General African Cichlid Discussion • Venustus sudden aggression problem.

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Venustus sudden aggression problem.

Postby Hemichromis Dodgetis » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:37 am

I have a large community cichlid tank that I overstock and have never had any problems from aggression, with one exception. I have a long ventral black as night alpha male crabro, aptly named "Big Dick Bee", that very occasionally would chase my large male venustus. Overstocking and sight breaks have stopped any real injuries aside from a nipped fin here or there. However, after keeping this harmonious balance for over a year, my venustus male suddenly turned hyper aggressive towards the female venustus. Overnight she had gone from pristine health to near death. I noticed right away as she was swimming upside down and upon close inspection had a badly damaged caudal and rear dorsal fin. I immediately transfered her to a nearby 55g hospital tank, and she has recovered quite well.

Once she had stabilized, I thought (keep in mind, this happened overnight, I had no idea which fish had attacked her) I transferred the male to her tank with the intention of buying a couple more female venustus, as I know they like to shoal in groups of 4 or more. Immidiately she flocked to the male and the coloring of the male went from muted normal to a bright gold, no blotching, and blue shimmer staring to emerge on the head and fins. He had never displayed his coloring so brightly, as he mostly just faded his blotches with a slight blue hue.

To my surprise after only about 3 minutes of seemingly happy behavior, the male became highly aggressive towards her, damaging her scales quite quickly, so I returned him to the community tank.

Is this male just bad news? The sudden behavior switch after a year seems very odd. I want to return the female after she has fully recovered, but I am not sure that is possible now. Will adding a few more females to the mix calm the male? Not sure what to do here. My options seem to be the former, create a species only tank with more females, or simply abandon the male and keep him in solitude.

Would appreciate any help or advice. The tank in question is 100g with 20 assorted Malawi cichlids, 6 silver dollars and a plecostomus. I keep the Ph at 7.8 to appease everyone, trace elements and Malawi salt are added to mimic Malawi as close as possible. I can provide a detailed list of species/sex if needed.
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Re: Venustus sudden aggression problem.

Postby Old Newbie » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:19 am

The male probably wants to spawn and the only female is getting all of his attention (bullying).
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Re: Venustus sudden aggression problem.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:02 am

Agree with Old Newbie.

Further how long is the 100G? I would want Venustus in a 72" tank and 20 male cichlids are about right for a 72" tank, but no females and all that mature <= 6".

One year is about right for aggression to begin.

If you have any females in the tank than you should have a minimum of 4 females for every male.

If you have one female venustus and one male, it would not be unexpected for the male to kill the female.

Since you are overfull already, what about removing the female permanently? Do you have other females in the tank of any species?

IME it is also entirely predictable and expected for a crabro to cause problems in a tank with haps and peacocks.
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