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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, we've had these guys for years (I think the parents since 2002?). Not totally sure what they are, according to Ad Konings book they look mostly like Pseudotropheus estherae. Read here they should be called Metriaclima estherae though?

What do you think? Did I get it right or do you know what else they could be?

I was wondering this: the mother of the other fish is pure spotless orange in color but the doughters have random black spots and "dirty" foreheads. Also mothers eye color is little different to her daughters. Males all look the same, they have striping and change color quite strongly. The old guy is now nowadays very pale but was darker when younger. All have bright spots in their fins. They are maternal mouthbrooders. So, what do you think: are the offspring pure or mixed? Is the slight variation in coloring between mother and daughters normal?

The colors in these pictures are not totally correct (also depending on your display), the females are more orange than yellow.

Father:


Father and son doing a faceoff:


Same son with some sisters:


Mother and one of the daughters:


And another daughter:
 

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The name has since been changed to Metriaclima estherae - Pseudotropheus is just a "place-holder" genus.

You MIGHT have a blue x orange colony, but your dom. male looks far too white (I could be wrong about this, having never seen a blue male before) and that youngin' looks far too dark. Females are definitely Met. estherae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
having never seen a blue male before
In Ad Konings book about Malawi cichlids there is a picture of a blue "Pseudotropheus estherae" male. Its light blue in the picture but no way of knowing if the image is realistic color due printing tech variation and color matching issues (as always with print media).

The dominant male used to be the same color as his sons but during last 2 years he has lost color (doesn't change color so much anymore) and is very pale colored now all the time. He is maybe 8-10 years old. And he is still the boss (of cichlids) in my tank.

The sons change color from light blue to purple to very dark blue depending on their mood.

You MIGHT have a blue x orange colony
Are you saying the dominant male and female might be different species?

Females are definitely Met. estherae.
Note that all the females and also the dark "sons" are dominant males offspring. Only exeption being the dominant female. There is no chance of mistake here as all others have been born in our tanks exept the dominant male and female.

However, we cannot be sure if the shop they were bought from in 2002 was right about them being same species.
 

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Metriaclima estherae come in a large variety of colour forms from the wild and there are a huge number of man messed about types on the market. I think you have one of the lake types but kind of not up on em enough to tell you which one.

All the best James
 

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Giving a variant to TB or unknown guys is prob not a good thing but if you want to have a look at some lake variants then this is I think a good place.
http://www.malawi-dream.info/Maylandia_estherae.htm
I would be happy selling your fish as Maylandia/Metriaclima estherae
The variation in colours from parents to young is not what I would expect from many locations and may be from a cross of two variants or natural variation within one. Best sell any young as just the species as no way can I be sure its a pure variant unless it came in as that fully labeled and verifiable.

Though saying that I strongly suspect your guys are pure Minos Reef as these have the variation you are noticing.

All the best James
 

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24Tropheus said:
Though saying that I strongly suspect your guys are pure Minos Reef as these have the variation you are noticing.
Given these are the only location that have been exported... well, pretty much forever...
 

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Life must be so much simpler where that is true. Pretty sure in the UK we have seen Metangula, Chilucha Reef, Meluluca, & Minos Reef all imported and sold, as well as the double reds and other hybrid/line breds from Europe and elsewhere.

All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for your insight.

The dominant fish came to us in early 2002 when availability of Malawis was quite limited in my country (still now not so common). So I am pretty hopefull they were no hybrids when they came to us. If they were 100% same species to start with - no way for me to know, and probably the aquarium shop that sold them cannot positively know that. But, this also leaves a possibility that they indeed are pure. Atleast photos and your opinions support that possibility.

Well, the dominat female again has her cheeks full (no offspring in years but after 1 week in new tank they were spawning). If there is success maybe I can give some offspring to others without feeling bad about distributing hybrids?
 

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For sure. They are prob pure Minos Reef and not even a within species hybrid let alone what most cichlid keepers think of as hybrids a species cross.
I bred and sold Ice blue Red top Zebras for years and never quite knew for sure what species or variant they really were as this info was lost before I got them.
I just tend not to be a fan of giving a pure variant to a fish unless there is no dought what so ever. And that takes the fish to be accuratly labelled with species and collection site when it comes in.
Am I a pedant? Yep prob and happy to be one.

All the best James
 
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