Does a tank of "mixed Africans" bug anyone else? Short rant.

Belly up

Piranha
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 19, 2008
635
169
76
Wolverine, MI
So my local stores are going with selling all of their smaller African cichlids from one tank and labeling them "Mixed Africans". They may have as many as ten species of cichlids in there and unless you are an expert in mbuna you can`t tell what they are. They are doing the same thing with their peacocks. A bunch of silvery fish and who is to know one from the other. I want to know what I am buying and not wait a year for my fish to color up to find out! To me it shows a lack of respect for the fish. Doesn`t each species deserve to be labeled so you know what you are looking at?
I have informed both stores that I will not buy fish from these tanks, especially the peacocks. Is any one else annoyed by this practice or am I just getting old and crotchety?


I have been keeping fish for over fifty years and of course I can identify many of the fish, particularly the mbuna, but the peacocks not so much. Most of my years have been spent on CA cichlids with only short periods with Africans and up until now never peacocks. Oh, and by the way they don`t treat their Tanganyikan cichlids this way. Each species get it`s own tank and a proper label.
 

BichirKing

Dovii
MFK Member
Jun 19, 2018
530
584
100
46
PNW
Real Name
John W
Gender
Male
Occupation
industrial Hydraulics
I see it all the time and I think it goes with the fact that the store employees don't seem to care to learn. one lfs that I avoid unless I have to shop there is like this. mixed African tank has tangs, victoria, Malawi all in one tank.
 

fishhead0103666

Probation Member
Probation Member
May 14, 2018
2,968
2,473
154
18
Real Name
Brian
Gender
Male
I remember reading a post (not sure where) about a guy who used this to his advantage. He could tell certain ones apart and would buy the ones that were actually worth more than they costed to buy then he would sell them to other aquarists at profit.
If you look at it like that then it could be an upside :naughty:.
 

J. H.

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Oct 14, 2016
1,855
1,401
154
21
10977
Real Name
pyh
Occupation
Flea trainer
It sucks, and the worst is they're mostly hybrids, so your yellow lab might be 3/4 Melanachromis Auratus.
 

The Morning

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jan 10, 2018
199
220
51
45
Real Name
Brad
Exactly. The chance of any of those fish not being a hybrid is slim. I would not purchase them if you are looking for pure fish. I also think it is a bit irresponsible if someone is cherry picking the fish and selling them as pure without knowing that they truly are.
 

RD.

Crazy Canuck
MFK Member
May 9, 2007
10,371
5,593
2,780
60
Fu Manchu
Real Name
Billy Jack
Gender
Male
I agree with both JH & Morning. Most mixed tanks contain mixed fish, at the very least poor quality strains. I have never, and would never, support a LFS like that. Find a local breeder that breeds quality specimens, or a good online vendor that imports quality fish, and support them.
 

Tobiassorensen

Dovii
MFK Member
Jul 23, 2017
815
813
105
32
Sweden
Real Name
Tobias
Gender
Male
Occupation
Nurse
Well over here in sweden you can accually order mixed malawi through one of the biggest supplier here. But i only know of one lfs that used to have an mixed tank.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen St.Clair

Belly up

Piranha
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 19, 2008
635
169
76
Wolverine, MI
My response has been to tell the store I will not buy cichlids that way and to then buy from trusted suppliers on line. Not something I wanted to do but I want fish from solid lines so I can supply quality fry later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RD.

Stephen St.Clair

Piranha
MFK Member
Jul 2, 2017
423
442
77
Real Name
Adam 201
About six months ago I bought seven juvenile Alunocara from my LFS. All were in an unsexed,
mixed African Peacock tank.
 

Stephen St.Clair

Piranha
MFK Member
Jul 2, 2017
423
442
77
Real Name
Adam 201
Whoops, I accidently pushed the "Post" button too early.
Most of the Peacocks turned out to be male; Royal Regal Blue, Ngara Flametail, German red, couple still coloring up, and a nice looking hybrid Peacock. They cost only a fraction of the price of guaranteed pure bred male peacocks. Those go for about $50 apiece in my area.
Buying Africans from a grab bag tank can be risky, but if the fish store is reputable, sometimes you can make good scores.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store