African Cichlids Experts..... Help A Beginner Identify Some Fish!

Sagar77

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First time posting on this forum. I'm an African Cichlid newbie and like any noob.... I went to my Petco and bought three Aulonocara peacock african cichlids! Don't worry they will survive.

However, I'm calling on the african cichlids experts to identify these 3 Aulocara species (if possible) identify their gender. I will post some pics to help you in your sleuthing. Thanks in advance!

Fish 1: Blue with faint vertical stripes. Species? Gender?

Fish 2: Lemon colored. Species? Gender?

Fish 3: orange head, blue face. Species? Gender?
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AquaticJ

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Yellow is a sunshine peacock, Blue and gold is a Z rock I think (definitely not a Peacock), and the small blue I think is a Nyassae Peacock.
 
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Sagar77

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Jake, thanks for the prompt response. I guess you are saying:

Fish 1: Nyassae Peacock
Fish 2: Sunshine Peacock
Fish 3: Z rock

Makes sense. Anybody seconds these?

Any guesses for the genders? These fish are about 2 inches in size.
 

AquaticJ

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The first three pictures are the z rock, the little all blue one is the Nyassae, and the yellow is the lemon. Z rock and lemon are males. Not sure of the other.
 
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Sagar77

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Thanks! That really helped.

Do you think the yellow is a Sunshine Peacock or a Lemon Jake?
 

chromedome52

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The little blue one is not a Peacock. Probably not pure anything. Note the horizontal line down the side, NO Peacock species shows a horizontal line at any stage of its life.

Also, the blue and yellow fish is not a pure Z Rock, as it also has a line down the side; Otopharynx lithobates has three spots, no horizontal stripe. Even as fry. There are other Hap types with a similar color pattern, it would require someone more familiar with those types to suggest anything in particular. But best guess is another hybrid.

I would have to question the purity of the Yellow Peacock if it came from the same tank as those other two fish.
 
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Sagar77

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Chromedome,

That's some great info! Thanks. I like the 'NO Peacock species shows a horizontal line at any stage of its life' thumb rule. The littel blue one is probably a hybrid Hap too? Actually, I do like the horizontal line on the 'hybrid Z rock', which I mistakenly thought was a sulfur head. I am just learning about these amazing Lake MalawI cichlids and appreciate the help I am getting here. Next time, I will pay a few dollars more to buy from our excellent but pricey LFS, River City Aquatics in Austin TX.

Any insight about the gender of these fish?
 

AquaticJ

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Hm, I didn’t notice the horizontal line on the blue for some reason. I was confused by the z rock-like species because of the lack of dots and thought maybe it happens, thanks for the insight.

Sagar77 CD knows his stuff, I usually tag or wait for him to come along lol. I also just noticed I started saying lemon instead of sunshine lol. Not a lemon jake.
 

dbjonesjr

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As to the gender if they are peacocks or haps they normally don’t show anything close to that much color unless they are male. So, I would say male on the Sunshine and Hap hybrid but not sure about the blue one.
 
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Sagar77

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Thanks a ton for the replies. I am very grateful to you all and even more excited about this hobby!

In the above thread, I was 'advised' to refrain from getting hybrids which are typically found at the big box pet stores. I heeded that advice and went to a reputable LFS and bought some pure strains. I spent more than 3 times what I would at Petsmart but it was worth it. Unfortuantely, I still do not know the exact species for the 2 new fish. I am posting pics and will be grateful if you can help with the species. The first 2 pics are of an Mbuna (blue and black stripes) and the next 2 of a peacock (orange body).
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AquaticJ

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Mbuna is a cynotilapia Afra.

Peacock is not a Peacock, it’s a Copadichromis Borleyi.

Edit: you can and will find hybrids in most stores, big box or not.
 

chromedome52

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I think the Cynotilapia is C. zebroides rather than afra. There were some changes to this genus a few years ago, and there is still a lot of confusion over species ID.
 
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Sagar77

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Thanks for the info. I love setting up my underwater ecosystem (aka fish tank) but african cichlids sure are confusing. Thanks to you folks for helping me out.

This is the second time I thought I bought a peacock which turned out to be a hap!

Also this hobby is expensive so I want to curtail my expenses!Would you advise me if I am over-paying at my LFS? I'm in Austin TX and the LFS I do business with is River City Aquatics. The cynotilapia zebroides (dogtooth) is about a 3 inch male and was reasonably priced at $7. The Copadichromis BorleyI (redfin hap) is a 7 inch male and I paid $40 for it. These prices were after a 20% discount on the regular prices during their once-a-month sale.
 

dbjonesjr

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Price for a 7 inch male sounds about right, maybe even a little cheap for where I live. If you want to stay cheap then I’d recommend buying younger fish and having them vent them or look at colors to pick out males.
 
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Sagar77

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So, is a redfin hap. Makes sense since it is bigger than most peacocks at 7 inches. Thanks.
 

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