Cichlids of Victoria

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 Post subject: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:58 am 
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however unpopular this may be, its my firm opinion that jumping on the band wagon that victorian cichlids should only be kept in single species tank, hurts victorian cichlid keeping. i believe that it steers people away from keeping victorian cichlids. not only here but on almost every cichlid fourm youll find the well meaning statement "victorians should only be kept in species only tanks."

imo, each person who keeps a vcitorian species raises the awareness of thier plight and can only be helpfull.

lake victoria species as well as thoes from malawi and the other lakes including centeral and south americans also cross breed. however the same statement of recomending a species only malawi tank sounds obsurd.

i believe that there are diffrent levels of cichlid keepers from the novice who says whooo isnt that pretty i want one, to the purest who will be involved in breeding and will also be found participating in c.a.r.e.s. programs and every level in between.

understanding that the novice most likly will not be able to tell the diffrence between a female pundamilia and a female red tail sheller, and could care less, and then thoes who take it a little more serious and do some resurch, so they can, and will be be able to tell the diffrence.


a few quotes from XXXXXXXX species profile of neochromis rufocaudilis he had he following to say and im in complete agreement.

"I have previously grouped a rufocaudalis
colony with an equal number of Haplochromis sp.
"purple yellow" and there was no damaging inter-species
conflicts. Males and females of each species are readily
able to identify their own and any prelude to breeding
activity is kept between same species fish. If you must
mix species of Victorian cichlids, try to use fish as different
as possible. This includes differing body shape
and especially coloration."

and here is another quote from greg steeves found in his species profile of
haplochromis sp red back scraper.

"Our group of Haplochromis sp. "red
back scraper" is housed with
Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" and
Haplochromis sp. "madonna". All
three of these species vary greatly in
both body shape and coloration. We do
this to discourage any intra species
breeding. The mix seems to work well"

and another from his species profile of paralibidochromis sp. rock kribs

"They mix well will
some of the striped Victorians such as Haplochromis
sp. 44 or Astatotilapia nubila"

i could cut and paste all day but i think that is plenty.


for me, rather than the standard answer or only species only tanks, im chooseing to educate and prompt people to do some reading and then decide. i know several breeders who started out at the whoo isnt that pretty stage, and ended up a purest. had they been told they could only keep that fish with its own kind, some would have went another direction and we would be missing out on the pure strains they now contribute to the hobby.

personaly i keep my breeding fish in species only tanks but i also have two "community victorian tanks," with a single male and two or three females, of three or four species. and that my friend is a colorfull tank. having learned, i never keep any spawns from that tank but its my whoo itsnt that pretty tank. and they are the ones that folks always stray twards when they come get thier new victorians.
it opens the door for conversation and education. and usually with in a few minutes i know wether they are a future breeder or a whoo pretty.

i think this site does better than some with regards to this issue. and we could do more posting of pictures of the females of the species that would help the beginer id them as well. of that im just as guilty.

so thats my two cents, what say you?

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Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:58 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:51 am 
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Personally, I have a hard time with the notion that males can always distinguish females of their own species from those of another whose females look very similar, or that they even necessarily try. I think it's really more of a question of what the females are willing to accept - they would certainly be able to identify "their" males, but do they care?

I've considered a multi-species Vic tank; I refer to the idea as a "dump" tank, since nobody's ever coming back out except the original males. The risk of producing junk fish down the road just seems to high to me to ever try to separate them back out.

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Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:51 am
       
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:06 am 
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Hi may I add my penny in this??,I keep victorian's cichlid for bout 15 years in comunity tank, there are some rules to never forget and respect. The mean reason why I keep comunty tanks is the high level of social behaviors, that made those vics so interresting. The rules are simple, do not keep together close male colored fishes(flameback and nyererei for example), nor don't keep together close female morphology bodied(P.nyererei and P;igneopinis).Only fishes that didn't have the same color or body form, may be housed in the same tank.
xris :)


Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:06 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:30 pm 
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kinda like i wouldnt mix demasoni with met. sp dolphin manda. from malawi mbuna

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Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:30 pm
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Malawi as an ecosystem is in zero danger, lake Victoria however is in grave danger.
So what is good for Malawi keepers, I don't believe is good for Lake Victoria keepers.

