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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to cichlids. I have a 45 gallon tank with 4 African Cichlids. They have been together for over a month now. One of the cichlids is constantly chased by the other three. I don't know why. I'm attaching pictures below. Maybe it's a type that shouldn't be in the tank? They were all purchased at a large fish store and I was told they were all compatible (as much as possible for cichlids). Do I need more fish in the tank to take the pressure of this one? Any advice would be appreciated.

Attached are pics of all 4 cichlids. The red/purple fish is the one being picked one.
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!!

What are the dimensions of the 45G?

Often they are 36" x 12" and if that is true, only the bottom fish (Labidochromis caeruleus or yellow lab) will do well in the tank.

The top fish is an OB peacock...better not to mix them with mbuna.

The middle 2 fish appear to be Metriaclima lombardoi (kenyi) which are notoriously aggressive fish. If you want to keep them, you want a tank that is 75G and 48" by 18" or larger, and you want to keep one male (yellow barred fish) and seven or more females (blue barred fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! Yes, it's a 36x12 tank. I was a little concerned that I wasn't given accurate info about what fish could live with other fish. I'm so glad to have found this board. This is the only tank I have at the moment and it may be a while before I can add a 75 gallon. So the blue bared fish is female? Very discouraging because the fish store told me I was purchasing all males. Sounds like I need to find a new home for the peacock.
 

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You will want to rehome the 2 kenyi as well. Trade them in for 4 more yellow labs...the 36" length severely limits the species that can live in the tank but 1m:4f yellow labs will work (with no more fish).

Remember, Malawi are harem breeders. Kept as a pair like the male and female kenyi, the male would be expected to kill the female.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't want a tank full of the same fish (yellow labs, for example). I'm wondering if I just need to get rid of all 4 cichlids for now and use the tank for other fish. Maybe attempt a cichlid tank again when I'm able to get a larger size tank. It would be disappointing but I also want healthy, happy fish that can live together peaceably so that I can enjoy the hobby and enjoy the fish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can I still make something out of this tank cichlid wise or do I need to just go another direction with it? What do you guys see as my options? I would love to keep cichlids in it and in a few months get a larger tank, but i dont want these fish killing each other either. Thoughts?
 

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The ideal stocking for a 36" if you want the look of more than one species is Chindongo saulosi (formerly known as Pseudotropheus). You may have to order them online. Males have blue bars and females are yellow-orange. They are small and peaceful, so work in a smaller tank.

Did the same store sell you the tank? Could you return the tank for a 75G now instead of keeping both and waiting?

There are some cichlids from other continents that would work in a 36" tank. Or you could do African Tanganyikans...shellies and a pair of julidochromis for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much DJRansome, I really appreciate your help. This gives me some things to think about. Unfortunately, I bought the tank in March from Petsmart and the fish from a fish store in late April.
 
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