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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

The new Cichlid tank is coming on really nicely and I am so pleased have chosen this fascinating variety of fish. I have steered away from aggressive mbuna and decided to keep to peacocks, smaller haps and chilled mbuna like yellow labs/rustys.

So the other day I went to my LFS to pick up the Rustys and asked for 1 male and 2 females (64G tank). The guy in there talked a good game, but unfortunately didn't know what he was looking for and as soon as I got them into the tank it became apparent that the two bigger rustys are both males (they straight away started posturing/quivering) and have since staked out territories at different ends of the tank.

I decided than rather try and get one out, I would go and buy another female (so the 1 female does not get too much hassle when she reaches sexual maturity).

Both the males seems quite happy at their opposite ends of the tank and rarely venture to see each other.

My question is, is 2 males too many for this size of tank? I don't want them competing and getting aggressive with each other when it comes to spawning (plus one of them will probably never colour up to the full potential).

Should I make the effort to try and catch one of them and return to the LFS? (the owner already said it would be not problem to have it back). It would probably involve a good hour with the sleeves rolled up and moving a lot of rocks around.

Thanks for any advice,

Ian.
 

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What are the dimensions of the tank? This is more important than gallons. Also keep in mind that Mbuna like Rustys are harem breeders and should be kept in a ratio of 1m:3-4f to keep the females from becoming to stressed.
 

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I would definitely return him. You wanted 2 female 1 male. Why settle for less. I keep 2 rusty males but have 8 females in my 75g. Might be a little work now to catch him, but in the long run you will be glad you did it.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick to assume you have 2 males. Females, especially as juveniles, can display dominance behaviors. But whether you currently have 1 male or 2 males, I'd definitely get another 3 or so likely females. Then when they are big enough to vent or hold, remove the extra males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the all the info everyone. I today spent hours catching him (had to empty the tank of ALL plants and rocks in the process, what a PAIN!) and returned him to the LFS. I hope now I have 1 male and 2 females, but time will tell I guess.

I would like to add more females although the LFS owner (who has a keen eye for identifying them) was not there today so I decided not to pick any up today, incase I end up back at square 1!

It's a bow front tank and is 100cm x 42cm (at the widest part).

Thanks again,

Ian.
 

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I wouldnt trust your fish store's judgement on the sex of the fish unless he was using a loupe/magnifier to look at the sexual organs or the fish was 4-5" long and you could see without one.

I think it might of been a little premature bringing that fish back to the store.
 

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I was able to keep 3 male rusties in a 33XL for a few months. They were alone with no females, but they didn't harm each other. Actually, I just traded them in at the LFS on tuesday. I had thought about trying to keep 3 males in my 125 group, but I'd have wanted to keep at least 5-8 more females than the 4 I have now to be safe. I'm already considering adding another female or 2, because the male likes to get all 4 I have now holding at the same time :roll: .

Anyways, rather than trying to keep 3 males and the extra bioload of them and the females I'd need to add, I decided I'd rather use the bioload space for another purpose, so thats why I traded in my extra males.
 

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My dominate male rusty messed up another rusty (who i thought was female) pretty bad one time. I took it out to hospitalize it and while doing that i vented it and sure enough it was a male.

He is now at a friends house in an all male setting and is looking better than my dominate male.

It makes it very difficult to determine the sex of a fish just by looking at them. There are too many variables like the mood of the fish, what other fish are in the tank, what ratios you have, how clean your tank is, what you feed them, and so on.
 
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