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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased some new fish for my tank, which of course turned sour. Ended up with 4 female peacocks and no male, the Yellow Lab I was supposed to get is a Red Zebra male(lol, don't know how you mess that one up), and the Blue Zebra female is questionable whether it's a Blue Zebra or not (very dark in color).

All that aside however, I had already purchased 4 Yellow Lab females and a female Blue Zebra and observed them in QT then moved them to the large tank about a week ago. Ever since moving the Five Star General out of this tank and into his own, the Blue Zebra (Metriaclima callainos) has been,, well,,, an absolute dick to be honest. All he seems concerned with is chasing others, flashing at them, and kicking anyone out of any rocky hiding place they find. Also when I say chase, I mean full throttle chasing. Can't confirm yet whether he is actually getting anyone, but the sress of the other fish is apparent.

My next step is going to be removing the Blue Zebra from the tank, as if it weren't for him everyone would be happy. Even the full-grown male Red Zebra I accidentally received is being really nice in the tank. He only runs from the Blue Zebra, which is actually less of a concern to me than the fact he's chasing every single fish in the tank. The Red Zebra can hold his own, he's actually bigger than my blue guy. At any given time most of the fish are being forced into the right 1/4 of the tank, usually right against the glass... nasty little stinker.

Am I going about all this the right way? Is he just being pissy because of new arrivals recently and perhaps will calm down? Is this something that finishing my stocking will fix?

Speaking of stocking here's everything I have in that tank right now, and what I still need to get at the very least.

Currently in tank:
4 female Yellow Labs
1 male 2 female Blue Zebra
1 male Red Zebra
4 female Maylandi Peacocks

to get within next week or so:
1 male Yellow Lab
1 male Maylandi

and if I do end up removing the male Blue Zebra Cobalt:
3-4 female Red Zebra (I really like the one I accidentally ended up with haha)

Once I remove that guy if it comes to it, would it be necessary to remove the 2 female Blue Zebra as well? Or would it be fine to leave them, as the Red Zebra male seems to like them. These fish wouldn't be leaving my home if I were to end up with hybrids. That was a lot more to read than I was planning on putting down, but I may need to get him out within the next 24 hours if he continues how he is acting, so I just wanted all the facts down. Thank you much everyone any guidance is greatly appreciated.
 

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Tank size and dimensions?
I'd be wary about stocking Met. Callainos or Met. Estherae with Peacocks other than perhaps jacobfreibergi, however, I'm not a peacock guy so I could be wrong.
Male Cobalts that I've had in the past have been dicks also, lol, dunno why, same goes for Red Zebras though to a lesser degree.
From what I gather, Acei, Labs and Rusty's are pretty much it for suitable mbuna tankmates for peacocks, again, there could be others that I'm not aware of.
From the A. Maylandi/A. kandeensis species article...
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A. maylandi and A. kandeensis are quite timid among cichlids, they simply don't do well with most other species. Because of this their colouration can be very drab or washed out. Keeping them in a species tank is best, but it is possible for them to coexist with non-threatening cichlids like Labidochromis caeruleus.
What about replacing the Cobalts and Red Zebra with Acei?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lol sorry I always forget to mention the tank size, it's a 6' 135 gallon with a whole mess of hiding spots.



What about replacing the Cobalts and Red Zebra with Acei?
Unfortunately I'm not too fond of the Acei due to the two I had previously. Perhaps I had a couple "duds" of course, but they seemed very, well, dumb. I really enjoy the fact that most of these fish seem to have personality and they just didn't. I would however welcome being wrong about all that.

And as far as the peacocks not coloring up due to their timid nature, you're absolutely right. I am actually quite fond of this Red Zebra though, he seems to be very timid himself. So far he's been a very cool fish. About the peacocks however, I wouldn't be opposed to trading them in at the nearest lfs or finding a friend who would want them if it does start looking like that will be the case. Perhaps another fish will pick up the "pecking order" once the blue fish is removed and start being nasty in his place, but if everyone besides the Blue Zebra continues acting as they do, there doesn't seem to be any aggression at all in the tank.
 

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My dominent Ice blue aebra can be quite nasty too. Chases the other Zebras full out but normally backs off once they are out of is teritory. He does leave my labs alone except at feeding time if they get in his way but that is only about a couple of inch chase. They are mostly conspecific aggresive. good luck you have a big enough tank so after a while things might calm down. :fish: but the Peacocks will not do well in that tank.
 

