Peacock Cichlid Breeding

PokerFish

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I have a 65-gallon tank with one adult male and five adult females. They have been together for 3 weeks but no mating activity. Any suggestions on how to get them to start mating?
 

Demeter

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What the temperature? Can you post some clear photos of the females (to see if they are getting plump)?

I notice that my OB peacock females all get plump around the same time and once you see their vents poking out a bit then they're close to spawning. Mine will usually spawn after a good old water change provided there's a fat female ready to go.
 
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PokerFish

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The temperature is around 80F. The females are about 3 inches long and the male is 5 inches 2 years old. They don't seem to be interacting, I do 30% water change about every 3 days but that does not seem to do anything. Any ideas?
 

MacZ

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PokerFish said:
The temperature is around 80F. The females are about 3 inches long and the male is 5 inches 2 years old. They don't seem to be interacting, I do 30% water change about every 3 days but that does not seem to do anything. Any ideas?
26°C is totally fine.
1 50% waterchange a week is enough. In contrast to South American Cichlids, Malawi Cichlids have pretty much the same conditions all year, and accordingly breed all year. So a waterchange that might make other fish breed doesn't do much. But three weeks is not long. Might be they are still acclimating.

What do you feed them? pH and hardness readings?
 

Demeter

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PokerFish said:
The temperature is around 80F. The females are about 3 inches long and the male is 5 inches 2 years old. They don't seem to be interacting, I do 30% water change about every 3 days but that does not seem to do anything. Any ideas?
samfishkeeper said:
Hey, I am having an extremely similar issue, I will copy and paste what I have been posting in different forums to hopefully help you better understand things that I am doing and hopefully we can get an answer on this together. If I get any new information about tips, hints, or tricks, I will definitely let you know. From what I have learned, water quality, feeding, and adequate water changes at a colder temperature are what really gets them going. I hope this communication helps!

40 Breeder
83 degrees
Sand Substrate with large rocks covering 60% of the tank floor (I move rocks around every water change)
1 male sunshine peacock (4 inches)
3 female aulonocara (3 inches, 3.5 inches, 4 inches)
Bi-Weekly water change at around 30-40% (Wednesdays and Sundays, I do colder water changes to stimulate rain)
Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 (Nitrates vary but It doesn't ever go above 20 ppm)
I don't check PH I'm sorry
Fed 3x a day (8 am, 4 pm, and 11 pm) (Hikari floating pellets, brine shrimp, blood worms, cucumbers, flakes)
I have 3 filters, one sponge, and two HOB, combined rating of around 150 gallons
I don't keep the lights on very much as my room is moderately well lit with natural light, maybe 3 hours a day from 7-10
No notable aggression

Hey everyone,

I had made a post similar a little over a month ago when I had first gotten this breeding colony. The male cichlid continuously tries to breed with the females on an almost daily basis but I have had almost no luck with any of the females breeding with the male. I have done hours of research in an attempt to promote breeding and keep a healthy tank environment for the cichlids. Is there anything I am obviously doing wrong or anything I can do to better promote breeding within this colony? Within the first few days of having the cichlids, I had one female holding something in her mouth for about a day before whatever it was disappearing. Here's the usual breakdown of what happens within my tank. I do a water change and move rocks around, an hour later my male starts digging up sand and corralling the females and trying to breed, he does this for about 1 day or 2, gets bored because none of the females want to breed with him, stops trying to breed. This cycle has been going on for about a month now and I am starting to think about things I can do better to further entice the females to start breeding. I do introduce cold water to the tank when doing water changes and have the Hob's create a lot of surface agitation that resembles the rain. I do understand that this is a waiting game but maybe there's something I can do to be more proactive. Please let me know if anyone has an experience similar and knows some secret tricks or tips or would like to help out!
Do you know the GH, KH, pH of the tank? Africans naturally require harder water with a high pH, if that's not what they're in then that could be the problem.

Other than that perhaps food quality? Mine get a mix of Cobalt and OmegaOne small cichlid pellets along with Fluval and OmegaOne veggie pellets.

I've never had any issues getting mine to breed unless the females just don't like the male. Sometimes I'll have females refuse to spawn with the male so they'll lay their eggs and hold the unfertilized spawn in their mouth till they rot. Then I have to either switch to another male or I'll just give that female away.
 

samfishkeeper

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Demeter said:
Do you know the GH, KH, pH of the tank? Africans naturally require harder water with a high pH, if that's not what they're in then that could be the problem.

Other than that perhaps food quality? Mine get a mix of Cobalt and OmegaOne small cichlid pellets along with Fluval and OmegaOne veggie pellets.

I've never had any issues getting mine to breed unless the females just don't like the male. Sometimes I'll have females refuse to spawn with the male so they'll lay their eggs and hold the unfertilized spawn in their mouth till they rot. Then I have to either switch to another male or I'll just give that female away.
Hey Demeter,

Thanks so much for the brisk response, I, unfortunately, don't measure PH, Is there a way I can bump my PH just to be sure that is not the issue? I have omega one pellets, they just don't like them :(. Apart from that though, what I'm understanding is that females regardless of if the male is adequate or not will spawn and hold eggs? If this is the case with proper food and environment I should still be getting a holding female, even if the eggs aren't fertilized. I have many others tell me that I am in an odd predicament so it is nice to hear that others are also facing the same issue I am and I hope that we find a solution together. I'll look into some better food options, maybe they just don't like the ones I give them. Thanks for the advice!
 

Demeter

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I'd change their substrate to something with a lot of calcium and a buffer. Crushed coral is a good option as is African cichlid specific substrates. You can also raise the pH by adding baking soda and/or espom salt but you'd want to look into the specific on that as I've never tried it.

I highly suggest you get a pH and GH+KH test kit. If you are in the U.S I know you can buy them off chewy.com for a decent price. It's good to know the specifics of your source water and tank water to make sure you can properly support the species you have/want. Also helps to trouble shoot problems (such as your current issue) and make sure you are setting things straight by doing tests as you go.
 

samfishkeeper

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Demeter said:
I'd change their substrate to something with a lot of calcium and a buffer. Crushed coral is a good option as is African cichlid specific substrates. You can also raise the pH by adding baking soda and/or espom salt but you'd want to look into the specific on that as I've never tried it.

I highly suggest you get a pH and GH+KH test kit. If you are in the U.S I know you can buy them off chewy.com for a decent price. It's good to know the specifics of your source water and tank water to make sure you can properly support the species you have/want. Also helps to trouble shoot problems (such as your current issue) and make sure you are setting things straight by doing tests as you go.
I have had a calcium deficiency in one of my snail tanks before, adding crushed up egg shells to the HOB ended up working perfectly, do you think this would be a good substitute to raise PH?
 

Demeter

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That would work but not permanently. I still say change to substrate as that would be a bit more long-term.
 

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