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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
In aquarium which has some 6.4 feet, and 120 gallons, I have 18 Ikola's, a pair of Tropheus Duboisi, 10 Cyprichromis Leptosoma and around dozen of Julidochromis transcriptus.
They have been fed with various foods, I am doing 30% water changes weakly, and all parameters are OK.

All fishes are breeding regularly, except Ikola's. Even Tropheus duboisis, which I have only one pair. One pair shouldn't work but I could get only them, and have no problems at all.
Main boss in the tank is male Tropheus duboisi. He is occupying big part of aquarium, but aggression is very limited. He just, evicts Ikola's, that's it.
Only problem I have are Ikola's. I managed to get 15 adult specimens a year and a half ago. During summer, while I was on holiday lost 8 of them (overfeeding, or maybe high temperature 32F :-?). I ended with only 7 of them. Tried to get more, but only this winter I succeed and bought 11 Ikola's.
There are now 18 of them. 10 are adults (at least 4 are females), while 8 are sub adults and juveniles.
The most confusing thing is that they are regularly doing breeding dancing, but with no results. I was so confused, that I thought maybe females have different structure of the mouth, so it is not visible like it's on the other cichlids.
Last night I inspected all Ikola's and no one is holding, as I assumed.
I now that there should be more Ikola’s in aquarium, but aggression is not that big problem, and after all they are not available here.
Could be that Tropheus duboisi male is causing disturbance? I've seen him, interrupt breeding dancing of Ikola's, but don't think he can do that all the time. I once isolated him for 15 days, but again no results.
This is mystery for me, and would love to see Ikola spawn. Has anyone have some idea, why they are not spawning?

One more question. I stripped duboisi female last two times, and have 18 juveniles 1 - 1.5 inches. Would it be safe to put them back in the main tank where there is only one male?

Thx
buba
 

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Howdy Buba!

First question..
Anytime that you have two Tropheus types together, the breeding is severly reduced to where one group may not breed at all. Duboisi are usually not affected as much. If you suspect that you have 6 Males and 4 Females, there may be too much harassment of the 4 females. How certain are you that you have 4 females?

What size are the Ikola? Most females will start to spawn at 3.5 to 4" and males will start more around 3.5" if they are the largest Tropheus and can dominate a territory. Usually a good breeding male is over 5 to 5.5" and female around 4 to 4.5" Depending on the size, they may need to mature more.

Tank temperature needs to be 76F (24.4C) to 81F (27.2) for best breeding. Most recomend a stable 78F (25.5C) as ideal. IF your water temp got to 32C (90F) during the summer, it is amazing that any survived.

Worst case, your cyps and Julies may be over stressing the Ikola. What I have seen in mixed tanks, is Duboisi for some reason are autonomous they'll breed fairly well, but other Trophs for some reason when in mixed tanks dont do too well.

Being that you stripped the Duboisi female, have you ever seen Ikola holding at all? If they have held the fry may have gotten eaten.

Question 2:
I have put fry back into the tank with Adult Tropheus as long as they are over 1.5" The closer to 1" guys sometimes disappear. If the "MAIN" tank is the tank with the Julie's in it, they are more likely not going to appreciate very well the fry in their rocks. They may harass the little guys too much might even eat/kill a couple.

Hope this helps..

Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've done plenty of researching, looked for egg spots, and vent them. I assume that ratio is 6 males to 4 females, not certain 100%. Alpha male is on the left side of the tank, while the beta male is on the right. School is much closer to the alpha male.
I have seen breeding dancing simultaneously, two males with two females on opposite side of the tank. But nothing ever happened. I never seen Ikola holding.
Feeding them with NLS cichlid formula, Hikari cichlid Excel, JBL Novo Rift and Tropical Spirulina super forte.
The size of the fishes is around 11 -12 cm, which would be 4.3 â€" 4.7 inches. Female duboisi is quite smaller, but breeding regularly few years. Never tried to strip her until now.

Temperature during summer got wild, now is at 78F. Must prepare some chillers for this summer. I think that I read somewhere that high temperature could cause fish sterile, is that true?

Julidochromis just reached maturity and start breeding. So far not much aggression from them. They are hidden among rocks, and I never seen some Julie attack Tropheus.

I'll wait for another month, and put juvenile Tropheus duobisis all together.

Would adding some 5-10 adult female Ikola's solve the problem, or should I first try to remove Julies? Problem is that it's very hard to find them. After who knows how many years, one shop got 5 adults Ikola's but they all look males to me.

buba
 

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It reads to me like the duboisi is interfering with spawning, and if the julies are spawning as well, they will raise the stress level in any tank. It could also be the high number of males versus females where the males will interfere with the spawning themselves and be so distracting during spawning that the spawning male spends more time chasing than spawning.

My experience with how they school is in fact that the school stays closer to the beta male's territory since the alpha male commands a larger territory and is quite intolerant. The school is basically pushed onto the beta male and he just accepts it.
 

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It sounds like the male duboisi is the problem. If you had more duboisi adults, he may ignore the Ikolas and focus on the conspecifics. Personally, I'd keep the Ikola by themselves BUT then you'd probably have an aggression problem with the duboisi female getting clobbered by the male with no other Tropheus to dominate.

By the way, if your tropheus do spawn and you let them carry in the tank, your julies will hunt them down very effectively.
 
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