WHAT are these mystery africans?! - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question WHAT are these mystery africans?!

I have googled my fingers off and I simply cannot figure out exactly what these are. I went to a "family owned" lfs and the guy had ordered "assorted African cichlids". There were these, an orange looking one similar to the yellow one and a doodoo brown/green looking one more similar to the blue one in my photos. I am new to cichlids so my knowledge is slim but growing. I just want to know exactly what these are now while juveniles so I can take care of them properly. I took the best photos I could with them being so small and fast. I have a few more that I can post as well but these were the best IMPO. Thank you!



The yellows are mostly yellow with some very light grey vertical lines. Their mouths are a bit rounded.



The blues also have the vertical gray/black lines but are more prominent than on the yellow ones. The larger one (this one) has gotten black trim on the tips of his back and lower fins.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 05:25 PM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Can't tell for sure but looks like they are part of the Mbuna's family, So try to keep all males if u want colorful fish. Mixing male and female will make the males aggressive, as it's to early to tell yet just make sure they each have a spot to hide or no hiding spots at all. territory is a big deal to them, as with most cichlids. Just keep an eye out for aggression, chasing is not aggression. Fin nipping and ramming are aggression, if ur new to cichlids you might need a medical tank( small works 5-10 gal) just to give a hurt fish time to heal.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Thank you! I have recently added rock work to the tank and plan on adding more soon.. I have only witnessed some chasing, mostly by the biggest two. I wish I knew if they were make or female. I am under the impression that I should more than likely get more. Is this true? If so should it be of the same kind or different afircans?

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 06:24 PM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

It's easier to stick with the same kind, but with more fish gotta make sure they have enough filtered water. That's all up to you, if u have the time for more mantince. I'm not going to tell ya u can't add fish, but don't see them as small fish. Look at each one as its 5inchs and make a educated guess on how many u think ur tank can handle.

Just don't go crazy and you'll have a great tank.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Oh yeah, I meant to mention that I also have a well established 29 gallon with 3 dalmation mollies and 2 mickey mouse platys. This would serve as my medical tank if needed.

I have a canister filter rated for a 150 gallon tank and a 50 gallin sponge filter for added aeration and beneficial bacteria growth. I do weekly 25% water changes with prime.

I just thought, with what I read, that adding more from the assorted tank at the lfs would be good because it evens out the aggression. I also read that having several different types from the same river (like the blues, yellows, etc) would be good because they look different from each other and the aggression would be lower. I just went by the lfs and saw they had albinos along with the brown/greenish ones and the orange ones. I was considering picking up one of each (males) to see how they worked with the four I have. Since they were all kept in the same tank, I assumed they would do alright.

My tank is 90 gallons (:

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Just so you know, my current stocking-

4 green cory cats
5 small (less than 3 inches) clown loaches
2 blue cichlids
2 yellow cichlids

So with that said, do you think one of each other color I do not currently own would be okay? (the albino, brownish and orange?) as long as I get one of each and only males?

Thanks again for your help!!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Ya sounds ok, and your right more will even out aggression. I just don't know your level of fish keeping, so I only give general info ya know. But ya adding a few more wont hurt, 90gals 9 bottom fish and around 8-10 assorted cichlids should be good. The cats might get picked off

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Well I have been keeping fish for about two years now and I am somewhat obsessive. I started out knowing nothing at all and quickly learned how everything kind of went and I research fish keeping almost daily for sometimes hours at a time. Everything from filters, water chemistry, fish and their habitats etc. lol so I wouldn't say I am a beginner in the hobby, but I am no expert. Especially with cichlids. As The 90 gallon has only been established for about 3 months now and I just got these cichlids on a whim last week. I keep reading that getting them from an assorted tank is almost always a bad idea.. I sometimes learn the hard way.

As for the cats, I have read over and over that they will be fine with them and seem to be 100% ignored as of the last week.. though I acknowledge that this could change when the cichlids mature. If need be, I can move them to the 29 gal.

I think I will get the other three and hope for the best. Hopefully I can identify them once they get bigger.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 08:01 PM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Ya it's only called a "bad idea" cause u don't know what ur getting species or sex wise. Not that the fish are worse.

Your all good man, have fun and enjoy. Keep learning and doing what your doin, and sometimes the hard way is the best.

