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Melanochromis Auratus - sulking


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A few months ago, I purchased 2 Auratus juveniles for my mixed 60 gallon African cichlid tank.  I thought they were 2 females.  But as it turn out I have 1 male and 1 female.  I pretty much knew when the male started changing colors I was going to need to re home 1 or both of them.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to move both of them to an empty 29 gallon that I had purchased for other reasons.  I named them Bonnie and Clyde...they were causing that much trouble in the other tank.

The 29 gallon tank has blasting sand for substrate and some vallisneria.  When I put them in there, I added a cichlid stone and some small paver stone for them.  Clyde immediately started redecorating (surprisingly not the val).  He removed all the sand from under the sponge filter and under the cichlid rock, bringing both items down to the glass bottom.  I'm working from home and this tank is in my office.  It has been very entertaining to watch these two work.  While Bonnie moves some sand, Clyde is definitely the hard worker.  He even politely chases her away when she tries to help out.

After being in there for 2 weeks, it was time for a water change.  So I did a gravel vac and I wanted to clean the sponge filter as he had put a good amount of sand on top of it.  This resulted in me pretty much putting the tank back in order.  you know.. my order 😄

Here's my question and I can't find any topics on this...Clyde was sulking in the corner of the tank for hours.  So much so that I was concerned about him.  He has since gotten back to work and is putting things back in order...his order  🙄.  In the future...how do I clean this tank?  I don't want to stress him out more than is necessary, but I can't clean the tank without messing up his home. 

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I have no idea what to tell you other, but because of your post I'm now contemplating another tank.  This species sounds like fun under the right circumstances.  

I would think that changing things around and forcing him to start again would be enriching in a way.  He's certainly not going to get bored!  But I'll defer to the African cichlids experts on the board. 

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