uh oh..maybe? White labs possibly spawning?
OH no! two of my newer mbunas in the tank look like the're attempting to spawn..maybe?? The are (white)Labidochromis caeruleus from tumbi reef(parents wild caught). I'll at some point attempt a picture to help but all it would be right now is a whirl of bluish white. So here is my issue. It's an all male tank ..Mbunas all but 2. The breeder when called by the store said honestly he couldn't promise till they got bigger if male or female but could give an educated guess at 2 most likely males. I have them and they aren't having issues from the others( asside from WW3 that happened when they were added and rocks were moved). I want to know in all possible cases what I should do. They both have very vivid egg spots.. from what I can remember before they decided to spin in the sand they have a mild blue sheen to their mostly white coloring. maybe 1.5inches long so very young and one seems to have slightly more noticable greyish bars on "his" sides( only slightly). It's not fighting that I'm seeing..seen enough to know what that looks like. They are extremely passive(as compared to the others) and are always together. Starting yesterday or today they begun to spin in circles in the sand together.
1st) isn't that a bit young to attempt to spawn?
2nd) if one is maybe female what level of danger is it to keep them longer to see them color up more to be sure of the sex? Given that they aren't currently causeing any drama in the tank just one perv watching them but not coming close to them :lol:
3rd) can they just be gender confused and doing this as 2 males? I haven't heard of that but guessing since they are both the same looking and drastically different color wise then everyone else.
4th) are there any color or shape indicators of female/male at this young that anyone knows of to these particular cichlids? They are rare so I'm having troube finding anything on them.
*sorry for the lengthy post*
2.) Difficult to say, given that it is an [all] male aquarium, there could be a variety of issues depending on if you have other species that would see the female as a potential "mating" partner. In which would cause chaos to erupt as your m/f ration would be severely low, the female would eventually be harassed to the point that it would eventually die.
3.) Very likely, my male Mbuna will do the exact same thing with each other. Shaking, lip locking, and sand dancing could all be signs of "intimidation", although generally speaking the "shaking" is used as a mating tactic by the male, so it's very hard to say.
4.) Venting is a common option chosen to sex due it's high reliability and it's quite easy to tell at later ages, however, it will probably be difficult to vent them at that age.
Thanks . Yes I know about the venting and wish I was experienced enough to learn how to pick them up without them doing something stupid. And I think only my acei is barely large enough to do that with accurate results. Luckily all are 1st gen captive so everyone colors up with obvious male coloring pretty fast. But it just seems the color differences in these guys are too subtle.
No lip locking with them. Seen the fin shake thing and a lot of ( what appears to be mutual agreed upon and non aggressive) sand dancing. They cut a crater to do that in.
What might they be at risk of interbreeding with if in fact one turns out female. I have no other form of labs yet. My tank has a sunshine peacock, Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus, red zebra, red fin albino zebra, rusty's, acei, demasoni. ( think that's it ... That's a mouthful to remember)
In interesting weird other behavior observed. After the most recent additions were added I woke up to a tank of nobody having egg spots aside from the tank boss acei and the two white labs. Quintessential ripping away your male ego move haha ...literally .
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Regarding inbreeding, you can have serious side effects or none at all, mind you be that a majority of the fish in the market today are inbred fish. Mainly due to the fact that it often produces new strains, some of which with spectacular color that can be sold easily. Fish chains have no concern about the adverse effects that can come from inbreeding such as genetic defects and what not, they are fine with the w/n ratio regardless.
As I stated earlier regarding potential spawning mates, the red zebras have been known to spawn with labs. Since the ones you have are technically the same species, it makes no difference.
Best of luck!
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