General African Cichlid Discussion • First Rift Africans ...

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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:04 pm

DJRansome wrote:Dithers are good if your fish are hiding. That's not your issue, right?

Yes, that's correct ... they aren't ... although they flee from aggressive behavior on the part of the dominant fish.

But none of them have actually retreated to a spot or spots and stay there ... they'll all still cruise around the tank to some extent ... and more so now, as opposed to when there was less structure.

It's looks like I had the terminology wrong - should have been: (danios as) target fish ?

DJRansome wrote:Your juli's are not hiding...they are forming a pair which is what they should do.

That's appears to me to be the case ... although there is an additional development.

Three of the five are roughly the same size, with one of these tending to be the dominant one, who has tried to rule the tank.

Next is a somewhat smaller one - maybe roughly half the size of the first three above - which was the one I picked up today. He's still holding fins erect in interactions - which seems to cause aggressive behavior on the part of the dominant fish.

Finally, there is one about half the size of the one immediately above. This one has learned better than to display erect finnage.

And when I say "half the size" above I mean body mass not length. Just guessing, I'd say they might be from three successive spawnings.

The additional development is that the one who was accepted into the dominant one's area/side of the tank seems also to be spending time with the other larger one.

But the majority of the shimmying and shaking is with the dominant fish.

DJRansome wrote:You would not mix peacock species because they crossbreed, but more importantly once mixed, you will not be able to sell or rehome the original fish or any survivor fry because the females of different species are basically indistinguishable. Not a lot of demand for "unknown peacock female".

Got it, makes sense.

DJRansome wrote:You had peacocks listed twice...one A. stuartgranti and one A stuartgranti Ngara. I thought you had 2 groups.

Yeah, sorry ... I didn't make it clear - there is only one group of peacocks: 5x of A stuartgranti Ngara
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:35 am

The five Aulonocara stuartgranti Ngara referred to above:

Image

I make them to be around 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" ... they are a little larger than what I expected them to be (1 1/4") ... but I'm not really complaining either.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:35 am

In the last 36 or so hours, the behavior of the Julie who was being courted by the most dominant Julie in the tank changed and it joined in with its prospective partner and started exhibiting aggression towards all the rest of the fish in the tank. A relentless "two against the world".

So last night, after removing the Ctenopoma acutirostre from the 55G to a newly setup 10G, I moved the three "outcast" Julies and the zebra danios to the 55G ...

The Ctenopoma is pretty slow and laid back and was being out-competed as far as food goes in the 55G ... since the P. acei and M. auratus all appear to pretty much resemble a pack of starving wolves in the presence of any food.

Additionally, over the last month or two, the Ctenopoma has become very tentative about taking food into it's mouth, and looking like it's having trouble swallowing. I've generally fed them (I originally had two, one since rehomed to the LFS) freeze-dried Tubifex ... which was happily accepted.

When I made up the last batch of my homebrew food, I over-dried it in the oven ... and it became about as hard as concrete. That hasn't been a problem - since was intended to feed smaller fish, who could couldn't fit the whole pieces into their mouths and actually had a bit of an upside in that it took quite a while to soften up in the tank ... allowing them to pick at it longer.

Could be that at some point, the Ctenopoma ingested a chunk of this latest batch and was injured by doing so. As of a week/ten days ago, I've started to put the food into water for 15 minutes or so to soften it up before putting it into to the tank.

The Julies I placed in the 55G seem to be holding their own against the Malawians ... in fact, the only trouble I've seen has been between the largest Julidochromis (larger) and the smallest M. auratus (smaller) ... all at the instigation of the auratus ...

Dunno what's up with that ... other than mebbe some kind of "small man syndrome" thing ... :lol:

Everyone else just pretty much ignores them.

The Julie pair in the 10G seem pretty happy at having the place to themselves ... they cruised around the tank together scoping it out, after I finished putting it back together when I was done moving the other fish to the 55G.

I have a flat piece of sandstone I will add to the tank today ... just in case these two have any immediate plans.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:46 am

Got the 4th coat of paint put on the two 20L's and three 10G's day before yesterday, after checking for light bleed through on the 3rd coat with a flashlight. Hope that does it.

Also got the acrylic lids for the 10G's cut to size and got slots cut into one of them for the filter air line and heater wire using a Roto-Zip and a rotary burr. These are 1/8" thick acrylic and I think they are going to work fine. They are capable of supporting a small (6 or 7 lb) cat without bowing too badly. Just to be safe I'm going to solvent weld a 1" tall brace of the same material stood on edge running front to back. Have to clean up the edges on them today and might try my hand at flame polishing them.

After that it's on to cutting wood for the racks/stands.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:45 pm

Not a whole lot to report on the Julie 10G ... things are fairly calm for the most part.

