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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to take a moment and thank everyone for the great information I have found on this site so far. I finally have a question worth asking.

Will a socolofi breed with a yellow lab?

I currently have a 75 gallon tank with a full grown blue socolofi and a full grown female lab. The next largest fish I have in there is a 2.5" male Eureka Red. The rest of the crew consists of 6 Eurekas (currently unsexed), an OB male, 2 Acei, and 2 yellow labs (all under 2"). Oh and I have a molly that was originally in there as a feeder, but survived and currently thinks she is a cichlid (she even has verticle barring now). 8)

The Lab has held twice before for between 1 and 2 weeks to no effect. She has not been harrassed and she seems pretty healthy through the last two terms. In watching her behavior, she hangs in a quiet spot for a bit, then moves around, then hides again and so on. I do not notice any fish chasing her out of these spots. The socolofi and the largest Eureka do not pay her much attention either. This is the same for when i noticed she was ready to mate. They just weren't all over her or fighting each other for the chance to mate with her. Everyone pretty much continued on about their business.

So, my second question is, do you think the eggs she is tumbling are indeed fertilized? I connot get a good look in her mouth ever and I have tried. The socolofi I originally picked up at Petsmart and it was labelled as such. So, I am sure he is not a hybrid. The same is true for the lab. I am also not planning to have these fish mate, it is just exciting for the family to see this happen. Also, they fry will not be leaving my house.

Please let me know if there is more information you would like, but I believe my questions are simple enough. As well, before I start to hear recommendations on my mix of fish, please understand I know the Mbuna is more aggressive than the others and may cause problems later on. Currently the tank is peaceful and big Blue is not harrassing or terrorizing anyone. I am having a hard time finding females at local shops and it is becoming expensive purchasing a bunch to see that they are males and then taking them back.

All fish are fed twice per day with NLS. Once per week I feed them an emerald entree of some sort, either vegetable meal or a frozen brine shrimp. I haven't done feeders since I realized Blue was strictly vegetarian. I don't think he ever caught a feeder either.

Thank you for reading.
 

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If there are other Yellow labs then they will usually stick with breeding with their own kind. With there being 3 yellow labs in there the chances of the socofoli and lab breeding a slim, but possible. I would think if she has eggs in her mouth they are likely fertilized! Good luck keep us posted as to who is the father. Yellow labs can breed at a small size I have had them breeding at less than 2in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply.

I will keep an eye on her and update you as things develop. I guess I am going to wait one week and move her to a smaller tank by herself. I really want to actually have fry for the kids to see.
 

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If none of the other fish are old enough (or in her mind big enough) to breed, they she would definitely look to the socolofi. However that does not mean the socolofi is male. Two females will spin around and mock spawn. When a female needs to drop her eggs, she doesn't care who she dances with. If she holds the eggs longer than a few days they are likely fertilized. If not, she will swallow or spit them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the reply Malawilover.

I agree with you that I cannot confirm if the Socolofi is male or not. I can say that he is very large, has over 4 egg spots now and I have never seen him holding eggs. I did not get to witness the dance. It is definitely possible that one of the smaller labs snuck in and sealed the deal.

As an update, I have the mother holding in her own tank now and she is still holding some eggs in her mouth. What a chore to catch her! I removed half the rocks from my tank.

Thanks again, I will update once something happens.
 

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ANY mouthbrooder will spawn with another mouthbrooder. Doesn't matter the color, species, etc. I just witnessed my biggest female saulosi spawn with a male lab because there are no mature males for her to spawn with. All of my saulosi are young, this female is just around 2 inches.
You can beef up your numbers to reduce the risk of hybrids, but it is always a possibility, even with large groups. The only way to avoid hybrids is to have a species only tank.
 
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