Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice on my ornatipinnis. I recently bought a bag of 5 at an auction and put them in a 10G with 5 escargot shells and a thin sand bed. 4 of them moved into shells, and those 4 look identical to me. The fifth one is smaller and has more of a pattern in the fins. Sorry, I haven't been able to get good photos of these fish. The fifth one is hanging out in a corner or is moving around the top of the tank. It is being chased by the 4 a lot, while aggression between those 4 is minimal.

The profiles say ornatipinnis are monomorphic, but I am wondering if the singled out fish might be a female and the other 4 all males. Of course the pattern in the fins of one fish could also just be stress coloration. Anyhow, I have just moved 3 males into another tank, leaving one male with the suspected female. I guess I'll see how that pans out, but if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions in the meantime, please feel free :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,841 Posts
Unless they are all siblings from the same spawn, the smaller could just as easily be a male.

IMO, It is hard to pair shellies in a small tank. I have kept pairs of Occies, Brevis, and Similis in a 10, but only after they paired in a larger tank. I recently(Jan 21) purchased 6 Multies and put them in a 10 with another 10 ready should I get a pair. I'm hoping for at least 2 pair. Trios would be bonus. No love yet.

It just seems that the males spend so much time bickering in the 10 with Rivals, that they never get the time to woo the girls! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,006 Posts
Boy, again, I've had opposite experience with brevis, easily getting mulitple pairs going in a 10. The most aggression they ever showed was to my hand. :) Wicked, nasty to me, but only mildly aggressive to each other.

You did what I would have done, Frank. My ornatipinnis are a different strain, I think, from yours, but not easy to tell male from female either. It's more subtle than in other shellies that I've had. I've got two pair occupying shells and another that I believe to be a female that one male is allowing to stay in his territory also in a shell, one that hovers in the water column that is smaller and lighter color (but could just be stress colors) that I believe is a female, and one that stays in a rock pile that is larger and darker that I believe to be a male without a territory. I'm going to try to pull him and the suspected female and get them into their own tank and see what happens. Both of my pair have given me fry, but the female off to herself in a shell so far has none. So, the male seems to accept her, but has not spawned with her. Interesting fish.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the input. I've had occies pair up easily in a half 10G, and frankly, I don't have a larger tank to spare right now. The small ornatipinnis moved right into a shell now that there is only one other fish in that tank. The bigger fish is no longer harassing the smaller one. I can't be sure it was courting behavior, but the big one was shaking in front of the little one at least once this afternoon, and I had not observed that behavior before. Not a done deal yet, but it looks promising.

Tim - I am glad to hear that you also seem to have the suspicion that the males could be larger in ornatipinnis.

Mine is a very interesting strain. I've got to get some better photos of these fish, but they have a yellow dot between the eyes. They almost look as if they were wearing a yellow cap :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
I've had both "types" of ornatipinnis for the last couple of years (I suspect that the splitters would have them as two different species). If you can post some images, even poor quality ones I can help you out a bit further. In all cases my males were noticeably larger than my females and had more colour around the edges of their fins.

The yellow eye type have females that are far more shorter bodied than the males, and the females are a bit more colourful as well. The females seem to share markings similar to L. kungweenis and are probably related to them in some fashion.

What I can do is post some images for you, the first two are of the Kigoma type, probably not the ones you picked up at auction.


Male and female pair


Male

The following are the ones I had with the yellow eyes.


Juvenile


Female


Male


Yellow eyes

Here's a short video of a yellow-eye female in breeding dress. Please excuse the quality as I can't find my firewire cord.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This morning the suspected female was standing in her shell and fanning wildly. I am feeling pretty confident talking about 'her' now, and for all I know they might have done the deed already :thumb:

She looks very much like your female in breeding dress. But my strain has not just yellow eyes. The whole area between the eyes is yellow.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top