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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've had a group of 12 Yellows (2M, 10F, all 3") for about a year now, and they don't seem to breed very much at all. I get the occasional spawn, but mostly the females get very ripe, drop their egg tubes for a few days, then slim down without spawning. I've caught a few females just dropping their eggs and eating them, in the middle of the night. They've been doing this for about 6 months.
So what's the deal? The males seem to be preoccupied with feeding; only occasionally do I see them chase the females around. Or is the problem with the females simply not following the males to the spawning area? I don't recall having this much difficulty with my original group- they bred like rabbits.
Can anyone shed some light. Tank params: 36" x 18", ph 7.5, 2x sponge filters, water changes varies (either 1x80%, or 2x50% weekly), temp 25C, exclusively fed on NLS 2mm cichlid formula.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yup, sounds like some dominate females have you fooled...
 

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dielikemoviestars said:
Your males might not be males. They shouldn't need any enticing from the females to breed.
+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's definately 1 male in there,
I've gotten 3 small, half eaten spawns over about a year (possibly from the same female? I can't keep track) that only resulted in 5-6 fry each. Is there something wrong with my females? Maybe my males are a bit whimpy; the bigger one didn't colour up until I added a second.
The females were originally on their own without any males (yep- dominant females acting like males) for about 8 months- might they have developed some bad habits?
Have I missed something, is there anything suppressing normal spawning?

Cheers.
 

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Are there any other tank mates? My labs don't spawn much in my 125. I got a spawn out of them when they were younger in a 55g with young aceis as the only tank mate, but every since I moved them into the 125 they hadn't spawned. I was starting to wonder if my female was the one I lost to bloat last year and was left with 5 males, that is until this weekend when I finally watched my labs spawn and have a female holding.

I've had them for about 15 months in all now and this is only the second spawn, so... maybe yours and mine both just need a little more time?
 

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some great reasons listed above could be a slight mix of all problems here
A, water must be pristine
b, females got you fooled
c,male isnt gettting to fertilize
I would suggest you vent all your cichlids this is the only way to know for sure what sex is in the tank, i presume a really low male count i would also recommend adding another male or 2 smaller in size to your dominant male(if it is a male) and add some spawning stones a nice oval shaped rock with a slant on 1 side and preferably a smouth bowl like top :wink: mbuna love these
 

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The females were originally on their own without any males (yep- dominant females acting like males) for about 8 months- might they have developed some bad habits?
I had something like this happen to me a few years ago with my colony of Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos. I started off with just 3 females (thought one of them was a male - also was waiting for another shipment to come in as I got the last 3 at the store), then about 4 months later added an actual male. My alpha female never spawned with the new male over the course of 2 years- in fact she seemed to intimidate him. I did catch her laying eggs and holding them for a day or two, but the male never fertilized them. The other females (the subdominant females) did spawn with the male, though.

The following is me just sort of thinking out loud...low on facts and high on speculation:
These kinds of scenarios where we keep females in the absence of males makes me think of some recent threads about female cichlids switching genders and how perhaps it is a gradual process. Maybe alpha females who are kept in the absence of a male start expressing genes and behaviors associated with dominance (which may have a negative impact on their egg production). And it may be very rare that a female will completely switch genders, but it certainly is common to see females which can be very aggressive and territorial and color up like males - perhaps their egg-production capability can be altered after several months in such a state.

Or perhaps maybe you just need to show your males some "confidence-boosting" help videos... or give him a sports car. :lol:
 

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The tank is pretty small. I might try 1m:4f and see if that helps. Maybe too much chaos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies,
At the moment, I'm thinking there's something wrong with the water comming out of the tap. Maybe the authorities have added or subtracted something.

There's no other fish in the tank- just the Yellows.
I don't think age is a big factor- siblings of my fish have spawned for friends at only 6 months.
There is at least 1 fertile male in there. Maybe the M/F ratio is a bit low, but I wouldn't have thought adding more would help- but I'll try anything at this point!
Tank size? I dunno if getting a bigger tank would help- my original group spawned like crazy in this tank, with the same rock work.
I might have to get the water properly tested ( or maybe just run it through carbon )

Any more suggestions? I'm all ears :popcorn:
 

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fatcichlid said:
Thanks for all the replies,
At the moment, I'm thinking there's something wrong with the water comming out of the tap. Maybe the authorities have added or subtracted something.

There's no other fish in the tank- just the Yellows.
I don't think age is a big factor- siblings of my fish have spawned for friends at only 6 months.
There is at least 1 fertile male in there. Maybe the M/F ratio is a bit low, but I wouldn't have thought adding more would help- but I'll try anything at this point!
Tank size? I dunno if getting a bigger tank would help- my original group spawned like crazy in this tank, with the same rock work.
I might have to get the water properly tested ( or maybe just run it through carbon )

Any more suggestions? I'm all ears :popcorn:
id do exactly what you plan on doing test your tap water and also check the water in your tank never hurts to add carbon either and if you have 1 male to 10 females it wouldnt hurt to add another male or 2 just make sure there smaller than original dominant male (keep aggression down) if you really want to breed this will help fertilization rate :wink:
 
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