i managed to get my hands on a 2nd hand juwel vision 260. into which i have transplanted my mbuna colony.
the only thing different from the old tank, other than size, is the coral sand im using at the front of the tank, because its pretty.
thing is a couple of (?)females are digging pits in the sand and violently defending them. they have never shown this behaviour before.
in addition to this, a couple of males have started to display to the (?)females and to other males. they do a sort of mad 'dance', swimming round each other and shivering like a demented washing machine.
the thing thats bothering me is that theyve never showed this before, and now theyre in a bigger tank thay're understocked.
i would love fry though.
i have 2 bumblebees (1 M, 1 F) 1 orange blotch white thingy several cobalt blues and yellow labs 2 mystery zebras (one yellowy purple and one blue) 2 red zebras 2 auratis (1 M, 1 F) 1 johanni (F) 1 elongatis and one mystery mbuna with a deformed face. they add up to around 20 fish in total although its hard to count the yellows and blues as they are very similar and very quick.
theres a lot of caves and a couple of plastic plants and a largish bit of wood in it too.
im not sure of sexes except in the auratis, johanni and the bumblebees as the males change colour.
does this sound anything like breeding behaviour and how many more do i need to put in?
Yes it does sound like spawning behaviour, however i think you need to up your females to male ratios as the males will set a territory and display for the girls. Any who are not receptive will be chased off and in a tank that can mean killed, particularly with the melanochromis.
Try increasing females and perhaps stick to 4 species. As this will allow them to set up territories and you'll see excellent displays and hopefully safe bickering.
Unfortunately thats where it becomes a little bit tricky.
With the yellow lab the male tends to carry more black on the fins and tail but still not a sure fire way of telling. Similarly with the zebs the males will be far brighter in the tank even at the lfs. Trouble being is that the sub dominant males will have faded colouration like the females. Hopefully you'll have a good mbuna person at your lfs.
Have kept mbuna before but not my speciality, hope this helps.
You need a serious amount of rock work which creates caves and also different bays enabling seperate territories and you can if you get right allow 2 males of the same species set up territries quite close to each other as occurs in the wild.