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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've had my new fish for almost 3 weeks. There are 8 maingano, 3 snow white (had 6, 3 died in 2 days), 5 acei, and 13 saulosi. Maingano are 1.5-2" , snow whites are 1-1.5", acei are about 1.5", and saulosi are .75-1.5" So far, I have seen no aggression. What size are they when they start becoming dominant/aggression? At what size will they start breeding?
 

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i assume you put all your fish in at the same time...? aggression and breeding can start at any time....i have had fish that started breeding within days of going into the tank....over time the boss`s of the tank will make them selves know.....i have a couple of large labs that size each other up on a regular basis ...no major issues caused....just boys being boys.....how ever ,do keep a look out for any fish that get injured.....and make sure you look after them
 

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The acei and socolofi (snow white?) won't breed for a while yet, maybe not until they are 3".

The maingano and saulosi females that are 1.5" may be big enough but the males probably need to be a bit more mature. Are any of your saulosi males colored up?

Figure three to six months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
None of the saulosi males are fully colored up yet...some have black along the dorsal fin along with some blue tinting on the face and fin
 

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Serious aggression really starts after multiple fish are sexually mature. And bigger fish have bigger territories/personal space. Juvenile fish play fight, and it is not so serious... thou fish can act tough and be rough. You normally don't see fish get ripped up by another until they are sexually mature.
 

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Sizes a fish will start to spawn vary...some female labs will hold at 1.5" and some males will not spawn until 3". Color transformation on a male is also an indication.

Just as a starting place, figure spawning might start happening when the fish is almost half it's full size.

Acei is 7" so that would be 3" to 3.5"
Socolofi is 6" so that would be 3"
Maingano and Saulosi are 4" so might spawn at 2"

It can happen before or after that depending on a lot of factors including when you put them in the tank. My demasoni started spawning after they were in the tank for 8 months even though they were mature enough earlier than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think one of my female mainganos may be holding. She had been a piggy pig up until yesterday. Now she kind of hides in the rocks and won't eat...and her mouth looks funny.
 

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Sounds like she's probably holding, but they may or not be fertile eggs. Males tend to need to be slightly larger to be sexually mature than females.

Also, out of the 12 or so species of mbuna that I have kept, maingano females have been the meanest. I used to have an alpha female that my male didn't even want to spawn with - she would lay eggs and pick them up and hold them for a few days unfertilized.
 
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