My girlfriend and I have a 215l tank which we purchased some time ago which now houses 3x Orandas (A Redcap, A Blue and a Red) and they have been happily living together in the tank for almost a month now with no problems.
I have no idea of their age but they were purchased from a LFS and are approximately 1" - 1.5" in length now so still very small for Orandas, so I would assume they're relatively young.
My girlfriend was in a frenzied panic this morning as she noticed the Redcap Oranda darting around the tank, chasing the Blue Oranda relentlessly and in her words "sticking his nose up it's bum". I took a look myself and sure enough this is eactly what's happening and this is very out of character as they have been very docile up until now and not aggressive to each other at all. She was quite upset by this as the Blue looks exhausted and to make matters worse the Red Oranda has also joined in with the chasing as well, although not to the same extent as the Redcap.
My instincts tell me they are breeding, as no fin-nipping is taking place, just nudging & chasing (albeit rather fast & aggressive) and I've told my gf not to worry and that's it's just nature taking it's course - the Blue's belly also looks rather podgy so the clues are definately pointing to breeding I think.
Does it sound like breeding to you guys? I didn't actually think they would be mature enough yet but perhaps I'm wrong. And if they ARE breeding, is it going to be a problem long-term keeping what appears to be 2x males with 1x female? Will their relentless attempts to mate exhaust her and possibly kill her? And what about competition for the female between 2x males?
The tank has around 4 plants and I'm running an Eheim Classic 2217 filter.
The plants are all soft and there are no sharp edges anywhere in the tank so no risk of injuries I don't think.
I think there is a chance we could swap one of the males, not ideal as we've grown quite attached to all 3 of them but if we have to swap one of them then we will to make the Blue's life more pleasant - I guess it's the luck of the draw when you buy young fish, no way of telling their gender.
I've bred Telescope Moors before, a long time ago when I was a young teenager but my knowledge is now pretty shady - do goldfish that are kept indoors go through breeding seasons or will this behaviour by the males be pretty much constant? I'm trying to work out if the Blue will get any respite from the males at all.
I have no heater in the tank, would regulating the temp make any difference?
Judging by the behaviour of my own males I'd say it's nigh on impossible to get them out of the idea of love once they're in the mood. I have four males in one tank; they are all male, beyond a shadow of a doubt, but this cuts no ice with them and quite frankly it's like Brokeback Fishtank in there sometimes If one of them were female it would be exhausting for her. My boys do seem to know it's spring, even though they are in a tank - something to do with longer daylight hours perhaps? They face the window. Having said that, they get frisky at any time of year
You can have a good guess at the gender of young fish if you know what to look for - have a look at their vents, males tend to have 'innies' and females have 'outies'. You might need to spend some time comparing a few in a shop to get an eye for it (and it's not 100% reliable, I'm still waivering between male/female on my Dave after nearly two years!).
Get another tank and have boys and girls, you know MTS is just around the corner