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What to Breed


brogdenelian
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Hi guys,

I am relatively new to the hobby (approx 2 years) and have a community tank of Malawi's that has given me some experience on stripping fish, tumbling, raising fry etc.

What started with 1 x Aqua Grande 6ft tank has now progressed to three other tanks (I know...I've been bitten and I need a bigger house!).

Anyway, I am interested in breeding a particular species in a separate tank and was hoping to use the proceeds to build some credit with the LFS or to sell on ACE.

Can anyone tell me what species of Africans will give me the best return on investment, as opposed to the $5 per fish that I might expect from the "Run of the mill" Mbuna species.

From what I can see it looks like Tropheus are one of the better choices. Is there anything else I should consider?

Look forward to your advice!

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The problem with breeding for "the best return" is that the market on Cichlids is always changing, especially with so many new species being found and imported into the hobby here. Those that capitalise on the new flavour of the month will see the best return for a short period before the next best thing emerges. I have found over the years that any new species (especially Mbuna) have a high price tag for approx 12-18 months before they can be purchased almost anywhere and their value equals others in their genus due to everyone wanting to get on the gravy train. Some species are lost over the years too, what was common 10-15 years ago may now be rare as keepers move on to newer species & neglect others. This hikes prices up again in some cases (as I said market is always changing). Also Tropheus for eg: have very small clutches so the extra $ earnt really isn't any different then if you bred a run of the mill type anyway...

IMO those common species like E. yellows, Mainganos & bristlenose, although fairly cheap in comparison always seem to be good sellers. So although you are not making $10-$20 per fish you will move them more quickly and turn them over faster I have found. When it comes to popularity I reckon Tangs, Geos & Catfish hold their value better then Malawi, American & Victorians...HTH

Edited by cyber_crimes
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If you can get the $5 dollars per fish then take it. Its a good return.

Any fish that is breed well will give you a good return on your investment, but I will say that if you think the return you get can be counted in dollars then you will be let down.

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:confused: Have a look through the For Sales. That will give you an Idea on fry return. But most just get there money back if that if you take into account all the costs as Josh says.

Allways new fish about but you pay a lot more for them.Expect to get a 3rd return from LFS credit.

Everyone has a differant idea of fish they like as well.

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Hey Josh, good to see your hobby growing!!

Like has been said before it can be hard to keep up with the demands of buyers and it does change all the time. If you are always trying to have the next new thing, then you will be chasing your tail for a while. Find fish that you like and ones that you can set up a tank that suits their requirements and enjoy them. Sometimes the fish that come with the higher price tag aren't always the ones that sell well.

Bruce

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To echo what others have said.

Find a species you like and will get enjoyment from keeping.

Then track down the best quality fish you can find, from a few different sources. Then establish yourself as the guy who has great quality <i>species x</i>

They will breed and you can sell your fry. In fact, if people know you take great care in selecting your stock, and sell great quality fish, you may find yourself like some people here, with a waiting list.

Fish that are cheap are usually so because they breed prolifically. Closely related species that are expensive now, wont be expensive for long.

Having said that, if you're only paying $5 a fish for the starting stock, the "return on investment" is actually better than if you've spent a packet.

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OK I guess you get the idea of making money from fish now :lol1:

first things first

what size will the breeding tank be ?

this will determine the size of fish that you can consider

what filtration will you be running ?

will you be getting fry, sub adult or adult fish to breed

if they are subs or adults that will breed in the following weeks or months

will you have fry tanks running and how many ?

are there any species that really interest you, I note Tropheus as one

you will find some species have common problems that can be averted

like Tropheus and feeding high protein

this will give you a base to work with but there are a few points to note

expensive species are that for a reason and the market is usually small

most people that keep fish breed and sell the LFS bread and butter items

so it's more quantity than high dollar value that gets the return ....... tank numbers

are what works with this, but working with one tank you need to look at something

that isn't common, isn't too expensive and has something unusual in character

as the others have mention the hobby is very fickle and flavour of the month controls

what is in fashion, this has cause the loss of many species over the years :B

get the best stock and promote the quality of the fish, good pics of good fish help

Malawi species I recommend you consider Nimbochromis linni they are still out there

and not common and a species that are not easy to keep and breed .. want a challenge ?

