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Seriously Agressive Male Bumblebee Goby Is Possibly A Daddy

Author Topic: Seriously agressive male Bumblebee Goby is possibly a daddy  (Read 1669 times)

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Offline Fiona

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Seriously agressive male Bumblebee Goby is possibly a daddy
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:37:40 PM »
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We had (note verb tense) 6 bumblebee gobies in my son's tank, we've had them almost I year I guess and they'd all picked their perching spots in the tank and apart from the old tussle and the odd nipped fin or two they got along absolutely fine, until last week.

I don't see my son's fish that much but he mentioned early last week that some of the bumbles were getting picky about their food. It's happened before so we did what we've done in the past and skipped a feed, usually this sorts the problem out. This time it didn't so he asked me to come and watch feeding time and what I noticed was that some of them had very depleted dorsal finage. He lacks attention to detail but the nurse in my never dies.

They really are a quarrelsome fish so this isnt actually that unusual but I noticed one or two had clamped tails, which is unusual. The puffers and the ottos looked absolutely fine but we decided to treat the tank with esha 2000 just in case.

They didn't get better at all and started to get very grey round their muzzles all except for one which has (note verb) very deep rich orange stripes, the others were more yellow. The orange bumble had no damage at all to it's fins.

Dan went on a civil war re-enactment thing this weekend and left me looking after his tank. {5 tanks to clean on my own YAY!!!) One of the bumbles died shortly after I did a water change.  I spent more time than usual watching his fish to try and see what the heck was going on and what I saw was the orange bumble REALLY SERIOUSLY attacking another bumblebee and I noticed this behavior all over the weekend. I resorted to putting the 2 most damaged in 2 fry cages within the tank and 2 in the quarantine tank in the hope they'd recover but unfortunately they all died. They were struggling to swim at this point which was quite horrible to watch and was why I decided to move them, although I think it may have hastened their end.

This orange bumble was shooting out it's cave and attacking any other bumblee which had the misfortune to get too close. Then it zipped back into one of the caves and its been hiding there ever since, coming out at feeding time only and then zooming back.

My son was absolutely gutted when he came home and I had to tell him his fish had gone, then he did some googling and what we think has happened and I'm happy to stand corrected is that the orange bumble is a male and he's successfully mated with a female and he's now guarding eggs in the cave.

If it is the case, we're both VERY suprised as we were led to believe they wouldn't breed in hard water so we never made any plans for them to breed. If it is the case and the fry hatch chances are the puffers will get them OR should we try moving daddy bumble and his house?

edited to add: he's picked the only cave in the aquarium that faces the back of the tank so we can't see whats going on in there, we only know he's in there when he nips out for a feed.

Offline Sue

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Re: Seriously agressive male Bumblebee Goby is possibly a daddy
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 09:50:19 AM »
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I've just checked with Seriously Fish for Brachygobius doriae as I knew next to nothing about them. It does say there are a few different species of bumblebee goby so your son's fish might not be B doriae.

According to SF, your son's fish would appear to be behaving like a breeding male - colour change, guarding a cave etc.

Quote
When in spawning condition males take on an overall reddish tinge with the dark bars on the body becoming paler, while the first yellow bar in females becomes brighter.

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An individual male will select a site and display to female in the vicinity until he finds a receptive partner. Around 100-200 eggs are deposited in the cave after which the female departs, leaving the male to guard and tend the clutch.

It also says they prefer quite hard water, from 143 to 357ppm, so your hard water should not have been a problem for breeding. Some sources even say that these fish are brackish water fish, though others say they can be acclimatised to freshwater.




I don't know what to suggest. Are the puffers and otos all OK? No signs of sickness or being picked on by the goby? If it's just the gobies that suffered, that does suggest the male wanted them all out of the way. After a year, it shouldn't have been lack of salt in the tank; they would surely have succumbed to that before now if it had been a problem.

But one thing most sites are clear on - if you want the fry to survive, they must not be in the same tank as other fish. They suggest moving the cave, complete with father, to another tank filled with the same water (bumble bee gobies don't like water parameter changes). SF gives incubation time as 7 to 9 days so you'll need to do something soon if you want to save the fry - which might be an option for restocking the tank with gobies.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Seriously agressive male Bumblebee Goby is possibly a daddy
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 01:04:23 AM »
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It was just the bumbles Sue, the puffers and ottos are fine and the male is back to his normal self again, although he's looking a tad lonely

I had a serious think about this and the only place I could put his cave is in with my baby celebes and I'm not putting him in there with them or I could take all the endlers to my MA but it's probably too late by now I'm guessing.

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