Juiced / hormoned fish

SinisterCichlids

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has bought or seen juiced African cichlids, specifically peacocks. How long do juiced fish hold their color?
Were the juiced fish bought/seen either online, in a LFS, or big box store? Any other telltale signs of juiced fish? How common is this?

I ask because I was in a sketchy LFS today in New Jersey. I saw the sign and decided to check it out. The place was low quality all around, but when I got to the peacocks, their younger males looked phenomenal; like too good to be true for $20. It was hard to pass up, but I really think their peacocks were pumped with hormones.

Any advice or stories someone would like to share would be greatly appreciated!
 

Katie13

For $20 I’d expected a young male Peacock to look good! They’re brightly colored fish in general, so I would possibly more so question some of the stock you’ve seen.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Over here, the juiced fish are pretty obvious most of the time. You will see tanks full of (what are supposedly) all males, all wearing colors like they are the dominant fish in the tank. Or fish that are only 2" long, but are wearing full breeding dress. Any time you see a tank full of colorful fish, alarm bells should ring.

The hormones are given to the fish in their food. They can be doped at the fish farm or at the LFS, if the LFS is unscrupulous. I have heard it explained thus: people that don't really know African Cichlids are not going to buy a brown/grey, muted fish. They only want to buy fish who are blazing color. Also, unless you are really into Africans, most casual fish keepers don't want to wait months just hoping that the fish will color up. So, a lot of small shops here will continue to feed their Africans "color enhancing" food.
Most of the time, doped fish are cheaper than the unjuiced ones.

What to look for: Ask the LFS to show you what they are feeding the fish. It should be something reputable. Ask them how long they have had the fish. If the fish were doped at the farm, but are not currently juicing, the colors should fade in two to three weeks. If they are still colorful after that, the odds are in your favor. If you trust the seller, you could just straight up ask them, but I have had people lie to my face about this before.

I know it is a Lot more expensive, but it may be worth getting your fish online from reputable sources.

I currently have a small handful of juiced fish. They faded after about a week and a half. The dominant Red Rubin/German Red kept most of his color (he is big enough to have it by now) but the others faded to a more usual muddy color. The Azureus is starting to look good again though.
But even the red who stayed red is not as blazing as he was in the store. Hopefully time, good water and good food will bring him back to his fabulous brick red.
 
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SinisterCichlids

Over here, the juiced fish are pretty obvious most of the time. You will see tanks full of (what are supposedly) all males, all wearing colors like they are the dominant fish in the tank. Or fish that are only 2" long, but are wearing full breeding dress. Any time you see a tank full of colorful fish, alarm bells should ring.

The hormones are given to the fish in their food. They can be doped at the fish farm or at the LFS, if the LFS is unscrupulous. I have heard it explained thus: people that don't really know African Cichlids are not going to buy a brown/grey, muted fish. They only want to buy fish who are blazing color. Also, unless you are really into Africans, most casual fish keepers don't want to wait months just hoping that the fish will color up. So, a lot of small shops here will continue to feed their Africans "color enhancing" food.
Most of the time, doped fish are cheaper than the unjuiced ones.

What to look for: Ask the LFS to show you what they are feeding the fish. It should be something reputable. Ask them how long they have had the fish. If the fish were doped at the farm, but are not currently juicing, the colors should fade in two to three weeks. If they are still colorful after that, the odds are in your favor. If you trust the seller, you could just straight up ask them, but I have had people lie to my face about this before.

I know it is a Lot more expensive, but it may be worth getting your fish online from reputable sources.

I currently have a small handful of juiced fish. They faded after about a week and a half. The dominant Red Rubin/German Red kept most of his color (he is big enough to have it by now) but the others faded to a more usual muddy color. The Azureus is starting to look good again though.
But even the red who stayed red is not as blazing as he was in the store. Hopefully time, good water and good food will bring him back to his fabulous brick red.

Thanks for this information! I was really wondering how long they can hold this color. I've been looking everywhere for grade A peacocks and I bought some online from a new seller and was pleasantly surprised. I also went to a new LFS and some looked even better. Then reality sunk in, maybe they are juiced? But I had them for a few weeks and their color is looking even better than when I got them all stressed out from Indiana, I live in New York. So I believe I am in the clear! They weren't fully colored at 3inches but definitely were showing some dominant traits that I believed were a bit early.

Next on the list is a canary yellow ob, ngara flametail, and maybe a sulferhead.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Thanks for this information! I was really wondering how long they can hold this color. I've been looking everywhere for grade A peacocks and I bought some online from a new seller and was pleasantly surprised. I also went to a new LFS and some looked even better. Then reality sunk in, maybe they are juiced? But I had them for a few weeks and their color is looking even better than when I got them all stressed out from Indiana, I live in New York. So I believe I am in the clear! They weren't fully colored at 3inches but definitely were showing some dominant traits that I believed were a bit early.

Next on the list is a canary yellow ob, ngara flametail, and maybe a sulferhead.
Nice one man, that sounds fantastic. It does sound like you are in the clear.

I can't wait till I can get my next batch of cichlids
 
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SinisterCichlids

Nice one man, that sounds fantastic. It does sound like you are in the clear.

I can't wait till I can get my next batch of cichlids

Yes I think I am. Very happy with these fish so far. By the way, I was in a LFS yesterday. I saw this weird rock. I forget to ask them what it was, but it was like a greenish teal, kinda like a sieryu stone. I know that isn't a great description, but have any idea? It was more natural and not glass like. The color was a nice tint and the stone was raw and block-like' What time is it in China right now?
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Yes I think I am. Very happy with these fish so far. By the way, I was in a LFS yesterday. I saw this weird rock. I forget to ask them what it was, but it was like a greenish teal, kinda like a sieryu stone. I know that isn't a great description, but have any idea? What time is it in China right now?
3:00 in the afternoon here. Where are you at? Is it the middle of the night?

Edit: Duh, mental fart, I knew you are in New York but then forgot. What time is it there?
 
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SinisterCichlids

3:00 in the afternoon here. Where are you at? Is it the middle of the night?
Yes it is 2:05 AM here in New York haha
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Haha, my Friday night was like that. Typing away instead of sleeping
 
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SinisterCichlids

Haha, my Friday night was like that. Typing away instead of sleeping

What else is there to do when in 2020 and the government shuts everything down haha
 
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