Information on African Cichlids

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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

I saw some albinos at a place about an hour away from my house. They were called like Snow White somethings. I was avoiding the joviis anyway, just wondering.
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

Yes, snowies would be fine. They're usually hybrids, but socolofi, and metriaclima hybrids, so similar in temperament - and they can happily live with one male, four females, in a setup with acei and yellow labs.

(If you like them, of course. Just struck me as a nice contrast point)
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

How do you tell the different between males and females? Are the fish you take out going to be the fish that sit up in the corner of the tank?
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

BRYCEisBOSS wrote: How do you tell the different between males and females? Are the fish you take out going to be the fish that sit up in the corner of the tank?


There are a bunch of clues your fish will give you as they get larger. Males develop more pointed caudal and anal fins. They are more aggressive, and typically grow a bit faster. They're also more colourful, even in monomorphic species.
But yes, the ones that need rehoming will be in the upper corners of the tank. They'll also fight more viciously than females - lip locking for long periods shows pair of males. Sometimes, you'll have two very evenly matched ones, and then it will be up to you to choose the one you'll keep. I know this is all vague, but trust me, it's easier to recognise when you see it in front of you.

The other way to see their sex is when they reach three inches in size (or more, more is better) is to vent them. Catch them, flip them upside down, and take a peek at their genital papillae. Not the most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, and not easy, but accurate. If you want articles/videos on the matter, I can give you links :)
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

I just watched a video about venting them on youtube. Seems like fun :laugh:
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

BRYCEisBOSS wrote: I just watched a video about venting them on youtube. Seems like fun :laugh:


what they often don't show you is the hour or so spent beforehand removing all the rocks from the tank. But yes, good skills to have - as long as you're careful. Fish are easy to crush.
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

Would you recommend a flake or pellet food? What brand and type do you like the best?
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

me? I feed them flakes when they're smaller, but this is messy. I like tetra's veggie flakes with spirulina, it's less messy than many others.

When they get older, I mix up various pellets and pellet sizes - it's important to note the protein content. You want to prefer food with less than 40% protein (helps avoid malawi bloat).
I use ocean nutrition vegetable pellets, hikari vegetable pellets, New Life Spectrum veggie pellets, sera veggie pellets and tetra pro vegetable food. I mix them more or less in equal parts. This is a bit excessive for a smaller set up, because fish food does expire, but I have 50 of these guys to feed, so for me this works out. See what is available around you, and pick two types or so that appeals to you. Stick with small pellets for a good long while.
Mind your portion sizes, they really don't need much food - for their own health, you want to keep them HUNGRY.

Other good options to mix things up a bit: peas - skin them and chop them, mine can't get enough peas
baby marrow/zuccini - tie to a rock and insert
romaine lettuce - as above
cucumber - not very nutritious, but good for fibre
spinach - blanch it first (dip in boiling water, swish around for 30 seconds, and off you go)

Mine really go to town on snails as well (common pond snails - this can backfire and leave you with a snail problem).

Avoid bloodworms, tubifex worms, and protein rich foods.
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

Ok thanks. I'm planning on picking up a few Yellow Labs on Tuesday. I'll probably get some flakes too. All I have is Oscar food :S I really appreciate everything you've helped me with so far.
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Information on African Cichlids

BRYCEisBOSS wrote: Ok thanks. I'm planning on picking up a few Yellow Labs on Tuesday. I'll probably get some flakes too. All I have is Oscar food :S I really appreciate everything you've helped me with so far.


it really is a pleasure. I can only hope these fish give you as much joy as they give me :)
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