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Thread: baby chiclids from nowhere?

  1. #1

    Question baby chiclids from nowhere?

    I have a single chiclid that is about 4 years old. There have been no other chiclids in the tank for over 2.5 years. There are 2 algae eaters living with the chiclid. Every once and a while we will think we see eggs in the chiclids mouth and she wont eat for a few days. Nothing ever becomes of it, because their is no male—that was our logic. I guess we were wrong, yesterday we noticed about 5-6 baby chiclids swimming around. Can they reproduce on their own? can sperm stay dormant in thier system for years?

    How is this possible? If you know anything about the subject please respond.

  2. #2

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    a single cichlid (please note the spelling) cannot reproduce on its own. Maybe they are baby algae eaters?
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  3. #3
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    Hey maybe we've had the Immaculate conception of fish. Just kidding, dont wan't to offend anybody. I'm guessing that the Algea eaters bred near the time she laid her own eggs. Maybe she just picked them up, thinking they were hers.

  4. #4
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    wow interesting, keep us posted I would like to know how she deals with the "ugly dachsunds" she is carrying (referring to the old disney movie)
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    all those empty tanks(11).....what shall I do?

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    Can you get a pic of the babies?

  6. #6

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    I am 100% sure the babies are not the algea eaters. They are large enough that it is obvious, location of fins, color (bright orange), jawbone. My local pet store said they had heard of sperm staying dormant in the female for several years until the female felt the time is right. Can anyone confirm that? It sounded a little far fetched. could sperm be transfered from the pet store in the water from my algea eater purchase? any other ideas? We have seen white-ish looking orbs in the females mouth from time to time that we thought were eggs...but nothing ever became of it... I will try to get a picture.

  7. #7

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    i know livebearers can store sperm like that and reproduce several times on one "encounter"... never heard of cichlids doing it tho. you said the fry are bright orange.. is the "mother" also this color? do you know what type of cichlid it is?
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  8. #8

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    The Ciclid is also bright orange. It seems to be a really common inexpensive variety.. they even have them at our local Walmart. There are blue ones with black vertical stripes that have the exact same features. Is there somewhere on the internet i can look at some pictures to identify it?

  9. #9
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    Does it look like this?

    http://web.mit.edu/lxs/www/cichlids/red-zebra.html

    This is a bizarre situation, but I have heard of similar things occuring with mbuna. Crazy cat had a single kenyii that produced several successful spawns.

    http://cichlidforums.com/showthread....arthenogenesis

    I really dont understand this myself since if parthenogenesis in africans was possible it should be well documented by now. There are a number of higher animals in which this can occur, however, including a lizard in michigan.

    I really think we don't fully comprehend the details of sex and breeding in mbuna as well as we think.

    -Zen

  10. #10

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    ...
    I don't think that there is any way possible for a female cichlid of any kind to store sperm, because, that would require the male to deposit directly into the female...like a live bearer. Sperm cannot be absorbed through the fishs' body, and if taken orally, would meet it's destruction at the hands of the digestive system. Other possible explanations? -What if, this is a precurser to the evolution of live bearing in cichlid mouthbrooders? The next step would seem to have the elimination of the mouthbrooding process all together; a livebearing cichlid might just be the most advanced cichlid on the planet.

    The only other possible explanation that I can conjure, would be that somehow, a cichlid such as this, (and the one in crazycat's thread) contains both male and female reproductive organs...somehow. A cichlid breeding in this manner, may just be the most advanced FISH in existance! None of this seems likely to happen under aquarium settings though.
    Last edited by highplainsdrifter; 02-15-2005 at 10:01 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Call me a complete skeptic, but this ain't happening.

    Even if it were a livebearer of some type it is highly doubtful if not impossible for it to store sperm that long.

    As far as it being a cichlid the reproductive patterns of cichlids isn't conducive to this type of reproduction as far as I know.

    Last edited by Solace; 02-15-2005 at 11:40 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Some interesting ready about the subject if anyone is interested. It's by no means an answer, but it is a good background:


    General info
    http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/a...hroditism.html


    Relating midas cichlids
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~roldf...hinterests.htm

    The following article is excellent. Notice that Hans Peters has shown that male mbuna actually have *eggs* as well as sperm. He claims that they can in fact change sexes
    http://www.cichlidae.com/articles/a091.php

    -Zen

  13. #13

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    I checked the pics and the fish is definately a Red Zebra. The babies are definately of the same species. The female probably has eggs in her mouth every 5 months and wont eat for a week or so... then they just disapear. With no male should eggs even get to that point? One of the babies has a malformed tail fin, the others are alive and well. I am still baffled by what has happened. I really know nothing about these fish so i thought that this incident must be a really common occurance. Any other thoughts are welcome.

  14. #14
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    If you can document this happening again. You may have something there. With all the inbreeding that goes on with mbuna any thing could be possible. Those articles zenobium pasted on were real interesting.

  15. #15

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    How would i document this sort of thing? I know nothing about breeding fish. I thought this must be a normal occurance until i started this post.

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