Lake Malawi Species • Auratus & Gender Change

Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.

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Postby TheFishFactory » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:42 am

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Postby lil_flame33 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:47 pm

Wow, thats interesting.... I've heard it done with lizards.... cool to see cichlids can do it too......
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Postby GaFishMan1181 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:19 pm

That doesnt prove they do.
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Postby master chi » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:00 pm

yeah my auratus changed color around 3 inches I ended up taking HIM!!! back to the lfs that I bought HER!!!javascript:emoticon(':zz:')
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Postby master chi » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:01 pm

master chi wrote:yeah my auratus changed color around 3 inches I ended up taking HIM!!! back to the lfs that I bought HER!!!javascript:emoticon(':zz:')
I don't think it changed sex I think it's color change just slow around my other fish.
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Postby Number6 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:00 pm

GaFishMan1181 wrote:That doesnt prove they do.


the study seems pretty convincing and turning from female into male isn't all that unusual... ever study early human embryonic development? I use it on my wife all the time... "I know what it's like to be female, you have NO idea what it's like to be male!" :lol:
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Postby GaFishMan1181 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:45 pm

To prove it someone would have to recreate that experiment and get the same results.

Also if it was true we would hear more about malawi cichlids being able to change sex. People would discuss it at big cichlid expos. There would be more published articles on the subject.

Those people that wrote that could of made a mistake. They could of altered the results in some way to get a desired outcome to make themselves look better. So many things could of happened.

I need to see a bunch more evidence and articles and papers on this subject before i would ever say malawi cichlids (specifially mbuna) can change sex.

Not saying 100% that they cannot change sex but i do not think one article proves they can.
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:08 pm

I had not seen the article and up until this post I thought it was pretty well accepted that cichlids did not do this. I did recognize the name J. Stauffer as someone who is cited by Konings in his books (nine listings in the references for Konings 4th Edition).

I asked around a little and it seems that some of those people that would be talking about it at big cichlid expos may be doing so at the next one. :thumb:

Thanks for posting it.
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Postby Fogelhund » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:30 pm

GaFishMan1181 wrote:To prove it someone would have to recreate that experiment and get the same results.
There would be more published articles on the subject.

Those people that wrote that could of made a mistake. They could of altered the results in some way to get a desired outcome to make themselves look better. So many things could of happened.

I need to see a bunch more evidence and articles and papers on this subject before i would ever say malawi cichlids (specifially mbuna) can change sex.

Not saying 100% that they cannot change sex but i do not think one article proves they can.


If you read the article in full, you will find this isn't the first study of it's kind, with similar findings. I know the level of these scientists... they didn't make mistakes.
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Postby GaFishMan1181 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:46 pm

If you read the article in full you would of read where it said "Our experiments are the first
known successful attempts at documenting a Malawian cichlid that first bred as a female and later as a male.".

So i am still saying i would want to see more studies and to see someone else repeat the experiment and get the same results.

I am glad you know the level of those scientist but there still human and could possible make mistakes. That is why others need to recreate the experiment to prove that this is true.
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Postby a7oneal » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:47 pm

GaFishMan1181 wrote:To prove it someone would have to recreate that experiment and get the same results.

Also if it was true we would hear more about malawi cichlids being able to change sex. People would discuss it at big cichlid expos. There would be more published articles on the subject.

Those people that wrote that could of made a mistake. They could of altered the results in some way to get a desired outcome to make themselves look better. So many things could of happened.

I need to see a bunch more evidence and articles and papers on this subject before i would ever say malawi cichlids (specifially mbuna) can change sex.

Not saying 100% that they cannot change sex but i do not think one article proves they can.


In order to "prove" (I try not to use that word) something can't happen, you need to test every possible individual (or whatever else you're trying to study). In order to "prove" they can (in essence, "have the ability to"), you only need one example. Whether they do it with significant frequency is questionable (not every tank here had a female change), and whether this occurs in their natural environment is another thing. This experiment was done under controlled conditions.

It would be interesting to see additional studies with different species, though it does certainly suggest that it could happen. We may even see a series of papers from these authors.

I'll be looking for more!
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Postby GaFishMan1181 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:50 pm

Right on.

Still seems like they did it with realitive ease. Not sure why more people havent done it.
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Postby scrubjay » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:42 am

GaFishMan1181 wrote:To prove it someone would have to recreate that experiment and get the same results. Also if it was true we would hear more about malawi cichlids being able to change sex. People would discuss it at big cichlid expos. There would be more published articles on the subject. Those people that wrote that could of made a mistake. They could of altered the results in some way to get a desired outcome to make themselves look better. So many things could of happened. I need to see a bunch more evidence and articles and papers on this subject before i would ever say malawi cichlids (specifially mbuna) can change sex.
Not saying 100% that they cannot change sex but i do not think one article proves they can.


I'm not certain you fully grasp what it means to have a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal like Copeia. Your work is reviewed by at least three independent scientists who are top experts in the field, and if there is anything, anything at all, that is questionable in experimental design, setup, statistics, or results, your paper is not accepted. At least one review will be anonymous so personal relationships can't get in the way of an objective review. The publication of the paper is considered confirmation of the scientists' findings that the sex change did occur under the conditions of their experiment. It may be a small sample size, but it's as close to "proof" you get in the world of science. Peer-reviewed scientific journals are the arena in which scientific findings are reported on an international basis. There is no higher bar for scientists to "prove" that something happened.

I wouldn't expect to see a lot of papers on the subject, actually. It is something that probably doesn't happen much in nature, so although it might be of great interest to hobbyists, it might not be of that much interest to most scientists. The literature review in the introduction is a great explanation of why sex-change in Rift Lake cichlids may not be so hard to believe. What is even wackier is parthenogenesis in vertebrates.
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Postby GaFishMan1181 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:26 am

Wow. I really thought there would be more skeptics on this topic but yall are all acting like it is common knowledge that African Cichlids can change sex. Well if this article is good enough for 3 moderators and an administrator then it has to be good enough for a mere hobbyist like me.

"African Cichlids can change sex." Now lets see how many people qoute that last line and tell me that well only a few can and in certain circumstances and it isnt as black and white as that. :lol:

Atleast now i have a good response to anyone asking about doing an all female tank. "Be careful or your females might turn into males and defeat the goal of your all female mbuna tank.

This changes everything.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:12 am

GaFishMan1181 wrote:Wow. I really thought there would be more skeptics on this topic but yall are all acting like it is common knowledge that African Cichlids can change sex. Well if this article is good enough for 3 moderators and an administrator then it has to be good enough for a mere hobbyist like me.

"African Cichlids can change sex." Now lets see how many people qoute that last line and tell me that well only a few can and in certain circumstances and it isnt as black and white as that. :lol:

Atleast now i have a good response to anyone asking about doing an all female tank. "Be careful or your females might turn into males and defeat the goal of your all female mbuna tank.

This changes everything.


Yep read it. Yep have my doughts too. I dunno what species they used. What on earth is Metriaclima cf. livingstoni ? Why was this not picked up if it had a good peer review before apearing?

Standards seem to be slipping for what apears in scientific papers?
Read by a couple of academic folk before publication (freinds maybe) who have never vissited or checked the experiments (and for sure did not check the species name as being valid) would be my guess. :wink:

Long, long, way before (if proved) a sex change in this species (whatever it is) would indicate sex change is frequent in all Mbuna for sure. :wink:
No evidence presented for sex change in auratus for sure.
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