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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been gathering info on the web and from this forum over the last couple months, thank you, but am starting to feel like I'm in over my head a bit and am now asking for help.

I recently setup a 56 gallon aquarium and researched some fish for it. We thought cichlids sounded fun and challenging, so that's the route we went. I researched their aggressiveness, water parameters, environment, etc. Finally, because of their size and colors, I decided on getting a dozen saulosi, shooting for the 1m:3f ratio. I purchased the fish online, all about 1.5" long or so, and was told there were 3 males and the rest were females. The fish seem to be enjoying the tank. They are very active and have captivated the family over the last week. :popcorn:

Now the dilemma... It's my understanding that it's difficult to distinguish male from female at this size, but I'm thinking I might have more like 7-9 males which would really wreck my plan. From what I'm reading, it sounds like at this ratio this is going to go poorly for some of these fish as they mature. If it turns out that I do have more males, I have a couple ideas in mind to keep relative peace. Please let me know what you think: First, I could try to re-home some of the males and add females to get back to the 1:3 ratio, or re-home the females and do an all male tank. Another idea is to plan on getting a larger tank in a year or so, maybe a 75 or 90 gal, and distribute fish among the 2 tanks filling in gaps in the ratio with the right number of males and females.

Any advice or experience you are willing to share is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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What are the dimensions of your tank? Depending on that you may be able to get away with more than the 1:3 ratio. Your first option seems best, re-home males and try to get more females.
 

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Welcome to C-F!

Saulosi males begin to show themselves at a small size. You may see several in full color around 2" with a few more in between, looking yellowish with faint bars. I'd give it some time. If they're harassing a particular fish you'll need to take action or you may end up with dead/sick ones. That applies to all cichlids, really.

I second rehoming extra males, if it becomes an issue. Finding females can be tricky. You may endnup just having to purchase more juvies and grow them up to get your desired ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your input! The tank is 30" long x 18" wide x 24" tall. Local fish guys I visited said it would be fine for saulosi, but I've read since that it's not optimal for these types of fish.
 

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Third vote for rehoming males.

All male only works in a larger tank and with males that look nothing alike.
 

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rox44 said:
Thanks for your input! The tank is 30" long x 18" wide x 24" tall. Local fish guys I visited said it would be fine for saulosi, but I've read since that it's not optimal for these types of fish.
Several members have had success with Saulosi in smaller tanks. Even a 29 gallon. Just be watchful for any that are being picked on and forced into the upper corners or behind plumbing. Those are the ones being stressed out due to territorial issues. Good luck with them. They're a lot of fun and breed like crazy :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like I need to be prepared to re-home some of the fellas. I really appreciate all the advice and time, everyone.

One more question, please: should I try to be proactive in re-homing the obvious males while they are relatively young, or wait like 6-12 months , let them grow more and see if everyone gets along as is?

Again, I understand it's difficult to definitively pick male from female at this point, but if you're curious... out of 12 fish, I have 1 fish that is almost entirely faded purple color with no yellow left. He's definitely the most aggressive at this point. 2 more are getting there, mostly faded purple with a little yellow remaining on their tails. Then, I count 4 to 6 more with no blue, but varying degrees of dark bars, black tipped fins and egg spots. The remaining 3 to 4 are bright gold/yellow with no dark fins or bars, no egg spots, and occasionally showing a barred pattern that's a darker gold color, but not as pronounced as the other fish showing bars. Tank activity has been fun to watch - grazing the rocks, exploring caves, digging in the sand around the rocks, and some chasing. Luckily no one is hanging by themselves in the corners or behind the plumbing yet.
 

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I always wait...but neither way is wrong. Know that males can masquerade as females.
 
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