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09-26-2012, 12:07 PM #1Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
I'm getting frustrated with my aggressive cichlids...help!
I had 11 cichlids in a 55 gallon (8 yellow labs and 3 cobalt blues zebras). One of the labs became alpha and kept harassing a couple of the labs so I thought I'd over stock so I got 3 kenyis and 2 victorian obliquidans and 2 jewels. It didn't help and I realised I had too much fish so I bought a 120 gallon. I read to add more hididng places so I loaded it with big rocks. Still my alpha targeted one lab and actually killed it. Then he started bullying another yellow lab so I took the alpha out. Within an hour the bullied fish became really mean and pushed all the other fish to one half of the tank. I was upset and put the alpha back to restore some peace even though that means having the bullied one cowered in the corner all the time. Now I'm having a problem with one of my blue cobalts...he beat up one of the other cobalts. What am I doing wrong...I feel that if I get rid of the aggressive ones, new aggressive ones and in my case even worst aggressive ones might take over and I might not have any fish left at all. Is 18 cichlids enough for a 120 gallon? Any one else have this problem? I thought yellow labs were peaceful...even my kenyi don't act this way.
09-26-2012, 12:48 PM #2
This is the scenario I dread with mine but so far so good. (Rusties, labs and johanis)
I'm new to Mbunas so can't really help, can you post a picture of your tank layout?
I'm sure someone knowledgeable will be able to offer some advice.
09-26-2012, 06:05 PM #3
This is the reason ill always be too scared to have a cichlid tank. I hope someone can come along and help you out. Bc in scenarios like this, not only are the fish stressed, but the owner also becomes extremely stressed.
09-26-2012, 06:07 PM #4
09-26-2012, 06:12 PM #5
You need to keep 1 male to 3 females or things like this will happen. Also, you've mixed some fish in that don't belong. Jewel Cichlids are actually from rivers and are not a lake Cichlid at all. The victorian's are not from lake Malawai don't really belong in there either.
Do you have much rock in your tank?
09-27-2012, 08:21 AM #6
0Originally Posted by f1shg33kz
09-28-2012, 01:00 AM #7
If you don't like aggressive fish, then you just shouldn't keep mbuna. They are well known to be aggressive, and even done perfectly there is still a period of jiggling species/numbers/individuals.
I would say 18 is not enough in that size of tank, but you do need to stock each species as per correct ratios of males to females, and have lots of hiding spots/cover for them. Yes, its hard to sex juvies, but that's why you are supposed to start with a big schmack of them and remove whatever fish off-balances the ratios you need to have.
It should be understood with Africans that (unless you are only purchasing adult fish, or an established tank) that there is a period of adjustment required until you get a harmonious tank. And even then, its just harmonious for africans, not compared to other communities of fish.
This is actually why I got away from africans - even once I got my tank stable, there was still too much chasing and posturing for me to peacefully enjoy the tank. I was always wondering which fish might become the next problem.
09-28-2012, 04:21 AM #8
+1 to sheamurai, if you don't want the aggression, you should've kept away from mbunas from the start.Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL
Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.
09-28-2012, 05:33 AM #9
09-28-2012, 05:38 AM #10
I think that telling him he shouldn't have even kept the fish in the first place is hardly the way to solve the issue... anyways...
I agree with the above about changing the rock work around often, i do it weekly or bi-weekly. Even if you only change a little, change it up often. It prevents a single fish from picking a territory and defending it ruthlessly. I would also recommend adding more rock. Even if you have enough now, you are experiencing aggression issues so more can only help. Maybe add some plastic plants as sight breakers as well? Also if you are REALLY worried about it, you could attempt to sex the fish as mentioned by venting. I'll post a link below on how to do it. The lowest M:F ratio i would keep is 1:3 but you can do 1:22222 it doesn't matter. I'd recommend one male of each species since you are experiencing such major problems.
how to vent:
Regarding the jewels, I'd say consider rehoming. They are compatible with mbuna, but not ideally so. (meaning only compatible by temperament, they require different water parameters and such)
The only other advice i can offer you is research, research, research. Good luck and feel free to post up more questions that may have been missed.
Last edited by Northerly; 09-28-2012 at 05:43 AM.Coastie-to-be... hopefully.