Lethrinops species, there are 4 available and are an overlooked Malawi that deserves better

the colours are brilliant

P sp. Taiwan reef where are they all ? the best looking small Haplochromide that were so common

True strain Aulonacara like Steveni Kande Is, Mamalela, Kandiensis to name a few, Peacocks have

a bad name again after a huge resurgence because of cross breeding again but good coloured true

species lines are noted and give value in the hobby, Aussie is well known in the hobby as Mr Peacock

and was a mainstay in the last rising in popularity for Peacocks, be known for quality :yes::yes:

Mbuna seem to come and go Ps. aurora comes to mind also Hajomaylandi .......

Melanochromis sp. northern blue, chipokae or fuscus ??? even exaperatus, vermiverous and dileptes

plenty of Tangs to consider to other than the Tropheus

there are C. horei in the classifieds one of my wanted species for over 30 yrs availble now I don't

have any tanks running :B

you could also consider P. pollenii from Madacascar one of the best fish I have kept for character

Americans are another

the numbers of A. heckelli and G balzanii are down again and well worth considering

Hope this helps

Chris

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i also breed , fish such as koi , gold fish and fancy gold fish types...

you'd be surprised the return you get on these common "cold water" fish ,

all are bred in bath tubs and ponds in my backyard... and on average i get 500 koi fry ... they grow fast , and i can sell them for a $3 each for a 3 -5cm fish. (which is cheap around my area)

reason i bring this up... is this is what keeps my tropicals paid for ;)

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I agree. The low-return-per-fish species are actually the high-return species. Say for example you breed venustus, or borleyi, or red-empress - it wouldn't matter how many you bred, you would always be able to move them on. If you have some rare Tanganyikan species that you need to charge $30 wholesale for, you might only sell 10 to your lfs, totalling $300. But if you sell 100 venustus at $3-5.00 each, you're guaranteed to do better and move more fish in one go. The shops will also be nipping at your heels for more fry a short time later too...

I say pick some less space-reliant cichlids, allowing you to keep (perhaps) more than one species. Some species that used to be really common and popular, but are now hard-ish to find would be the winners for you. e.g. Melanochromis joanjohnsonae, Metriaclima lombardoi, Metriaclima hajomaylandi, Metriaclima greshakei, Melanochromis parallelus, etc.

Cheers,

Andrew.

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some of the best info in this post that i wished i knew or thought about when i started breeding

there are fish out there that cost $150+ ea @3-4 cms

but as stated there not as easy to move plus there much harder to breed than the easyer average e yellows

find a fish that you like and that suits you then look into it as fare as breeding

i never wanted to breed fish but fish keeping is about breeding (once you set up the enviroment for the fish your job is over as far as info and changes) breeding! 'your always on your toes' lol

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some great advice already given here.

i breed malawis and tangs, the malawis ( e yellow, e blue, maingano, O. lithiobates and Ps. elongatus) pay the electricity bills, the Tangs ( tropheus, julies, shellies, cyps, paracyps) keep me interested in fish keeping and probably cover some of the food costs. i am now running over 20 tanks and many days wish i just had one display tank. make sure you enjoy it whatever you do and if you can sell fry to cover some costs you are doing well.

good luck :thumbup:

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LOL Chris! I'm far from being a "species king". I just like collecting species that I like.. :)

At the moment I have 5 Lethrinops species: Red Capuz, Longipinnis, Albus, Lethrinus, and Yellow Collar.

My Red Capuz have now began to breed successfully (finally got some fry!), the Lethrinus had a mouthful (then spat 2 days later.. first timer), the Albus juvies are putting on some body markings and should colour up in a month or so, the Longipinnis are showing signs of spawning...and finally the Yellow Collar.. I have about 150 Y.C fry at the moment.. hehe!

