Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:47 pm

I'm gonna be a (pseudo) father!

I think one of my female Auratus is 'holding'. She has, what appears to be, a goiter, and is 'juggling' in her mouth.

uhh... I'm almost sure that the others will have a nice meal. Is there any way to keep them 'swimming with the fishes?'

I'm sure that putting her in another tank is the only way... Any suggestions?
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by football mom on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:56 am

Some people have luck with creating a "fry pile", a pile of small stones with crevices too small for the big fish to get into. A smart mama fish will release her fry near this and a smart baby will take advantage of a hiding place.
I have had some lab fry survive this way, it's worth a try.
If I really want to save fry, though, I catch the female and strip the fry.

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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:47 pm

Thanks for the tip! I'm off to the 'small rock' store Very Happy
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:51 pm

Well, no success with any of the eggs. I think she got hungry as a rsult of not eating for weeks. Now, she is pretty weak, and her tail and dorsal fins are 'rotting' off. I managed to catch her (she was too weak to put up a fight) and is in her own tank for now... She is a little livlier, but still tail-less... I will put her back in the main tank when she is 'complete' again!
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by Aura on Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:26 pm

Are you sure it was "rotting" off or could she have been picked on by others in the tank?

If it was rot, you'll need to keep a close eye on it and treat if you don't see improvement with good clean water. You could add a little aquarium salt and some Melafix to help things along.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:46 pm

I'm pretty sure it was rotting. I had this issue in another tank when I added some 'new' Plecos to the tank. Lost 4 Plecos, 3 Danios, but only managed to salvage one of the 2 Gourami that were in it. The Albino Catfish seemed to be unaffected. In fact, im sure that Albino Catfish and cockroaches will be the only survivirs of a nuclear holocost!

There was a white 'cloud' around the end of her fins. About 1/3 of the fin was still there. This is when I quarantined her. Just forward of the cloud, her tail area was red and swolen. She eventually lost the entire tail fin and about half her anal fin, and about 1/3 of her dorsal fin. Luckily, none of the other fish in that tank have been affected. I'm attributing it to the stress of not eating while holding, and expending a ton of energy trying to fend off the others from her cave at the same time. I tried to quarrantine her while she was holding, but she was impossible to catch (I'm sure this didnt help any)...

She has been in isolation for about 10 days now and underwent a Melafix treatment, and the tail and the missing portion of her anal and dorsal fim are begining to re-grow. She is also a bit more lively since she is eating again (quite a bit more than usual which, I'm sure, is a good sign).

I went to clean the 'display' tank, and noticed another one of the females holding eggs. Do you think it will be a good idea to clean it while she is holding eggs, or should I wait until she spits them out? She has been holding for less than 24 hours, and this is her first time. The only way I think I will be able to catch her is to remove the rocks and drain some of the water.

The reason I want to rearrange is because I have fake and real plants in it. The leaves on the real plants are large enough that I want to remove the fake ones. I also bought some 'Cichlid Stones' and want to remove some of the things that I had in there to give them some more swimming space since they are now beginning to gain some size and are becoming a bit more aggressive. I want to keep the plants in there to break up 'line of sight' to keep aggreaaion down since the leaves are fairly large... They seem to work because I have noticed 2 male Auratas on either side of a leaf and they dont know the other one is there. Once they see each other, the fight begins. I guess 'out of sight, out of mind' works Very Happy If they're happy, I'm happy!
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by Aura on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:22 pm

How often are you doing water changes and about what percentage of water is changed?

How many fish? These are the fish in the 36" tank?

I'm worried that the aggressive species that you have in that size of a tank are going to be a problem now that they are old enough to start spawning.

I would go ahead and keep up with the tank cleaning, especially if there has already been a case of fin/tail rot.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:40 pm

I am changing about half of the water and vacuuming the gravel every week. I add the salt, dechlorinating the water and food for the plants as I am refilling it. I completely remove all rocks and plants and scrub the tank walls once a month, but do not remove the algae from the rocks.

In the 40 gal I have 13 fish. Turns out that I have 3 male Auratas, 3 female (including the one in quarantine, and the one that is holding), 4 Kenyi (one bright yellow male and 3 femeles) and 3 crabro of unknown sex, (although one fades from pure tan to pure dark gray on occasion dependin on its mood. I'm assuming it is male?). All are about 3 - 4 inches in length except my 'runt' Kenyi who is about 2 inches, but holds her own!

I am in process of getting a 55 gal tank set up, which is why I want to keep the big leafy plants in the 40 gal for now, and put in the cichlid stones to add more swimming room, and increase the amount of caves and hiding places.

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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by Aura on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:53 pm

Your water changes sound good to me. I would keep doing them regularly and not postpone them for holding fish.

