Fish Flaring Fins

ystrout

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This isn't so much of a aquarium specific question and could probably go in either the fresh or saltwater section. But this is where I generally post so I thought I'd post it here.

Have any of you noticed your fish flaring their dorsal fins? And why do your fish do it?When I had white cloud mountain minnows, they did it a ton. I think they were trying to mate or just impress each other. My peal danios and bloodfin/neon tetras don't really ever do it.

I've been scuba diving a lot this spring and noticed that a lot of calico bass and California sheephead really enjoy swimming with scuba divers. They will follow you, look at you in the eyes for long periods of time, and just play with you. But what I noticed is that after interacting with the fish for a little bit, they'll occasionally flare their dorsal fins in a way that seems like they're showing off. It made me think back to the white cloud minnows and how they would show off to the females. Although the ocean fish tend to do quick flares unlike the minnows who hold it. Do you think these fish do that to show off? Or is it just a stability kind of thing.

I know it isn't a territorial thing because they choose to swim with you and will follow you the entire dive.
 

aussieJJDude

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They do it for a multitude of things. For both stability in the water - their fins help them stay right way up and all - as well as visual communication. To me, what your describing sounds like they communicating.
 
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