How many females do I have?

Aquashrimp42

I got some multi cichlids a few weeks ago hoping to get them breeding. Are the large ones always males? Do I have one male and four females? I just have to mention how fun these fish are. The larger one looks about 1.5 times the size of all the others. It and one other small one decided to dig themselves homes under the rocks despite the 48 shells in there. How big should they be before they can breed? The small ones are about the length of an almost full grown mystery snail as you can see in one of the photos.

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Demeter

Biggest ones are always the males in this species. Once they start breeding you will be able to identify the pairs and territories.

Tip: feeding BBS is sure to trigger spawning after a couple weeks. Worked well for mine!
 
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Aquashrimp42

How high do you have your waterflow? Do they like low or high water flow?
 
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Mouska

Male
2C56C603-55FC-4DD7-BC78-44FF1A5E29D4.jpegI
Female

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can’t really tell from the picture the gender of the fish but my females are usually a lot darker with more brown stripes and a pearl like round belly while the males are more white and gray with dark grey stripes. It’s also easy to tell from their behavior. Females will almost never leave their group of shells while the males will go around picking up sand and displaying to other males and going around to their females shells unless they have fry. My multies have almost no water flow and populate the side of the tank with no flow or surface movement. For breeding they tend to show spawning behavior after feedings a few days after water changes, and spawn more when less water is changed.
 
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Aquashrimp42

I have a Fluval 306 running at full capacity in a 55-gallon tank. Should I turn it down, the fish still swim all over the tank? How big do they have to be to start breeding? I am pretty sure I have one male and 4 females then.

The 6 of them have not consolidated on one side of the tank. They are all spread out fairly evenly across the tank.


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The male moved all that sandpile from the left side of the tank out from under those rocks.
 
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Mouska

I have never tested any high flow filters with them but there babies are not the best swimmers and get tired quite easily so it could effect them more, you could try to lower the flow a little bit and move the filter to one side of the tank, in the picture it looks like it already is to the right. The only males in my tank who have spawned with a female are are Around 2.5-3 Inches. The females who have spawned are 1 inch or less.
 
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