You can look on kgtropicals website, they have tons of pic's. so maybe you can idenfy ur mystery collection

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Yeah and some were saying that they are probably hybrids which most people don't want. Luckily, I could see the egg spot on several of them at the lfs today so I will be sure to ask for those for now. I will simply have to keep an eye on them and I can always take them back if I fear they won't make it for whatever reason. I will certainly look on that site!

Thanks again for your advice! no one else seemed to want to tackle this question. lol

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 09:03 PM
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Probably not much of posts in here as it is a holiday weekend.

With cichlids might keep a close eye on the cories as cichlids can be pretty mean.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 11:03 AM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Malawi cichlids. 3 very nice pictures.

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I did go get an albino, an orange one and the weird color green one. I was sure they all had the egg spot to keep aggression down. And I also went and got some small caves and cheap terracotta pots from walmart and added those for more hiding spots. Hopefully they use those as my tank isn't planted yet- but hopefully it will be in the future!

@susan- My largest cory was in my 29 gallon for a bit and he got stuck to the filter intake tube a couple of times (not sure how..) so he was very weak. I moved him back into the 90 gallon with the other corys in hopes he would be alright. He was doing well until yesterday. I found the shell of his body on the bottom, completely cleaned out. I am not sure what happened but I hope that he wasn't killed and that he simply died and was THEN eaten for a snack. I also noticed 2 of the other three had little chunks missing from their dorsal and caudal fins. I moved all of them to the 29 gallon with my dalmations and mickeys. I love my corys but I hate I had to move them

Thank you @Arthur- I am trying to get a little more specific for habitat reasons but that helps narrow things down. And the pictures took FOREVER to get, lol

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 01:21 PM
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

If not labled and sold as a specific species or if listed in a tank of many as "assorted" then the odds are they are "mutts'.They both look like some type of Pseudotropheus?I'm not all up on the Malawis and they cross breed like rabbits so they really could be a mix.
I wouldn't mix any other type of fish with them.I had clown loaches with my Tanganyikans but they are WAY more docile then Malawis.
The eggs spot will not assure you don't have aggression problems but more over is only a good indicator of fish possibly being a male(some females display egg spots but often much "fainter").
with as good a sized tank as you have(90g?) you should consider a circulation pump to help keep them moving.
And you'll never manage to grow any plants with them IMO.They will devastate any plant like your little cory.THEY ARE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST FISH GOING!.



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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

I know. There are so many different species and a lot of them look similar. So I may never truly know. But I will wait for them all to mature a bit more and try to get more pictures to post.

As for the clowns, I read that they do well together and so far it has been true. I have yet to see any chasing or nipping towards the clowns from the cichlids. My clowns are sweet but certainly stand up for themselves. In fact, I think I saw a clown chase a small yellow one away from their area when they were eating a shrimp pellet. I will keep a close eye on it though because my clowns are my first fish loves, lol. They come first.

I have my spray bar pointed in a direction that kind of keeps the water moving but I will look into that as well. So far, with the corys out, things seem great. Some chasing is done by the cichlids towards the others but nothing too serious. Thanks for the tip about the plants, lol. Thankfully I have quite a few fake plants to set things off in there, which they seem to enjoy anyway.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 10:22 AM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

[QUOTE=susankat;510458]Probably not much of posts in here as it is a holiday weekend.

Last year it was the same. Probably vacation or much gardening. (Lawn mowing, hedge cutting and stuff like that).
But it gets better.

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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleFishJoe View Post
Can't tell for sure but looks like they are part of the Mbuna's family, So try to keep all males if u want colorful fish. Mixing male and female will make the males aggressive, as it's to early to tell yet just make sure they each have a spot to hide or no hiding spots at all. territory is a big deal to them, as with most cichlids. Just keep an eye out for aggression, chasing is not aggression. Fin nipping and ramming are aggression, if ur new to cichlids you might need a medical tank( small works 5-10 gal) just to give a hurt fish time to heal.
The very worst thing a person new to Mbuna can do is have an all male tank. Males are pretty much intolerant of each other females or not.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 09:53 AM
 
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Re: WHAT are these mystery africans?!

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Originally Posted by StevenT View Post
The very worst thing a person new to Mbuna can do is have an all male tank. Males are pretty much intolerant of each other females or not.
I think it's worse to have many males and a few females. Males by themselves are not as bad (within reason, some species are just naturally nasty). I also see more fighting for dominance between the same species than in general.
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