Male or Female Peacock Cichlid

rtopa

New member
I am new to keeping Cichlids and very happy to find a place to get guidance. I have a male Peacock Cichlid and up until a couple of months ago a female Peacock Cichlid. She died unexpectedly. Apparently they managed to breed and we never saw any sign of fry until yesterday. I was cleaning the tank and discovered a small (~1" long) cichlid that shouldn't be in the big fish tank. I managed to catch it and put it in the tank with our tetras until it can grow up a bit. My problem will be if it is a male because my other tank will not support a second male cichlid. How old are Cichlids before they start showing enough color to be able to tell if its male or female. If it is female, how big should it be before I put it into the tank with the adult cichlid?
 

OB Guy

Administrator
Hi, welcome to Cichlidaholics. Usually a male Cichlid will start to color up at around 2 to 2 1/2" but can vary depending on species. If you can, post a clear closeup picture of the fish and we may be able to tell you if its' a male or a female. Venting is the best way to tell the sex but at 1" the fish is still to small for this method.
 

rtopa

New member
This is the best picture I've got of the baby. The color of the fish is not real though, I guess it's being picked up from the décor. The fish does have a little red and I can see the striping, but it's mostly gray.

Miracle.jpg
 

rtopa

New member
I'll try to get a better picture, but the baby is a bit camera shy. I have to sit still in front of the aquarium for a while before it will come out where I can see. It is starting to warn off all the tetras in the tank when they get too close to the bush though. I need to see if I can find a nice cave.
 

rtopa

New member
The above are updated photos of my baby OB. The fish is now between 2-2.5 inches long. I took pictures in normal light but it looked so red that I changed to blue lighting to see if you could see the fish better. Unfortunately the blue light photo has fins clamped.
 

rtopa

New member
Wohooo. I get to keep her! Ok, so next question. She'll be okay with my tetras for a while longer, but how big does she need to get before I put her in with the bigger fish? My other tank is a 29 gal. Currently I have her father, who is mature adult
size, and a red tailed shark, also mature, around 4-5" long. I did have a bristlenose pleco, but he recently died. Probably will be trying to replace him with another smallish pleco. Any specific advice on adding her to the big tank without getting her chased to death by Scotty, her father, and Max, the red fin?
 

OB Guy

Administrator
The fish is probably big enough now to put in with the bigger fish you mentioned and shouldn't be a problem.
 

rtopa

New member
Would it be better to add an additional femaile or two of about the same size? How many cichlids will a 29 gallon tank support?

The mother of the baby got chased around the tank so much after I added her, that I'm not sure that's not what killed her. I was really surprised when the baby showed up because I didn't think she was healthy enough to spawn. She was purchased as a healthy young adult and was pursued almost immediately upon her release into the tank. When she was not being chased, she was hiding in the décor in the back of the tank. Not sure if I ever saw her come out for food. I don't think I had her more than about 3-4 months. I was actually considering taking her back to the store because I didn't think they were getting along at all.
 

OB Guy

Administrator
African Cichlids can be hit or miss as far as getting along goes. The smaller the aquarium the more aggression there will be. Honestly you can possibly get away with adding one or two more but with a 29 gallon tank it will be risky. I have two 20 gallon grow out tanks for my fry and usually have to move them to my 75 or 125 gallon tanks when they get about 2 inches. You would have much better luck with a 4 foot tank like a 55 gallon or bigger to keep multiple African Cichlids in. Also overstocking will help with aggression but with a 29 gallon aquarium you can really go that route. I would get 1 or 2 more fish that are close to the same size as that one and see how it works out. At some point you'll need a larger aquarium seeing how the OB Peacocks and most other African Cichlids will get 4-6 inches and some other species of African Cichlids get bigger than that. You'll also need some hiding spots to help keep the fish separated and help with aggression.
 
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