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Nanochromis transvestitus - err...doesn't seem to have a common name!
August 12, 2014
4:25 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
July 28, 2014
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Just thought it was odd as most fish, at least the described species anyway have a 'proper' name!


...but back to business


Has anyone had experience of the smallest of cichlids?


I had a pair but recently lost the female, although I've just put out feelers at a shop to see if an order could include extra girls. With luck I will get a couple and have time to acclimatise them as well as grow them on a bit before my tank shuffle when hopefully they, and a group of Microctenopoma, will have space for some alone time.


Before the loss of the female, who appeared to have sustained a facial injury and possible infection, I did see an occasion bit of mating behaviour but this was inevitably short lived as my water pH is too high - it was like a switch: above 7.0 the pair ignored each other, but below they were inseparable and forever digging out small hollows under decor.  Another reason to get shopping for fish safe acid.


Has anyone got further than just displaying? I've read pH really needs below 6 before things really hot up and success %s improve. I have some way to go til I reach that but I do live in hope! 

August 13, 2014
5:58 pm
Darrell Ullisch
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
August 13, 2014
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I recently (January) spawned N. transvestitus, and the pH in the tank was 7.8, TDS about 150ppm. The claims of low pH being a necessity seem to be overstated in most information I've seen on this species if one has aquarium bred stock. However, the pair has not spawned again since, though some of their offspring are setting up house right now in a pH of 7.8, TDS 80-100 (goes up slowly due to red flint gravel). Incidentally, while they are the smallest Nanochromis, they are far from the "smallest of Cichlids". Some of the shell-dwelling species from Lake Tanganyika are much smaller, and there are some Apistos that can be surprisingly tiny!


However, if you still want to lower pH, I have used cider vinegar occasionally. It is organic, but the small amounts I add do not seem to cause any problems. I add it slowly, over several days. It also seems to help in holding a low pH steady in moderately soft water, as well. I started to do a statitistical experiment to see exactly what effect specific ratios would produce, but got sidetracked when I needed the tank for another spawn of Apistogramma trifasciata.

August 15, 2014
10:25 am
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
April 16, 2013
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Hi, I have kept these little fish for the last year or more, starting with two pairs one  in my sump and one in the main tank, they breed very willingly, are excellent parents and the fry grow very fast. It took a while for the pair in the sump to pair up, the male was bigger and he constantly chased the female any time she came within view, but once paired they were inseparable

 The facial injury you mentioned, was it on the top lip? I occasionally see an injury like this on some of the fish, it is as a result of lip locking, but tends to heal fast, they do have a reputation of being aggressive to the point of killing each other but I have never lost a fish from fighting, I think having lots of hiding places, caves, rocks wood etc in the tank to allow them not to be in constant view of others of the same species is the key, once they pair up the pair tends to stay together, seldom more than a couple of inches away from each other

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