Since lake victoria is fragile, and species have been lost in that lake, one should be somewhat careful to keep the species lineage intact.
People always moan about so and so may have hybrids, well for those that are very picky about the fish that they buy and sell, keeping them apart helps to keep hybrids from happening.

hybrids happen in tanks, but they also happen in the wild.
We can however control the hybrids from forming in our tanks.

Who is able to watch their mixed species tanks every single time they breed?
I ready to breed male of many species will want to jump in, no matter if the couple want him to or not, and try as the correct male might, he is not always successful against multiple males.
I have seen other species males sneak in while a pair is breeding.
Both close related and more distantly related.
Other fish can smell when breeding is happening, they get excited and more often than not its other males trying to get in the mix, and not always to eat eggs.

The simple way to avoid any chance of hybridisation is to have a species only tank.
Is it the only way, no, but if its suggested to new cichlid keepers to mix species, then what happens when there is an increase in hybrids or suspected hybrids in the hobby. People freak out about that breeder.
Its bad enough that ACA now says hybrids are ok, so maybe it does not really matter, hybrids can't be stopped I suppose, ACA new stance is another story.

Many newer people in the hobby refuse to cull, they don't have the heart, so off to the LFS or Aquabid those hard to tell VIC hybrids go.

I would much rather have someone in the hobby for along time before i suggest them Mixing species. Someone who has been in it awhile would have no problem culling a fish they have even a little bit of doubt of its lineage.

By keeping them apart it protects all of us but most important it protects the species.

I'd rather buy fish from someone I knew would never mix any VICS in the same tank.
If i thought it was ok to keep multiple species in a tank, then i would have zero right to complain when that person sold me possible hybrids, or fish that may look a bit off IMO.

So yes I myself don't mix any adult VICS, no matter how different they may look.
If i do decide to set up say a Makobe biotype, then it would most likely be a display tank, and i'd not sell those fry.
Id have a separate breeding stock.
Thats just me, but hey nobody would have to worry about any hybrids with me. Unless I bought them from a mixer and they did not tell me.

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Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:18 pm
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:53 pm 
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If I mix it is with very different body shape, like hunters and fulus. Even if the fish are different lakes I do the same thing, no one with similar body shape is to be mixed.
If folks want a 'pretty' tank I recommend an all male tank, most breeders have plenty of spare males so in all that doesn't harm the vic population or security.

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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Hi
First of all not all the vics are endangered or threathened nor in the same manner, the rock fishes are not in the same situation than the bentho-pelagic species nor the open sandy substrate species. The species richness in the rocky regions are by far the most impressive. This being said, it's possible to house together vics species without fearing too much cross breed as long as yu respect the rules. This kind of maintenance shows you how complicated are the social behaviors. The all males tank is for me not interresting because it lacks the complexity of natural behaviors that exist amongst differents species and will never show you the social hierarchy inside the tank( I noticed that a one species tank will show you the inside hierarchy but the behaviors differ wether you have tank mates or not). There is not one species per habitat in the lake, some of them share space and food and interract together without cross breed for centuries, why not in the people tank????
It's possible to have a community and when it goes well, it's spectacular to see how fishes of different species interact together.
xris :)


Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:45 pm
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 am 
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I have added some yellow labs to a couple of my Victorian tanks. I had to do something to help with the aggression in these tanks. I made sure they where half the size of the vic's in the breeding tanks. This has helped and have not lost any fish sense. I have not mixed any Vic's in a Vic tank, I'm to scared to do that.

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Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:17 am 
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:D Jim; it will come with time :D
xris :)


Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:17 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:23 am 
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thanks chris for your input. im not shure where i fit in the full spectrum of things yet. for the longest time i only kept species only tanks and still do with most of my fish. one thing as jim mentioned was agression that i was serching to find an anwer for. so i first mixed xytsichromis sp lake kyoga flamebacks and latificinata and ptyochromis sp. salmon.
and to my suprise the inner species conflicts greatly decreased. i was afraid to keep any spawns from any of the fish and still to this day wont keep any spawns from my mixed species tanks {2} for several reasons.
one being i am so very aware of not producing hybrids and distributing them. and secondly the stigma that some lable thoes who do mix species as mixers and some what un trustworthy and un concerned. and that makes distributing garenteed pure strains difficult. that position is some what understandable as hybrid being sold are a problem.

