Lake Malawi Species • Tank aggression- HELP

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Tank aggression- HELP

Postby aimeebrown » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:48 am

Hello everyone,

So I am in terrible need of help. I have had cichlids for about two years now. When I first got a tank I will admit I was not educated on the fish at all, I was attracted to their personalities compared to the mollies I used to have a a kid. The people at the Petco sold me on a 5 gallon tank with multiple cichlids, which I have learned is a terrible idea.

First let me try and get their species correctly identified as when sold they were "Assorted cichlids" and didn't even tell me who's who. ((okay... I planned on attaching pictures but am not sure how to do that?))

Species I (think) have:
Red Zebra Mbuna (not sure sex) - ~have had for 2 years old
Auratus Cichlid (male?) ~have had 1 year old
Peacock Cichlid (not sure sex) ~have had for a month

So the Red Zebra has always been the head of the tank, he has been a bully and caused me to return some of my fish. I got him two years ago. A year ago just had him when I got the second Auratus as a baby (in the 5 gallon). In the past year the Red Zebra had been the head fish and semi picked on the Auratus but was never terrible, for the most part they hated each other but co-habitated. But after the Auratus turned about a year and I believe started becoming more mature the tank aggression heightened. So I got a 20 gallon tank about a month ago. I read on one of these forums that adding another fish tank might be good to even out the aggression so I got the little peacock when I got the 20 gallon tank.

They all loved their new home and it was so peaceful and amazing for a few weeks. Now however its WWIII. The Auratus has now become the head of the tank and the Red Zebra is forced into this little hiding space. He doesn't come out for food and his tail is all bitten up and deteriorating. In the last week the Auratus is also now chasing and trying to bite the Peacock.

I have removed the Auratus for the past two days so that the Red Zebra can actually eat but I just tried putting him back in and its right back to the same antics.

Are these two just not meant to be together? Is there a way to get them to stop? There are enough hiding places in the tank so I think that is okay. The Auratus won't let the other two near two of the structures though. I have really fallen in love with them and would hate to have to find one a new home, I am just feeling defeated at this point.

I realize I am not as educated as most on here so hopefully someone can give me some insight of what I am doing wrong.

Thank you!
aimeebrown
 
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles

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Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby aimeebrown » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:01 am

I am pretty sure the Red Zebra is a male. If I can figure out how to add photos I can share with you all.
aimeebrown
 
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby aimeebrown » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:13 am

Image

Image
aimeebrown
 
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby james1983 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:57 am

You have a small number of aggressive fish in a 20 gallon. They only solution would be a bigger tank or having a single fish. For any of thses you would want at least a 4ft tank.
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: savannah, ga

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby Aaron S » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:41 am

I agree with James' comments. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be able to fix the situation in your current tank. I have read that cichlids have something called a "chase distance" which is basically how far the cichlid is willing to chase another fish before he gives up. That distance is said to be about 3ft. For that reason, you will see that cichlids are really sparingly recommended for a tank less than 4ft in length. On top of that, auratus and red zebras are pretty aggressive fish and would really do best in a 6ft tank. If you do not have the option to obtain a 6ft tank, then I am going to have to suggest not keeping those cichlids.
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:30 am
Location: USA

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby aimeebrown » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:03 pm

Aaron S wrote:I agree with James' comments. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be able to fix the situation in your current tank. I have read that cichlids have something called a "chase distance" which is basically how far the cichlid is willing to chase another fish before he gives up. That distance is said to be about 3ft. For that reason, you will see that cichlids are really sparingly recommended for a tank less than 4ft in length. On top of that, auratus and red zebras are pretty aggressive fish and would really do best in a 6ft tank. If you do not have the option to obtain a 6ft tank, then I am going to have to suggest not keeping those cichlids.



Thank you Aaron and James! I really appreciate both of your advice, I've gotten the worst advice from people at Petco. They really don't know what they are talking about.

For now I am going to put the Auratus in the 5 gallon and keep the Red Zebra and baby Sunshine Peacock in the 20 Gallon till I figure out what I can do. Not sure I have room in my little apartment for a 6ft tank. :(

Do you think the Auratus could be happy alone in the 5 gallon or should I re-home him? Would the Sunshine Peacock and Red Zebra be okay in the 20 gallon or will I encounter the same problems once the peacock gets mature? The species profiles for the sunshine peacock say she is peaceful with other species..?

Just discovered the classifieds of this forum so will be using that to re-home instead of taking back to Petco and risk them being put in a similar situation.

Thank you again, its really nice to actually get some sound advice from people who actually know what they are talking about.
aimeebrown
 
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby james1983 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:44 pm

The peacock would end up being harassed by the zebra. I would regime everyone and start over. The are a few lake tang options and numerous south and central american cichlids that could work in a 20 gallon. I would never take advance from most pet store employees.
james1983
 
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: savannah, ga

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby aimeebrown » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:41 am

james1983 wrote:The peacock would end up being harassed by the zebra. I would regime everyone and start over. The are a few lake tang options and numerous south and central american cichlids that could work in a 20 gallon. I would never take advance from most pet store employees.


Okay, Thank you James. Going to suck to see these guys go but it will be best for them. I'll look into those options you gave. :)

Happy Thanksgiving and Holidays to you!
aimeebrown
 
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Tank aggression- HELP

Postby Iamwho » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:54 pm

Pseudo. types are normally more aggressive. They should not house with fish like peacock. except for Labidochromis types. They are fairly peaceful.
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:40 pm
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