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Any Positive Experiences with Kenyis/Auratus?
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Nicholaa
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Location: Near Binghamton, NY

PostPosted: 2007.01.26(Fri)9:45    Post subject: Any Positive Experiences with Kenyis/Auratus? Reply with quote

--- I already know there are tons of negatives and people hate these two species of fish - so if you are only going to tell me they're vicious, etc and to return them, I don't need to hear that. I would really like to hear *something/anything* positive about them ---

OK, so I am the proud owner of a 55-gallon Mbuna aquarium. I thought I had done a lot of "research" and bought a Cichlid book, etc, but I never encountered negativity towards Kenyi and Auratus Malawi fish until I came to different fish forums and "unfortunately" I now own 3F/1M Kenyi and 1M/1F Auratus (planning on 2 more F Auratus for a total of 8 fish in the tank).

I am not denying that these fish may end up being very aggressive at maturity, but I want to hear *positive* statements about them. Can anyone say that they've kept them in a tank together or with others without having death and destruction?

I am reading that the male Auratus will basically want to destroy everything else in the tank once he finishes "maturing" and I am hoping that because right now the "Daddy" of the tank seems to be my male Kenyi, that he might be "put in his spot" early on and never try to challenge it.

My tank is very friendly right now. I don't notice chasing, nipping, fighting, anything except for the very very slight Daddy tendency of the male Kenyi and that's very easy-going chasing. The fish are all old enough that the males of both species are starting to show their colors (yellow/orange Kenyi and the Auratus is turning darker yellow/black appearing).

I believe one of my F Kenyi is "holding" right now, which I am assuming is her first brood. I have decided for now to let her spit in the tank and have nature take its course. If the fry are eaten, I guess that's nature's way. I'm not sure I'm ready to try to create a "fry factory". I have a lot of hiding spots/plants/caves/etc. so maybe I'll get lucky to have some survive, but I am not banking on it. Maybe when I start to see how the fish are going to mature together, I will set up a 10G breeder tank.

I guess I am just hoping *someone* will be able to give me positive feedback and not only say negative things about the Kenyi and Auratus "killer" instincts. You can't battle instincts, but I'm hoping... crossing fingers... that mine might be "different".

I think for now I am NOT going to return any of the fish. If/when one of them starts to show aggression, I will approach the LFS about returning them. They had told me at one point that they will take back any fish - just put it into quarantine and then sell it again.
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55G Cichlids: 1M/3F Kenyi, 1M/1F Auratus (2F soon)
29G Mollies
10G 4Cories, 1 Pleco, 4 Cardinal Tetras, 2M Guppies
2 10G Goldfish Tanks
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.26(Fri)10:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

People like to spout off, and many don't take the time to spell out what they are actually trying to say.

I had a colony of Kenyi in a 55g once and I quite enjoyed the group. I started the tank as I could have species specific breeding and still have two colours in the tank.

Both of your species are very aggressive, and there's no need to spell out what can and often does happen... IF the dominant male views the other aggressive males as a significant threat that will not back down (glass walls don't allow escape) then this can mean harm or even death... It can also never happen.

Now you can help this, by making sure that there is line of sight breaks between the male kenyi and the male Auratus.

A large boulder, or perhaps a bubble wand may be all it takes to define 2 territories in your tank. The wall of bubbles trick in the center of the tank always works for me with only 2 dominant fish... pile rocks on either side of the tank, bubbles up the open middle, and I'm willing to bet you will have success. Very Happy
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Nicholaa
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Location: Near Binghamton, NY

PostPosted: 2007.01.26(Fri)12:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for a very nice post! When I introduced the Auratus, I rearranged the entire tank to force everyone to find a new spot. I will probably get one more log piece for now and then in the spring get some actual rocks from outside my house, bleach/bake them to sterilize them and build up an even better rock/cave formations.

I do have this one very large decorative piece (looks like a knobby tree sticking down into the middle of the tank with "many legs" - and I have 2 sets of bubble wands on the back of the tank. My one other piece of "coral" type decoration to the right of the "tree" has an additional bubbler, but right now I have it detached. Maybe I will re-attach it if things start to get "hairy"

I have said many times that my tank is completely cordial (for now). I am hoping that since there are definite "sides" of the tank that each male will find his niche on either side. The M Kenyi seems to be "in charge", but he's not even overly "aggressive", just does a little chasing of all the other tank inhabitants (except the female who is holding - I guess he might be protecting her, but I have heard of males even bugging the pregnant females.)

I'm sure as both males grow, they could turn into troublemakers, but I have no problems of constant rearranging of the tank or at last resort, removing the big meanie and taking him back to the LFS. My M Aratus is changing color, which means he has to be getting older and sexually mature and right now has shown zero aggression.

I guess I am a firm believer that there are genetics in fish and natural behaviors, but you will always have some that don't quite fit "the mold" and maybe I'll be lucky.

I'm a good enough "Fish Mom" that I won't let them tear each other apart.
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55G Cichlids: 1M/3F Kenyi, 1M/1F Auratus (2F soon)
29G Mollies
10G 4Cories, 1 Pleco, 4 Cardinal Tetras, 2M Guppies
2 10G Goldfish Tanks
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.26(Fri)13:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

it does not make sense for fish to sustain damage with no return so if two territories have a true and natural definition, then you have recreated Lake Malawi... crowded, but clearly held territories...

I say keep up the effort, and stick to your attitude that the fish come first.
I personally think these mbuna are in good hands Smile
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