General African Cichlid Discussion • Venustus vs. Livingstonii

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Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby fddlss » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:40 am

Last week I brought home a 7" Livingstonii (yes, I will upgrade to a 6ft., 150 gallon tank as soon as I can - I have a 120 5ft. now) and I knew the new guy was going to be shy at first, but tomorrow it will be a week since he came home and he is still been chased by my 5" Venustus.

When I first introduced him into the tank, the venustus was curious and kept swimming around him, but because of the livingstonii's size he seemed a little intimidated and was getting on his way, but without attacking him, until he noticed that the new guy was shy, so he started to chase him. Now the livingstonii hides all the time and as soon as he comes out, there goes the venustus to bully him.

The livingstonii is now the biggest fish in the tank, followed by a red zebra and then the venustus.

Months ago, when I brought the red zebra he was also attacked by the venustus, this time the venustus attacked him immediatly, for a few days until the red zebra reacted and now they kind of share the kingdom, they don't bother each other for the most part, and the venustus is chased once in a while when he gets close to the red zebra's cave. We can say that they now respect each other, with minor incidents once in a while.

I wonder if the same thing will happen with the livingstonii as he gets used to the new tank? I also noticed the red zebra bothering the livingstonii at once, but I haven't seen this happen again. Usually, the red zebra is a very peaceful fish that doesn't bother anyone if they don't bother him, but lately he was trying to mate with one of the females (initially I wanted an all-male tank) and I noticed that he is a little bit aggressive or irritated, but nothing too crazy (from what I've seen). The female is not eating now and I wonder if I will have hybrids soon, in which case I will not pass them on and I will keep them. She had the same behavior once before, but I never saw any fry, she started eating after about 3 weeks, but no fry. Maybe the bigger fish ate the fry.

Sorry for going a little off-topic, I just wanted to give you guys a better scenario.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby DanniGirl » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:35 am

Whenever you introduce a single fish to an established setup, it immediately becomes a target, regardless of size. Furthermore, when you add females to the mix, it amplifies the problem. How many females are in the tank?

You have a number of options: wait it out and see what happens (if there are no ripped fins or bodily damage), rearrange the tank and leave the lights off for a few days, remove the females, remove the venustus into a smaller tank for a few weeks or remove the livingstonii. Honestly, your best option is probably the last one. Just hold off on further stocking until the the 6' tank is up and running.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby gverde » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:00 pm

Venustus are generally more aggressive than Livingstoni. I have both in my 220 gallon. The venustus male being close to 5" and the latter being close to 4". The venustus is a lot more aggressive than the livingstoni. In fact my livingstoni is pretty laid back. My venustus to starting to establish his dominance and I notice he chases a lot more of his lesser aggressive tankmates.
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125G 1 Pair Phenochilus Mdoka "White Lips", P. Tanzanias, L. Kandalli, A. Christy
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40G Placidochromis Mdoka "White Lips" fry
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby 13razorbackfan » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:18 pm

DanniGirl wrote:Whenever you introduce a single fish to an established setup, it immediately becomes a target, regardless of size. Furthermore, when you add females to the mix, it amplifies the problem. How many females are in the tank?

You have a number of options: wait it out and see what happens (if there are no ripped fins or bodily damage), rearrange the tank and leave the lights off for a few days, remove the females, remove the venustus into a smaller tank for a few weeks or remove the livingstonii. Honestly, your best option is probably the last one. Just hold off on further stocking until the the 6' tank is up and running.

That is what I would do as well....remove the aggressor, current tank boss, to the other tank for a while usually 4-6 weeks and then return to main tank. However they may not get a long regardless especially if there are females in the tank. As you mentioned the tank really is too small to house two large male predators. It may not work no matter what you do. Even if the roles reverse after removing the venustus the livingstonii will probably take over the role as tank boss and in turn be just as brutal towards the venustus. These fish at 7" can do major damage to each other.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby fddlss » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:43 pm

The problem is that in the other tank (20G quarantine) I have small fish that I'm waiting until they grow to a decent size to move them to the main tank, because at their current size the bigger fish might eat them, so I don't have a spare tank. I have a 10 gallon, but it would have to be set up and cycled first and it's probably too small to house a 5 or 6 inch Venustus for a month or more. I recently sold the other non-setup tanks I had.

I think I will wait another week, if aggression doesn't get too bad and see what happens, hopefully it normalizes like with the red zebra. I did notice the livingstonii out of the cave for longer today.

What about tank dividers? Would does work?

By they way, I have 2 females (that I know of) one was sold as an otopharynx lithobates, but I think she's another specie and the other one I wasn't sure if it was male or female, but I confirmed that it was a female when I brought the livingstonii, because it is a livingstonii, too, and as soon as my new livingstonii saw her they got together and tried to spawn (vibrating dance) for a few seconds, but the venustus started bullying him, so they stopped. At times it looks like both livingstoniis look for each other and the other day (I was going to make a new topic about this) the female livingstonii looked like she was making company to the new male livingstonii as he was hiding in a cave, she was next to him and both of them where very still by themselves. Love at first sight? LOL

I wasn't sure that it was a female because I bought her as a juvenile, had her for more than a year and she didn't grow much. I was waiting for the blue coloration to show up to confirm it was a male, but the coloration never showed up and I thought it was because it was still a juvenile, since she didn't grow a lot in 1 year+, so I now confirmed that she's a female and also probably not a juvenile anymore.

