch. Smart little fish.