Please help me with Peacock Cichlid sexing... and other things

Samt123

Exodon
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2020
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Hey everyone,

I had posted this question before and there's another whole thread of me talking to people about this issue. I am posting this again as an "update" while in reality I still really need help and potentially some expert advice. I have also asked this same question to another forum but again, no luck. I'm pretty much lost on what to think or do at this point so I thought I would just ask the community again. I have many questions.

1) can female cichlids be as aggressive as the males?

2) is it common for the male to harass and follow the male?

3) how long does it take for a cichlid colony to get comfortable and start breeding?

4) and finally, I need help sexing my cichlid.

This cichlid has been causing not only me but many others across multiple forums a lot of confusion. I'll attach photos of the cichlid so everyone can get an idea of what it looks like and the vents and whatever else not. Heres the rundown of the situation. I went to my fish store and got what I thought was one male and three females. The workers weren't educated so I just went in there and tried to eyeball the best I could the female cichlids. The male was clearly a male and one female is unquestionably a female. The problem comes with my other two fish. One is an OB and the forum and I came to the conclusion that she was a female indeed. The next cichlid is the one causing real confusion. I got all the cichlids together and put them into my breeding set up. It is a 40 breeder with sand substrate, rocks, and a flat rock to maybe help them during breeding. They are all the same size, I'd say around 3-4 inches. This one cichlid started to be very aggressive towards the male, chasing him around the tank, almost immediatly. I took a quick look at the cichlid and went "this might be a male" so I took it out and moved it into my 20 G emergency tank. I took photos of the cichlid and even tried venting the cichlid. From what I can tell, the cichlid has egg spots, but only on one side of the anal fin, it is a dark brown color across the body all the way around except for the collar. It has a rounded, long anal fin. If anything, this cichlid is the smallest of the bunch. For me personally, this is not a male. It has all the characteristics of a female cichlid, the rounded fins, the potential to have egg spots, the lack of color, but I still have no clue. Others propose that it is a "juiced" female, being given testosterone to bring out the color. I was left confused unsure of what to do so I put the cichlid back into the colony tank. So far, its been a day, everything seems to be going "okay" the aggression is still there but the cichlid only chases down my male every so often, the actual male seems to not show any dominance over the tank at all at the moment. It's my first time raising African cichlids and I am sure what to expect or do. If anyone could help me out in any way or direct me to a Peacock cichlid expert, I would love to get the help. Thanks, everyone.

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tlindsey

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Hey everyone,

I had posted this question before and there's another whole thread of me talking to people about this issue. I am posting this again as an "update" while in reality I still really need help and potentially some expert advice. I have also asked this same question to another forum but again, no luck. I'm pretty much lost on what to think or do at this point so I thought I would just ask the community again. I have many questions.

1) can female cichlids be as aggressive as the males?

2) is it common for the male to harass and follow the male?

3) how long does it take for a cichlid colony to get comfortable and start breeding?

4) and finally, I need help sexing my cichlid.

This cichlid has been causing not only me but many others across multiple forums a lot of confusion. I'll attach photos of the cichlid so everyone can get an idea of what it looks like and the vents and whatever else not. Heres the rundown of the situation. I went to my fish store and got what I thought was one male and three females. The workers weren't educated so I just went in there and tried to eyeball the best I could the female cichlids. The male was clearly a male and one female is unquestionably a female. The problem comes with my other two fish. One is an OB and the forum and I came to the conclusion that she was a female indeed. The next cichlid is the one causing real confusion. I got all the cichlids together and put them into my breeding set up. It is a 40 breeder with sand substrate, rocks, and a flat rock to maybe help them during breeding. They are all the same size, I'd say around 3-4 inches. This one cichlid started to be very aggressive towards the male, chasing him around the tank, almost immediatly. I took a quick look at the cichlid and went "this might be a male" so I took it out and moved it into my 20 G emergency tank. I took photos of the cichlid and even tried venting the cichlid. From what I can tell, the cichlid has egg spots, but only on one side of the anal fin, it is a dark brown color across the body all the way around except for the collar. It has a rounded, long anal fin. If anything, this cichlid is the smallest of the bunch. For me personally, this is not a male. It has all the characteristics of a female cichlid, the rounded fins, the potential to have egg spots, the lack of color, but I still have no clue. Others propose that it is a "juiced" female, being given testosterone to bring out the color. I was left confused unsure of what to do so I put the cichlid back into the colony tank. So far, its been a day, everything seems to be going "okay" the aggression is still there but the cichlid only chases down my male every so often, the actual male seems to not show any dominance over the tank at all at the moment. It's my first time raising African cichlids and I am sure what to expect or do. If anyone could help me out in any way or direct me to a Peacock cichlid expert, I would love to get the help. Thanks, everyone.

