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Thread: What kind of cichlid do I have

  1. #1

    Default What kind of cichlid do I have

    Hi, I'm new to the forums and just got 3 cichlids. I have a yellow lab I guess it is, he/she is yellow with faded black strips and a black strip on it's top fin.

    I also have a bright orange cichlid. My problem is I have a black cichlid is black strips that is a bully. He doesn't really bother my yellow cichlid much, but he will not leave the orange one alone. The orange cichlid can hide and this black one will look for it and pester it constantly.

    Here is a picture of him/she.


    I had cichlids about 10 years ago and never really had any issues, but I never had a cichlid like this before. I had yellows, orange, and blue cichlids in the past. They always got along, this time I want to breed them. In the past I keep them about a year and not once did I ever have fry.

    I need help with what kind of cichlid this is in the photo, I'll get ride of him if I need to, but I hate too. I like the black the best really.Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Im no help on identifying what you have but in order to breed successfully you need 3-4 of the same species(1 male, 3-4 female). otherwise your just hoping for a bunch of crossbreeding? how big is your tank? were they in an "assorted african tank"?

    there are many species that share similar colors/color variations, so yellows blues and oranges are not alot of help.

  3. #3

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    No I'm not wanting to cross breed these fish, I just got three fish for now. I have no clue how to tell male from female. I only have petco in my area and the people that work there are clueless.

    I just have a small 10 gallon right now, why I only have 3 fish. I'm saving cash right now to buy a 75 gallon in about two months. I'm hoping by the time they grow a little I'll have there new home.

    There only about 1.5 to 2.0 inches right now so they have room. I know they'll out grow this tank very fast, that why I'll have a 75 gallon in 6 weeks or so. I'll use these 3 fish to cycle it then add more.

    If I can breed them in the future, once they have fry I'll place them in the 10 gallon until they get big enough for the 75 gallon tank. the reason I got the 3 now is to cycle the 10 gallon tank. It's been up about 3 weeks. I want a cycled tank for the FUTURE fry.

    My long term goal is to buy like you stated 3 females and one male of each kind of cichlid. I want to put about 8 to 10 fish in the 75 gallon tank after it cycles and all future fish to be off spring.

    I understand it would take a year or longer for the tank to be stocked like this, but that's fine. Again these 3 fish now are only for cycling the 10 gallon. I'm trying to figure out there sex, so I can add the right mates in the future 75 gallon but I'm not having much luck.

  4. #4

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    sexing juveniles is very difficult if not impossible in alot of cases. since your using them to cycle i would assume you got them out of the assorted tank because they are cheap. these assorted cichlids are probably hybrids, a mix of many different africans, so even when they grow up you may still not know what you have. even if they look like one species they may still be a mix with another so it would not be a good idea to breed.

    on another note, cycling a tank with cichlids is something that alot of people here will tell you to avoid. danios or other smaller hardier fish are better for cycling, however that is completely up to you. i agree, petco people are clueless, you have no local fish shops? even if its a bit of a drive, its worth it in most cases. good luck, and keep those water changes up, 10 gallon tanks levels can go bad very quick.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by clossboss View Post
    sexing juveniles is very difficult if not impossible in alot of cases. since your using them to cycle i would assume you got them out of the assorted tank because they are cheap. these assorted cichlids are probably hybrids, a mix of many different africans, so even when they grow up you may still not know what you have. even if they look like one species they may still be a mix with another so it would not be a good idea to breed.

    on another note, cycling a tank with cichlids is something that alot of people here will tell you to avoid. danios or other smaller hardier fish are better for cycling, however that is completely up to you. i agree, petco people are clueless, you have no local fish shops? even if its a bit of a drive, its worth it in most cases. good luck, and keep those water changes up, 10 gallon tanks levels can go bad very quick.
    I live about 60 miles from Memphis TN, they have awesome local fish shops there I'm told. Thanks for the tip, I may have a bad blood line of fish in these three.

    I do water change every two days 50%, my only issue right now is the black fish is mean. So I guess once the 75 gallon is setup and cycled should I just get ride of the 3 I have now?

    I want pure breed fish in my 75 gallon, if I invest 700 to a 1000 in this tank and filter setup i want good healthy fish. I only had these 3 guys a week, but already I enjoy them. They will eat from my hand already. I can hold flakes or shrimp pellets and they'll eat them from my fingers.

    So I guess there is no real way to tell what my pictured fish is since it's more than likely crossbreed?

    I will drive to Memphis and buy fish for the 75 gallon tank from a LFS,and if they can't tell me which are male and female I'll not buy from them.

    I'm not new to fish, but clueless to cichlids. I use to have a 30 gallon but it got broken during a move, or it would be my tank for fry. Since I never had off spring before I'd have to say I know nothing about cichlids. Like I stated before I had a few for a year with no health issues, but they never breed.

    I just want to learn as much as possible before I invest around a grand in the next month or so. I really enjoy cichlids because they feel more like pets than other tropical fish which just run and hide when u get close to the tank.

  6. #6

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    I have another question for you guys. i just called a local fish store in Memphis. This store told me they sell breeding pairs of cichlids. He also told me when I setup my new 75 gallon I need to use saltwater gravel to maintain ph levels, how true is this?

    If you guys say this is a good idea, then it will tell me I may have found my local fish store. Thanks for everyones time.

  7. #7

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    It might be a Flowerhorn? The pink makes me lean that way but i am not seeing the Same Markings that you would see on a Baby Flowerhorn. the Red Devils and Flowerhorn type fish have the ability to go dark or Chage their color to help hide. the Pink on the belly makes me think that.

