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Bought peacocks from HOT and they lost color

lock jaw

CCA Members
So I bought a taiwan reef and a red blood dragon (?) from House of Tropical's. They had gotten these fish a day before, the dragon had a good red color and the TR had showy fins and some color. I decided to purchase both of them. I've had them in my tank for 2 months now but within the first couple days my blood dragon lost all its color and went pale, the TR hasn't looked the same either.

They are in a mixed 30 fish, peacocks/haps, 75 gallon tank with different sized fish. I do have fish smaller than them that still retain their color. There is some aggression in the tank, like all tanks, nothing too bad, my other fish show good color. I am just curious if anyone else has had this experience with peacocks/haps bought from HOT or did I just get unlucky?

Pics attached are what they looked like when I first bought them.

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CichlidDan

Members
Personally I've never purchased peacocks/haps from HOT but maybe put them in another tank if you have one and see if they gain color back.
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
Sometimes its a dominance/hierarchy issue, sometimes fish can be received with hormones but thats not always stated to the source. Either way, its likely the color should return if they're not over bullied.
 

MHMoro

CCA Members
Staff member
I got OB peacoks from HOT several times and never got a problem with them losing color. About 5 years ago (when I did not know about peacoks) got a blue/red "male" peacock from congressional aquarium with nice colors. After a week or so it lost color and ended up been been a female! , yes a female peacock (definitively treated with hormones). I checked more with the store and found that they were buying peacocks from a less than reputable individual that definitively was treating the peacocks with hormones to accentuate their color.

Manuel
 
Most adolescent male peacocks will lose color if they lose the dominant position. When I moved the most colorful males from a batch of juvies I raised to my main tank with dominant males, they lost the color almost immediately.. By assuming female color, they are not bullied as much. Most won’t regain the color for months until they reach adult size to compete..

There were times I was scammed into buying hormoned peacock from lfs. The color would fade away after a few weeks. Some will never regain the color as they were altered females, and some would die off prematurely. OB peacocks are most commonly hormoned as even females look brilliant for a few short weeks.
 

Jim Anderson

Members
I'm not sure it's a HOT thing, My son and I have both purchased TW Reefs from another LFS and had the same exact issue as well as other peacocks. In my experience the Malawi's colors change quite a bit depending on environments, tank mates,, water parameters and maturity. I do do also believe higher quality breeds do make a difference. The Malawi's can be very temperamental regarding color due to hierarchy.
 

JLW

CCA Members
This has nothing to do with water chemistry, parameters, tankmates, or anything of the sort. HoT gets their fish from Asian suppliers (as do many of the Florida fish farms). The fish are fed a diet containing hormones, which causes them to look like that. Once they're no longer being fed testosterone, they fade to normal colouration. The largest fish supplier in the US, as well as its subsidiaries, and many others, only sell "juiced" peacocks. Its not an issue of being "reputable" or anything of the sort -- its an incredibly common practice, and frankly the norm, unless you're buying from breeders, specialists, etc.

You guys have likely seen tanks at dealers like HoT full of 2" peacocks utterly glowing in colour. That is not natural.

Frankly, I have more of an issue with this problem than I do if they were soaking them in dye and selling "Blueberry Peacocks." This causes significant damage to the fish's organs and ability to breed as they mature.

Go visit Pat Kelly's fish room, where he has tanks full of 60 peacocks or similar, and one of them will be coloured up -- that's natural. That won't sell.
 

lock jaw

CCA Members
So just to show this is what they turned into after a few days. When I bought them they were around 4 inches.

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lock jaw

CCA Members
This has nothing to do with water chemistry, parameters, tankmates, or anything of the sort. HoT gets their fish from Asian suppliers (as do many of the Florida fish farms). The fish are fed a diet containing hormones, which causes them to look like that. Once they're no longer being fed testosterone, they fade to normal colouration. The largest fish supplier in the US, as well as its subsidiaries, and many others, only sell "juiced" peacocks. Its not an issue of being "reputable" or anything of the sort -- its an incredibly common practice, and frankly the norm, unless you're buying from breeders, specialists, etc.

You guys have likely seen tanks at dealers like HoT full of 2" peacocks utterly glowing in colour. That is not natural.

Frankly, I have more of an issue with this problem than I do if they were soaking them in dye and selling "Blueberry Peacocks." This causes significant damage to the fish's organs and ability to breed as they mature.

Go visit Pat Kelly's fish room, where he has tanks full of 60 peacocks or similar, and one of them will be coloured up -- that's natural. That won't sell.
Pat Kelly does have nice fish. I always wondered how he gets all his males to color up in a tank or maybe he separates them before bringing them to the BFD? Not sure, but when I see his fish for sale they always look good. I bought one from him this year.

I have seen one breeder on Facebook sell OB peacocks for 60-80 dollars each. He posts a lot of pictures holding colorful OB fish out of water and I have noticed that he uses filters to make the colors look nicer. People buy them like crazy! He has Blueberry, Raspberry, and canary OB peacocks... Lots of other varieties. They are pretty though and its hard to tell what the quality is like.
 

Pat Kelly

CCA Member
Staff member
Pat Kelly does have nice fish. I always wondered how he gets all his males to color up in a tank or maybe he separates them before bringing them to the BFD? Not sure, but when I see his fish for sale they always look good. I bought one from him this year
Starting a few months before BFD I start pulling males out of the grow out tanks when they color up. I put in a bunch of small tanks or put several different types of males in a 20. I run out of space quick. Lol
I can’t get very many because of space.
 

Pat Kelly

CCA Member
Staff member
If you look at the top right side you will see some critter keepers with one male each. Lol
I only do this right before BFD when I have enough males.
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lock jaw

CCA Members
If you look at the top right side you will see some critter keepers with one male each. Lol
I only do this right before BFD when I have enough males.
That is clever, saves tank space. All you need to provide is oxygen and they will color up?

How many tanks is that in the photo?
 

Pat Kelly

CCA Member
Staff member
That is clever, saves tank space. All you need to provide is oxygen and they will color up?

How many tanks is that in the photo?
I pull males from grow out tanks after they color up and put them in the small tank with a sponge filter.
Another 1 or 2 will color up in their place in the grow out tanks. Usually takes about a week before
the color is good enough for me to pull them. Most hold their color while in the small tanks. Some will
lose their color after a week or so and I put them back with the girls to again color up.

I run around 45 tanks in the room. I have like 6 of the keepers that I can add when needed.
The back right side rack that you can only see part of has 12 five gallon tanks on it with a 20 long on the
bottom.
 

lock jaw

CCA Members
I pull males from grow out tanks after they color up and put them in the small tank with a sponge filter.
Another 1 or 2 will color up in their place in the grow out tanks. Usually takes about a week before
the color is good enough for me to pull them. Most hold their color while in the small tanks. Some will
lose their color after a week or so and I put them back with the girls to again color up.
That is a full time operation. What species are you breeding? Only African cichlids?
 
What is your peacock sex ratio. I tend to have more females than males. Picking out males will induce more females to turn into males as it appears.
 
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