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And vicious, supposedly... Dunno - never owned them..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I traded away my excess 3 male rusties for them. Hoping to get 1-3 FEMALES ONLY to try in my 125 display. They will soon be joined by half a dozen red zebras out of which I will try to keep 1-3 females as well. Just a little experiment I have to try... auratus are THE fish that inspired me to research and get into african cichlids, I have to give them a try.
 

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I like the idea of trying to keep them in large groups, if you've got room get another 6.

One thing I don't like about tank raised Auratus is that the males often look brownish, and the females can get brownish when mature. Hopefully the dominant male gets a nice black and white and the females stay colorful in a group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
noki said:
I like the idea of trying to keep them in large groups, if you've got room get another 6.

One thing I don't like about tank raised Auratus is that the males often look brownish, and the females can get brownish when mature. Hopefully the dominant male gets a nice black and white and the females stay colorful in a group.
Oh no I'm not keeping any males. I don't have a 6' tank to dedicate to a large group, and I won't risk the rest of my fish. This is just an experiment to see if a few females can peacefully live with other mbuna groups. Anyof them start turning black, right back to the store!
 

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It's been shown before that in the absence of any males, proven female auratus can change sexes into sexually viable males. Pretty nuts.
 

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It's been shown before that in the absence of any males, proven female auratus can change sexes into sexually viable males. Pretty nuts.
Mutants! :lol:
 

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Kanorin said:
It's been shown before that in the absence of any males, proven female auratus can change sexes into sexually viable males. Pretty nuts.
With African cichlids? Cite this, please. I've heard of it with amphibians, clownfish, and a few others, but never with cichlids. Male coloration, yes. Actual sexual transformation?

Rhinox - you know, despite their reputation, I love auratus. They ARE beautiful fish, and I would love to have a tank dedicated to a massive colony of them someday.
 

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the new york times published an article about hermaphroditism in fish way back in 1984.

it doesnt mention african cichlids specifically but they cant be that much different form marine fish.

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/12/04/scien ... gewanted=1

this next article, published in 1998, talks specifically about afrcian cichlids. it goes on to note that the Metriaclima livinstonii is known for females changing sex.

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ ... fishes.cfm

i dont find it hard to believe that an auratus can and will change sex if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dielikemoviestars said:
Kanorin said:
It's been shown before that in the absence of any males, proven female auratus can change sexes into sexually viable males. Pretty nuts.
With African cichlids? Cite this, please. I've heard of it with amphibians, clownfish, and a few others, but never with cichlids. Male coloration, yes. Actual sexual transformation?

Rhinox - you know, despite their reputation, I love auratus. They ARE beautiful fish, and I would love to have a tank dedicated to a massive colony of them someday.
I was involved in a thread about the sex changing potential of auratus here a year or so ago now I think. I believe females turning into males is just yellow juvies and sub doms turning black, or known females showing male coloration, and not actual sex changes. I haven't seen actual proof that it happens in auratus, but the guy in this thread was pretty insistent.

There was also a documented paper about sex changes in Metriaclima lanisticola, I believe, a Malawi mbuna. Its all in this thread.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... highlight=

But yeah, I love these little mbuna. The most attractive females in the lake, IMO, and even better looking than males of some species. At one point before I ever did any research, it was the only fish I even knew as a cichlid :lol:
 

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The auratus and chipokae are the only cichlids that actually change sex. If you were to buy a dozen juveniles they would all be yellow and female. When they reach sexual maturity the dominant female will "change" into the male. If you were to leave the fish be you would only ever have one male. If you were to remove the male the next dominant female would then "change" into a male. You can return the original male to the tank and have two males but the subdominant one would loose the majority of his dark colors. Once they turn to a male they can't change back. I do not have any documentation of this but I have raised and breed them for about 10 years. I ran a 75g with about 20 of them. I would usually "make" 3 males for the tank. These are an awesome fish and I would say they are no more aggressive then any other mbunas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hongi7480
This is what I was talking about. The color change is not a sex change. Lots of other species are dimorphic, and males change from juvie/female to mature male coloration. Just because the dozen, or half dozen in my case, are all the same color does not mean they are all female. Some of my 6 are male already, they just need some time to mature to show it.

