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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I just started a Brichardi species tank about a week ago by adding 6 juveniles. Planning to let a pair form and then get rid of the other 4.

Right now all the juvies are about 1 inch long... I'm assuming 4-6 months oldish? (not really sure I have never raised brichardi before).

Now for my question... The 6 almost immediately seemed to go into 3 different pairs. It's a 29 gallon tank with two holey rock pieces (you can see in my tanks section). 1 pair almost exclusively hangs out around 1 rock... the other around the other rock. And the the third pair (which may not even be a pair because they sorta do their own thing seperate from each other most of the time) hang out scared near the surface or behind equipment.

Is it safe to say that the two pairs hanging out in the rocks are definitive pairs or is it too soon to tell? I was expecting it to take a while... but... I also have no experience with these guys.

Any insight? Will it be blatantly obvious when I have a pair... because right now it's not.

Thanks!
 

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I think you consider them a pair when they produce fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Seriously? That simple huh?

I guess I'm over-analyzing.
 

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once you see eggs or fry, you know you have a pair. if you have 2 pairs, see how it plays out and see if they get along. if thye dont, remove them and have a back up plan.
 

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I put 2 little brichardi in my 55g. mainly malawi tank. I figured if they didn't pair one would be killed but if they did pair, I'd get a 29g. tank for them and try to have them build a colony. At first they didn't have anything to do with each other but finally they started acting like best buddies and was staying together near a little cave.

I got a 29g. tank for them but before I put the brichardi in, I decided I had some extra male mbuna in my 55g. that I needed to get rid of so I pulled those males out and put them in the 29g. so they would be easier to catch when I was ready to take them to the LFS.

A couple days later I had an accident with the heater in the 55g. overheating and it killed one of my little brichardi :( . Now the one left acts so lonesome :( I still don't know for sure that they had paired. They weren't full grown yet but I sure wish I would have went ahead and put them in 29g. right away. It's kinda hard to kick your own butt, but I'm doing it.

Good luck with yours. I've heard it sometimes takes a couples tries at breeding before they get it right and you have fry.
 

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It should become obvious when your have a bunch of fry and everyone else besides the spawning pair is dead :lol: . Seriously though, it sounds like two pairs and a couple of extra males or females( they need to be removed now). I don't think that two pairs will work in a 29g long term. It may work untill they spawn and then I think you'll have big trouble. These guys are pretty fierce when it comes to fry and territory protection , so you should pick a pair and move the other. Mine were hard to gage as to whether or not they had paired because while they did hang out together they also would sepperate for long periods . The most obvious clue from my experience is if they start to rearange their territory( digging and such) together.
 

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I agree, you may want to rethink the 29 gallons. My brichardi have produced fry twice and have easily doubled the population of my 92 gallon tank! Not only that, but all the other fish live on the opposite side of the tank now :lol:
 

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Joels fish said:
It should become obvious when your have a bunch of fry and everyone else besides the spawning pair is dead :lol: . ...I don't think that two pairs will work in a 29g long term. It may work untill they spawn and then I think you'll have big trouble. These guys are pretty fierce when it comes to fry and territory protection , so you should pick a pair and move the other.
I think they are fine where they are. I have a 90 gallon with what (I think) are three pairs and one extra. Two pairs have spawned several times the other pair has built a nest but never spawned. Sometimes they spawn at the same time with their fry less then one foot from each other. They don't bother each other or the other fish, other than to keep them about 4 inches away. The other fish are 6 Frontosa, one LepidoLamp kendali, one cyp, 3 julidochromis, one calvus, 5 tropheus, and 4 leleupi. I think that, perhaps, if I had fewer fish in the tank, they would be more aggressive but they really can't afford to leave their babies to chase just one fish. They babies have never made it. They slowly dwindle in numbers until after about two weeks, they are all gone.
 

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Jorsay I agree that in a 90g that it's doable(you've confirmed that) but in a 29g it's a whole different ball game . My single pair is slowly but surely taking over my 90g with their surviving juvies (about 30 so far) all my other fish are being forced to stear clear of the left side of the tank. Were talking haps and peacocks here not mbuna. Now imagine that you put two very protective sets of spawning parents in a tank 1/3 the volume. There's always the off chance it could work, but most likely it's gonna be a disaster once the spawning starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm planning on leaving only one spawning pair. I am keeping a close eye on them for rearranging substrate, spawning behavior, etc. I think I got some time before that will happen anyway because they are only about 1 inch right now. I've heard that they don't start spawning until about 2 inches.

Also, I am not worried about over populating because I will be getting rid of fry on a fairly regular basis I'm sure. There is a LFS right by my house that is starting to increase their African selction... and they literally have almost no Tang's right now (a couple of juvie tropheus and that's it)... I've already talked to them about the brichardis and they want them.

Thanks for the responses!!
 

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A 29g. tank was the size that was recommended to me here when I ask what the min. size for a colony of brichardi was. I'm sure you will be fine :thumb:
 
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