General African Cichlid Discussion • Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be great.

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Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be great.

Postby Dawg2012 » Thu May 24, 2012 5:59 pm

I've been on the board for a couple of weeks... Have read some interesting threads and learned a lot. Thanks to everyone and mostly to DJRansome for his patience lol.

It seems I always hear about the same species... Demasoni more than anything... Labs, Aceis, Rustys... Saulosi... This is great and not knocking these at all :)

What I'm curious about... What are some of the more off-beat species people have? I looked through the Profiles section and there are many a pretty Malawian Cichlid out there.

Metriaclima, Cynotilapia afra, Tropheops... just to name a few.

Pics would be great!
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby BillD » Fri May 25, 2012 8:19 am

Check the photo thread, particularly those by Mojo.
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby fmueller » Tue May 29, 2012 10:00 am

Unless the world has changed more than I thought possible, Mojo keeps mostly Central American cichlids, which wouldn't make good tank mates for the mild tempered mbuna varieties the OP seems interested in :lol:

I am keeping mostly Tanganyikans, but a Malawi species I have really enjoyed is Metriaclima lanisticola.

Image

Image

They are amongst the least aggressive mbuna I have kept - similar to rusties and yellow labs. The fish are sometimes referred to as 'Malawi Shell Dwellers', but the adults of my colony showed no interest whatsoever in shells, pipes or caves. Only about 1/3 of the fry were shell dwelling at a young age. Curiously, the other 2/3 of the fry preferred to hide in floating plants at the top of the tank! I kept them in a 75G with a colony of yellow labs. I am sure they would do fine in a much smaller tank, but I am thinking my colony was fairly old and the dominant male was a big fish as far as mbuna go.

Last but not least, I believe M. lanisticola is the only mbuna species for which it has been proven that they can do a complete sex change! No kidding, Dr. Jay Stauffer was able to show this in a peer-reviewed, scientific paper! In a nutshell, his research group took proven females, that is fish that had laid eggs and carried them in their mouth, and put them in a separate tank. Eventually breeding was observed and fry were obtained from a tank containing only such proven females. This shows that at least one fully functional female had turned into a fully functional male. If you are interested in the paper itself, it is available here. The paper refers to the fish as M. livingstoni, which is an old name for M. lanisticola.
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby littleolme » Tue May 29, 2012 12:34 pm

There was someone selling metriaclima lanisticola in southern Ontario a few months back and I almost bought some. Interesting to note that yours didn't bother with the shells as they are the only Malawi listed as a shelldweller which is why I researched them in the first place. Maybe I'll keep my eyes open and see if they pop up again.

Just out of curiosity, what aspects of this fish did you find the most interesting?
Phil and Tammy
75g - Acei, Saulosi, Rusties, Calvus
20g - N. Brevis
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby fmueller » Tue May 29, 2012 4:22 pm

littleolme wrote:Just out of curiosity, what aspects of this fish did you find the most interesting?


Well, I knew the Stauffer article, so that intrigued me. I was also interested in the shell-dwelling behavior, since I have kept numerous shell-dwellers from Lake Tanganyika, but even though that didn't come off, I was surprised M. lanisticola are not more popular in the hobby. For starters, my dominant male was stunningly colorful. The females are not in the same league, but still pretty good looking fish. In addition they are amongst the mildest mannered mbuna I have kept. People always recommend rusties and yellow labs for that reason. M. lanisticola are a great alternative - or make great tank mates for those fish. I think in a species tank you could keep and breed them in something as small as a 3' tank.

As a side note, I have sold my colony to a breeder in Pittsburgh, and he is cranking fry out of them like no tomorrow. The male is stunning and it really is a nice strain - he is using my photos to advertize them (with my permission). I have since seen them sold at numerous auctions across NE Ohio. There are often Canadians at these events, so it would almost be surprising if the fish you saw in Ontario did not come from this stock. :)
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby littleolme » Tue May 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Awesome, that's good to know. I had heard that they weren't overly colourful but in your pictures the male is quite pretty. Oddly enough, we find our rusties to be not so mild mannered ... but we really like them.
Phil and Tammy
75g - Acei, Saulosi, Rusties, Calvus
20g - N. Brevis
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby Dawg2012 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:40 pm

Mmm yes nice looking fish and they sound very interesting. Exactly what I was curious about. Thanks!

As for Rusty's - my experience with them is they are... prolific. I have a pair that are fairly mellow - expect when spawning. The female is barely 1.5" and has had four broods already - two of which I've kept. The fry grow sooo slow.

Anyway, thanks for the pics and info :thumb:
125 Borleyi, Electra and Dolphins
125 Afra, Red-Top Hongi, White/Yellow labs
75 Multies, Cyps and Caudo's (maybe)
75 White Calvus, in work (want another Afra tank :) )
55's Paracyps, Alto's, Peacock, BN Pleco's
Various others...
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Re: Let's hear about some unusual Cichlids! Pics would be gr

Postby gmaschke » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:58 pm

Sorry no pics at the moment, but am currently breeding Labidochromis Gigas. From what I can tell they are somewhat hard to find as it took a couple years for me to find my current stock. I could be wrong maybe they just were hard to find for me. Anyway, they are not as aggressive as demasoni but much more so than Yellow labs. I am currently breeding a pair in a 40 breeder. I know a pair is not the best option but from the two different groups I was lucky enough to find, I only got one female that survived. So far she has been able to survive and not get overly harassed in fact I have a batch of eggs in the tumbler now that are just starting to hatch.
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