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I would not mix peacocks with those mbuna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What if I were to get a more aggressive species of Peacock? I was originally looking for Lwanda thanks to some advice on the forums here but had a hard time getting any. I could always resume my hunt for them if they would work for me.
 

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How large are these fish? If adult fish, it can be hard to add adult fish. You need more fish in total anyway to keep aggression down, which a lot of your problem. I would start over completely with juveniles, decide which direction you want, Hap/Peacock or Mbuna.

As for Peacocks mixed with average Mbuna, really they may not do well and color up much. The A. maylandi is definitely a very bad idea here, they may never color up at all.

The rocks actually make the fish more aggressive... more territory to fight over. Tank looks cool thou.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
None of these fish are what they were supposed to be when I ordered them, just want to get that out there. I was trying to see if I could make it work after receiving them, but I'm going to be making a change that's for sure. I'm not so sure about getting rid of everything and getting juveniles, though I do understand the reasoning. I'm not ruling the idea out, but I would like to explore any other possible options first.

Removing the peacocks and the Blue Zebra is an option, and I'm going to be moving him to another tank as soon as I can get a net around him. I want to see the behavior of the other fish when he's not there. I'm expecting it to be quite peaceful when he leaves the tank, and I'll post how that works out. Either way the Maylandi will probably be moved elsewhere.

Can I ask though, since mostly what I'm getting now from this thread now is "no peacocks and mbuna together", was it a rare thing that the mbuna and peacocks were getting along just fine when I got this tank with fish in it? They were Otter Point Jakes, Blue Zebra, and Yellow Labs. Are there species of peacock that will do ok? As I said earlier in this thread I was recommended Lwanda for their more aggressive demeanor by another member on the forums. Would this be true?

Edit: All that being said, I thought about it and perhaps a completely fresh start would be ideal. For both the tank and most likely my stress levels as well. It's a shame I don't have a lfs around that would pay anything for the fish, but I got a good deal on them so it's not all bad I suppose. Everything I said above this still stands as of now, but I am at least rolling the idea around in my head now.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that things are currently not working. I hope whatever plans you make end up working swimmingly 8) (couldn't help myself :lol: )

There are people who end up with fully coloured up peacocks in a mbuna tank, just like there are people whose most agressive fish is a yellow lab, or who has a poor, bullied-half-to-death melanochromis auratus. Heck, someone even has a discus living with his mbuna, apparently fine :eek: Just because the general advice is that it's not a good idea doesn't mean it's impossible, individual fish (as we all know) have personalities. Very different personalities.

All that the advice above is saying is that chances are it won't work, or won't work sustainably. If you have your heart set on it, do it, but be responsible about it. Know that you are going against what usually works, and be prepared to change.

It's like Dr. Tim's signature says - "Above all, enjoy your fish".
 

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IMO the highest odds of success are mixed gender groups of mbuna. As long as you avoid the aggressive ones like demasoni and melanochromis this is usually a "buy fish and it works" tank. Given recently history and the desire for stress avoidance, this might be a good scheme for your next stocking.

Nothing wrong with haps/peacocks if you like a challenge and don't mind the stress of tinkering for a couple years until you get a working mix. What works for others may not work for you when stocking all male. However with a hap/peacock project, it's usually a good idea to act quickly and not wait to see if things work out. Spare tanks are a good idea to remove aggressive fish so they can wait for return to the LFS.

When mixing mbuna with peacocks, usually yellow labs are successful. Acei often. Rusties sometimes. I've heard of one-two people mixing cynotilapia (resulted in death for me) or saulosi. With many of the other mbuna, it would be a surprise if it DID work.

I think the lemon jake is the peacock most often mentioned if you need one at the aggressive end of the scale.

You seem enthusiastic about the hobby and I'd like to see you able to enjoy a successful tank this time. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nina_b and DJ, thank you. That was a very helpful point of view from both of you. I would rather avoid any problems if I can, so giving up on the idea of keeping peacocks in here will be the best thing in my eyes. As you say about mixed gender Mbuna DJ, that is what I will do. I gave up on the Hap/Peacock plan after a nice long post by Goofboy on another thread, I just don't have the ability to work closely with a lfs. I will pretty much exclusively need to work with online mail order.