By the way, the new forum design looks great! I haven't been here in a while.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby fddlss » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:35 pm

Unfortunately, the livingstonii died on Saturday. I'm not sure, but I think besides the stress for being the new guy he wasn't very healthy, because when I removed him from the tank he had some injuries, which I don't think were caused by the Venustus, being that when I brought him I noticed that when he came out of hiding he had grains of sand and sometimes fish poop attached to his scales but attached with some sort of hair, it's like if he had very thin "hair" (not noticeable) where the sand and other things stick to. Other fish going to the same hiding spot never showed anything like that. I think he had some kind of illness which worsened when exposed to the stress of being chased by the Venustus and being introduced to a new aquarium.

I'm not bringing anymore fish until my quarantine tank is free of fish and I will start saving for a bigger tank.

Any ideas on the supposed illness?
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby 13razorbackfan » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:59 pm

fddlss wrote:Unfortunately, the livingstonii died on Saturday. I'm not sure, but I think besides the stress for being the new guy he wasn't very healthy, because when I removed him from the tank he had some injuries, which I don't think were caused by the Venustus, being that when I brought him I noticed that when he came out of hiding he had grains of sand and sometimes fish poop attached to his scales but attached with some sort of hair, it's like if he had very thin "hair" (not noticeable) where the sand and other things stick to. Other fish going to the same hiding spot never showed anything like that. I think he had some kind of illness which worsened when exposed to the stress of being chased by the Venustus and being introduced to a new aquarium.

I'm not bringing anymore fish until my quarantine tank is free of fish and I will start saving for a bigger tank.

Any ideas on the supposed illness?

Stress and aggression probably led to illness and death.....
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby fddlss » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:21 pm

Yeah, I will always have the doubt if he got sick from the stress+aggression and died or if he was already sick and got worse from the stress+aggression and died.

The only reason why I suspect that he might of been sick from before is that "hairy" thing that I explained above and noticed since the first day, but didn't pay attention to it because I thought he was just getting "dirty" from hiding.

Whatever the case, the poor fish died and I learned the lesson.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby Dawg2012 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:24 pm

Sorry about your loss :(. It sucks losing fish.

I have a Venustus and a Livingstonii that I got at the same time as juvies. They were the same size at that time and have grown at the same rate for over a year. The Venustus is definitely the more aggressive of the two, and loves to chase the Livingstonii. I just moved the Livingstonii and a smaller female Venustus to a new tank (until my gf's haps are ordered) and even in that tank, with his buddy the smaller Venustus, who just adores him, he hides a lot and is skittish. Not aggressive at all.

In looking through the profiles the other day - it dawned on me... Predator doesn't necessarily mean aggressive.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby fddlss » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:41 pm

Dawg2012 wrote:Sorry about your loss :(. It sucks losing fish.

I have a Venustus and a Livingstonii that I got at the same time as juvies. They were the same size at that time and have grown at the same rate for over a year. The Venustus is definitely the more aggressive of the two, and loves to chase the Livingstonii. I just moved the Livingstonii and a smaller female Venustus to a new tank (until my gf's haps are ordered) and even in that tank, with his buddy the smaller Venustus, who just adores him, he hides a lot and is skittish. Not aggressive at all.

In looking through the profiles the other day - it dawned on me... Predator doesn't necessarily mean aggressive.


It really sucks. I still have a female Livingstonii that I added a couple weeks before the Venustus, back when I setup the tank. The venustus definetly grew, but the livingstonii didn't grow much in over a year. You are right! Predator doesn't necessarily means aggressive.
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Re: Venustus vs. Livingstonii

Postby gverde » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:58 am

fddlss wrote:
Dawg2012 wrote:Sorry about your loss :(. It sucks losing fish.

I have a Venustus and a Livingstonii that I got at the same time as juvies. They were the same size at that time and have grown at the same rate for over a year. The Venustus is definitely the more aggressive of the two, and loves to chase the Livingstonii. I just moved the Livingstonii and a smaller female Venustus to a new tank (until my gf's haps are ordered) and even in that tank, with his buddy the smaller Venustus, who just adores him, he hides a lot and is skittish. Not aggressive at all.

In looking through the profiles the other day - it dawned on me... Predator doesn't necessarily mean aggressive.


It really sucks. I still have a female Livingstonii that I added a couple weeks before the Venustus, back when I setup the tank. The venustus definetly grew, but the livingstonii didn't grow much in over a year. You are right! Predator doesn't necessarily means aggressive.



True. A couple of my larger predators are the least aggressive in my tank.
220G All Male Hap/Peacock
125G 1 Pair Phenochilus Mdoka "White Lips", P. Tanzanias, L. Kandalli, A. Christy
55G 1M 6F Phenochilus Tanzanias, Troheous dubois maswa
40G Placidochromis Mdoka "White Lips" fry
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