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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased 5 Cynotiliapia Afra "Cobue" juveniles from a local TX breeder. All of his fish are spectacular, and he is very particular about avoiding hybridization, etc... I spent quite a bit of time trying to select the 4th and final species of Mbuna for my 110G tank finally settling on the Cobue because of the striking males I have seen pictured. The fish now range from 1.5 to 2.25", and I clearly have a dominant male and at least 3 females. I may have one sub-dominant male, but it's a little early to tell at this point. The larges female has been holding for about 5 days now, but the male is not showing very striking colors. He has nice dark bars and is in good health, but no yellow or orange as of yet. Should I be worried? Did I get a bad strain? At what age/size should the dominant male start to show this coloration? The breeder said that the Cobue just weren't coloring up in his heavily stocked tanks, but I wanted to give them a try. I feed NLS, and my water parameters are perfect (0 Ammo/Nitrite, 10ppm Nitrate, GH 14, KH 12, PH 8.2) My current stocking list:

4 - Labidochromis Caruleus - 2.5"

5 - Psuedotropheus Sp. "Acei" - 1.75"

1 - Auloncara Firefish "Pink Peacock Hybrid - 4"

5 - Cobue

Future - Group of Psuedotropheus Socolofi - Albino

I, like everyone in the Mbuna section want a nice blue barred species in my tank. I have considered getting rid of the Cobue and may getting a different "Afra" or maybe even some Maingano. Has anyone else had a similar experience with Cobue?

Heres a link to the thread showing some Cobue specimens that I was hoping for:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=187327&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0
 

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Wow. I was about to pose the very same question. I'm having a very similar experience with a shoal of seven C. afra cobue from an online seller in Texas about 6 months ago. Fish are growing, a dominant male has developed a nice BB pattern, but there is no sign of the orange color on the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Malawi Mac said:
Wow. I was about to pose the very same question. I'm having a very similar experience with a shoal of seven C. afra cobue from an online seller in Texas about 6 months ago. Fish are growing, a dominant male has developed a nice BB pattern, but there is no sign of the orange color on the head.
I PM'd you. Wondering if it's the same breeder because he isn't stocking cobue anymore :-?

Anyone else?
 

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The breeder im getting my afras from said that they are starting to color up at 1.25in if they are 1.5in they might not be fully matured yet, but by 2in they should be colored up.
i also owned jalo reefs that started to color at 1.5in
 

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Mine started coloring up at about 1.5 inches and started breeding about 2 months after that IIRC.

He is not always in full battle dress but he always has some yellow/orange on top. and when he is fired up he is awesome looking.
 

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Is your males the dominate one in the tank? With cobues, if its from the same breeder in texas that everybody reccomends :D than more than likely its more of a confidence issue than a bad genes issue. I have no affilations to him, heck even my cobues arent from him, but his stock comes from one of the best in the biz. :thumb: any ways, my male didnt just color up over night. He had his full orange back at full maturation which is about 3 inches. Unlike other mbunas that do exhibit adult coloration at a very young age, afras, particularly cobues take time to exhibit the full orange backs. Given that he has full confidence as the top dog (no pun intended) in the tank. So dont panick just yet. Give him a nice cave to claim as his own and wait a few more months. Scolofis may be too aggressive for him depending on his attitude.
 

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Honestly, I'd be a little concerned about the lack of ANY coloration by 2"...especially if he has already gone thru a breeding cycle. Generally, the intensity of the yellow display will be muted in young fish and even in dominated adults---but the color is there nonetheless. Can you post some pics of your dominant male?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I measured him (through the glass) and took pics last night, but I can't find the stupid USB cord to the camera :x He is right at 2", and is definately not being harrased, etc... He is the first to greet anyone who walks by the tank who look like they may have a pinch of NLS. When he's chasing a female or being fed, he shows dark black bars on dark blue, but no orange or yellow color at all.

It's kinda interesting, some of the smaller females have dark splotches, sort of like an OB, just like incomplete barring. I wonder if this is a defect, or something that they will lose as they mature? The holding female is a nice solid purple/light blue color depending on mood.

I am set on the Albino Socolofi, but I wasn't going to add them until the Labs, Acei and Cobue were larger, then I would add Juvies. I'll post pics tonight if I can find my camera. I'm gonna wait it out a while because I've become attached at this point, but they may end up on craigslist this spring to make room for some Maingano.
 

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Any coloration in the dorsal or tail fins? Any chance that a different locale variant was mistakenly supplied?
The likoma variant, for instance, keeps the B & B body BUT has yellow fin coloration........
 

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My seven cobues are in a 55 gallon tank with six yellow labs (sex breakdown unknown) and a trio (M/2F) of Labeotropheus trewavasae Mpanga reds. The male Mpanga will occasionally chase one of his two females, but never bothers any other fish in the tank that I've seen. So I don't think it's an issue of my dominant male cobue being second fiddle to a male of another species.

Wish I could post pics, but I've never been able to get the hang of photographing fish.
 

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No that's a young 2.5+" Likoma... in *flashy* mode...he's the only male with several females in a species-only tank. Cobwe by this size should be displaying their yellow body.

Yeah, find your connector 'cause I'd love to see what you've got going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK,

I pulled the USB out, still can't find the cord, so sorry for the low quality pics. It takes a whole bunch with my camera to get a good one, and it went dead after about 10. He isn't completly colored up in any pic, but you get the idea.

Pic 1 - Sort of exited. Bars will get darker if he's chasing or being fed


Pic 2 - Bars dissapear if he's bored, but he's always a deep purple color (maybe the actinic 50/50 bulbs


Pic 3 - Hanging out with a sub-dominat male or female.



Pic 4 - Hanging out with the holding female (background)

 

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It's hard to tell from the pics, does this fish have teeth? If there are no teeth then it is not a cobue. I have had some of his offspring fully colored at 1- 1/2".

These are adults around 3"-3 1/2". I wish I would have kept some pics of the juvi's but I did not and I sold the group many years ago.



This is the third male in a 75 gal tank which held all 15 of them. The second in line was just as colorful as the first. Does your fish ever show the darknest in the jaw and lower body/fins?



Happy holiday's,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Beautiful fish :thumb:

S4surf said:
It's hard to tell from the pics, does this fish have teeth?
Yes, he definately has teeth. Not like a Flavus, but they are there.

S4surf said:
Does your fish ever show the darknest in the jaw and lower body/fins?
Yes. His lower fins are always dark, and when he's excited, his vertical bars lead to a dark underbelly, but not near as much in the jaw area like your cobue.

I just snapped some pics with my old 3.1 Mp camera :lol: Not too great, but better than trying to describe in writing. All apologies in advance if the pics trigger mild seizures or vertigo :D

Showing 1/2 Battle Dress. You can see the yellow top on his dorsal fin.


A little more excited...


Holding female again. She'll hold still for a pic. (Acei in BG)


Another shot of the holding female. She rarely shows her bars.
 

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fish_addiction said:
Beautiful fish :thumb:

Thanks, they were one of my favorite tanks to watch :)

Only time will tell, I just don't remember them having that defined a line down their dorsal fin and I never had any males that showed more than 1 egg spot on their anal fin. I'm not saying these are not cobue, I'm just pointing out observations that i had over the 4-5 years i bred and kept them.

Put some pictures back up in a month or so.

Happy Holiday's,
Steve
 
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