pairing my maroons, how am I doing so far?


Premium Member
Ok, I have a 3 1/2" (approx) assumed female, dark maroon in color.
Today about 7 pm, I added a 1 1/2" juvenile, much lighter in color almost orange like a percula.
I floated him then acclimated him over about an 1 hour period,all the while the female never paid any attention to him.
I then put him in a clear floating breeder and let him float directly over her and she never gave him a 2nd look.
I then put the lid on the breeder, turned it upside down so the air could escape, and placed it on the bottom right next to her and the BTA she hosts (the breeder has slits for water flow by the way.)
She swam up to it a couple of time but never charged it.
I was thinking "cool,this is gonna be easy." I was wrong.
I let him out,he made a b-line for the BTA and she made a b-line for him, running him all the way across the 6ft tank.

A few minutes later he came swimming across the top and she swam at him so hard that she ran into the brace glass!
I thought she broke her neck, but she was fine.
During the next 10 minutes of these random attacks,she actually attacked my yellow clown goby who happen to swim between the two, and killed him!

I was sitting there in shock trying to decide how I was going to fish it out and prevent the same thing from happening to my new clown, when the female grabbed the goby and fed it to the BTA, which promptly devoured it.

She charged the male a couple of more times and I started getting worried as I really don't like my BTA enough to feed it 2 expensive dinners it one night.So I picked the rock up that the BTA is attached to and moved it to the other side of the tank.

The female kind of sat there in shock trying to figure out where her house was and the male who was right next to the BTA's new location swam over to her instead of going into the BTA.
This time she wasn't nearly as aggressive,more of or less ignoring him.
After a while she found the BTA and he followed. She would still lunge at him but with no where near the ferocity as before.
He'll start doing the quivering thing and then kind of dodge her and tap her on the cheek.
After a while, I moved the rock back to its original spot and they both followed.
It's now 1am,just the romantic moonlights on,she's in the BTA and he's about 9" away, beside a mushroom.
They're both just sitting there looking at each other.
Every so often he'll ease over to her, she'll let him get about 3'' away then she'll slowly come over,do a little lunge,he'll do the quiver/side step/kiss thing, and she'll go back to the BTA.
And that's where were at right now.
I really don't think he's in any danger at this point as he's got 110 gallons of water to swim in yet he chooses to keep coming back to her.
Plus, she has no inclination to chase after him now except when he crosses that 3-4" threshold.
He's got one little bite out of his tail fin,but other than that is fine.
I'll say this for the little guy,he's persistent.
Anyway, do you guys think were on the right track here?
Any feedback is appreciated!
I'm still in shock that she killed the goby. He was very small,about an inch, and she had ignored him up until today. I was really floored when she grabbed his tail and fed him to the BTA.
I don't guess it will hurt it,that's about as natural of a food source as you can get I guess.
It's funny though;even through the worst of the attacks, she would still tolerate the cleaner shrimp who kept going between both of them trying to clean I guess, and running all over the BTA trying to steal the goby.
I was sitting there thinking "Dude, you picked the wrong day to trespass into that B****'s territory."
But she would just nudge it out of the BTA, and never would attack it.

Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted. I'm going to make one last check then go to bed.
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Premium Member
Ok, I just woke up (I was up to almost 2am with them.)
All the lights are off in the tank.
At 1st I thought he had went carpet surfing because I couldn't find him anywhere. Finally I noticed him in a crevice between some rocks (all my fish do that when the lights go out) and he appears to be fine.
He's actually about 3" closer to her than he was beside the mushroom.
So he hasn't gave up on love yet :) .
We'll see how it goes when the lights come on...


Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9887248#post9887248 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by GSMguy
i assume you have read this thread

Oh yea, I don't so much as buy fish food without reading up on it at RC 1st.
I'm just glad there's people like you on here. Without you guys, I would have probably killed all my fish by now. My LFS never gives me any type of advise.
That goby was my 1st fatality but I really didn't see that one coming.
Update: The lights are still off but theres enough ambient light coming into the room that the little guy is back out by the mushroom.
He appears to be fine and has no new visible damage.
She definitely sees him and is not making any attempts to rush him.
He hasn't went over to her yet, will see how it goes with feeding today.
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Premium Member
Wow, update!!!
I've got 2 yellow tail damsels in my tank and one of them has always been the dominant fish. He can't really hurt the female maroon as she is at least twice his size.
He does bully her a little though,especially at feeding.
She just more or less ignores him or swims back to her nem.
Just now, the damsel went over to the little guy and started to bully him (by doing his little turn around and shake his tail thing)
when the female came out of the BTA and ran him off!!!
She just did it again as I was typing, now he comes out,tries to swim between the two of them (still about 8-9" apart) sees her,and swims away.
When she came out she was right by the male and never showed any aggression toward him at all (albeit,she wasn't out long as the damsel threw up the white flag pretty quickly.)

The little guy seems fine, I just seen him lunge at and eat a pod or something and at feeding I'm going to make sure he gets all he wants.
I'll post an update in a little while.


Reef Monkey
Premium Member
Well, those certainly sound like good signs to me. I've had horrible luck trying to pair maroons, so I'm glad to hear someone's doing better. I think that's really interesting that moving the anemone seemed to make the female less aggressive. I've heard about people moving things around or putting the female and male in a different tank in their attempts to pair them up. I guess if the larger fish doesn't feel like she's queen of her castle, she eases up a bit. Maybe if I ever try again I'll give that a shot. Sorry to hear about the goby.


Premium Member
Ok heres an update,after watching the standstill all day,
I decides to move the rock with the nem again.
This time he did go into it and after a while she found it and half heartily ran him out.
He can now rub up against the underside for a few seconds or peek over into it before she'll do anything.
She mostly ignores him now,and any aggression is brought on by him pushing her just a little too far.
She doesn't instigate anything at this point.
When she does "attack" it's barely anything more than her opening her mouth and pushing her body against him.
He will respond by quivering for 2 or 3 seconds then kissing her a couple of times and it's over.
Rinse and repeat whenever he tries to actually get inside the nem with her.
As we speak shes in the nem and hes hosting some GSPs that are about 4 or 5" away.
I'm about to move the rock a little more so that the BTA and GSPs are as close as possible without touching and see what happens.
I'll give an update in bit.


Premium Member
Ok, I moved the rock closer to the GSPs and everything was fine they were hosting right next to each other.
After a while the nem started moving so I put the rock back.
Well actually I put it back to another spot I liked better.
I nudged the little guy over to it and he started hosting.
The female went back to the old spot where the nem use to be and hung out there about 20 mins until she finally noticed the new location of the nem.
She went over to it and was in about 2 mins before she finally ran him out.
It took a lot longer for him to leave this time as he would just sit there and quiver.
She was more or less pushing him and never appeared to be nipping,so I guess that's why it took him so long to leave.
As of now shes in the nem and hes by the rock directly below her maybe 3" or so away.
He can do whatever he wants short of going into the nem and she wont do a thing.
When he does decide to enter,it takes her forever to get him to leave.
Is there a chance they'll bond and she just wont let him use the nem?
If so do I need to get a BTA for him as well? or will he be fine?


In Memoriam
He will be fine without an anemone. Give it some time. It sounds like things are going quite well!

When ever I do water changes in my tank, my female percula gets upset and kicks the male out of the anemone. They have been together a long time. But she is still the boss!

It sounds like they are on their way to becoming a pair!


Premium Member
Lets hope so redvipe. That's your GSPs he was hosting in by the way. They've really taken off.


Premium Member
Ok, new update. The male and female are both in the nem together! Well sort of, she is the tentacles,and hes at the base. This is progress however, as she never let him stay that close up to this point.
The lights are still off so this might change when they come on, I won't know until I get home from work.
Either way, she will definitely let him co-exist with her as he has been within 3-4" of her for the last 12 hours even when the lights were on.
The little guy has been eating well and other than a few small tears in his fins,seems fine.
I'll keep you updated.


In Memoriam
Great! The fins should heal. They did on my male perc after he got bossed around in the beginning.

Post some pics if you can.


Premium Member
They keep going back and forth. He's been banned from the nem again,but she doesn't chase him.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9897300#post9897300 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Abynum1
They keep going back and forth. He's been banned from the nem again,but she doesn't chase him.

sounds good