Strange Cichlid Behavior Question.

Severum Snape

My tank consists of 2 Blood Parrots, a Severum and a Jewel (stellifer), and two Bristlenose. Big Parrot is probably 7 inches. Smaller 5 inches. Severum 4 inches. Jewel 3 but overall a much smaller, thinner body than the others.

The Parrots have been together for about 5 years. The Severum has been in the tank over a year. And the Jewel 7 months or so from fry to adult. They act like a little pack, hovering together waiting for food, and there is very little conflict. The Severum will chase the Jewel, very briefly, from time to time, and the big Parrot is friendly but the alpha fish in the tank. The Bristlnose keep to themselves. I kept this one Jewel from a group of 7 fry as it was on the smaller side of the group but held its own against the bigger babies as they grew. I assumed female but that is a major assumption.

Question: Lately (after I put my Finnex 24/7 into 24/7 mode for the first extended period of time) the smaller Parrot has started to camp under a fake tree stump in the tank. You can easily see in it from all sides but it does provide shelter. The tank sits at 82 degrees. This has not changed.

The Jewel has turned a much darker red than usual (not as dark as I've seen from a mating pair) but less gray and more red than usual. Other than that, the Severum and bigger Parrot seem to be acting normal.

Is this mating behavior from the smaller Parrot? She has been hiding for a week now and only comes out for food. From time to time, the Jewel will swim in there with her (the only fish that can fit with the parrot two at a time under the tree) and the smaller parrot will half attempt to chase the Jewel out but other times will put up with the Jewel being in there with her.?

Important Mention: In the 5 years, this parrot went into breeding mode one time. It was right after I dug a cave under a house in the substrate. That time, she would attack my hand and arm, constantly, if I stuck my hand in the tank. This is NOT the case this time.
 
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tyguy7760

It could just be stress from the different light schedule. Parrots are finicky little things...almost drama queens for lack of a better term. Are you noticing any black spots on it's body? I would give it some time to see. She may just be staking out the area for territory.
 

Severum Snape

Haha Thanks for the input! I was worried about that. I'll go back to the old light cycle and see if that helps.

She does not have the black spots; I thought she should if this was caused by stress or sickness. But, I'm guessing they show different stress in different ways. Over the years, both Parrots have had their share of black spots. It's a great indicator if something bad is going on in the tank that I missed.
 

tyguy7760

I wouldn't go back to the old light schedule. Just give your parrot some more time to get used to it...and it may just be she really likes that cave
 

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