Now, I plan on keeping females only, and when I say that, I mean the auratus will be banished to their own tank until a female is holding*, at which time it will be separated from the auratus colony and either added to the 125 or to a different tank. If I get 3 females this way and put them in my 125, and then one day I notice 2 of my female auratus spawning and I end up with viable auratus fry, I'll take back everything I've said and I'll be sure to post pictures as proof or whatever. Until then, auratus do not actually change sex. :)

*The trick will be, keeping a male around long enough in a 40br or 33XL who will spawn with females for me but not kill off the tank, giving me time to identify a female or 3.....
 

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Yeah I was also remembering that thread, but I must have remembered it wrong. The paper is on Metriaclima Lanisticola. But there was one member who claims to have a female auratus, who held a batch of fry later turn into a male. I tend to believe that this can happen given the right conditions.

Sorry to derail your thread!

Now on topic - Go for the auratus addition. They are pretty fish. I wish they weren't so mean!
 

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There are at least a dozen articles if you search sex changing auratus. I know the difference between dimorphic and sex changing. It has been proven that the auratus will actually change sex when in a situation when no males are present. Like I said, I have been raising these fish for 10 years. I have had the same fish lay eggs, then turn into a male because I forced it to happen. One auratus in a tank will not change since there is not another for it to breed with, but add a second and it will turn.
 

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There are at least a dozen articles if you search sex changing auratus. I know the difference between dimorphic and sex changing. It has been proven that the auratus will actually change sex when in a situation when no males are present. Like I said, I have been raising these fish for 10 years. I have had the same fish lay eggs, then turn into a male because I forced it to happen. One auratus in a tank will not change since there is not another for it to breed with, but add a second and it will turn.
 

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It was actually a fairly recent article by someone whose name I recognized in connection with Africans. They got it to happen in the lab. I'll see if I can find it somewhere. All of us were suprised!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
yeah DJR it was the paper on the metriaclima that Kanorin linked to: http://www.asihcopeiaonline.org/doi/abs ... lCode=cope

Anyways whether they do or don't isn't important to me at this junction but lets say I end up with 3 females, I'll take pics when they're holding at which time I'll separate them in preparation of moving them into my 125. I won't do this until they hold because last thing I want is a rogue auratus male I don't know about wrecking havok on my more important stock. I'm hoping to get 3 females, so, in theory, if I get 3 females in the 125, 1 of them should turn to male and if this happens, I'll try to document the event with pictures and see if there are viable fry (and not just 2 females pretending to spawn and holding unfertilized eggs for a few days). I didn't mean for this to be a science experiment, and even if they don't switch sex for me doesn't mean they can't afterall there will be males of other species around so that may surpress the sex changing characteristic if it exists.

This conversation has been had before and I don't desire to fight about it now with anyone. All I have said is that I don't believe they actually change sex and will keep that belief until provided with some proof. Usually this is met with the defensive "I've been keeping fish for 1000 years I don't need to prove anything to you" and that is fine. All the same I don't have to blindly accept something as fact without something a little more than anecdotal evidence. Believe me I would find it absolutely fascinating if I find I get a female auratus to legitimately switch from female to male and if it happens I'll be the first to eat these words. I would love to have a couple 6' tanks to carry out an appropriate experiment to see if I can get it to happen in a controlled environment but I just do not have the resources right now to do that.

Anyways, back to my little 6 auratus. I have noticed that these 6 tend to turn off their yellow coloration on their bellies. I don't know if its bad quality or stress or just getting used to the new tank. They're not as attractive when the yellow goes away. But all 6 of them patrol the tank in a tight group of 6 its more "schooling" than any of my other new mbuna juvie purchases have ever done. None of them have really schooled, let alone in as tight a group as these guys. I can see how people find it hard to believe they get so mean I myself can't believe that in a few months all **** could break lose.

ah well, looking forward to watching them grow and get a little first hand experience with them.
 

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I am interested in following this & see what the results are 6 month's from now... I have always thought they were very attractive.. Just not attractive enough for me relative to their reputation & risk involved..

Best of luck though with the experiment.. I hope it is successful.
 

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All the best Rhinox.

I too have 6 auratus juveniles and love them. Hope 1 of them turns male & I can breed them.
 
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