Lake Malawi Species • Help Wanted Metriclima Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef Keepers

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Help Wanted Metriclima Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef Keepers

Postby eeztropheus » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:56 pm

I have 11 that I got back in October they were about 1-1.5" now they range from 2.5-3".
I want to get the group down to 1 male and 4-5 females but they are very hard to tell apart.
I know at least 2 are female as I have seen them spawn (with my met. elongatus chewere).
One that I'm pretty sure is male due to its dark coloration and attitude is also the smallest of the group.

It seems that the females have grown faster than the males is this normal with these guys? :?
Any one out there with experience raising these guys from juvies that can give me some tips? Can you vent fish that have not yet spawned?
Am I rushing it?

Any useful info would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance.
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Postby eeztropheus » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:35 am

I've never done it before but it looks like I'm just gonna go ahead and vent them all.
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Postby nmcichlid-aholic » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:27 am

I've never vented this particular species before, but I have vented all of my young cichlids to attempt to weed out any females from my all male tank. The only tip I would give is to vent one of the known females that has spawned and a known male first. That way you will have a point of reference to compare the unknowns to. It also helps to have an assistant handy with a digital camera to snap a photo of the known sexes so you aren't trying to compare from memory. My wife wasn't real happy to be photographing fish genitals, but we all make sacrifices for our loved ones, right?

Now, whether or not you can actually make a positive determination on a female that hasn't spawned yet is another thing. I ended up pulling 4 fish that I thought were definitely female, but still wound up with 2 others that eventually held. So, assuming the 4 I removed were actually female, that's a 66% chance of getting it right! Better than a poke in the eye, I guess.

Sorry I'm no help as far as your zebra Chilumba are concerned, but perhaps some input on venting juvies in general will be a little helpful. I think you may have scared people off of this thread by asking for people with experience keeping one of the harder to find mbuna species. Now I'm off to go crush up some NLS with a credit card - I read somewhere that it will remind me of my college years! :lol:
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Postby eeztropheus » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:37 am

Thanks for the reply NM.
I spent last night researching venting then I spent the morning catching and venting the zebra chilumba.
I took the group from 11 to 7. From what I could tell I ended up with 5 females 1 male and 1 that could be either... I gave the other 4 males away.
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Postby nmcichlid-aholic » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:52 am

eeztropheus wrote:Thanks for the reply NM.
I spent last night researching venting then I spent the morning catching and venting the zebra chilumba.
I took the group from 11 to 7. From what I could tell I ended up with 5 females 1 male and 1 that could be either... I gave the other 4 males away.


Sure thing. At least now with the smaller group it should be easier to tell if you've got another male just based on behavior - you'd think that if the one you're unsure about really is a male, then the known male will be more aggressive towards him than the others.

Good luck turning out some fry!
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Re: Help Wanted Metriclima Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef Keeper

Postby Steffano2 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:48 am

eeztropheus wrote:I have 11 that I got back in October they were about 1-1.5" now they range from 2.5-3".
I want to get the group down to 1 male and 4-5 females but they are very hard to tell apart.
I know at least 2 are female as I have seen them spawn (with my met. elongatus chewere).
One that I'm pretty sure is male due to its dark coloration and attitude is also the smallest of the group.

It seems that the females have grown faster than the males is this normal with these guys? :?
Any one out there with experience raising these guys from juvies that can give me some tips? Can you vent fish that have not yet spawned?
Am I rushing it?

Any useful info would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance.


In my opinion you've rushed it w/ that said I see you vented them and moved your extras on so I'm to late. Why were you in such a hurry to thin your stock if I may ask?

I raised this Mbuna years ago. They are very aggressive and even the females were tough and darker then the males and they got pretty large 6-7 inches. They started to breed for me at about 3 to 4 " and I had 1 male with 4 females in a 55 gallon. I started off with 10 , 1.5" fry. There tank mates at the time were some very young M. chipokae. My male Chilumba was a great show fish too, very flashy and loved to show off for the judges this reads as aggressive.

Lot's of rock work so that they can claim caves. Are you planning on keeping them with your elongatus, probably not a great mix as you've already witnessed any boy in the BB pattern will work. I really loved my Chilumba Zebras and was thinking of getting them again, were did you get your stock from if I may ask? Good luck with your breeding program!

Good luck with your breeding project!
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Postby limpert » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:55 am

nmcichlid-aholic wrote:...My wife wasn't real happy to be photographing fish genitals, but we all make sacrifices for our loved ones, right?...


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Help Wanted Metriclima Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef Keeper

Postby eeztropheus » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:47 pm

Steffano2 wrote:
eeztropheus wrote:I have 11 that I got back in October they were about 1-1.5" now they range from 2.5-3".
I want to get the group down to 1 male and 4-5 females but they are very hard to tell apart.
I know at least 2 are female as I have seen them spawn (with my met. elongatus chewere).
One that I'm pretty sure is male due to its dark coloration and attitude is also the smallest of the group.

It seems that the females have grown faster than the males is this normal with these guys? :?
Any one out there with experience raising these guys from juvies that can give me some tips? Can you vent fish that have not yet spawned?
Am I rushing it?

