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Question about change in pecking order in tank

Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:26 pm


I've read through these forums quite a few times as I've learned a bit about cichlids. I started with cichlids about a year and a half ago when my wife brought home a 10 gallon tank and 2 cichlids and a betta.... I felt bad after finding out how big they would get and i got a 75 gallon tank. We now have 7 total fish and please excuse my ignorance on naming everything, we got them a while ago and 2 of the 3 cichlids were gifts... 3 cichlids (ob peacock, yellow lab, and electric blue)and 4 catfish-ish bottom feeders (orange and black striped ones). The blue has just recently taken over the whole tank and the lab and ob have been hiding in the top corner but don't seem hurt. I noticed it the night before last and the blue has been doing a weird shivering thing. Yesterday i rearranged and added a new plant to no avail in hopes change would reset the territory. So now we are going to the pet store in a couple of hours and i want to try and remedy the situation. I'm thinking of getting some grass type plants for hiding and maybe some like sized cichlids to take the pressure off these guys. Please let me know suggestions because if things don't change for my other guys.. I'm worried.

Re: Question about change in pecking order in tank

Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:44 pm

I found a local aquarium shop that gave me some recommendations from a guy who raises cichlids. That was really cool since the shop that helped us initially closed. I ended up isolating the blue in a 20l tank. My other guys are already out and about cautiously. They offered to take him at the store but we didn't want him going somewhere where he'd not be as well taken care of. He said that sexual maturity can sometimes effect them tremendously and most wouldn't try to take over the whole tank, but we just got the short straw I guess. Just wanted to let you guys know.

Re: Question about change in pecking order in tank

Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:40 pm

It is normal to have an "alpha" with Malawi cichlids, usually toughest male, who takes charge.

Having just three cichlids is a problem. What has happened is quite normal, and yes, can be a pain. Having only 3 cichlids usually results in two fish hiding, with the alpha ruling the tank. Having more then 10 Malawi cichilds, a crowd, results hopefully in spreading around the aggression so the fish will hopefully swim about. Depends alot on what is male and what is female. Males can compete and fight with other males. Males can harass females so they are scared and beat up. Since the fish tank is a small closed space the fish cannot swim far enough away to avoid the aggressive fish, so violence can get extreme resulting in deaths.
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