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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I liked the looks of brichardi and one day saw a tank full of fry at a LFS. I couldn't resist and bought 2 of them. I brought them home and put them in my 55g. mainly mbuna tank. They didn't act like they liked each other and each had their own little cave with a red zebra living between them.

Today they might be almost 3" tip of nose to tip of tail and just started acting like the best of friends staying close together at only one cave (I swear they were even kissing, not lip lock fighting either). I was shocked. I really thought I had 2 females or something until I saw this behavior.

I have a 10g. tank cycling for some fry a maingano had but thinking of using it for the brichardi instead until I can get them a 20g. tank. Is this an ok idea or will they not take the move from the 10g.(when I'm sure it's cycled) to a 20g. later on well?

Also, is there a way to tell other than venting what sex they are and exactly how do they go about breeding? They aren't mouth brooders are they?
 

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My Pulchers dug under the rocks and lay eggs. They're substrate spawners so they will lay eggs on the sand. I don't think they will care too much if you move them. They just seem to breed and breed. My Pulchers spawned a week after I setup my 120g and they haven't stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So the females lays eggs on the substrate and I guess the male swims over and fertilizes them, then they guard the eggs laying on the substrate until they hatch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh a couple more questions... does it sound like they are pairing up? It sure looks like it compaired to how they use to act with each other.

I know mbuna don't always get the having fry thing right the first time or two trying. Are brichardi the same way? Should I rush to get them in the 10g. tank or will I have time to get a bigger one and cycle it before I have to move them?
 

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I'd let them be... a 10 gallon could result in 1 dead fish very quickly. Brichardi are ruthless when they put their minds to it, and if you are wrong about the pair, the 10 gallon leaves no room to run and hide. Also, moving can disrupt pair bonds, particularly if there's no fry to defend.

It often does take the fish a few times to get spawning and fry care right. But if your fish are that big, they are more than old enough to breed successfully. They will become increasing territorial with subsequent spawns, so watch out for the other fish.

I suggest getting your 20 gallon set up, cycled and ready for them, and then move them and their cave with any fry into it. Provide lots of cover and extra caves in case it doesn't go well. But you've got some time before you need to worry too much.
 

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I agree with Triscuit 100%,,,these fish are VERY territorial after spawns,,they WILL protect their fry.

Wiat until you have another tanks set up,,,,then, if they are indeed a pair,,,you'll have more than you can handle. :thumb:

How about some pics???

Keep us posted.

APII
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the answers Triscuit & APII. That's just what I was hoping to hear. Pics? Ok I'm not great at taking pics of fish but these should be pretty easy since they stay in the front of the tank at the one cave now lol. Hmmm didn't turn out to bad considering I'm not very good with a camera.

 

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Mine didn't show any outward signs ( to me anyway) that they had paired until they started spawning. The only clue was they started digging around a rock pile just before the spawn.
Here's a couple of pics of my pair. ( I suck at taking pics too. :lol: )
Dad

Mom with dad in background.

Watch out with these guys , once they start spawning they just keep spawning every month or so and get pretty aggresive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:eek: WOW Joel! Yours are way prettier than mine. More blue on their face and longer points on their tails.

Mine also have round tummies. Do you think I feed them to much or are they just poor quality?
The quality of fish around here isn't the greatest and I was lucky to even find brichardi at all.

I've noticed alot of juvie fish for sale around here lately seem to have really round tummies. At one time it was the opposite. The fish around here looked skinny with tummies that curved up. :?
 

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As far as I can tell the rounder stomachs shouldn't be an issue as long as it's obvious that it's not caused by diesese. The juvies having fat bellys may just mean that the LFS is actually feeding them more than a couple of times a week. I've seen that done a few places :? .
Your fish are about the same size as mine so I would guess that it would be a quality issue :( , but I've got tons of fry :wink: .
 

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Oh , and on the sexing the males normally have longer trailers and the dorsal fins more pointed. Also the gill plate markings are bolder on the males and the yellow spot a bit larger and brighter. The pics I posted show that pretty well I think, at least good enough to get the idea anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the info Joel, really helpful & I really appreciate it. So do you ship fish? I'm not planning any trip to S.C. that I know of :wink:

:oops: The tummies might be partly my fault too. I feed them every day, 2-3 small feeds per day with my malawi (to keep the malawi aggression down). Do these fish really require less feeding? I don't guess there's much I can do about it as long as they are in the 55g. but when they get in their own tank I'll cut down on the food for sure if needed. Thanks again for all the help. I really don't know alot about the brichardi, other than what I've read on here.
 

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I feed mine about the same as yours, but I don't think it's much of an issue anyway. They only eat the amount they're hungry enough to eat. Mine are pigs! I keep mine with Haps and Peacocks , the dietary requirements are pretty similar , I'm not sure if feeding them a Mbuna diet makes that much of a difference though. If you move them it would be better to feed them a diet with a higher protein content. Might make a difference in their fatness :lol: .
As far as shipping I've never done it , but I would be willing to give it a shot. I've got a buddy who has a LFS and he ships so I'd have a good source for info on it. PM me and we'll see if it can be worked out if your interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again. I'll have to get another tank (20-29g.)set up and cycled but will let you know. I really do like the looks of yours. Good quality fish is so hard to come by here where I am. I've been thinking of the fish I get here as practice fish for a while now lol and know that when I get really serious or if I want to breed to distribute fry, I'll have to do something other than buy locally :( . I appreciate your offer and will let you know through PM when I'm getting ready. Thanks again :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:x Talk about a mix of good luck and bad :x
I got a great 29g.tank with a stand that will hold another 29g. too. It also came with a Fluval304 filter and hood light and some other extras. All for FREE on freecycle. That was the good luck. :D

I put the Fluval filter on my 55g. tank and took a HOB filter off the 55g. and put on the new 29g. tank for an instant cycle :thumb: .

The brichardi were still getting along fine and there were some extra mbuna males that I needed to get rid of in the 55g. so I caught them and put them into the 29g. to hold them there until I could take them to the LFS.

In the meantime, the heater on the 55g. overheated (here's the bad luck) and it killed one of my little brichardi. It was the only fish that I lost :( . I guess I was lucky that I didn't loose more. The one brichardi that's left, stays in a covered bridge ornament all the time now. It will peek out at feeding time but doesn't eat. I'm really worried about it. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:oops: Forgot to mention that the new 29g. was originally for the 2 brichardi but used it as holding tank for some mbuna for a bit. I should have put the brichardi in it straight away :x
Now I'm looking for another 29g. tank since the stand will hold 2 and hubby likes the 29g. with the male mbuna in it now. I'll let him enjoy it for a while but it's to small for mbuna long term.

Eventually I'll be contacting Joels fish to see if he can send me some brichardi :wink: . His look great! :thumb:
 
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