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Old 03-01-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
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Melanochromis exasperatus... aaand M. johanni?

Hello everyone. I have a pretty well established 25g Malawi Cichlid tank, with 11 different species of fish (12 fish in total as I have a male and a female johanni). Ever since the tank first got set up the male johanni has exhibited at least SOME sort of spawning behavior, but until now, I had never thought that he would breed in such an overcrowded tank (as is normal for Lake Malawi Cichlids, please no comments on there being too many fish for the tank size). This morning however, I noticed that my exasperatus' throat was swelled, and upon further inspection I realized what that meant! However, then I started wondering how exactly that happened... considering there is no male of that species. I thought about it a little while and realized there are three possibilities. Either the exasperatus mated with the johanni, or (and I have no idea if exasperatus even does this) she stole the eggs from the johanni pair which I have witnessed exhibiting spawning behavior, or she's gone crazy and is carrying around unfertilized eggs... Basically, I'm just looking for any sort of input, (such as what this might be) or any sort of suggestions on what I should do. I have a sump that holds about 10g connected to the system, and it wouldn't be a huge deal to put her in there. Just let me know what you think!

Thanks guys,

~Kaden

p.s. I forgot to talk about hybridization... I realize that if there are fry which result from this, they will be hybrids. I was just wondering if anyone has any idea if exasperatus/johanni hybrids are viable, and if so what they might look like.

Thanks for any input.

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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I've done a bit of research now, and I guess that Melanochromis hybrids are very common, and apparently the fry can breed as well... Which caused me to think... I thought that the definition of different "species" was that they cannot breed, or if they can they do not have viable, or fertile offspring. I guess the line is a bit blurred when it comes to fish. Oh well... So I guess I'll try to raise the little guys, and maybe I'll be able to sell them? On aquabid or something? I doubt that my LFS will take them... they are very picky about getting good strains of fish.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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I have an "overstocked" malawi tank myself and I hope that experatus doesnt breed with johanni's or I'm gonna end up with a bunch of fish! LOL
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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Any advice on how to best get these fry to survive? I've heard that exasperatus fry are large enough to eat conventional fish food after they're let out of the mothers mouth... Should I separate her from the babies after that? As I said, I have a sump that they could stay in... I'll just have to put some filter pads on the intakes to the filter/powerhead to make sure they don't get sucked into those. I guess I'll try to get the exasperatus out of the tank sometime today.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey View Post
I have an "overstocked" malawi tank myself and I hope that experatus doesnt breed with johanni's or I'm gonna end up with a bunch of fish! LOL
Haha, well that's the conclusion I'm coming to. I've found that apparently johanni' don't particularly care who they mate with, if it's mbuna, and it's female, they're free game. lol
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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My tank is still full of mostly juveniles so I'm not to the mating game yet. I wish you luck though.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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Haha, thanks. Mine have just reached about the 4 inch mark. The only ones that are still smaller than that are my yellow labid, and the Lombardoi kenyi. Not sure why, but the labid doesn't seem to have grown much at all, and the kenyi was extremely tiny when I got it, so it's catching up.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
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My kenyi refuses to grow as well! I think he's traumatized still since his mate was eaten. lol One of my labs is getting quite large the other, not so much.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #9
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Strange... His mate was... eaten? By what?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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My point there was that it was not just killed it was eaten. lol I'm sorry.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:45 AM   #11
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Well he was missing a chunk of his head and his eyes were gone. I suspect the auratus. That was back when I had half the stock and a 60 hex so who knows who got him.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:59 AM   #12
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Wow.. Yeah. Could very well be the auratus... They're feisty. haha.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #13
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Do you have a picture of your tank? I read your stocking list, very nice. I was looking at the acei but I think I need to stock some more zebra females first. My male is chasing her everywhere and so is the zebra OB. lol Those are my biggest fish at approx 4 inches.

Also, has the overstocking caused any less aggression? I find in my tank everyone gets along. No one even has a territory yet. ( I also change their rocks around alot too)
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:20 PM   #14
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Well yes, I have pictures of the tank, they're in a post I put up a little while back... if you look at my created threads it shouldn't be hard to find. And yes, there is very little aggression in the thank. That being said the male johanni and the afra lion are DEFINITELY the kings of the tank, but you'll have that with any fish... I don't really think changing the rocks often is much of an option for me... I don't understand how people do that... it takes me like 2 hours every time I even mess with them... haha.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:22 PM   #15
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Haha, and oh, I forgot, I apparently made an album of them... So you could just look at that. lol
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #16
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I just got the exasperatus into the sump, got a light hooked up so that I can see in there, and the tank is put back together... (I have to tear the whole thing apart to get fish out) haha... So yeah I'll post another thread when there's something new to say about her!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:41 PM   #17
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Very cool. Keep us updated you never know I might have the same issue one day. lol

Oh and btw I looked at your pictures. Your fish look very happy. And nice rockwork.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:50 PM   #18
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Thanks! Glad to hear it.
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