Lake Malawi Species • OB peacock aggression

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OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Wed May 20, 2020 5:03 pm

Hi all

I have put two Male OB peacocks in my 55g tank. I thought these fish were meant to be on the less aggressive side but the larger of the two (even though both are juveniles) is very aggressive. He is currently the largest fish in the tank, a little larger than the other OB peacock I put in the same time. The other dish are a colony of demasoni and a group of yellow labs. All are juvenile. Issue is he is bossing the whole tank which I wasn’t expecting.....pushed the alpha demos out the way and constantly hassles the other OB peacock. Should I put another OB in? My tank is already over stocked as I intend to get rid of maybe 6 of my demo group or will he settle down? Any ideas would be appreciated or thoughts. Thanks
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby DJRansome » Wed May 20, 2020 5:15 pm

Two males of anything would be expected to be aggressive. Also OBs are hybrids and hybrids can be aggressive. I would remove them entirely...I would definitely not add any OBs.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Wed May 20, 2020 5:36 pm

So in your opinion this OB could be more aggressive than my Alpha demasoni? I just assumed after only being in for two days they were finding their place still and bossing the tank. You think just hook them out?
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby DJRansome » Wed May 20, 2020 5:56 pm

Demasoni are aggressive among themselves, but susceptible to aggression from others and get sick easily when harassed. You said in the other post you don't want to lose any.

Usually a new introduction would be timid while finding their place and not just come in blazing.

He is bossing both the other OB (shocking if he didn't) and the demasoni.

IMO your tank is already overstocked beyond a good level to manage aggression. I would remove both of them.

If you want to try removing just the aggressive one, better than nothing.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Wed May 20, 2020 6:10 pm

Ok I here what you are saying. You have me concerned now! I thought it would be ok as I had been told OB peacocks were not aggressive. I will see how it goes this week and make a decision by end of week. Thanks
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Fogelhund » Thu May 21, 2020 1:01 am

Chrislisk wrote:Ok I here what you are saying. You have me concerned now! I thought it would be ok as I had been told OB peacocks were not aggressive. I will see how it goes this week and make a decision by end of week. Thanks


OB Peacocks originated as probably a hybrid between an OB Mbuna, probably a Zebra type and a Peacock. They tend to have aggression like a M. zebra type... which is nearer the higher end of aggression. You might get away with one in your tank, but if you have two males, one will end up dead.
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Thu May 21, 2020 3:46 pm

Thank you for the replies. Quick update. Larger OB peacock was still doing some chasing this morning which I wasn’t happy with. I called the shop and explained about the aggression and they advised either remove one or add another so the aggression is split between three rather than one. I’m not overly interested in adding another as I am conscious of my overstocked tank currently. What is your thoughts on adding another? On a separate note I added some more rock today and did a very small water change and cleaned the filters as I had a small spike on ammonia and nitrites which is now back normal and since then virtually no aggression between the two peacocks! Don’t get me wrong the slightly smaller one knows he is boss and very little chases but I’m sat here now and they are swimming together with zero issues? Could more rock have done this? Or even the slight decrease in water quality had made him mad. Also......I’m clearing out my small 30 gallon community tank ready to remove the previous aggressor peacock to keep him there and decide what to do, if his aggression starts again and is too much.

So what’s your thoughts on adding another OB peacock? I’m running my 55g with filters at 1400 ltrs per hour. Is three better than two. Alternately remove the angry fish to the 30g if he plays up again. If I can I’d rather have three together than one but that’s just me not what the fish would want. Demasoni still at 14! Here’s the pics of the rocks I added and the two peacocks strangely in harmony now!
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Thu May 21, 2020 3:57 pm

Apologies my small community tank is 20 gallons not 30
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby DJRansome » Thu May 21, 2020 6:20 pm

For Members who might reply, the 55G is tank is 40" long (not 48") and the original goal was to end up with 12 demasoni after removing extra males and 6 existing yellow labs.

Two votes so far for the possibility of getting away with one OB in the tank.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby ken31cay » Thu May 21, 2020 8:19 pm

I had two 4" male OB's and one 4.5" female OB in my 180gal when I introduced ten 2" Kenyi and ten 2" Labeotropheus trewavasae in the tank. As the small mbuna grew larger (about 3.5") one of the male OB's died. The other male OB died as the mbuna reached 4"-4.5" and the female lasted a few months after that. I watched the tank quite a bit through all of this and it seemed that as the mbuna aggression increased the stress became too much for the OB's causing their death. The male OB's were fine as long as they could remain the tank bosses but soon after they lost their positions they became very withdrawn and died soon after.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Fri May 22, 2020 5:38 am

That’s interesting. So today the aggression from the larger OB is much less. Just a little chase now and then but nothing out the ordinary. When you said about the Mbuna aggression increased was that towards the OBs or between themselves? I think I’ve already seen a new tank just for the peacocks at some point in the future. The demosoni colony and 5 labs are all between 1 - 1.5 inches. What timescales would it have been looking back before the OBs started to go downhill? And my tank is not as big as yours!
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby ken31cay » Fri May 22, 2020 12:31 pm

Chrislisk wrote:That’s interesting. So today the aggression from the larger OB is much less. Just a little chase now and then but nothing out the ordinary. When you said about the Mbuna aggression increased was that towards the OBs or between themselves? I think I’ve already seen a new tank just for the peacocks at some point in the future. The demosoni colony and 5 labs are all between 1 - 1.5 inches. What timescales would it have been looking back before the OBs started to go downhill? And my tank is not as big as yours!


The mbuna aggression was between themselves 95% of the time. This all happened in my tank over 8-10 months, but increasingly more toward the end. I started with 2 male Kenyi's who both survived for a good while but it became clear after some time that I could have only one even in my 6-foot tank.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Sat May 30, 2020 4:06 pm

Need a little help here. Today I noticed the OB peacock that is the tank boss and bully since I put him in about a week ago up his aggression a notch....he was constantly digging and spitting sand out and attacking not only the other peacock who hardly comes out now but every other demasoni that came past where he was. It was too much!

After removing most of the rock I managed to net him and put him in a floating isolation tank inside the main tank. My questions are how long can he be in the isolation tank? It is 30cm x 10cm. It’s big enough for him to turn and swim a little bit there is not much room. How long can he stay in it? Plan is to remove my 3 corys and one powder blue gourami I have in the 20 gallon and put him in that.....for now. Can’t get to the shop
Until tomorrow to re home everything so will he be ok over night? Thanks
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby Chrislisk » Sat May 30, 2020 4:08 pm

Here’s a pic to help
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Re: OB peacock aggression

Postby DJRansome » Sat May 30, 2020 5:15 pm

He will be OK overnight.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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