General African Cichlid Discussion • Birds and Bees

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Birds and Bees

Postby Dooner » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:04 pm

I am embarrassed to say I don’t know the answer to this question...

Since most of my Africans are purchased as juveniles, I don’t know if they are male or female and to my surprise I find out when I note a particular fish is holding or they color up to a point I feel assured they are males. So, if I have females in a mixed tank will most males mate/breed with any female? Do they seek out a mate of their own type or a mate with similar colors or body patterns? For example, I have five electric yellow labs, will a male yellow seek a female yellow lab or just anyone who comes along?? Is that why fry from a mixed tank are not “accepted” unless they are clearly labeled as mixed?
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Re: Birds and Bees

Postby DJRansome » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:06 pm

Fish prefer their own species, but you don't want to mix known cross breeders (like labs and estherae) and you have to have plenty of females available for each male. So males will make a stab at spawning with females of their species, but if you don't make it easy for them, they will spawn with anyone who comes along.

Mixed tank at the LFS enables the sale of hybrids so it is prudent to assume fish from a mixed tank are hybrids.

Mixed tank in your home? Wait to save fry until you have a good number of same-species females for each male and don't save fry at all (regardless of ratio) if you stock species likely to cross breed.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Birds and Bees

Postby Dooner » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:08 am

I will bet that I do have species that will crossbreed. I count at least four females that are holding right now and there is no way I will be able to fish them out (no pun intended) of a 210 gallon tank, so I will just leave them and let nature take its course. In a couple weeks I will be doing a big cleaning and will try to pull out the females that I can and move them to a smaller tank until I am sure they are not males. If by some means I can identify the females and I want to specifically breed them, I can decide that then. If the female is a good looking fish, I will keep them in the big tank. As their fry grow, I will periodically purge them out and take them to the LFS as mixed cichlids. At least I can label them as mixed Lake Malawi cichlids.

As a side note, does anyone have any good tricks for netting fish in a 210. I will remove some of the rocks and drain about 60% of the water. Does a divider help corral them? Do you scrub the brown algae off your rocks periodically?
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Re: Birds and Bees

Postby ken31cay » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:34 am

Dooner wrote:As a side note, does anyone have any good tricks for netting fish in a 210. I will remove some of the rocks and drain about 60% of the water. Does a divider help corral them? Do you scrub the brown algae off your rocks periodically?


I removed the three 6" Synodontis catfish from my 450gal last week, was dreading doing this but finally decided to have a go at it since realizing these fish don't do anything for my tank besides adding bioload. Removed 75% of water and rock formations on the two sides of my centerpiece. Couldn't remove my 31"L x 23"H centerpiece root formation since it's siliconed in. I turned the tank lights off and used my largest net, moving very slow. Was surprising quick and easy.
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Re: Birds and Bees

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:00 pm

Please don't take suspected hybrids to the LFS for the assorted tank.

Keep them in a separate tank for their lifetimes or if you don't have tank space you may need to consider the dreaded euthanization.
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