Unidentified Cichlids • blue striped mbuna?

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blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:02 pm

Hi there! New to this site...

We just recently upgraded our tank and got a few new fish.

I originally had just a breeding pair of pink convict cichlids, but recently got 2 yellow labs and need help identifying the exact breed of the 3rd addition to the tank.

The fish is blue with the black vertical stripes/bars, fading color towards the tail, and the white on the top of the dorsal fin. It closely resembles the labs (body wise). I also got it out of the same tank with the yellow labs from the pet store in a tank labeled 'mixed african' cichlids.

From my research online, i assume it is a labidochromis species... maybe freibergi? There are just so many different breeds that look so similar... thought I'd get more experienced opinions.

It also has changed colors semi frequently; from the nice blue and black stripes to vary dark, almost all black, and even going very pale... I'll try to upload some various pics (not quite too sure how, hopefully I'll figure it out!)

addition: it was also doing the circling mating thing with my 2 yellow labs.

Thanks!!
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby cichlid-gal » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:21 pm

pictures help with identification...thanks :)
125g Limbochromis robertsi, P. mulitcolor victoriae, P. pulcher
125g Metriaclima sp. zebra gold (Lions Cove) WC, P. polit
75g Xystichromis sp. Kyoga Flameback
and smaller tanks with livebearers, Bettas, tetras, other
C.A.R.E.S
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:48 pm

Okay, sorry for the delay! Here are the pics I was able to capture...

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:57 pm

xlilracinangelx wrote: I also got it out of the same tank with the yellow labs from the pet store in a tank labeled 'mixed african' cichlids.


Sorry again! i was mistaken, i forgot that this fish was in a different tank, for $8.49.. NOT with the yellow labs, which were $3.99.
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:12 pm

Pseudotropheus elongatus possibly mpanga
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:28 pm

It also has one gold speck in it's anal fin... any thoughts on the sex?

Image
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby mbuna17 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:23 pm

The golden speckle on the anal fin is just an egg spot. No way of telling the sex for sure only way to be positive on the sex is by venting it. Your fish looks more like a elongatus chewere just my opinion though.
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby Fogelhund » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:49 pm

The last picture does make it look more like a chewere, but the other didn't...
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:15 am

Thanks guys for your replies :)

I looked in the species profiles, they're so similar.. I can't tell, but I definitely agree that is must be a Pseudotropheus elongatus species rather than the labidochromis. it really looks like the female pictures of the chewere in the species profiles.

So considering I don't know the sex of this fish, nor for certain the sex of my 2 yellow labs... does anyone know why my 'elongatus' is circling around and doing the mating thing (courting?) with the yellow labs? Or is it possible that they would crossbreed, or possible for 2 males to fertilize the same set of eggs?

Sorry, a little new to the cichlids (if you couldn't tell! :D)
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby nmcichlid-aholic » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:24 am

It is definitely possible for them to cross-breed - almost all mouth brooding African cichlids will attempt to breed with species other than their own, especially if the male to female ratios for that species are not sufficient. Most mbuna (the group of rock-dwelling cichlids from lake Malawi, which your labs and elongatus are part of) are harem breeders. This means that each male prefers to have at least 3 or 4 females to breed with, and in some species more like 6-8 females per male.

Unlike your convicts, which are pairing fish, if your goal is to breed the labs and elongatus you should try to have1 male and 4 females of each species. This should help reduce the possibility of hybridizations between the 2 species. If you don't care about breeding and raising the offspring, just let the females release the fry in the tank and the other fish will take care of them (I mean eat them, not raise them!).
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:57 am

nmcichlid-aholic wrote:It is definitely possible for them to cross-breed - almost all mouth brooding African cichlids will attempt to breed with species other than their own, especially if the male to female ratios for that species are not sufficient. Most mbuna (the group of rock-dwelling cichlids from lake Malawi, which your labs and elongatus are part of) are harem breeders. This means that each male prefers to have at least 3 or 4 females to breed with, and in some species more like 6-8 females per male.

Unlike your convicts, which are pairing fish, if your goal is to breed the labs and elongatus you should try to have1 male and 4 females of each species. This should help reduce the possibility of hybridizations between the 2 species. If you don't care about breeding and raising the offspring, just let the females release the fry in the tank and the other fish will take care of them (I mean eat them, not raise them!).


Thanks, very descriptive post. I'm starting to familiarize myself more with the lake malawi species a little more, as they've become very interesting! I'll post a few pics, but I think I might have gotten lucky and got a male and female of the yellow labs, and based on the other replies, I'm thinking/hoping that the elongatus is a female.. PLUS a little female kenyi that I just got today, so a 3F:1M ratio?

Oh, one other question... i read somewhere that if they had a vertical bar through their eyes, they were males? Just curious on the accuracy on that?

Here are the other pics:
Yellow Labs
Image

Male?
Image

Female Kenyi
Image
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby nmcichlid-aholic » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:58 am

Vertical bar through eye=male is FALSE. Not all species have that marking, and those that do are just as likely to show it in males as in females.

You may be right about having 1 male and 1 female lab, or you could have 2 females, or 2 males (one might be subdominant or just poorly bred). This species is monomorphic - both genders have the same coloration. Sometimes the males will have darker markings on ventral and anal fins, but the only way to know for sure is to inspect their vent. The kenyi may be female, but young kenyi males have the same coloration as females do. As male kenyi mature, they will turn yellow, but yours is too young still to tell. And, by the way, a single kenyi of either gender is likely to become a terror as it become sexually mature - this is a VERY aggressive species. Kenyi is one of those species best kept in 1m/7F ratios to spread aggression.

The 1 male to 3 or 4 female ratio is ideal on a per species basis. Having 1 male lab and 4 potential females of various other species is very likely to lead to cross-breeding - just so I'm clear.
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:08 am

okay, thank you. i have read that crossbreeding is not desirable... but I'm not sure I'll make sure all the babies live (plus my convicts breed like crazy!) so I'll probably just let nature run it's course... but I think it would be cool to get or keep some cool looking crossbreeds. So i'll just see what happens :)
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby 24Tropheus » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:54 pm

There is nothing natural about putting a group of cichlids together in a glass box and seeing what breeds and survives.

All the best James
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Re: blue striped mbuna?

Postby xlilracinangelx » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:56 pm

Sorry but isn't that exactly what happens in nature? I mean you don't have people out in Lake Malawi making sure different species don't crossbreed, or making sure all and any fry survive... Plus, some people breed their fish JUST to feed their other fish the fry, so I don't really think it's a big deal if some of the babies don't survive. Like I said, I don't really care if I get a hybrid, or what others think about them (and I'm sure I'm not alone, I've seen videos of people who LOVE their awesome looking crossbreeds) ;) thaannkkss.
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