Switch to full site
Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.
Post a reply

You told me so

Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:12 pm

I found out I have some aggressive species in our 55g. tank. That's what you get when you buy fish before researching them. The 3 auratus (didn't know their sexes as they were real small juvies), the male and female kenyi (so I bought 2 more females), the 3 red zebras (didn't know their sexes either as they were small).

The other fish in the tank are...
4 Mainganos (I think one male and 3 females)
3 albino socolofi (1male 1 female one unknown that hides all the time now)
3 albino auratus (I think 1male and 2 females no problems with them...yet)
4 cobalts (don't know their sexes, so far no trouble)
3 acei (? sexes)
3 yellow labs (? sexes)
2 N. brichardi (? sexes still real small)
2 Leporinus (6&7"now)

Trouble first started with the red zebras. I now think they are all male. The largest one is the tank bully. I tried removing him but he wasn't even out of the tank for 5 min. before another red zebra took his place as tank bully so I put him back and put in a new cave that he claimed and now stays busy guarding it instead of bullying everyone so much. I'm planning on getting rid of the other 2 so they can find some peace somewhere and maybe trying to find some females for him. He's so pretty I hate to get rid of him. He's even making me think again of an all male tank.

Two of the 3 auratus started turning male color. One chases the other non stop if it isn't hiding now. If I can talk hubby into it I think I'll get rid of all 3 of them. At least get rid of the one male that is getting bullied then try to find more females(maybe).

So far (Knock on wood) there hasn't been any problems with the kenyi except for the few minutes when I remove the red zebra that was the tank boss. At that point the male kenyi and one of the cobalts were locking lips. Since I've put the red zebra back there isn't any more problems with those two though.

I was planning on getting a 75g. or maybe even a 5 foot tank for my birthday in May but our Kim here advised me that might not be soon enough so then I planned on getting our empty 55g. up and running and at least seperating some of the fish. Right! I had a mishap involving my hand getting crushed in a door. No broken bones but 2 big scabs and what looks like 1/2 a hen egg under the skin on the top of my hand OUCH not to mention all the pretty colors. That happened the Fri. before Easter and that's what it looks like today (way better than it looked before but still hurting to much to try to set up a 55g. tank).

I don't guess there's really anything pressing to be done right now except for the 2 male auratus. I would put the one being bullied in the little 1&1/2g. hex. tank that I have but it's got my daughter's sick little fish in it as of today(posted about that in the right place) so I hope the bullied auratus can make it until Mon. when I can take him to the LFS (no real damage to him done yet).

Any thoughts or suggestions about how to arrange the fish once the new tanks are in place? Any that I should get rid of for sure? Any that I should get :D ? Hopefully there will be 2-55g. tanks and a 5ft. tank. Like I said I'm even thinking about doing one of the 55's an all male tank so I don't have to go through the trial and error of finding more females. Sorry this is so long :zz: Wanted Kim to know that she was right and trouble is starting before May :( .

Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:49 pm

How about returning/trading all the Auratus, Kenyi and Red Zebra to the LFS and go from there. Sorry to hear about ur mishap...can you post a picture of ur hands with pretty colors? :lol: Do an all male tank with ur 5 footer.... :thumb:

Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:33 pm

I guess I could post a picture of my hand if my daughters would stop borrowing my camera and let me have it for a while :x .

I kinda think I agree about trading in the auratus, kenyi, and red zebra but why do you say make the 5 ft. instead of a 55g. the male tank? Cichlids aren't that easy to find around here. Most are in assorted africans tanks. Just ordering one male from an online place would have me paying more in shipping than the one fish cost. I'm kinda in a pickle as what to do.

I was thinking of keeping a male of each species fish that I have (except the auratus, kenyi, & leporinus)in one of the 55g. tanks. Then ordering groups of fish for breeding from a good online breeder for the 5ft. tank (and maybe the leporinus could stay in it too for a while).

That still leaves one 55g. if I ever get it running for those ruby greens, crimson tides etc. that I've been drooling over lately. :thumb:

Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:57 am

What is the total number of fish you have in a 55? I did a rough count - is it 30? If that is, then perhaps your 55 may be overstocked. I have a 55 with 20 mbuna and I already think its reaching the limit - fins are getting tattered the same rate they are recovering so its kinda equilibrium. And I do not even keep the aggressive spp like auratus, kenyi, zebra etc.

Starting over with a clean slate may be an idea, then you can offset the shipping costs with more fish. :thumb:

Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:39 am

I'm sure you already know you have too many species in there. I would get rid of the three species mention earlier, then also reduce the total number of species to 4 or less.

Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 am

Dewdrop wrote:jhunbj,
I kinda think I agree about trading in the auratus, kenyi, and red zebra but why do you say make the 5 ft. instead of a 55g. the male tank? Cichlids aren't that easy to find around here. Most are in assorted africans tanks. Just ordering one male from an online place would have me paying more in shipping than the one fish cost. I'm kinda in a pickle as what to do.

That still leaves one 55g. if I ever get it running for those ruby greens, crimson tides etc. that I've been drooling over lately. :thumb:

Well, actually I have a 4ft tank (90G) all male tank right now, and I have a total of 15 species that shows their great colors. I think a 55 will be a bit small for an all male tank, and it will be a bit hard for some of the less aggressive males to show their colors or worst, they might get killed by the more dominant males in that size of a tank. I'd say a 75G should be the minimum size to do an all male tank, specially Mbuna.
I just bought 1M ruby green, 1M crimson tides and 1M Pundamilla Nyererei "Ruti Is." a couple of weeks ago and just waiting for them to get bigger in my 75G before transferring them to my 90G all male tank. By the way I already have an Sp. 44 in my 90G. I can't blame u for drooling over the Victorian fish...they're awesome!

If there's not much selection in ur LFS, then setting up an all male tank is going to be a challenge......doable, but it will cost u some dough. Have u tried to search around ur area for local breeders?

Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:11 am

Hey Dewdrop, sorry to hear about the hand! I think you may be on the right track setting up the second 55 and moving just the bad boys to it. At least the auratus, and red zebras if they are causing the most trouble. Since you already have it, you wouldn't be out anything at least to try.
Glad to hear your maingano's are holding their own!

Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:40 am

Thanks y'all.
Yes I'm aware I'm overstocked. There's even a couple small oddball fish that I forgot to mention. So far the aggression is really cospecific? Is that the word? (within the beed) and there hasn't been any injuries...yet. I do have the occasional slightly nipped tail but even that isn't bad. It's amazing it's not worse.

I'm going to take the one male auratus out tonight that is getting bullied & put him in this little 1&1/2g. tank until I can get him to the LFS Monday. I was nursing a fish of my daughter's in the little tank but it didn't pull through :(. Still not sure if the other male and female auratus will go with him to the LFS or not.

I do plan on getting the other 55g. running as soon as I can. I'm going to try going into work today (good thing I'm only a sub) so we'll see how I get along with that. Just getting that tiny tank going really had my hand hurting bad as did doing my weekly water change on the 55g. and hubby even helped with that lol (for a change).

Yeah Hoosier Tank,
The mainganos are fine. I had 3 and when one was holding that I thought was the second male, I went out and got another little one that I think is female so now I think I have 1 male & 3 females. I didn't get any fry out of the hold though. I'd really like to keep them as a group.

I'm out in the sticks and trying to get some leeds on breeders not to far from me but it looks likey are few and far btween. I guess people around here haven't found out how cool cichlids are lol.

I hope this experience will help those that are told that their stock won't work long term. The people here really do know what they are talking about. When the fish are young they get along fine and it's hard to believe that it can change but it can. When they mature they turn into completely different fish. Other things can effect their behavior too. Adding new fish or even taking one away. I'm lucky that I'm getting a warning that things are going to go bad. Some people wake up one day to a bunch of dead fish. I just hope I can do something about my tank before that happens. :thumb:

Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:59 pm

Good post, Dewdrop...

I learned my lesson with these fish the same way you did, unfortunately. I thought everyone was crazy when they kept telling me what was going to happen. I thought my tank would be the "exception to the rule", but it didn't work out that way!

One more thought...If it's started, you really, really don't have alot of time to get things right.

It's not only the fish killing each other that you have to worry about. As the stress intensifies in the tank, the immune systems of the fish will be challenged, and you could be dealing with some serious health problems in the near future from it all.

Put that husband to work, lock up his Harley until the new tank is set up! :thumb:


Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:39 pm

Wow, sounds like my tank; aggression was starting to become a little too high. I did not want to have to get rid of any of my fish, so, I took Kims advice, and have done a 55g male tank and a 55g female tank. Plus, not just aggression, there was just way too much breeding going on, for now, I dont have to worry about the breeding, (wwwhhhhoooo) I do have my one male demasoni in with the females, cause i do want them to breed, and one momma just today spit out three beautiful little demasonis. But anyways, I have seen minimal aggression now, so much more relaxing to watch all my fish, so good luck!!!
Post a reply