I'm still trying to find more variants but I think the ones that "were" available a few years ago such as L. Occulatus have died out? I hope not! :(

Sorry to go off-topic on your thread brogdenelian, but I do agree with Chris "Link2Hell". Lethrinops are such an underrated species... But if you've ever seen an adult colony in a species tank of some of the nicer variants such as Red Capuz, you will know what we mean... ;)

We need more Lethrinops breeders in Aust!

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As a relative newcomer to Africans, I still do not know if I hate them or love them, there is one that I do love and hate with passion. To breed them is easy, to dispose of them is difficult. The "Princess Lyretail Cichlid" is a beautiful fish, one of the prettiest cichlids I reckon. A three foot tank with over a hundred young ones and no market. The only market I found was the feeder market, which I did not go for. Disposal was for nothing at the LFS. His display tank has now got the curse. I will also be watching this post for some advise.

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As a relative newcomer to Africans, I still do not know if I hate them or love them, there is one that I do love and hate with passion. To breed them is easy, to dispose of them is difficult. The "Princess Lyretail Cichlid" is a beautiful fish, one of the prettiest cichlids I reckon. A three foot tank with over a hundred young ones and no market. The only market I found was the feeder market, which I did not go for. Disposal was for nothing at the LFS. His display tank has now got the curse. I will also be watching this post for some advise.

i agree they are beautiful , that is untill they breed and take over the whole tank :lol5: sorry to hear yours are being used as feeders they are too beautiful for that.

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What a tragedy! Obviously your LFS has no idea about a good fish when they see one. I have never had trouble offloading brichardi in Sydney and I might even go so far as to say they are not that easy to find up here anymore. They have always held their price too, and would never dip to the price of feeders that I've seen.

Clearly the right fish to breed are dependent on what sells in your area. A good idea to would be to check your LFS out at regular intervals and see what they sell out of quickest. I also send the feelers out to check current wholesale list prices and I make sure I match it or am under it - otherwise no shop will buy your fry.

One of the most important things is a good rapport with your LFS. You must have a relationship with them. Once that's established, they may even go so far as to tell you what they would like to see being bred for them. One thing they will not like, however, is if you sell fish privately to their customers - if you get a reputation for that and the shop finds out, it wouldn't matter what you had, the shops won't touch it.

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Some great suggestions but I have a different perspective.Ive been keeping and breeding cichlids and other fish for a long time(+35 years).I found once I focused on the financial aspects of the hobby the less enjoyable and more stressful it became.

Over the last 3-4 years I have been giving away lots of fish and eggs and swapping fish,it seems the more I give away the more I get in return.I havent shelled out money for fish in at least 3 years.I do have a big collection of fish which arent commercially as valuable as cichlids(Killifish,rainbows and wild Bettas)but do have quite a few Cichlids none of which Ive paid for:

Neolamprologus leleupi

Neolamprologus buescheri

Cyprichromis leptosoma Mpulungu

Enantiopus sp.Kilesa

Paracyprochromis nigripinis

Limnochromis auritus

A.mcmasteri

M.ramirezi

Nannachromis parilius

Nannochromis transvestitus

Satanoperca luecosticta

With offers of C furcifer and tricolour Cyps

Having said that I do end up with excess fish(I have 95 tanks)so I have established a relationship with a wholesaler,I dont get as much for the fish but no hassals,they can take big quantities,theres a market for the obscure fish I breed and it pays the food and electricity bills.

Just the ramblings of a long time hobbiest

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As others have said pick the species you are most passionate about. Do it right and be picky about your males and females. Your fish will then be in demand because you are producing quality. You can then be proud you are doing the right thing by the hobby.

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"As others have said pick the species you are most passionate about. Do it right and be picky about your males and females. Your fish will then be in demand because you are producing quality. You can then be proud you are doing the right thing by the hobby."

Wouldnt of said it better myself, if you start looking at the financial aspect you will be concentrating on your female holding or stripping the fish early and tumbling the eggs or fry. The you never look at the benefits or harms caused on your fish increased stress as well as not giving the fish experience to hold for longer duration and long term have greater chance of holding greater quantity of fry through experience.

I would recommend starting off with something common which you will obtain experieince as a hobbyist as well as something that you will like

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