General African Cichlid Discussion • AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

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AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby bartender534 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:46 pm

New to the Aquarium and Cichlid world...currently have a 55 gallon with 6 adult cichlids 3 white albino, 1 electric yellow, 1 peach zebra, 1 cobalt blue..I also have 2 guppies , 2 mollies..everything was great so I decided to add 4 juvenile cichlid to the tank today, 1 electric blue, 1 bumblebee and 2 really small ones cant think of the name but made sure they were all from athe African family...all of sudden the tank mood has just changed...my adult cichlid seem agitated and the cobalt blue and peach zebra were locking lips...these new fish are not even an 1nch long ...why the change in behavior? Also, I do not know the sex of any of my fish which doesn't help the situation none..
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Re: AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby DJRansome » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:04 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

Remove and rehome one or the other. They are too closely related (both Metriaclima) to be in a tank together when you have one of each (mostly).

They are fighting and that is predictable so it may get worse and is not likely to get better.

When you have more than 3 species in a 55G tank you want to shoot for one of each and no look-alikes and all the same gender. Most people choose males because they tend to be more colorful.

Shoot for 8 - 10 individuals in the tank for the all one gender stock plan.

As the fish cause trouble you can rehome. How small are the new ones...mbuna can spawn as small as 2" and count the tail when measuring.

The three white albinos are likely to be an issue too.

The bumblebee (crabro) may become to big/aggressive for the 55G, they work better in a 48" x 18" 75G tank.
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Re: AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby bartender534 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:31 am

Very helpful information, thanks!..of course I have a million more questions..the 6 adult cichlid I mentioned had lived together in a 30 gallon tank for a year with no issues before I got them...it was a our general feed store in town and he had them in a tank with just water..no rocks, hiding places..etc, so I wonder if that may be one reason why they are starting to show more aggression?..because in my tank there's nice little caves and rocks and places for them to make home?...also, I am very confused about the quantity discussion...I have read so many different opinions on it...some say...only 3 cichlids for a 55 gallon tank..any more than that you are pushing it...but then I read a lot about slighty overstocking to reduced aggression...the ones I bought yesterday are about 1 inch and one didn't make it ...dead this morning...I hear you you said about the bumblebee Cichlid, yes, I have plans to purchase another tank to eventually move him...
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Re: AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby DJRansome » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:01 am

It depends on the cichlid. An Oscar might be one/75G tank. You have African Rift Lake cichlids from Lake Malawi and specifically mbuna.

The first year of their lives they are maturing and there can be more play than aggression.

In an all-male tank 8-10 is the right level of crowding to manage aggression. For mixed gender in a 55G you would think in terms of 15 fish (3 species and 3 males).

Some believe no d├ęcor reduces aggression, not sure I believe that but in any case I prefer to manage aggression by stocking fish likely to ignore each other.

Any time you change their environment (their tank) the pecking order can change and aggression is a part of that. Occasional lip locking is not a problem, but if the fish doing the fighting are the same genus or look alike, may as well act now.
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Re: AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby bartender534 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:56 am

Does size matter when reaching the stocking limit? the adults are about 5 inches each, I have six..and the 3 I added last night are about 1 inch each..you said 8-10 so ..what I just mentioned should make it 9 cichlids and then I have about 10 other small community fish(goppies, platy, mollies and the small sripped zebra looking ones ..almost look like angel fish but without the long fins...these fish were in my tank first before I was given the 6 adult cichlids...obviously I know now that s a big no no, but didn't know anything about cichlids at first so just dumped them in the tank all together....everyone still alive tho going on 3 weeks...the big cichlids do not bother them at all so far...should I try taken the community fish out?
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Re: AFRICAN CICHLID LOCKING LIPS

Postby DJRansome » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:35 am

Ignore the non cichlids...I would not expect them to last too many months/years in any case. If you want to keep them I would give them their own tank. the barbs might be OK (barred ones).

Size is not a factor, we stock so the fish can live out their lives in the same tank. Else with Malawi you would be changing tanks every 6 months.

I would not buy Malawi at one inch or if I had to have some exotic fry for some reason, I would grow them to 2" in a separate tank before adding to the adults.

You will have some females and you know you have 3 albinos, so you will be removing and adding...plan on that happening for the first 2 years in an all-male tank.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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