SAE behaviour - doing a dance!

Discussion in 'Fish' started by hellohefalump, 30 Jan 2009.

  1. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    Sometimes my two SAEs (definately SAEs, the black stripe goes right down the tail) do a little shimmy dance, while nibbling at each other, and their colours go really dull so you can hardly see the stripe.

    Is this breeding behaviour?

    Usually they're best friends, don't fight, and have a distinguished stripe down the sides. They're very healthy.

    I ask because they're doing it today and I've seen them doing it on occasion before.
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I saw this with my 3 SAEs when I had them. I don't think it was breeding behaviour but some kind of territorial behaviour as all three would take turns it it with each other so it must have been both sexes (unlees they were all male or female) and I couldn't see a pattern. After a bit of bickering they would settle down and the lateral stripe would return.
     
  3. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    I've never kept these, but I would say more aggression/territory marking or whatever. When fish are showing breeding behaviour, their colouration usually gets much brighter, not duller.
     
  4. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    There are a lot of different species of fish commonly confused with the true SAE and even though your fish has a black stripe which goes right through the fork of the tail they can still be false SAE's. They must also have two barbuls on the upper lip of their mouths and the black line that runs through the body must have a wavey edge (where each scale only has one colour) as opposed to a dead straight black line.

    Assuming that they are still true SAE's then I can only say that the one that I have often does a shimmy kind of dance normally in the main flow, but as mine is a lone fish I can't pass a truly valid comment with regard to the nipping behavoiur.

    How long have you had them and how big are they?
     
  5. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    Interesting Chris, my lights have gone out now, but tommorow I'll be checking for barbles and wavy lines! They're both about three inches long (estimation).

    Shame they're not breeding... I was getting excited!
     
  6. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    I am not saying that they are not breeding, in fact I'm trying to avoid any sweeping statements at all. First its worth establishing that they are true SAE.

    Ultimatly your the one on the spot so to speak but if they've lost colour then some kind of Stress would be my first thought. True SAE grow to about 14cm which is 5-6" near as damn it in old money, so if yours are true SAE and are 3" then they are still quite immature fish, thats not to say that young fish won't try to breed though as this is clearly not the case.

    This may help to verify the identification of your fish and has notes in there about territorial behavoir as well as a lot of other usefull info.

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plantedtkssu ... aesags.htm
     
  7. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    They could be immature fish - I have only had them for maybe three months or so. I found them in my local pet shop, which has a few fish that are usually labelled wrong. These were labelled as 'siamese flying fox'.

    They could be stressed if they were fighting? But they're not usually like that, only occasionally. Usually their colours are distinct and they get along fine.

    From your link, it looks to me like I've got the real SAEs, the Crossocheilus. That picture looks exactly like what I have. Like I say though, when my lights come on in the morning, I'll have a look to see if the line is 'wavy' or not.

    I do want to get some more of these fish, I keep popping into the pet shop to see if they have any more, but they don't. The two I bought, were the only one's they had at the time or I would have bought the whole tank full! My tank is 100gals, so big enough to accomodate quite a few.
     
  8. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    Lights are on... they're definately SAEs - they have the wavy line and top lip barbels.
     
  9. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Cool 8)

    Thats a nice sizable tank youve got there, I think I read in that article that the author recomends a maximum stocking density of 1SAE for every 15gal so yes you can keep quite a few more. I think he also recommends 1 or 3 or more fish as when there is only a pair the less dominant fish may get no respite from harassment. I have had this happen with other species in the past to the point where the fish eventually died through stress which is why I always try to keep fish in larger groups or singularly now. There are many notable exeptions of course.

    Are they still the same as they were yesterday?

    Has the colour drained from both the fish or just 1?

    Did you do anything to the tank which could have triggered the behavoir, water change, change of temp/flow etc.?
     
  10. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    They've gone back to their normal selves now.

    Both fish had drained colour.

    Nothing different to the tank at all that could have triggered them.

    I'm trying to get more, but nowhere near me stocks them. I asked at the pet shop but they just get a shipment of 'assorted fish' in, so I think they just got lucky when they originally got the SAEs. I always keep an eye out at my LFS and the pet shop though, and hopefully I'll get lucky again.

    I had a good look at them today, and I think when last night I said they are 3" each I was being optimistic. In fact they're more like 2 and half inches.
     
  11. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    It could be that as the fish are maturing they start to become more territorial, resulting in sqabbles.

    Have you tried tropical fish finder? http://www.tropicalfishfinder.co.uk/default.asp#here

    I have used it with some success recently to locate some Botia striata. I think its always worth phoning up any store which indicates that they have the fish you want before you make the journey just to check they still have them as I'm not sure how often the stock lists are updated.

    Of course your other option is to get them delivered to your door, I haven't done this yet but may in the future so I can't really pass comment except that I'm sure many people have used them successfully.

    http://www.tropicalfish.org.uk/index.htm is one such shop with a very good reputation.
     
  12. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Newhaven, east sussex
    brilliant! Thankyou so much for those links, I will definately take a look.
     

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