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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we picked up 5 Afras over the weekend and they're in the 55gal with the labs settling in. I chose a STUNNING male and what we (our fish guy and i) thought were 5 females.

2 of them have remained the duller colours and are being pushed to the corners by the other 3, the male has coloured back up but the 2 of the 'females' seem to be showing some colour now too. Also, they're holding territory, is this normal for females Afras?

Now how do i remedy this? My current stocking is 7 Labs 5 Afras, do i have room for a few more females to keep the male Afras cool, or do i need to remove the males and get females? I'm not sure i can face tearing this tank down again, but needs must :(
 

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You have room for more afras, but how do you prevent the same thing from happening again?

If your ultimate goal is to have a tank with 7 labs and 12 afras (which afra by the way?) then this is what I would do.

Keep in mind that Cynotilapia, IME, can look like male or female at any given time so this is not foolproof.

Remove the two suspected males and keep them in a quarantine tank for a few days. As soon as one colors up the majority of the time, put him back in the show tank and see if the remaining fish also colors up.

If yes, then assume you have 3 males. All back into the show tank.

Now buy 20 afra, trying for females. Watch them in the quarantine tank and keep removing the one that colors up (back to the LFS). When you have 10 left that appear to be females, add them to the show tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So i COULD wait it out and see if the suspected males ARE males or just tomboys?
 

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I went through much the same thing with 8 young - Pseudotropheus sp. ''Minutus Tanzania'' Manda. Basically, they are just like Cyn. Afra in size and temperament.

As they grew out, I ended up with what I thought might be 6 males 2 females.

In time, as they grew the most 3 dominant/definite males took up most of the 75gallon tank. The other 5 started hanging out at the corner/filters/top - which sounds like where you are heading.

I re-homed the 3 most dominant males to someone with a larger mixed all male tank.

Took a couple of weeks, but two of the remaining males became colored up all of the time, with their own smaller territories than the original 3. One of them actually looks the best of the bunch with more and brighter egg spots and more light/dark contrast than the original dominant fish.

The third male hangs out on the side/front corner but does not get harassed and the two girls, well, I have 24 fry in grow out and another girl holding again.

I see the following options:

If you don't have another tank, I'd trade in the two suspected males and try for two guessed at females again as your fish guy guessed wrong the first time.

If you have another tank, I'd pull the the two most aggressive (or just the most aggressive if you only have a smaller Q/T tank) suspected male(s) and see if the other(s) color up. Shouldn't take too long with just 'him' and the girls.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dont think 3 males is a good idea in this tank, its a 55 but its a taller 55. If they ARE 3 males then i'll remove the least attractive one and get myself about 4 new females. Leaving me with 2/6fm.
 

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If the footprint is smaller than 48" x 12" then I would not stock a dozen afra, absolutely. Gallons are not the dimension driving stocking decisions.
 

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2 is IMHO the worst number of males to have. I'll always choose to either have 1 or 3+.
Adding more females is beneficial.
 
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