Lake Tanganyika Species • The bottom of the social order

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The bottom of the social order

Postby zimmy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 pm

I stocked my 110 gallon (72") with 25 Muragos in the beginning of March. When I got them they ranged in size from 1.25 to 2 inches. They've all grown...except one. This little guy seemed to have a part of his dorsal fin missing (I noticed this several weeks ago) and today I noticed that he now also seems to have part of his tail missing. He eats actively and doesn't seem to isolate himself.

Do I need to do anything?
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Postby fubu56 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:46 pm

That is so weird, I have one fish exactly like this in my Ilangi colony. I have had my colony of F1 Ilangi for a year and from day one this little guy has had his tail fin kept closely cropped by the other fish. I wonder if this is a common occurrence within colony's ? I have actually removed him long enough for most of his tail fin to grow back, but when re-introduced to the colony his tail is down to nothing rite away. Strange but true !
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Postby zimmy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:40 am

fubu56 wrote:I have actually removed him long enough for most of his tail fin to grow back, but when re-introduced to the colony his tail is down to nothing rite away.

I thought removing a fish from a tropheus colony and reintroducing it later would lead to the fish being killed. :-?

Since starting this thread, I've noticed that the little guy has started hanging out a lot around the filter intake (the usual signal of aggression in the tank). The fish aren't full grown yet (the largest might be 2.5"). Should I pull out the one that's being picked on or wait since they're not full grown and have only been in the tank together for just over six weeks?
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Postby flyn dutchmn » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:44 am

fubu56 wrote: I have actually removed him long enough for most of his tail fin to grow back, but when re-introduced to the colony his tail is down to nothing rite away. Strange but true !


When you removed him, did you notice any other individuals taking on more aggression in your colony?
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Postby zimmy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:28 am

Looks like they took care of him. There's no sign of him or his remains this morning.

Edit: I spoke too soon. He just suddenly emerged after their morning feeding. He's alive and has gone back to his spot by the filter intake. Should I be pulling him out? Anyone?
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Postby noddy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:33 am

Hey Zimmy.
Strangely enough, I was just wondering how your fish were doing.
What to do with that guy is completely up to you. I used to pull Trophs out and put them in a seperate tank until they were better, but now I just let them be. Sometimes they will be allowed back into the group, and sometimes they won't. Sometimes they will get stressed out due to being isoated, and sometimes they will be fine. I found that the trouble of seperating them was just not worth it. If you really want to save the little guy, then by all means give it a try. I would turn off the lights for a while and see if that helps.
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Postby zimmy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:02 pm

Thanks for the reply, noddy. I think I'll leave him in the tank and let them figure out things for themselves. My only concern was if he gets stressed out and sick. So far he seems okay in that regard.
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Postby noddy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:46 am

There's always the possibility that he may get sick but, I find that there is usually a runt in the group that just doesn't make it no matter what. These guys have a way of sorting themselves out and controlling the numbers themselves. I don't think I have ever had a case of the whole group getting sick because of one fish. As they start to grow they will fight, and you will loose some (hopefully sub dominant males). Taking them out and nursing them back to health, or having them die on you, is all part of the learning process as far as I am concerned. No matter what you do, observe the fish closely and you will soon be able to anticipate future problems. :thumb:
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Postby 24Tropheus » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:39 am

To be honest something similar has usually happend with nearly all my Tropheus groups. A one or more never make it to become a full breeding guy/girl. Think it usually sub dom males. Its kind of one reason you go for more young than you hope for breeders when starting a group. Yep I have pulled em out only for them to be replaced by another whipping boy. Hard life being a slow growing individual Tropheus in tanks. I have one beet up 3" Ndole (others are all at least 4") in with the 1" young. He and they seem happy together for now. Another trick is to give the small guys pipes only they can get into near the surface but it does ruin the look of the tank.
Yep getting em back into the group when healthy again is hard.
You can try tank deviders but its still hard.
Another way is to take out all the males apart from two. But you never get em back in again. The idea is to get two perminant territorial males and stop the females getting caught up too much in the violence.
Any I do take out I try and vent. They seem to have a much better chance of reintroduction if female. But it seems to be rair for my beet up guys to be female.
Many a successful breeding group of 14 fish is made up of two males and 12 females. You can kind of guess what happens to the 10 extra males from a group of 24 young. Yep male Tropheus are real mean to each other sometimes.

All the best James
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Postby zimmy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:52 pm

Thanks for the very helpful replies.
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Postby jumpman » Fri May 13, 2011 9:21 am

I've always noticed a slower growing fish in all my batches bred so far as well....like others have said it's what happens sometimes.

I somehow have ended up with two dominant males and an accepted 3rd in my Kiriza tank, and there are 2 other males that they occasionally wrestle with, but only one in the course of the groups adult breeidng life that had to be taken out before he would have died.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Fri May 13, 2011 4:17 pm

"I have kept a successfull bredding group of Kiriza in the tank above for over 3 years now, and that's with 5 males in the 20 that are currently in the group. All comes down to how your group balances out an interacts."

Yet you say you are down to three males now. :-?

Multiple groups or selective memory of Tropheus keepers. :wink:

Keeping and breeding Tropheus is not easy in 48" tanks without male and sometimes female losses.
You kind of get the gist of this more by the differences in what folk say one time to another. :wink:
But then the poster has a 72" tank with very small starters so its by no means cut and dried. Some folk succeed in 48" tanks others with 60" tanks and yet the old advice that to keep Tropheus well and breeding well you need a 6 foot tank is very unpopular.

My guess is yep you can breed em in 48" tanks and if lucky even 36" tanks.
Ah well I guess we all have our opinions. but to give em good conditions there is some truth in the old adage get a 6 foot by 2 by two for max enjoyment and breeding.

My guess is if going with a smallish group 1-2" of under 24 you want to start with a small tank and grow them on. And later give them the tank they need as they grow. But keep in mind the dinamics of the group you have. Nothing can kill a group better than giving em too much or too little room. The hard part is when a group goes pearshaped and guessing which mistake you have made.

All the best James
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Postby noddy » Sat May 14, 2011 8:29 am

jumpman wrote:and there are 2 other males that they occasionally wrestle with.


I think you missed this bit James :thumb:
I think the chances of getting the odd deformed fry are always there if the adults are stripped. When they are left to spit in the tank they have a way of sorting oit the runts.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Sat May 14, 2011 10:00 am

:oops: good spot noddy. Yep I think left to care for the young in big tanks is the best way to go. Failing that strip with all its minuses. I tend to go for brooding tanks (I enjoy those three weeks post release most as the mother looks after the babies) and yep I have to later cull the deformed or rubbish guys. Dunno why, there seems to be a market for deformed runts. :lol:
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Postby jumpman » Mon May 16, 2011 6:21 pm

Yeah I've never stripped but have had the occasional slow grower....didnt mean to start a debate on number of males and tank sizes again! :-p
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