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Aggression help please

Sat May 05, 2018 11:44 pm

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Ok, I knew it was coming when I bought all the wrong fish. Thanks for the help on that. It’s time to move a few and I would like some help. In a 48 x 15 footprint 55 gallon I have a close to 3” Kenyi, a 3 1/4” peacock, 3 yellow labs 1 1/2” or less, 2 kribs at 2”, a 2” female auratus, a 2 3/4” albino white socolofi, a 2 3/4” maingano, a 2 1/2” Red zebra and a large pleco. First off, I’m moving the peacock, yellow labs and the kribs to my 125 which is an all male peacock/hap tank. No problems there. So, that leaves the rest. I’m pretty sure the kenyi is female and definitely the tank ruler, although actually mild mannered. I know, hard to believe. At first I thought the socolofi was female and my maingano was male due to the fact it looked like they were doing the dance in the hole the socolofi had dug out under a rock. I think I was wrong. My problem is the albino white socolofi is being chased and beat up by the maingano now. In one night the maingano has the socolofi tail gone. Can I put it in with my juvenile peacock/haps around 2” to heal up or should I just put it in a 10 gallon by itself and rehome it later. I’m going to post a few pics to see if you can help possibly sex them. I don’t care about fry. If they have them I’ll let them get eaten. Thanks again, you people are the best.
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Re: Aggression help please

Sun May 06, 2018 5:09 am

For any tank that is not meant to be mixed gender with one male/species and lots of females for each...try the "other" stocking plan: all one gender and no look-alike fish.

I'd put the fish with no tail in the 10G (cycled, filtered and heated) to heal.

Sounds like the 55G will be all female and no look-alike fish? So for this scenario, I would remove/rehome the aggressors...in your case it sounds like it will be the maingano next.

Re: Aggression help please

Sun May 06, 2018 10:05 am

Thanks DJ. When I bought these, I didn’t know the sex for sure, let alone anything else until you members here helped me out. Since then, I have learned soooo much about cichlids. And yes, I would like to make the 55 an all female tank. Preferably most with color. I know female maingano have color, but I guess I’ll go to my reputable fish store and get a matured female if you think it will work with the kenyi, Red zebra, albino socolofi, auratus and whatever else you guys can think might work. The only problem with my reputable fish store is it is somewhat far away to just drive up there every time I have an issue or want something. I hate calling them and sounding like a pest, when I know they are busy. So, do you think the maingano and socolofi are both male? Also, my hospital tank (29 gal) has some other fish in it that can’t have the socolofi in it at the moment,which is why I asked about a 10g. My problem is it wouldn’t be cycled. Could I fill the 10 with water out of my 55 and use a media filter out of it to put the socolofi in immediately? Thanks again for your help.

Re: Aggression help please

Sun May 06, 2018 1:05 pm

I would not trust a reputable fish store to sex Malawi. And if you are a beginner it is difficult to sex most mbuna (you need to examine the vent when the fish are older and with magnification). Thus my suggestion to just remove any aggressors.

For now worry about getting the existing fish sorted out until you have a peaceful (healthy) tank. Then see how you feel about finding more females...I find mbuna tanks with all one gender to be very difficult. I would leave auratus and kenyi and other aggressive fish like them out...just not good odds of success with them. Especially in a 55G.

You can use a media filter out of any established tank for the 10G.

If I were you I would do a mixed gender mbuna in the 55G with 1m:4f of the zebra and socolofi and maybe one more species that is not maingano, kenyi or auratus. Small and peaceful.

In order to get 1m:4f I would not try to buy the fish sexed...I would buy 8 unsexed juveniles and rehome aggressive fish as they mature and cause trouble.

Re: Aggression help please

Sun May 06, 2018 9:44 pm

Your suggestions makes sense. I’ve already read the big maingano thread. It’s funny, as they were talking about how mean they were, I was thinking , man, mine is sure peaceful, and then boom! He is now mean. He don’t mess with the kenyi, auratus or the red zebra though? Time I’m sure will change things. I know how to vent, but have never looked at these thinking most were to young. I thought maybe someone could tell by the fin shapes or color? At 3” though, wouldn’t the kenyi be female still being that blue? Anyhow, I guess I’ll just keep taking out aggressors as it happens and see what I end up with. I like the kenyi though. Is it plausible to just have kenyi in the tank? Ratio if possible?

Re: Aggression help please

Sun May 06, 2018 10:01 pm

Kipnlilo wrote:He don’t mess with the kenyi, auratus or the red zebra though?


He doesn't have any prayer to mess with them, those are some of the toughest mbunas around. Your soccolofi is the odd man out and they kind of suck in many ways especially with breeding with everything that moves so he/she is the one I would get rid of.

Dealing with aggression is largely about keeping fish of compatible toughness, and there are a few like yellow labs that are very good in that regard because they are territorial but not mean per se, but are tough enough to hang out with the tougher and meaner fish. Their female colors lead to a lot of crossbreeding though.

Re: Aggression help please

Mon May 07, 2018 12:05 am

I would want to keep kenyi in a tank that measures 48 x 18 minimum (75G rectangle).

Re: Aggression help please

Mon May 07, 2018 12:32 am

Kenyi, redtop and auratus are all about the same size with redtop usually being biggest, the mgaino is a bit smaller than them. 75G or bigger is best for african cichlids but that is also when tanks start getting more expensive/hard to find.

Re: Aggression help please

Mon May 07, 2018 11:59 pm

Yeah, the more I think about it, I may rehome them all and either keep female peacocks in there or yellow labs.

Re: Aggression help please

Tue May 08, 2018 11:59 pm

Female peacocks are silver brown...not the usual first choice for a showy tank. Yellow labs would work.

Re: Aggression help please

Thu May 10, 2018 11:04 pm

Yeah, I have some yellow labs already, I think I’ll get more of them after rehoming the others. I’ll keep the kribs with them also. They seem to get along very well. Will that last into adulthood?
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