I don't know what to say about the stocklist of aggressive species that you have. I started out the same way and became attached to them so I did not want to take them back to the store or give them away. I ended up buying more and bigger tanks. Very Happy I kept moving and rearranging them from tank to tank until I found what combination would work. Sometimes rearranging the rocks and decor caused more aggression. My crabro ended up in a 75 gallon because of their size. And most of my dominant male auratuses were scattered around one per tank -- they never caused trouble with other species -- it was just their own kind that they couldn't get along with.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:48 pm

The information that you gave about the Auratus seems to be the norm from what I am hearing. That is exactly what my plan is (keeping one male per tank).

As far as rthe holdong female, I didn't want to stress her out, but I will clean and rearrange the tank as I had planned... I guess I will have NUMEROUS cichlid tanks to cpmpliment the single community tank that I have... Thanks!
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Well, I just removed 2 of the 3 male Auratus out of the main tank, and there is now peace within the tank! No more endless female chases, no more Auratus Royal Rumbles in the middle of the tank... One is going to a new home, and for now, I have the dominant male to begin a new tank with!

These guys are fun!
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by Aura on Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:40 pm

It's good that you are enjoying them. Twisted Evil
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by iceblue on Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:46 pm

Good move on the auratus. A lone one in the tank will do well for quite a while with other aggressive Mbuna. They still bear watching though.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:57 pm

iceblue wrote:Good move on the auratus. A lone one in the tank will do well for quite a while with other aggressive Mbuna. They still bear watching though.

Iceblue,

What is that fish that yo hav as your profile pic? I think the fish that I thought was a Kenyi is the same as your pic (it is in the earlier pic that I posted, the one with 3 Kenyi)? Its fins are beginning to turn yellow/orange, but it isnt changing colors the same way as the Kenyi male that i have; he is already 'full yellow'.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by iceblue on Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:01 pm

The picture is of my favorite species, Maylandia greshaki. How many stripes does yours have?
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:06 pm

iceblue wrote:The picture is of my favorite species, Maylandia greshaki. How many stripes does yours have?

It has 7. It looks almost identical to the one on your profile pic... They stop just at the base of its dorsal fin (unlike my Kenyi whose continue into their fin).

I posted a pic on page one of this thread, that has 3 'Kenyi" in the pic. The fish in question is the one in hte middle of the pic.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by Aura on Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:07 pm

I didn't see a greshakei in any of your pictures on the first page. I've never kept kenyi, but it could be that it isn't fully changing because the other male that has fully colored is the dominant one. I've seen this happen with many of the mbuna that I keep -- the subdominant ones don't always want to show off those pretty colors and attract unwanted attention.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by iceblue on Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:58 pm

Very true. I had one male Kenyi that kept the female coloring long after it was much larger than the other females. He could go from iridescent powder blue to gold and vise-versa in the blink of an eye. It's one of the ways they can escape the aggression of the dominant male.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:19 pm

I guess I should stay aware of the fact that there a LOT of different types of cichlids... Embarassed
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by iceblue on Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:06 am

No embarrassment my friend. You are seeking knowledge and that puts you leaps ahead of most people.

One of the big problems in identification is how diluted the gene pool of a lot of common species of Mbuna has become. Their bright colors, activity and prolific breeding have made them the target of less then honest and sometimes ignorant breeders for many years now. Most chain stores don't know the difference. All they need is a name and something swimming around in their tank they can sell.

So it's not you and you seem a serious enough person to learn and know the difference. If it's available to you check out any local cichlid clubs or organizations. When you see a fairly clean species you'll be even further amazed and a lot wiser about these wonderful fish.
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Re: Rift Lake Cichlid questions (MANY, as i am new to the species).

Post by jmcfive on Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:43 pm

"There is wisdom in your words."

I was at a LPS yesterday looking to get more female Kenyi and asked the Gent that was working there to grab the 2 that were in the tank, and he had NO clue which ones I wanted... After asking him 'about his cichlid tank' he replied, "I used to have a tank but they kept killing each other, so I don't want anything to do with them. The only reason we have any is because the owner of the store breeds them." I, then, proceeded to go talk to the owner (he happened to be there) and had a wonderful conversation with him. He was very knowledgable, and was impressed that I haven't lost any of my cichlids to aggression (Of which, I owe to all of you!).

[I don't look at 'pets' as trinkets and I value all life i8n all forms. I partallel it to children; if you incapable of taking care of them, you shouldn't have them!]

I asked him questions, and his answers were pretty much in line with what all of you told me. I told him what I had, and what my plans were. He recommended some additions to the tank when I put them all in hte 55gal. They could use a bit more size, so they are in another tank, temp a bit on the high side. Here are some pics:
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