Lake Malawi Species • Define Troublesome Males

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Define Troublesome Males

Postby Smeagol » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:08 pm

How do you know if/when it's time to remove an aggressive male? I'm not having any problems yet, but my fish are still juveniles, and I don't know my exact m:f ratios, so I'm worried that I'm eventually going to have problems. On the one hand, I don't want to wait until fish start getting sick and dying due to harassment. On the other hand, a little bit of chasing is tolerable. The question is how much is too much? How do I draw the line between acceptable aggression and dangerous aggression?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby DJRansome » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:03 am

If there are a lot of injuries. If the rest of the fish are being kept in the other half of the tank. If the victim fish are driven to lurk under the surface or behind filter intakes and heaters more than occasionally. You usually have a couple days of seeing the victim fish lurking before action is required.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby Idech » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:04 pm

My juvenile yellow lab male was harassing other yellow labs. Some lost bits of their fins. One was so afraid it was living in the corner of the tank and not eating. It had a sunken belly. The signs are really easy to see, you will know, don’t worry. I had the same questions you did just a few months ago but experience comes in fast. Not that I consider myself experienced yet, but I’m learning for sure.
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby Smeagol » Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:09 am

Any tips or tricks on how to catch a troublesome male? It seems like it would be difficult to catch one with a net, even in an empty tank. But in a tank full of rocks with dozens of caves and tunnels... downright impossible.
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby DJRansome » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:10 am

You net fish during a water change so 1/2 empty. I am able to divide 1/3 of the tank with a barrier and remove just 1/3 of the rocks. Shoo the problem fish to that end and capture. Slow and 2 nets works for me.

Once you get your ratios working you have 7-8 years of peace as long as no fry survive. Initial tank set up can be labor intensive.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby sir_keith » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:04 pm

DJRansome wrote: ...I am able to divide 1/3 of the tank with a barrier and remove just 1/3 of the rocks. Shoo the problem fish to that end and capture... Slow and 2 nets works for me...


Exactly! :thumb: The last thing you want to do is to chase the fish all over the tank.
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby Smeagol » Mon May 10, 2021 11:31 pm

Idech wrote:My juvenile yellow lab male was harassing other yellow labs. Some lost bits of their fins. One was so afraid it was living in the corner of the tank and not eating. It had a sunken belly. The signs are really easy to see, you will know, don’t worry. I had the same questions you did just a few months ago but experience comes in fast. Not that I consider myself experienced yet, but I’m learning for sure.

What happened with the one yellow lab that was "so afraid it was living in the corner of the tank and not eating?" I think I might have a similar situation. I don't see any damaged fins or anything, but I think the subdominant male is being forced into hiding. The dominant male won't let the sub male come out and play.
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby Idech » Tue May 11, 2021 9:23 am

Smeagol wrote:
Idech wrote:My juvenile yellow lab male was harassing other yellow labs. Some lost bits of their fins. One was so afraid it was living in the corner of the tank and not eating. It had a sunken belly. The signs are really easy to see, you will know, don’t worry. I had the same questions you did just a few months ago but experience comes in fast. Not that I consider myself experienced yet, but I’m learning for sure.

What happened with the one yellow lab that was "so afraid it was living in the corner of the tank and not eating?" I think I might have a similar situation. I don't see any damaged fins or anything, but I think the subdominant male is being forced into hiding. The dominant male won't let the sub male come out and play.


For a while I removed it and it was doing fine and eating well. Then someone with more experience convinced me to put him back in the tank, which I did. That was 3-4 months ago. I found it dead about 1 month ago. The fish were feeding on it, only the bones remained.

Another yellow lab sort of took its place but it’s not as bad. It doesn’t have a sunken belly and I don’t see as much chasing.
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Re: Define Troublesome Males

Postby Haplochromine guy » Tue May 11, 2021 12:12 pm

You remove a male if he's killed a fish that's equal in size or he's torn half of the tail fin. I did that with mine. He ripped apart half or more of a tail fin of my Eureka red male cichlid when he was introduced, so I moved him. The peacock was small and also orange, so the OB Mbuna apparently doesn't like him.
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