04-30-2013, 02:24 AM #1Junior Member Platy
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
curb mbuna aggression with more fish?
Since my first topic on how to clear up tank water was so well answered I thought i'd ask another newbie question :)
I have a 60 gallon 4 ft tank and it is stocked with the following
- 1 red zebra (biggest fish in tank by 1" or so. I believe male due to large and bright spots on anal fin)
- 2 yellow labs (one male, one female judging by the black color on pelvic fins and the vertical black bar across eye)
- 1 kenyi (don't know how to tell gender, but he seems pretty agressive to the yellow labs so i assume male)
The question is this: will adding a few more fish make aggression worse or curb it?
That's not very many fish for a 60 gallon tank. So far no fish are showing signs of being injured, but they definitely get chased a lot. The kenyi chases the labs around a lot and the big red zebra chases all of them around a lot. Sometimes 4-5 sprints in a row down the length of the tank.
In your, more competent opinion, what would be a smart combination of fish to add and how many should I have in total in a tank of this size?
When I say combination I mean should I add males/females or more labs so the two currently aren't taking all of the aggression??
04-30-2013, 04:04 AM #2
Is this a mbuna only tank, I hope? Mbuna's need to be mbuna only tanks with one male to 3-4 females. And overstocked. Overstocking them spreads the aggression around. Basically nothing much in the tank but lots and lots of rocks or slate for hiding spaces. I can't help you with the species best to stock as I haven't kept these fish myself. Someone here will help with that.
When young they can be hard to sex. Many buy several of one species and then when they are old enough to be sexed, get rid of the extra's. Many should be stocked at once because adding newer fish to older fish will cause battles so overstock right from the beginning. And make sure your tank is cycled.
04-30-2013, 06:08 AM #3
Here's another good link for mbuna's. Pay special attention to their diet.
04-30-2013, 07:02 AM #4
overstocking is ok but also having the right ratios of male to female. Most mbuna are fine together as long as the ratios are fine. Like the kenyi keep the female in a very high ratio so the male doesnt get bored and start chasing the other fish.
04-30-2013, 08:04 PM #5
The above advice is right. You have two options with Mbuna and Africans in general.
1) All Male tank with 1 male from each species
2) Species split tank with 1m/3f mix
If you have more than 1 male, the subdominant male will not color up like a dominant one so its almost better to just go with the 1 male per species anyway.
There are a lot of those details to go through but start with this and the links provided.
04-30-2013, 09:34 PM #6
The problem you will have is your cycle. Adding stock gradually will protect your fish from toxins and allow your cycle time to update/expand gradually (so long as you closely monitor ammonia levels and do frequent water changes). Ideally you should fully stock this tank in one go to curb any nasty bullying. Difficult.
Do you have a holding tank for the current stock whilst you fishlessly cycle-boost the current set-up? Hmmm...tricky.