Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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iamntbatman 08-13-2008 03:14 AM

Egyptian Mouthbrooder
So, I've still been on that quest looking for the perfect niche fish for my 29g community. It's currently got: 3 swordtails (1 male 2 female), 2 golden wonder killies, and one (female) half of a krib pair. I plan on adding some sort of bottom dweller - I've been on the lookout for South American Bumblebee catfish but have only found the larger Asian type, so I may go with those kuhli loaches.

Today, while I was at the LFS browsing for bottom dwellers and order filter parts, I ran across the Egyptian mouthbrooder. They sound like the fit the bill for a second "centerpiece" fish perfectly! I had tossed around the idea of a ram or apisto, but decided against both because it's impossible to buy a single apisto and pairs are usually $40+, and against the ram because I can't find them for less than $14 and I'm afraid it'll die on me. Then, I was thinking about a badis badis, but was scared off by the fact that they'll only eat live food and even then might get out-competed. Then I wanted a knight goby, only to have people tell me the internet's wrong and that they need low-end brackish. D'oh!

So how about this Egyptian mouthbrooder? I've read they're very hardy (which is good) and stay peaceful, even when breeding (which is really good!). Anyone ever kept these guys? The LFS didn't know much about them (actually, when I brought them up, the guy said he had no clue and thought they were mislabeled) and they were going for $10 a pair. Should I grab a pair? Also, if I do get them, should I get a second female? They don't form pair bonds so I dunno how important it is to have multiple females.

1077 08-13-2008 06:52 AM

They sound like the perfect fish by all accounts. The only apprehension I would have would be when and if male krib was re-introduced with the female and they began spawning activities. I must confess I am partial to Raphael Catfish. I have kept mine with rams and kehole cichlids as well as Panda cichlids without incident. They are capable of reaching seven inches but I believe four to five inches is more probable in an aquarium. They will however eat fry and are reclusive as well as hardy. I aquired one almost two years ago at approx two inches. Today he is approx. four to five inches and as big around as a man's thumb. I also love all dwarf cichlids . I don't envy you in regards to making your particular choice. :)

iamntbatman 08-13-2008 01:56 PM

Yeah...I really haven't decided about re-introducing the male krib. As much fun as it is watching the pair interact, I'm still enjoying the relative peace since I sold off their fry and moved him to another tank. I've got plenty of space at this point, so if things don't work out I can move him back to the 20g he's in now, or even move the mouthbrooders to that tank and let the kribs terrorize the 29 if need be.

The only reason I hadn't considered a raphael as the bottom dweller is because I've got another 29 cycling that I plan on growing out a Jack Dempsey in, and I was thinking about putting a raphael in the tank as his sole tankmate.

Hmm..choices, choices. Thanks!

redpaulhus 08-13-2008 04:21 PM

If you've got some other options in case they get aggresive, I say go for it.
Assuming (dangerous, I know) that these are P. multicolor, the are supposedly not tooo aggressive. I've got a breeding group of a close cousin, P. nicholsi -- and they are awesome.

My male is unreal - the colors on his side compare to the nicest killifish I've ever seen, and the blue "lipstick" is very cool.

I started with 1m2f in a 55g tank (planted, with dither fish, etc) - and promptly lost one female :(
But since then - they are constantly breeding.

I've now got at least 3 mature females, and a handful of unsexed young fish.

I haven't seen any other males yet, but either a) he's killing them or b) its pH dependant, I haven't started playing pH games in this tank yet to see if it changes the gender ratio...

So I'd say go for it - the colors in a home aquarium need to be seen to be beleived, and this isn't a fish you'll see that often in most LFS (I lucked into mine).

iamntbatman 08-13-2008 04:28 PM

Awesome! Thanks for the tips. I believe the fish they have at the store is P. multicolor and not P nicholsi. They had only one male and maybe 5-6 females in stock.

From what I've read, the males develop the bright red anal fins at an early age and don't get along with one another, so the father might be killing them. Then again I know my kribs have pH-dependent sexing in their fry, so that could also be the case.

I think I'm gonna give these guys a shot!

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