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Old 08-01-2018, 08:26 PM   #1
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Mystery Cichlid identification

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I work at one of those red and blue big box stores and I've been keeping fish for about 18 years now. I have an alright knowledge base for the normal African cichlids we get under the "assorted" category but these two I've never come across before. I haven't been selling them until I know what they are and so I can inform the customer on requirements and compatibility. Even if they are sold tomorrow with out my being there they still have my curiosity.


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Old 08-01-2018, 10:25 PM   #2
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They look like Bumblebee cichlids. The male is the drab, plain looking one. Unusual for African cichlids. The females are usually less colorful.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:35 PM   #3
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First thought was a peacock cichlid but leaning more towards gold sexfasciatus cichlid. The Latin word "sex" means 6. The Latin word fasciata means bands. Cant tell if it has 6 bands....looks like it?? Mind you, I'm more of a SA cichlid guy so maybe someone with more knowledge of Africans can chime in.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:43 PM   #4
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They look like Bumblebee cichlids. The male is the drab, plain looking one. Unusual for African cichlids. The females are usually less colorful.
Bumblebee's have stripes clear up into the dorsal fin right?
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:18 PM   #5
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Agree with V227. Definitely looks like a male and female Bumblebee Mbuna. They can grow quite large for Mbuna and are known for being very aggressive. Needs a decent size tank and the only male of his species and most likely color in general. IMO not a beginner Cichlid.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:16 AM   #6
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Well if those are actually bumblebee cichlids then what are these guys? They come in as bumblebee Cichlids and I have been advising customer as through they were.


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Old 08-02-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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They might be a pair of Green Mbwena, there are just so many Mbuna variants and hybrids to be totally sure without the breeders comfirmation.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:08 PM   #8
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They might be a pair of Green Mbwena, there are just so many Mbuna variants and hybrids to be totally sure without the breeders comfirmation.
The silver one with the line through his eye, are there Mbuna that have that? That one's forehead looks Hapish. They are definitely interesting looking.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:09 PM   #9
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Just noticed the yellow one if you zoom in, his dorsal fin is red tipped.
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The silver one with the line through his eye, are there Mbuna that have that? That one's forehead looks Hapish. They are definitely interesting looking.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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Do they generally label them at all? What lake or Mbuna,Hap,Peacock? Or is it straight out just for you to figure out.
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Well if those are actually bumblebee cichlids then what are these guys? They come in as bumblebee Cichlids and I have been advising customer as through they were.


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Old 08-02-2018, 12:14 PM   #11
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Well if those are actually bumblebee cichlids then what are these guys? They come in as bumblebee Cichlids and I have been advising customer as through they were.


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Definitely a bumblebee
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #12
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On the mystery cichlid I gotta go with either a Kenyi or a gold sexfasciatus cichlid.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:52 PM   #13
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Do they generally label them at all? What lake or Mbuna,Hap,Peacock? Or is it straight out just for you to figure out.

My mystery fish just came in under "assorted African cichlids" my bumble bees are always bumble bees but what the label says doesn't mean much I got a Pindani in with a bag of yellow tail Acei. The mystery fish were just so different looking I had to find out more


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Old 08-02-2018, 04:34 PM   #14
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My mystery fish just came in under "assorted African cichlids" my bumble bees are always bumble bees but what the label says doesn't mean much I got a Pindani in with a bag of yellow tail Acei. The mystery fish were just so different looking I had to find out more


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I'm intrigued. See the red on the yellow ones dorsal fin? Looks like there's a hint on his tail and anal. Could it be a yellow belly? Their both most likely hybrids but the gray one has Hap eyes. Definitely has some characteristics of a Protomelas ornatus 'masinje which is this fish. You can see the yellow in yours. You must play detective allot. Lol. I'd prob take them home myself and see as they grow. Then again that's why I'd never work at a LFS. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-02-2018, 04:35 PM   #15
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I always carefully search out the assorted Peacocks tank at my favorite LFS looking for that undiscovered treasure. Most of the time the Peacocks are juveniles with males showing just enough color to give a clue to their type. Most are the more bland, inexpensive varieties, but sometimes I get lucky.
A few weeks ago I found a young colored up Lawanda Peacock and a Sulpur Head Hap in the assorted Peacocks tank. The Lawanda was hiding under a rock, and the Hap was tiny and not very noticable. Couple of good pickups.
You might try posting your mystery fish on the MFK forum. There are a few guys over there that are unbelievable regarding African Cichlid information.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:44 PM   #16
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I always carefully search out the assorted Peacocks tank at my favorite LFS looking for that undiscovered treasure. Most of the time the Peacocks are juveniles with males showing just enough color to give a clue to their type. Most are the more bland, inexpensive varieties, but sometimes I get lucky.
A few weeks ago I found a young colored up Lawanda Peacock and a Sulpur Head Hap in the assorted Peacocks tank. The Lawanda was hiding under a rock, and the Hap was tiny and not very noticable. Couple of good pickups.
You might try posting your mystery fish on the MFK forum. There are a few guys over there that are unbelievable regarding African Cichlid information.
He's awesome. I've been known to stare at the tanks too. Lol. They have a few sulfur heads at the one down the street, you can see the mohawk forming if you look closely. I keep checking every time I go in, even though I really don't need any more. They also have a female that was holding at one point. Which I REALLY DON'T need but would love to buy her. I need a bigger tank! Ha...
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:05 PM   #17
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My tank is maxed out too. I saw your center island on the "tank leveling" post. Great job. My wife did something similar in our kitchen.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:13 PM   #18
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My tank is maxed out too. I saw your center island on the "tank leveling" post. Great job. My wife did something similar in our kitchen.
Thank you. My dad did everything growing up,there was nothing that man couldn't build or fix. My 3 siblings are useless I like to think I inherited a little from my dad.
My tanks are self producing at this point. Even my sons 20g long Purchased 2 platy's last week and apparently one was prego. Lol
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:30 PM   #19
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Unfortunately there hasn't been much interest in them in the two months they have been here. Not a ton of cichlid interest in my area but I do thank you all for your help and advice.


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