The less dominant fish seems to spend of its (her ?) time kind of staying out of the way the more dominant fish (him ?) in various locations ... usually in a (lower) corner of the tank or on top/behind/next to the sponge filter. She usually does come out to eat when I feed them. But she isn't staying in one place, like she might be guarding eggs.

The more dominant fish spends his time either patrolling the tank, eating algae off the plants/rocks/heater/sponge filter, or charging at the less dominant fish. These really don't seem to be "attacks" per se ... as the more dominant fish doesn't seem to be biting and the less dominant fish usually doesn't move far (couple of inches at most) and usually returns immediately and proceeds to shake and shimmy, along with exhibiting short darting motions.

There's a pretty good amount of brown (diatomaceous ?) algae starting to grow on the plants, heater, etc. I assume that would be good for any fry that might eventually show up.

I got the gravel thoroughly vacuumed in the 55G tank and took a couple of pieces of the new lava rock I picked up and busted it up with a masonry chisel and hand sledge into smaller pieces. Have added about half of that so far, will finish scrubbing and rinsing the rest of it off and add it to the tank later today. Like how it's shaping up and the fish seem to be enjoying the additional nooks and crannies as well.

Will take some pics later tonight after it gets dark out and post them.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby Aaron S » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:08 pm

The "charging" behavior is pretty common for mbuna and not a concern. When fish spend a long time behind filters or otherwise oriented vertically that can often lead to disease and death from the induced stress from aggression and you might want to try to fix it.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:08 pm

Aaron,

Thanks for the input.

Aaron S wrote:The "charging" behavior is pretty common for mbuna and not a concern.

I probably didn't make it clear in my post: These aren't mbuna ... they are Tanganyikans - Julidochromis transcriptus (theoretically)

Aaron S wrote:When fish spend a long time behind filters or otherwise oriented vertically that can often lead to disease and death from the induced stress from aggression and you might want to try to fix it.

Fair enough ... although the amount of time it's spending vertically isn't anywhere near the majority of the time. I should probably take a video of the behaviors and post it so you and others can see exactly what I'm seeing.

Have any ideas on how to fix it ?

I've added a good amount of structure to tank - more plants, additional rocks with caves/tunnels ...
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:13 pm

wryan wrote:I probably didn't make it clear in my post: These aren't mbuna ... they are Tanganyikans - Julidochromis transcriptus (theoretically)

Additional data:

Two fish only currently in the tank, which had appeared to have paired off ... prior to removing the other fish that had been in the tank.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:35 pm

Generally you won't see a happy julidochromis swimming vertically unless your "juli-rock" is vertical or has shear sides. It continues to sound like the extra fish are being rejected and may need to be removed.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:37 pm

Unless your "juli-rock" is vertical, likely any juli that swims vertical is not happy. This is the behavior of a julidochromis that is being rejected by the established pair. Keep an eye on him/her in case you have to rescue. The fix is not more structure...the expectation is to have to remove fish that don't pair off and are driven away.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:25 am

Short (one minute thirty second) video showing an interaction.

The fish on the right is the dominant one ... and apparently the "side roll" when he is in the rocks is an aggressive display.

A longer video (3:30) will follow in the next post showing the charging behavior (occurs @ the 3:00 minute mark ... unfortunately, the interaction after the charge occurs at the back of the tank and is partially obscured by plants)

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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:41 am

DJRansome wrote:Unless your "juli-rock" is vertical, likely any juli that swims vertical is not happy. This is the behavior of a julidochromis that is being rejected by the established pair. Keep an eye on him/her in case you have to rescue. The fix is not more structure...the expectation is to have to remove fish that don't pair off and are driven away.

Yeah ... pretty much all the vertical swimming/hovering/etc is occurring on vertical surfaces/structure ... so I don't read much into that.

I've seen the other Julies in the 55G do the same thing ... it's actually behavior that makes them kinda endearing ... those little torpedo bodies hugging and following the structure like they have some sort of internal magnet sticking them to it.

Nonetheless, I'm trying to keep a close eye on things.

I'm not seeing any evidence of anybody getting beat up ... though I realize that could change in a heartbeat ... quite likely when I'm not looking.
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:46 am

Next video (note behavior at the 3:00 mark)

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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Interesting paper which describes aggressive behavior in Julidochromis marleri (description starts near the end of page three) ... although it is specific to a particular Julidochromis species, it may well encompass the entire genus ... dunno:

Sex-reversed dominance and aggression in the cichlid fish Julidochromis marlieri
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Re: First Rift Africans ...

Postby wryan » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:53 am

55G tank after the clean-up and adding some additional rock work.

Still need to get that floating Amazon Sword out of there tho' ... along with the air line for the sponge filter ... :lol:

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