View Full Version : Behavior in males of two species

04-12-2007, 02:15 AM
We have a situation here. I have two large males of two different species that have just started challenging each other. I have a 72 gallon tank with 14cichlids total. I have 4 yellow labs,3 red zebras, 3 Kenyis, and 4 Aceis. I always thought that by putting multiple fish of one species will keep teh agression mostly within the species. Recently one of the red zebra males and one of the Kenyi males have taken the role of tank bully. They are each terrorizing fish of all other species. I rearannged the rockwork and added more (I have a total of about 200 pounds of river cobble arragned into a huge wall). Today I saw the two dominant males having a face off and locking lips like the kissing gouramis do. I have not seen this type of behavior before and it seemed odd. Is this the next level of aggression or something? I was debating getting rid of both of the males and replacing them with females or getting rid of all the Kenyi altogether and opting for a more peaceful species. The labs are starting to show some fin damage.

04-12-2007, 02:25 AM
jack dempsies do that. its a dominance fight i think.

If theres actual damage, like torm fins or missing flesh, youre going to have to separate them. If its just chasing and lip-locking, watch it and make sure it doesnt get worse

Lady Hobbs
04-12-2007, 03:25 AM
Many cichlids just can't be together. To you read up on each of them to see what compatiblity issues they could be with them being together.

04-12-2007, 11:47 AM
They are all mbunas so in general they can all be in the same tank. However, due to the very nature of mbunas, you must be willing to remove the most or least aggressive specimens, depending on the circumstances. I have only had to remove one out of my 55. I started with 16 and one albino ended up losing his tail. I took him into work and he is now growing it back very quickly. Labs are one of the if not the least aggressive mbuna, so you can either remove them and keep with the species that have a medium to high aggression level, or remove the individuals that are causing the aggression. In my tank it is an individual thing, not a species thing. My auratus and demasoni do a little fight swirl, the big OB zebra will chase anyone as he cruises around, so it is not just within the species. Remember, these fish can easily interbreed, so males of another species are still a threat to a male's reproductive potential.

04-13-2007, 04:53 PM
You can also calm the tank down by re-arranging your rockwork. The dominant males have to focus on re-establishing territory then; it sounds to me like your two are almost hyper-dominant and don't have to watch their backsides at all, except for each other. Re-arranging the tank will equalise the pecking order a bit. Mind you, you could be facing the same situtation a couple of weeks after doing that, in which case you need to think about whether someone has to go on a long vacation.

04-17-2007, 01:57 AM
Yep, did that already. I've got over 200 pounds of rockwork in the tank and I added more and rearranged it into a large wall. Funny thing is the lip locking confrontation started AFTER rearranging the rockwork. Maybe they were just re-establishing territories again with the new arrangement. There's a lot more room for hiding places and caves. With these two, I don't think it matters how I arrange it or hwo many rocks I have in there. I may have to get rid of one or both if they get much more aggressive.