|Temperament: ||Territorial; Females are generally inoffensive but will occassionally quarrel amongst themselves. Males can be brusque and will defend an area, usually under bridges of decor or small caves, but are unlikely to attack fish who will avoid the area and not compete with them. Mature males can be aggressive towards females. Unusually pairs are monogamous in a way unknown to most cichlids. Adult pairs that have already bred can actually suffer depression if seperated and attempts to pair them off with new specimens often fail, with any affected adult never choosing another mate. Males may go as far as to persecute new unwanted females. Males tend to survive better unpaired but unpaired females often wane and die, their longevity almost halved.|
The best way to procure these fish, is to avoid mature adults, especially wild specimens. Spectacular though they may be, they will often have been seperated from their regular mate. So choose juvenile specimens who in an aquarium will pair off more successfully with first time partners. If you can find a paired off couple in your LFS, snap them up! Unless very young, never assume this species will pair off successfully, no matter how many specimens of different sexes you may buy.
Again, unpaired specimens may fail to do well, so always buy partner fish for this species. Unpaired specimens may be persecuted by pairs and mature specimens, and usually they wane even if not attacked. Obviously should one half of a pair become ill, make every effort to save it for the sake of its partner. Widowed males are often better kept seperate from their own species if early attempts to replace the mate fail. Better that than the continued serial killing and ostracization of females that may occur with repeated efforts to find it a mate. Basically find established pairs or juveniles, or odds of successful long term keeping will not be good.