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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for an expert opinion on Kenyi...

I have 2 females in my 60 gallon tank (48 in long) along with 5 red zebras, 5 yellow labs, and soon to be 6 acei. At first I had decided that I was going to take the kenyi out because of their reputation for being very aggressive... but right now, everyone is getting along "swimingly" (pardon the pun) even though everyone is sexually mature and hormones are racing (not quite full grown however about 3.5 inches currently).

My question is... are male kenyis the bad boys? or are the girls just as bad? I would like to avoid removing them... but also don't really want to play the wait and see game if I am without a doubt going to have a problem with them eventually.

These are my first Kenyi and I bought them not knowing anything about the species (duh... not smart, I know!)... forgive me :oops:

Thanks in advance for any insight!!
 

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Females can be nasty but not nearly as nasty as a sexually active and territorial male. That said however, at 3.5 inches, there's no guarantee these are both females unless you've vented them to be sure. I've seen males stay blue past 4 inches, particularly if they're not the dominant male in the tank.

There is still some room for behavioural changes in these fish. Keep an eye on the two, it's not usually a good idea to keep only two of the same fish together, even if it is two females.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That said however, at 3.5 inches, there's no guarantee these are both females unless you've vented them to be sure. I've seen males stay blue past 4 inches, particularly if they're not the dominant male in the tank.
Wow... I had no idea that it can take them that long to color. I have a tragic story that might explain why I assume that they are both female. I actually bought a trio of them and a male (in my mind the only male) started to color up. Soon after I moved them into the current tank along with a couple nylons full of gravel from the old tank (was trying to help the bio-spira). I neglected to cut off the excess tail of the nylons and the male kenyi swam into one of them and got stuck and died.

I know that the story was completely unrelated but use this is a warning if you plan on putting nylons full of gravel in your tank... CUT OFF THE TAIL END!!! Fish can be curious!

Anyways... back to the point...

Keep an eye on the two, it's not usually a good idea to keep only two of the same fish together, even if it is two females.
Would I be better off if I removed one of them... I really don't want to get rid of both unless I absolutely have to... I like the contrast between them (striped) and the other three species (all solid colors)... plus I'm sorta attached to them after seeing them grow up and all...
 

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You could try maingano (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos) instead of the female kenyi for some very pretty blue striped fish (though horizontal stripes instead of vertical). I'm really not sure of the acei in the 48" long tank either. They get to be 6" long and really like a long tank to swim in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dewdrop,

Thanks for the heads up on acei! I'll be sure to keep on eye on them and see if they look stressed or unhappy once they get bigger...

Chances are I will eventually be getting a bigger tank anyway.

If I find it necessary to get rid of the Kenyi, I will definitely consider maingano. Thanks again!
 

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I would remove them personally, because females can get mean as they get large, from my exp kenyi are !only! unaggresize when being kept at a 1m-6+female ratio. But females can lose color to as they get older so just to be safe id trade them off.

Good Luck!
 
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