Since the time of starting this thread the Blue Zebra seems to have calmed down considerably, though he is still being dominant, he's not being as nasty anymore. I don't want to go about this the wrong way, but I would like to avoid if possible a restocking of fresh juveniles, as I have over 100 dollars of fish I would be just,,, kissing bye bye (wouldn't even get store credit at the nearest store, yet alone find what I would want there). Would removing the Peacocks I have and getting more Mbuna to spread the aggression be a feasible plan, or am I paddling upstream here?
 

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You could start your stocking with labs and callainos. I would get rid of the estherae though because they would be a problem with both the labs and the callainos.

Maybe choose three more species. Definitely get more females for the callainos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so far it sounds like it would be best to remove the peacocks and the estherae. That's a shame, as we love this red zebra, he's very mellow. Though guessing that would change if I were to remove the callainos. If there is a way I could make the estherae work out though please let me know. I would then order:
1 male lab (I have 4 females, think I should get more for the sake of having more?)
3 female callainos (again, should I get more? I have at least 1, trying to find out what this mystery dark fish is)
then 2-3 more species (trying to decide which)

I suppose doing it all at once would be better than incrementally adding more fish, since part of having the correct stock is also being at least slightly overstocked. I'm not sure about the other species, perhaps someone can toss an idea my way while I surf around and look at them myself. If I were to say what I wanted, I would ask for at least one mbuna that wouldn't make me feel bad for not having any beautifully colored peacocks in the tank.

Edit: Been sitting around the tank for a while now and the callainos male is still being an angry fish. Could this pan out once the tank is overstocked? He is just chasing any fish in sight, about every minute or so he'll make a move at someone. That includes the labs and other callainos. Would hate to order more of these fish just to have him be a problem that needs to be removed.
 

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No guarantees in fishkeeping, LOL. IMO he is just doing what he should and additional females will solve the problem. But if you are not locked into the callainos and it worries you...choose another species. It could happen that you will have to remove him, but more likely the females will solve the problem.

The estherae will work if you remove the callainos and don't save fry from the estherae or labs.

I find the mbuna much more brilliantly colored than the peacocks, so not following the part that is missing. They are shinier and have a different shape, is that it?

For a brilliant blue I'd do Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos Maingano or Pseudotropheus demasoni.

For another light solid blue option if you get rid of the callainos there is Pseudotropheus socolofi.

Do you like the labeotropheus? Rusties? Or how about Pseudotropheus flavus?
 

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my tank is pretty much Labs and zebras. for the most part the zebras leave the labs alone and it is a relitivly good mix as mbuna go. In fact I just added 3 more yellow labs so now I have 8 yellow Labs 2 red zebra juvies 1 OB zebra adult, 1 I blue zebra adult and on zebra hybread that was born in the tank. (Ice blue and OB cross) It works for me . :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow I really do like those Pseudotropheus flavus and the Rusties. I'm willing to give the Callainos a chance to show he can behave with females in the tank. I can always remedy that situation later if it comes to it, I just need to get the other fish with some quickness. So lets say I were to get females for the Callainos, and then wanted to order Pseudotropheus flavus, Rusties, and another fish I like is the Chailosi, if that would be a fitting match to these. So basically in the end I would have (all with proportionate male/female ratios):
-Caillainos
-Pseudotropheus flavus
-Rusties
-Pseudotropheus chailosi
-Yellow Labs

Sound like I'm on the right track now or am I tempting fate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had pretty much made up my mind on what I wanted in the above post I made earlier. After much looking through the recommended online retailers from the reviews section, I cannot find a site that can offer all of that for me. I've been slowly building a cart on a site that has most of what I want, and here is what I have in it right now. I won't include the lab male or callainos females, as though are a given:

-Rusties
-Chewere
-Mdoka

What I tried to do is match these fish as best I could with the fish that were recommended, trying to make sure the fish weren't too similar in color. Are there any problems with these as tankmates along with yellow labs and blue zebras?
 

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Chewere and Mdoka are collection points, could apply to lots of fish. Which are they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh lol sorry thought I made sure they were the only ones marked with that name in the ID's.
-Pseudotropheus sp. Zebra Long Pelvic Mdoka
-Pseudotropheus sp. Elongatus "Chewere"
 

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Both are classified as Metriaclima (not Pseudotropheus) so would be a conflict with the callainos.
 
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