General African Cichlid Discussion • Mbuna growth

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Mbuna growth

Postby shiftyfox » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:51 am

After stripping, on average how many months does it take for fry to get to approx 2.5 inches so they can go into main tank..?
Currently I have both yellow lab and jalo reef fry.
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:01 am

Between six and twelve months depending on nitrates, food, tank mates, tank dimensions, etc.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby sir_keith » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:46 pm

They don't need to be that large to join their parents. If you keep the Labidochromis well-fed, they should pose no threat even to 1-inch long fry, provided the little ones have hiding places, of course. The Jalo Reef parents may present a bigger problem; even so, 1.5-2" long fry should be fine. The trick here is to keep the adults well-fed.
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby noki » Wed May 06, 2020 7:55 pm

Mbuna tend to ignore the juveniles, most are lousy but opportunistic predators. Under an inch, adults may be tempted to try to grab fry. Over an inch they may chase them out of the way but often ignore them totally. Juveniles are not ready to breed, are not a threat to the pecking order, and don't try to gain territory so there is little reason for conflict. Always thought adding 1.5" to 2" was the easiest.

Now adding fish at 2.5 inches can sometimes be a problem since they younger fish are now getting sexually mature and adults will see younger fish as competition, and males will try to breed with young females.
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby sir_keith » Thu May 07, 2020 10:37 am

noki wrote:Mbuna tend to ignore the juveniles, most are lousy but opportunistic predators. Under an inch, adults may be tempted to try to grab fry. Over an inch they may chase them out of the way but often ignore them totally. Juveniles are not ready to breed, are not a threat to the pecking order, and don't try to gain territory so there is little reason for conflict. Always thought adding 1.5" to 2" was the easiest.

Now adding fish at 2.5 inches can sometimes be a problem since they younger fish are now getting sexually mature and adults will see younger fish as competition, and males will try to breed with young females.


Great advice. :thumb:
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:43 pm

Adding a lot of fry at once tends to help. When I introduced my acei fry to their parents in the main tank, they were about 1-1.5 inches long. I added one to see how he was doing. I don't think he survived, but he could have been hiding really well. A week later, I introduced about 2/3 of the fry, and I didn't count a single loss. Who knows, maybe the fry I introduced first was encouraged by his siblings and joined the gang. For the first week, the fry hid very well. The next weekish, they swam in a tight school. A month later, some of the bigger fry tried chasing their mom, despite their mom being nearly 2 inches bigger :). I think the schooling behavior helped them seem both less appetizing, and less targetable for aggression from the bigger fish.
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Re: Mbuna growth

Postby DJRansome » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:54 pm

Regardless of the size of the fish, adding one is never ideal. The existing fish will gang up on newcomer and it can be overwhelming. Three or even five should be added at the same time if possible.

I added a large group of one-inch juveniles to an existing tank and watched them killed in minutes. I wait until 1.5" or larger now.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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