Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:38 pm
Sand Substrate with large rocks covering 60% of the tank floor (I move rocks around every water change)
1 male sunshine peacock (4 inches)
3 female aulonocara (3 inches, 3.5 inches, 4 inches)
Bi-Weekly water change at around 30-40% (Wednesdays and Sundays, I do colder water changes to stimulate rain)
Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 (Nitrates vary but It doesn't ever go above 20 ppm)
I don't check PH I'm sorry
Fed 3x a day (8 am, 4 pm, and 11 pm) (Hikari floating pellets, brine shrimp, blood worms, cucumbers, flakes)
I have 3 filters, one sponge, and two HOB, combined rating of around 150 gallons
I don't keep the lights on very much as my room is moderately well lit with natural light, maybe 3 hours a day from 7-10
No notable aggression
I had made a post similar a little over a month ago when I had first gotten this breeding colony. The male cichlid continuously tries to breed with the females on an almost daily basis but I have had almost no luck with any of the females breeding with the male. I have done hours of research in an attempt to promote breeding and keep a healthy tank environment for the cichlids. Is there anything I am obviously doing wrong or anything I can do to better promote breeding within this colony? Within the first few days of having the cichlids, I had one female holding something in her mouth for about a day before whatever it was disappearing. Here's the usual breakdown of what happens within my tank. I do a water change and move rocks around, an hour later my male starts digging up sand and corralling the females and trying to breed, he does this for about 1 day or 2, gets bored because none of the females want to breed with him, stops trying to breed. This cycle has been going on for about a month now and I am starting to think about things I can do better to further entice the females to start breeding. I do introduce cold water to the tank when doing water changes and have the Hob's create a lot of surface agitation that resembles the rain. I do understand that this is a waiting game but maybe there's something I can do to be more proactive. Please let me know if anyone has an experience similar and knows some secret tricks or tips or would like to help out!
Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:36 pm
I would put them in a larger tank...lower the temp to 78 degrees and add females.
But if you just keep doing what you are doing, they will eventually breed. Clearly the females are not ready.
What do you feed them? Maybe a higher quality food to condition the females.
Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:17 pm
Females of that size should be more than ready to breed, so clearly something else is going on. I agree that a bigger tank would be great, but I really don't think that is the main problem. So what Is?
The first suspect is water chemistry. You quoted your nitrogen cycle parameters, which seem to be fine, but Malawians need hard, alkaline water, and you've said nothing about the GH, KH, and pH values in your tank. Unless these are in the correct range, spawning will be unlikely.
Rift Lake cichlids need a stable environment, so rearranging the rocks whenever you do water changes makes no sense. Nor do 'cold water changes.' Some riverine cichlids respond to this kind of stimulus, but Rift Lake cichlids will not appreciate a temperature shift every time you change the water. The temperature of Lake Malawi does not change when it rains.
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:40 am
If the females are healthy they will breed, there is no "trick". Females can only breed when the eggs are ready. If females are stressed out, they may not grow eggs. Putting 4 fish together in a tank may stress out the females, you could have a more crowded tank. Cold water changes can stress out fish, so I would not do that.
Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:20 pm
You forgot candlelight and Barry White.
Works every time.
Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:39 am
How much colder is the water that you are adding, from the tank temp? These aren't seasonal breeding fish, that need a spring rain to convince them to breed. Stability above all else. They come from a very large lake, where no matter how much it rained, it wouldn't change the temperature of the water.
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