Sex changing within a bonded pair?

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EasterEggs
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Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Monday, December 12, 2011 8:33 PM
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I bought a bonded pair of 2 year old Darwins.  They are from the same batch of eggs and have been together all their lives.  The breeder said this pair appeared to be very close to laying their first clutch.  I had them in a small quarantine tank for 3 weeks before I moved them into the broodstock system.  They did well in the QT.  When I moved them into the broodstock system they started fighting.  It was just squabbling at first.  Now they are playing keep away with the female not allowing the male to go into the tile lean to.  They bite each other, and grab on and hold occasionally.  Both fish are now missing a few slivers out of their fins.  They have been doing this for 3 weeks now.  The male also appears to be getting a bit bigger.  Could it be possible that the male turned into a female for some reason?

rgrking
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Monday, December 12, 2011 8:53 PM
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I would imagine it's possible. Where they by themselves before you bought them? If not they may have stayed non sexed.
RLTW

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KathyL
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Monday, December 12, 2011 9:18 PM
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They might just be incompatible.  I've had that happen with Darwins several times.. Try a much smaller male.
 
Some females are just too ornery to be mated.  I had one like that.  She terrorized every juvenile I put with her.  I sold her off to a tank where she would be the only clownfish.
 
 On the other literal hand, I received a Darwin female that was so aggressive she drew blood from her former owner, who kindly gave her to me. She draws blood from me as well, but i keep my hands out of her tank, paired her up with a tiny male, and they spawn regularly for me, large nests….
 

fin farm
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 8:29 AM
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Hi Mindy,
 
Interesting,  I have not personally had the male of a pair switch genders with the female still present.  This is what I know about this pair.  They were well bonded and structured. No fighting to speak of. The male did what he was told to do and all was well. They continually showed all the breeding behaviours. The female was looking gravid and I expected them to lay their first nest any day.   Interesting that you think the male is getting bigger, I don't think he had grown any bigger for the last year. Maybe stress can do funny things.
 
Larry

EasterEggs
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:22 AM
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Thanks for the input everyone!  ORA is really the only juvies or adults available around here.  These Darwins I got from Larry (fin farm) are much nicer than what is available here, so finding a new male would be quite a task.  Larry shipped these Darwins 1200 km for me.
 
Larry, I understood you bred these two and they have been together since the egg, that is correct?  This is pair #1 I'm talking about.  I do think it is probably stress related from the move, this pair took much longer to settle in and start eating than pair #2.  The female looked gravid near the end of the quarantine period.  When I first moved the pair to the broodstock system they were getting along and were showing some breeding behaviors, but then slowly started fighting more and more.  The male is not much smaller than the female now.  I wonder if I should switch the males?  Pair #2 gets along well though, so it worries me to bother them.  However, switching males could very well trigger female #1 to spawn.
 
I will see if I can get a video uploaded of their behavior.  I was thinking they would sort it out and settle down, but now three weeks later I'm getting close to separating them.  All I ever see them do is circling and fighting.

fin farm
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 6:25 PM
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I'm not sure what your next move should be, but I don't think that I would swap males with the other pair. You could end up with trouble on both pairs. I can't say for sure that they have been together since egg, but they have been together by themselves for the last 1 1/2 years

Arc Katana
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 6:39 PM
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I'm guessing the 10 minute time outs aren't helping?
 
Try the dottyback approach if you need to - i.e. separate the two with mesh screen so they can see each other but can't get to each other.  Give em a test every couple of days to see if she's mellowed.

EasterEggs
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Friday, December 16, 2011 9:33 PM
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They aren't doing much damage to each other, but I see the occasional split fin.  They heal up quickly though, so the fighting is too too bad.  I added some more PVC pipes to their tank, but they both still think the tile lean to is the place to be.  I keep forgetting to video them.  I am worried that if I split them up there will never be a chance for them to pair up again.  So I think I'm going to leave them together unless they start doing more damage then I will do the Dottyback thing.  Maybe they need to fight in order to make up?  Hehe, I hope so!
 
Quote Originally Posted by fin farm
I'm not sure what your next move should be, but I don't think that I would swap males with the other pair. You could end up with trouble on both pairs. I can't say for sure that they have been together since egg, but they have been together by themselves for the last 1 1/2 years

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too regarding the male swapping.

Fishtal
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Friday, December 16, 2011 9:47 PM
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My first occy pair got into a huge fight early on. The male was just shredded, I thought he was a gonner. I removed the female for a couple of weeks so the male could heal up. After he was back to normal I returned the female and they were my first clown pair to spawn. Been happy ever since.
 
The reason I removed the female was to give the male a little home court advantage and to throw the female off balance a bit.
http://www.fishtalpropagations.com/#!home/mainPage
"Making captive breeding easier."

EasterEggs
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:21 PM
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Thank for sharing Tal.  I might do this.  Although I'm thinking things might have settled down a bit now.  The female still doesn't want the male in the tile lean to and the male seems to dart from one end of it around the outside to the other end like he's teasing the female.  Neither one of them have any rips in their fins right now though, so I don't think they are life threatening to each other at least.

Fishtal
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:49 PM
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Here is the thread about that incident... http://www.masm.org/mforums/tm.aspx?m=22782&high=help Pretty scary at the time.
http://www.fishtalpropagations.com/#!home/mainPage
"Making captive breeding easier."

EasterEggs
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Re:Sex changing within a bonded pair? - Sunday, December 18, 2011 8:51 AM
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Thanks for the link Tal, glad your clown made it!  Mine were not beat up nearly that bad, and right now they aren't beat up at all.  Maybe it was just some marital stress.