Sex Changes Everything

Yellow-tailed Acei Cichlid (Pseudotropheus acei)

These drab freshwater females will spice up your aquarium – if you can find them.


Sex. It is one of the most basic drives in nature. The urge to mate, to procreate, to pass on one’s genes. A key ingredient in life, it can spawn ecstasy, longing, and sometimes, even murder–and all this in your aquarium!

One of the most fascinating, educational, and satisfying aspects of the hobby is having your fish and invertebrates make new fish and invertebrates. This is doubly appealing to aquarists who are inherently cheap (like yours truly), and would rather have their livestock increase without actually spending any money. It’s gratifying to see those creatures in that little biotope you’ve created multiply, even though you’ve had absolutely nothing to do with it, aside from supplying at least one of each sex. But therein lies the rub. I can’t get no satisfaction, the Stones noted during the sixties, and, double-negative aside, neither will your fishes, if potential mates are simply not available…

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