Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Multiple male harems? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/multiple-male-harems-121563/)

DrivingMissFishy 12-02-2012 03:46 AM

Multiple male harems?
 
Just wondering if there's any merit to the argument of keeping 2 males per harem, and if so at what size of a harem? I'm guessing that it would vary per species. I've read a lot lately and heard from a few people that breed (just as a hobby) that keeping 2 males keeps the most dominant looking best and busy easing up on the females. What is everyone's experience with this? The species I keep would only have 4-5 females each so 2 males seems a little much!
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Chesh 12-02-2012 08:09 AM

It really does depend a lot on which fish you're wanting, and also on other factors, like how big the tank is and how it's decorated. In some cases, as long as there are enough females it's okay. But some types of fish simply will not tolerate another male in the tank. Ever. In other cases, it depends on the individual temperament of the dominant male. . .

ETA: I have a happy group of Bolivian Rams, I have 2 males, and 3 females (I'd like to increase this to 4-5 females eventually) The dominant male is VERY bright - he always has been, even before the second male was added. So the bright coloration being based on the second male may also depend on the species. :) No help at all, sorry!!!

Tazman 12-02-2012 11:21 AM

What fish are we talking about? Without this information it is impossible to answer your question.

DrivingMissFishy 12-02-2012 01:34 PM

Whoops, I thought I mentioned which fish I was talking about :/ I'm talking about African rift lake cichlids. I've been working on stocking my 120gal for a few months trying to figure what works and swapping out fish that don't. I'm just trying to figure out if if having extra males is beneficial, as if not ill add more females. It's just that it takes a while by the time you buy juvies and grow them up to a size where you can actually distinguish the sexes! Please forgive my spelling here:
Pundamilia nyereri
Electric yellow
Astatotilapia latisificata
Metriaclima sp. msobo
Psuedotropheus Acei
Tropheops sp. red cheek
Placidochromis phenochilus
Labidochromis sp. mbamba
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Tazman 12-02-2012 05:48 PM

Only one thing I would change on that stocking list and that is the Labidochromis sp Mbamba - over time once they mature, they will go after the yellow labs (Labidochromis Careleus). Keeping two fish from the same genus is always a challenge and in this case the mbamba would go after the labs being the more aggressive of the two species.

In a 120g tank, you can add multiple males, but you do need to add the extra females also. Reason we keep them in harems is to spread the aggression of one male in spawning mode across multiple females. Having multiple males and not enough females, will likely lead to stressed, injured or worst case, dead fish, the males need a group of females to spread that aggression.

If you are looking at any of the very aggressive species such as Auratus, Crabo, then these MUST be in groups of 1 male ONLY to at least 6-8 or more (10) in the case of the Auratus females. Anything less and you will have dead fish once the males go into spawning mode.

Try and keep only one genus of each species, such as dont go with Red Zebra, Metriclima Estereae as you have the Metriclima Msobo already. Try and vary the colors as well, any fish that look similar will think they are the same species and likely fight.

Nothing wrong with your current stock though, how many fish in total do you have at the moment?

DrivingMissFishy 12-02-2012 06:25 PM

Pundamilia nyereri ( 2m2f)
Electric yellow(1m1f, 6 juvies in growout)
Astatotilapia latisificata (2m2f, about 100 fry)
Metriaclima sp. msobo (2f1m, about 15fry)
Psuedotropheus Acei (3unknown,3 juvie in growout)
Tropheops sp. red cheek (3unknown)
Placidochromis phenochilus(1m,2 juvies)
Labidochromis sp. mbamba(1f,5 juvies)
I'm not sure how many fish I can stock am I overstocked? Shame about the mbamba I like those they're a different colour scheme and the females are pretty too! My faves are probably the msobo so I wouldn't mind keeping a few of the fry to add to the colony, what do u think?
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Chesh 12-02-2012 08:13 PM

Ahhhh, now we're getting somewhere! I'm sure Taz will be by at some point to get you cleared up on this - he's the one who knows stuff about stuff! Good luck with your harem!

DrivingMissFishy 12-02-2012 09:38 PM

Thanks :)
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Tazman 12-02-2012 09:41 PM

The ratios need to be around 1 male to 4 females,

Yellow labs - can keep them all, they get along with almost anything and can breed like crazy once they start.

Msobo - AGGRESSIVE - need at harem of 1 male to 5/6 females. These fish are terrors when the males get into spawning mode, they will defend their territory to the death.

Astatotilapia latisificata - do best in a group of 6 fish with 1 or 2 males to 4 females, they are not overly aggressive and get along with most other fish, they are also stunning when fully colored.

Tropheus - these fish hate each other with a passion, they are very very aggressive to their own kind, many (including myself - have kept or only keep just one)

Acei - again, can keep, they can be aggressive but generally are not.

Placidochromis - Stunning fish when they mature, they go a very deep metallic blue and are very very peaceful. Watch them with the msobo though as they are quite similar in color for a while and the msobo may see them as a threat.

Generally speaking, you are about stocked once the fish reach adulthood, I would though adjust the ratios to having only 1 male and multiple females, with the exception of the yellow labs, they will be fine with multiple males and only a few females. Not too many males though, about 3 and 5 females will be good.

Tazman 12-02-2012 09:41 PM

The ratios need to be around 1 male to 4 females,

Yellow labs - can keep them all, they get along with almost anything and can breed like crazy once they start.

Msobo - AGGRESSIVE - need at harem of 1 male to 5/6 females. These fish are terrors when the males get into spawning mode, they will defend their territory to the death.

Astatotilapia latisificata - do best in a group of 6 fish with 1 or 2 males to 4 females, they are not overly aggressive and get along with most other fish, they are also stunning when fully colored.

Tropheus - these fish hate each other with a passion, they are very very aggressive to their own kind, many (including myself - have kept or only keep just one)

Acei - again, can keep, they can be aggressive but generally are not.

Placidochromis - Stunning fish when they mature, they go a very deep metallic blue and are very very peaceful. Watch them with the msobo though as they are quite similar in color for a while and the msobo may see them as a threat.

Generally speaking, you are about stocked once the fish reach adulthood, I would though adjust the ratios to having only 1 male and multiple females, with the exception of the yellow labs, they will be fine with multiple males and only a few females. Not too many males though, about 3 and 5 females will be good.


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