    Good Luck!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by itguy1984 View Post
    It might be a Flowerhorn? The pink makes me lean that way but i am not seeing the Same Markings that you would see on a Baby Flowerhorn. the Red Devils and Flowerhorn type fish have the ability to go dark or Chage their color to help hide. the Pink on the belly makes me think that.
    !
    depending on the tank he got it from, i would hope they arent selling flowerhorns or red devils in assorted tanks lol

  9. #9

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    It's definitely not a flowerhorn. It looks like some kind of mbuna, but difficult to ID. As for the LFS, breeding pairs is correct in certain species, not mbuna though or any Lake Malawi cichlid (or Lake Victoria either for that matter). Mbuna are harem breeders (meaning one male and several females). It may come from the parent style of holding eggs/ fry in the mouth making the female unavailable for prolonged periods of time. The gravel they are referring to is probably crushed coral and it can help maintain a high pH but it's not required. Many of us use sand as a substrate and some use the crushed coral in the filter for the pH; others just strive to keep the pH stable in the upper 7s (which is what most city water comes out as anyway).
    SabrinaD
    75 gallon
    C. Afra "cobue", Labidochromis chisumulae, M. joanjohnsonae,
    65 gallon
    Ps. acei, Ps.cyaneorhabdos, I. spengerae
    46 Bow front
    Ps. saulosi, Labidochromis chisumulae

  10. #10

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    there are different ways to maintain your ph level, and different cichlids prefer different ph levels. let us know what type of fish you want to keep, such as africans, south american, central american etc.. or a specific species you like and you want to base the rest of the tank around such as your yellow lab etc. this info will help us help you.

  11. #11

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    Thanks guys for all the great replys and helpful advice! He said the breeding pair were peacock cichlids. As for the saltwater gravel,I'm sure the guy wanted to make a sale. Can't really blame anyone for that I guess.

    I had my wife take a better picture of my fish, she used her canon rebel xti, the first picture I took with my cell phone " Droid X".

    The fish is blue in the photo, but with my naked eye it just looks black.







    Again this fish looks 100% black to my eye, only in the photo does it look blue. I also added my other two fish.

    As for wants,I want cichlids that are colorfully and hold the babies in there mouth.

    The black/blue fish and yellow earlier both shivered behind one another in a circle for about 10 seconds, kinda like they were breeding but I know that can't be possible with them this small.

  12. #12

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    you were right about the one being a lab (looks like), and the other looks like maybe a red zebra? but like i said before, looks dont mean everything.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by clossboss View Post
    you were right about the one being a lab (looks like), and the other looks like maybe a red zebra? but like i said before, looks dont mean everything.
    I have a question, is it possible this fish having pink on his belly being a chameleon effect to blend into his environment? My daughter wanted pink gravel in this tank, and it was hard to say no to those little puppy eyes lol.

    In my future 75 it will be a either nautral or black gravel, still debating.

    Doing a search on the web minus the pink he looks like a Pseudotropheus demasoni that is maybe in black mode for domination reasons.

    I'm asking as I don't know enough about these fish to know if that's possible. I can't find any photo's of a blue and black cichlid with pink in it. So if a chameleon effect isn't possible I'd have to say on the searching I did your right about this fish being a crossbreed hybrid.

    I have one more question, if I removed all these fish and went to the LFS I told you guys about and got the breeding pair of peacock cichlids would they be ok in my 10 gallon for 6 to 8 weeks tops? Again they'd be the only fish in the tank.

    I would love to get them now so they can bond during that time alone and maybe even mate. It would be awesome if they did have fry about the time I got my 75 up and running.

    I already got 600 saved up, I just need 400 more for everything, so should be 6 weeks tops. I figure a 1000 should get a good start up and over a another couple months I could invest about 500 to 600 more to make the best tank possible. Thanks again guys.

  14. #14

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    im not sure about the chameleon effect your talking about being true, maybe someone else knows. but with some species, the females have a pink belly coloration. once again, i may be wrong. as for the breeding peacocks, a breeding pair of africans is not as difficult to come by as you would think. and as for breeding, they will mate with more than one other fish, they dont pick a mate for life. at least im pretty sure thats how peacocks are, i know thats how mbuna are.

    im not sure if 10 gallons will house them comfortably. breeding african males become aggressive and chase the females, which is why you need more than one female to spread aggression. i also do not know how large the fish are. i may be completely wrong here because i only have mbuna but i think peacocks are the same way.

    p.s: if your right about the one being demasoni, these are very aggressive fish which is why you may be having trouble.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by clossboss View Post
    im not sure about the chameleon effect your talking about being true, maybe someone else knows. but with some species, the females have a pink belly coloration. once again, i may be wrong. as for the breeding peacocks, a breeding pair of africans is not as difficult to come by as you would think. and as for breeding, they will mate with more than one other fish, they dont pick a mate for life. at least im pretty sure thats how peacocks are, i know thats how mbuna are.

    im not sure if 10 gallons will house them comfortably. breeding african males become aggressive and chase the females, which is why you need more than one female to spread aggression. i also do not know how large the fish are. i may be completely wrong here because i only have mbuna but i think peacocks are the same way.

    p.s: if your right about the one being demasoni, these are very aggressive fish which is why you may be having trouble.
    I'm definitely asking about this possibility, as I have no idea. I don't remember this fish having pink when I got him/her. It's belly seems more pink then ever now.

    It may just be a crossbreed fish,which means I don't want that blood line. My mom has an old 20 gallon she no longer uses, I may just set that tank up and transfer my HOB filter to that tank and my gravel so I don't loss my cycle so I can maybe get the breeding pair of peacocks and one extra female.

    Thanks for your time, you've been very helpful.

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