while my pundamilia sp red flank are still producing, i started another group with offspring from all diffrent mothers. and they are now producing. and they are now my main supply of red flank off spring. so i would like to try a species with my original group. because the male although he has always been hard on the females is now full grown and is at times brutal and i have lost females due to this and would like to have that decrease. i have used 5 diffrent types of mbuna but he acts like he never sees them. and im thinking another victioian species would help. what would you do?
i havent added another vic to that tank because what if that got out, i would be labled as a hybrid breeder, a mixer and un trustworthy. so there is a conflict.

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Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:23 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:50 am 
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well i have to say that i do agree with mixing fish, but not vics. I kind of take the malawi rule where you aim to have dissimilar fish in regards to color, shape and size. i think it is very unlikely that a multi is going to breed with a yellow lab.

But i do keep my vics with other fish. my flamebacks i keep with acei, red flanks with albino acei, senga point with zrock blaze. i believe there is enough variation to keep them separated. and so far i have been correct. now take those same tanks but add 1 female and 1 male fro each species and they will eventually breed. it is mother natures calling to prolonged the existence of each fish.


the only vics i would mix would ones were the females and the males were different. that would help things out.

but the fish can actually recognized the correct fish in the tank. with pheromones and chemical markers that they follow. the urge to mate is strong so a small choice to choose from would help cross breeding. the females to my understanding are the ones that ultimately choose the male or males to bred with. But like with the kookoo catfish, another fish can come in and changes things up.

but it is easier to tell if the fry are crossed if you have yellow labs with red tail shellers, you would get some thing yellowish instead of silver from the red tail female and some thing not as yellow as it should be from the lab.

but if you are breeding to sell or distribute you need to take more caution the the regular joe having fun watching his fish live. I think most of us know this and obey the general guide lines.

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Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:50 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:42 am 
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The contacts I have that are at VIctoria now, and those that i have talked to that have been there recently will say that now the visibility is less than a meter in most places. They say you can't even see your hands in the water in many spaces.
Its part of the reason I have yet to make it to Victoria, my contacts tell me you can't see anything, and being a diver, thats a huge part of my Lake decisions. Ill make it there in the future, but I have other lakes to see first, including some of the obscure lake visits with Heiko.

Those cichlids in the rocks are crossing because they can't ID their own males due to nill visibility, and due to the shrinking oxygen layer, deeper fish are now forced to the surface and rocks, thus species that never interacted now do.

This is all compounded by the Nile perch forcing deep and open water species to adapt to living in the rocks, so again, species are now in close proximity with others that they would rarely encounter in previous years, so the species in the lake are in danger, and this would be most species open water or rock bound.

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Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:42 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:46 am 
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Hi
The visibility has always been not so good in the lake, and it depends on wich island or littoral zone yu look, being more turbid near the coastal part but having more clear waters in offshores islands.
Yu'll have to read the scientifics reports from Leiden university or Olee's book before stating that all the fishes are threathened in the same manner, this is not what they all say. Some friends of mine were also on the lake and they fished alots of differents species in the rocky zones from kenyan waters(Mbita point, Hippo island, Kisumu) some experiences leaded by Leiden university has shown that the oxycline is decreasing( being less than 20 meters high in the water column) so the Nile perchs don't fin suitable conditions to live there but the cichlids has develloped some morphologicals adaaptation to live in low oxygen water. If yu look at the numbers of nile perchs caught for industrial fisheries, yu'll see that the size is decreasing, and also the number of them, it's a sign of over fishing that no one can deny(seen all over the world). Some scientifics reprts from leiden show that some pelagicals species are recovering in large numbers(H.piceatus, H.pyrrocephalus, H.laparogramma)
xris :)


Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:46 am
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:56 am 
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NUH-UUNHHHH!! :lol:


Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:56 am
       
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 Post subject: Re: mixing victorian cichlids.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:06 am 
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Deadman has been removed from this website. His actions on this website and others have required this response. My apologies for not doing it sooner.

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