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#1 yes
#2 yes
#3 It depends on many variables one such as ideal environment.
#4 It looks a low ranking male but not positive.
 

Samt123

Exodon
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2020
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#1 yes
#2 yes
#3 It depends on many variables one such as ideal environment.
#4 It looks a low ranking male but not positive.
thanks for the reply! I meant to say is it common for the females to harass the males. Thanks for the educated guess on the gender, Everyone I've talked to is eager to help but is also unsure. I appriciate the feedback!
 
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tlindsey

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thanks for the reply! I meant to say is it common for the females to harass the males. Thanks for the educated guess on the gender, Everyone I've talked to is eager to help but is also unsure. I appriciate the feedback!

Not common but I personally had 2 female Cichlid different species beat and kill males after spawning. Female Electric Blue Acara and a Female killer Pulcher Kribensis.
 

Samt123

Exodon
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2020
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Not common but I personally had 2 female Cichlid different species beat and kill males after spawning. Female Electric Blue Acara and a Female killer Pulcher Kribensis.
Sorry for the loss of your males, I put the cichlid back in with the breeding colony and every hour I watch, the aggression seems to slowly subside, I'll just keep him in there until I have an exact idea of what I could do. Again I really appreciate all the help you've given me. by chance would you know any cichlid experts that could help my case? if so please tag them!
 
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tlindsey

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Sorry for the loss of your males, I put the cichlid back in with the breeding colony and every hour I watch, the aggression seems to slowly subside, I'll just keep him in there until I have an exact idea of what I could do. Again I really appreciate all the help you've given me. by chance would you know any cichlid experts that could help my case? if so please
Stephen St.Clair Stephen St.Clair
 
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Stephen St.Clair

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Jul 2, 2017
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First, I think we need to change word terminology from "Expert" to simply "Experienced".
Evidently your aquarium environment is lacking a hardscape. One flat rock won't work well for Peacocks, or Mbuna.
The addition of a rock pile should help calm things down. African Cichlids claim territories. Without a substantial hardscape, a dominant male will likely claim the entire tank, instead of a particular rock or crevace, especially in a relatively small tank like a 40 breeder.
I believe the troublemaker Peacock is likely a male. Most dominant males color up, but some don't, especially if the male is not pure bred, (Hybrid).
A large part of keeping African Cichlids is learning to handle aggression issues & making adjustments when neccessary.
MFK, offers excellent resources to review. Be sure to take advantage of the information.
 
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DJRansome

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Not sure anyone could give you a 100% guarantee without an in-personal physical exam and experienced fish keepers often use a loupe (a small magnifying glass used by jewelers and watch makers).

For an in-person exam maybe you could take the fish to your vet? Some people have done this for disease diagnosis, but usually the main goal is to solve a problem...aggression perhaps. Aquascape change or swapping out an aggressive fish whether male or female is part of the hobby like Stephen St. Clair has advised.
 
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Samt123

Exodon
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2020
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First, I think we need to change word terminology from "Expert" to simply "Experienced".
Evidently your aquarium environment is lacking a hardscape. One flat rock won't work well for Peacocks, or Mbuna.
The addition of a rock pile should help calm things down. African Cichlids claim territories. Without a substantial hardscape, a dominant male will likely claim the entire tank, instead of a particular rock or crevace, especially in a relatively small tank like a 40 breeder.
I believe the troublemaker Peacock is likely a male. Most dominant males color up, but some don't, especially if the male is not pure bred, (Hybrid).
A large part of keeping African Cichlids is learning to handle aggression issues & making adjustments when neccessary.
MFK, offers excellent resources to review. Be sure to take advantage of the information.
This was very educational, thank you for the response! as of this morning I've added moderate sized rocks across the floor hopefully to counter the aggression. I will more likely than not just return this guy an get a female I am more confident in. Thank you for all the help!
 
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Samt123

Exodon
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2020
67
44
26
22
Not sure anyone could give you a 100% guarantee without an in-personal physical exam and experienced fish keepers often use a loupe (a small magnifying glass used by jewelers and watch makers).

For an in-person exam maybe you could take the fish to your vet? Some people have done this for disease diagnosis, but usually the main goal is to solve a problem...aggression perhaps. Aquascape change or swapping out an aggressive fish whether male or female is part of the hobby like Stephen St. Clair has advised.
I appreciate the reply! I personally don't find this exact fish to be worth taking to the vet, I would rather trade him in which is probably what I'll do but that idea is great for future scenarios If I have a fish I really need to sex! thank you!
 
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