Lake Malawi Species • Venustus sexing

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Venustus sexing

Postby lmhollist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:28 pm

When do venustus cichlids start to color up? I have one that's probably around 3 1/2 to close to 4 inches in length and I keep on vacillating on whether or not it's male or female. I'm posting a couple pics because I really just don't know. There's absolutely no blue in the face as of yet but it does seem to have a small yellow streak on its head (can females have some yellow too?). What do you think?
Thanks!

Image

Image
^it looks kinda grumpy in this one....
Too many tanks and fish to list at this point...
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Postby Wolffishin » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:36 pm

I'd say that's a female.
My male Venustus had blue on his head and face at 2 1/2".
55G Malawi: 1 German Red Peacock, 1 Ngara Flametail Peacock, 1 Yellow Lab, 1 Venustus, 1 Placidochromis Electra, 1 Synodontis
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Postby cichlidpastor » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:36 pm

I've got the same issue. I have 2 that I bought when they were 2". Now they are 3.5". Nice looking, but not a hint of blue anywhere. I was hoping at least one was a male. But yours looks exactly like mine.
125g Malawi Peacock/Hap Tank
75g Malawi Mbuna Tank
40g Breeder Tang Tank, Calvus
30g Long Tang Tank, Brichardi
20g Long Grow Out Tank
10g Fry Tank
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Postby PiePuncher » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:41 pm

The venustus can be a late bloomer and usually is. They usually don't show much color until around 4-5 inches. Some smaller specimens will show color if they are the dominate fish. You will start to see blue in lips and cheeks first when the fish begins to change. I believe my dominate male(8 inch) started showing at around 4-5 inches. With your pic and the size of your fish, it is tough to tell if male or female.. Venting.....
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Postby lmhollist » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:33 am

Isn't venting somewhat unreliable when a female is unmated?

Otherwise ... yes ... it could just be a late bloomer. It's definitely not the dominant fish in the tank at the moment. We ended up having to move it in with our Jack Dempseys (wince) a little while ago but now that my boyfriend and I have another 75 (we're going to move the jds into it) it's going to get new tankmates, possibly with some of our other haps or peacocks. So we'll have to see then, kind of depends on what fish we put it with as to whether or not it would be dominant.

On another note ... what would everyone's suggestions be for a species tank of venustus? We recently acquired a 150 gallon (72 in x 18 in). I kind of thought that maybe one male with 4 females wouldn't overload the tank too much ... but then I'm not really sure ...
I've never seen a full grown venustus in person and while I know they get to be 10+ inches, I don't really know what would be a good ratio (or if it's even a good idea) for the tank.
Too many tanks and fish to list at this point...
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Postby DJRansome » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:50 am

Sounds like you have the right idea:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/n_venustus.php
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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Postby cichlidpastor » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:16 pm

I would like to think either one or both are late bloomer males, but I don't usually experience that kind of luck.

I am wondering about one thing though. One of the mine acts very "male." "He" is constantly chasing the other as if the other one was a female or a sub-dominant male. Or can female venustus do this as well, one establishing herself as alpha female? And would she do that with no male present?
125g Malawi Peacock/Hap Tank
75g Malawi Mbuna Tank
40g Breeder Tang Tank, Calvus
30g Long Tang Tank, Brichardi
20g Long Grow Out Tank
10g Fry Tank
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Postby Super Turtleman » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:27 pm

I've heard of females being equally or even meaner than males at times, so I don't think that's a good tell-tale sign. It's just going to require some patience.

I recently brought home a trio from a fish auction and decided to try them in my 50G male peacock tank. Big mistake. Atleast 1 has to be a female cuz the tank exploded. Now I have them in my 140G hoping to figure out who the female and male are.
Stocklist: F1 Zaire Blue Kapampa Frontosa, Williamsi North Makonde, Kawanga Gold Zebras, Saulosi, White Labs, Elongatus Mbenji Blue, S. multipunctatus, J. marlieri, Tropheus Duboisi & Chimba Red, Tropheops Chilumba (Mphanga)
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Postby lmhollist » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:59 pm

cichlidpastor wrote:I would like to think either one or both are late bloomer males, but I don't usually experience that kind of luck.


Who knows ... either way I guess we will both know eventually. I hope one of yours does turn out to be male! Some of them turn out to be really beautiful with those huge yellow blazes and blue faces!
Too many tanks and fish to list at this point...
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