Lake Malawi Species • What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species tank

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What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species tank

Postby moresnowplease » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:00 pm

Cichlid beginner here- I got a free 55gal tank that came with fish an everything else included almost a year ago now. I am still learning about who gets along with whom and have at least figured out that the kenyi pair are by far the most aggressive fish in the tank.

At the moment, the male kenyi is in a 15gal tank by himself (i originally set it up to get another betta) and seems to be doing just fine, keeping his little rock cave all pebble and sand free and watching me at my desk at work. Now the female kenyi is harrassing everyone else in the tank, though her territory is slightly smaller than the empire that the male had built himself (3/4 of the tank). I'm trying to decide whether to remove the female into her own separate tank as well in hopes that everyone else will be fine. From what I understand, some of these fish are up to 8 years old and have been together most of that time (i'm the third owner in that time frame). Initially the tank also had 5 unknown species dark grey with yellowish tails haps and 6 convicts that i've since rehomed. I don't think the 15gal is anywhere near big enough for the pair to be together without them both tearing each other apart.

Still remaining stock:
One adult male Electric Blue Hap.
One adult male Jack Dempsey who is very mellow and often rather skittish- swims into his cave quickly for any visible-to-him fast movements.
One adult male jewel cichlid (was a bit low on color before the male kenyi got kicked out, but is now back to bright red and out and about often).
One adult female bristlenose pleco who holds her own pretty dang well.
One adult yellow tailed acei (he's currently being badly chased by the kenyi female as well as the yellow zebra female- his tail and fins are getting torn but he is eating with great gusto).
One adult female yellow zebra mbuna.
One adult female kenyi mbuna.
Pair of adult rainbow kribs (the female turned almost completely grey when the male kenyi still lived with them- she has since returned to full color).
One juvenile male hybrid (yellow tailed acei and the yellow zebra crossed- baby is still peach colored and about one inch long).

And the one adult male kenyi who is chilling in his own tank.
the kenyis had two sets of fry (about three survived each time) and the acei/zebra have also had two sets of fry (one survivor each time). the kribs have had multiple batches of fry before they moved in with me, and i think are starting to work on a set at the moment.

Main question is what to do about the kenyi female (get her another tank of her own?) and whether others think the male will keep being happy living by himself. I really don't like getting rid of fish if i don't have to! Thank you kindly for any thoughts!
moresnowplease
 
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby ken31cay » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Not sure where to begin. My first africans tank was a mixed peacock/mbuna/hap 180gal tank which was destined to fail of course. They say the best way to learn from mistakes is to listen to other's advice in order to learn from their mistakes. Even knowing this I realize I've rarely been able to do it in the past.

I can tell you some things I'd do from my limited experience with africans;
I'd remove the Jack Dempsey since he's a central american cichlid.
I'd get rid of both Kenyi unless you have a little larger tank to put them in and get 6 more females, no other fish.
Electric Blue Hap: undecided but probably get rid of him.
Jewel Cichlid: get rid of since he's not a rift lake cichlid.
Kribensis: get rid of.
Bristlenose: keep.
Acei: keep.
Get some peaceful mbuna such as yellow labs.
Yellow Zebra: undecided, possibly keep and try with the peacful mbuna.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby moresnowplease » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:37 pm

Thank you ken31cay for responding! My biggest issue with the plan listed above is basically it's get rid of pretty much everything but one smaller cichlid and one pleco. I know i posted this in the lake malawi forum, so it makes sense that malawis would be the focus of folks reading! and i'm with you on having a hard time listening to others and wanting to try things even though others have much more cichlid experience than i do! :)

If anything, the Jack Dempsey and the yellow tailed acei are my personal favorites, though the kenyi male has been growing on me now that he's not making life difficult for anyone else! I can see why removing the kenyis from the mix entirely would likely be the best first step, since they're definitely a totally different level of aggression. I know just because i like certain fish doesn't mean they'll get along well with others, though! perhaps i should post this question in a less specific forum in case keepers of non-malawi have some thoughts as well?
moresnowplease
 
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:12 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby ken31cay » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:59 pm

moresnowplease wrote:I know just because i like certain fish doesn't mean they'll get along well with others,


This is true as there are limitations in order to put together a 'successful' tank.

though! perhaps i should post this question in a less specific forum in case keepers of non-malawi have some thoughts as well?


Good luck, I hope others offer good advice.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
ken31cay
 
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:19 pm
Location: Cayman Islands

Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby moresnowplease » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:02 pm

i really appreciate your taking the time to respond!! :) Thank you!!
moresnowplease
 
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby ken31cay » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:25 pm

Aside from the responses to your post, I recommend that you read other posts here on the forums regarding compatibility. There's a wealth of information here.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
ken31cay
 
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:19 pm
Location: Cayman Islands

Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby moresnowplease » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:49 pm

i've been reading through some of them, and they are indeed helpful! I will keep slowly working through the history, there is so much good stuff on this forum!
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby DJRansome » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:18 pm

I removed your post in General African so that all the replies can be here.

The fish live 8 years on average so it appears they are all elderly.

The hobby is going to be expensive for you if you keep buying a 10G plus filter and heater every time one of the fish in your tank has to be removed. The 2 kenyi will not work in any tank...you need 7 females and 1 male in a 75G or larger to make them work.

I predict you will have to remove the female yellow zebra. And possibly the hybrid since it is crossed with a zebra...don't get rid of that one.

Then who knows. Try the remaining fish and see how it goes.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby moresnowplease » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:57 pm

Thank you! I was kind of guessing they might all be nearing the end of their lifespan. OK- I appreciate the consensus that the kenyi's need to find a new place to live, and you are likely right that the female zebra should probably go- then there won't be any territorial fighting for females (the kribs have been very quiet this whole time, i don't think they'll become an issue). I will keep the baby hybrid, looks like it's developing a single egg spot so i'm guessing it's male, which would be good for the rest especially if the yellow zebra is out!
Thank you for confirming what i was guessing at, i really appreciate it!!
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby DJRansome » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:26 pm

Females have egg spots too.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby moresnowplease » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:57 pm

i thought for some species the females have multiple egg spots and the males have only one?
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Re: What to do with bully kenyis- established mixed species

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:35 pm

I can't think of any like that, generally egg spots are unreliable to determine genders.

An unreliable clue might be the egg spots (like everything else) might be brighter on the male.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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