Any useful info would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance.


In my opinion you've rushed it w/ that said I see you vented them and moved your extras on so I'm to late. Why were you in such a hurry to thin your stock if I may ask?

I raised this Mbuna years ago. They are very aggressive and even the females were tough and darker then the males and they got pretty large 6-7 inches. They started to breed for me at about 3 to 4 " and I had 1 male with 4 females in a 55 gallon. I started off with 10 , 1.5" fry. There tank mates at the time were some very young M. chipokae. My male Chilumba was a great show fish too, very flashy and loved to show off for the judges this reads as aggressive.

Lot's of rock work so that they can claim caves. Are you planning on keeping them with your elongatus, probably not a great mix as you've already witnessed any boy in the BB pattern will work. I really loved my Chilumba Zebras and was thinking of getting them again, were did you get your stock from if I may ask? Good luck with your breeding program!

Good luck with your breeding project!


Hi Steffano2

There are 2 reasons why I was in a hurry to thin my stock 1) to make room for more fish (I pulled out 15 fish in total including my elongatus) and 2) I thought that having too many males was hindering them from coloring up. As I want one to be as flashy as what you have experienced. In any case I'm down to 7 now...

I got my stock from a fellow hobbyist and he got his breeders at Mainly Cichlids. Unfortunately Mainly Cichlids is no longer in business.

If my Zebra Chilumba breed as hoped I would be happy to hook you up with some as we are not too far away from each other.
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Re: Help Wanted Metriclima Zebra Chilumba Luwino Reef Keeper

Postby Steffano2 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:11 pm

eeztropheus wrote:
Steffano2 wrote:
eeztropheus wrote:I have 11 that I got back in October they were about 1-1.5" now they range from 2.5-3".
I want to get the group down to 1 male and 4-5 females but they are very hard to tell apart.
I know at least 2 are female as I have seen them spawn (with my met. elongatus chewere).
One that I'm pretty sure is male due to its dark coloration and attitude is also the smallest of the group.

It seems that the females have grown faster than the males is this normal with these guys? :?
Any one out there with experience raising these guys from juvies that can give me some tips? Can you vent fish that have not yet spawned?
Am I rushing it?

Any useful info would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance.


In my opinion you've rushed it w/ that said I see you vented them and moved your extras on so I'm to late. Why were you in such a hurry to thin your stock if I may ask?

I raised this Mbuna years ago. They are very aggressive and even the females were tough and darker then the males and they got pretty large 6-7 inches. They started to breed for me at about 3 to 4 " and I had 1 male with 4 females in a 55 gallon. I started off with 10 , 1.5" fry. There tank mates at the time were some very young M. chipokae. My male Chilumba was a great show fish too, very flashy and loved to show off for the judges this reads as aggressive.

Lot's of rock work so that they can claim caves. Are you planning on keeping them with your elongatus, probably not a great mix as you've already witnessed any boy in the BB pattern will work. I really loved my Chilumba Zebras and was thinking of getting them again, were did you get your stock from if I may ask? Good luck with your breeding program!

Good luck with your breeding project!


Hi Steffano2

There are 2 reasons why I was in a hurry to thin my stock 1) to make room for more fish (I pulled out 15 fish in total including my elongatus) and 2) I thought that having too many males was hindering them from coloring up. As I want one to be as flashy as what you have experienced. In any case I'm down to 7 now...

I got my stock from a fellow hobbyist and he got his breeders at Mainly Cichlids. Unfortunately Mainly Cichlids is no longer in business.

If my Zebra Chilumba breed as hoped I would be happy to hook you up with some as we are not too far away from each other.


Sounds like a plan and good luck getting them to spawn. Just wait until a male goes into full breeding dress they are stunning! What size tank are you keeping them in?

Are there any LFS in or around the Bay Area that sell quality cichlids?

Cheers!
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Postby eeztropheus » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:04 pm

They are in a 5' 100g.

To be honest there really isn't much in the way of LFS with quality african cichlids anymore. They either closed up shop or went the way of the planted tank...

I have met a handful of local hobbyist with a good selection of quality cichlids. If you'd like I can help you in your search. Just PM me with what you are looking for and I'll see whats available...

Cheers!
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Postby Steffano2 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:58 pm

eeztropheus wrote:They are in a 5' 100g.

To be honest there really isn't much in the way of LFS with quality african cichlids anymore. They either closed up shop or went the way of the planted tank...

I have met a handful of local hobbyist with a good selection of quality cichlids. If you'd like I can help you in your search. Just PM me with what you are looking for and I'll see whats available...

Cheers!

Thanks for the offer! I went to a LFS called "All About Fish" in Pleasant Hill. They have new and old world Africans. Nothing special, really more of a saltwater store. Looks like mostly Florida stock. Good prices on dry goods and live prices were good too. I bought 6, 'Albino Zebras' to cycle my tank on sale for $5.00 each at about 1" They are doing well and I'll be ready for more stock in another week.

I was actually thinking about just placing an order with one of the online retailers. Any you've used before and have comments on? Let's take that conversation via PM too.
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