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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my yellow labs had its tail bitten off today and he is upside down. My daughter made a makeshift hospital tank for him and we have found someone to rehome and rehabilitate him. I have a ps. purpatus that has been showing very aggresive spawning behavior…and a territorial golden mbuna….I’m not sure who is the culprit but I am thinking to rehome both of them just in case. I feel bad for my little lab. It’s a female and I dont know if it was a mistake during spawning or my death machine fish…my poor daughter had to deal with this while I was at work.
 

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It sounds to me like you might consider keeping other kinds of fishes. There are lots of interesting cichlids that are relatively peaceful in captivity; Mbuna are not amongst them. Good luck.
 

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The golden mbuna aka Auratus is an absolute savage and may be the inch for inch nastiest cichlid in the world, especially the males. If you like mbuna but don’t want to constantly manage aggression, stick with yellow labs and Acei which are reasonably peaceful. Even with these you need a tank of at least 75 gallons with plenty of rocks and hiding places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The golden mbuna aka Auratus is an absolute savage and may be the inch for inch nastiest cichlid in the world, especially the males. If you like mbuna but don’t want to constantly manage aggression, stick with yellow labs and Acei which are reasonably peaceful. Even with these you need a tank of at least 75 gallons with plenty of rocks and hiding places.
That setup is exactly what I have. The purpuratus had been a great fish but mating takes a lot of animals over the egde. He is a beautiful fish, but atp its either keep him and get rid of everything else or rehome him and the female golden mbuna (just in case it’s her) and let my labs and Zebras live in peace
 

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If you have a spare tank you could try isolating the Purpuratus for awhile and return him to your tank in a couple of weeks to see if he is less aggressive when he is not mating. May or may not work, but worth considering. I would definitely rehome the Auratus as they are naturally super-aggressive and less valuable than the fish she is bullying and stressing out.

I currently have a 5 plus inch male Auratus which I rescued a couple of years ago. He has spent the last 2 years in a 90 gallon
Oddball tank filled with other very tough African mbuna, a 9 inch Blackbelt and an 11 inch female Oscar. Managing his aggression is not easy, and he wreaked absolute havoc and terror in my 125 gallon tank full of larger Haps and Peacocks when I initially tried to home him there. I had to remove him after only 24 hours, or I would have had some much more valuable cichlids killed by him. His attacks on every other cichlid were relentless.

He is not the boss in my 90 gallon but he is constantly challenging a similar sized OB male mbuna who fortunately is a better fighter and is not inclined to kill the ungrateful, ever- scheming Auratus. 🤔The Blackbelt also helps check the Auratus when he starts to go berserk. The Auratus and the Oscar ignore each other, whereas the Blackbelt and Oscar have been best buddies for years.

My point for all this, is that Auratus are beautiful but very difficult fish to accommodate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wish I had known exactly what I was doing when I purchased the auratus. I got her as a juvenile from the freaking assorted mbuna tank. We learn our lessons the hard way. I thought she was a hybrid EBJ and after researching I’m at this point. Now I know to research before buying. I just wish I another large tank so I can keep her.
 

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Auratus are often found in “assorted African cichlid” tanks at pet stores as juveniles and then foisted on unsuspecting customers often by poorly informed fish store employees. You have learned a valuable lesson about researching a fish before purchasing it, so at least you gained some wisdom from this event.

I hope your yellow lab recovers. I have four of them, which are about 5 inches each in my 125G tank. They enjoy chasing each other and mostly ignore the Haps and Peacocks. Yellow labs are very cool 😎 and make much better neighbors with other only mildly aggressive cichlids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Auratus are often found in “assorted African cichlid” tanks at pet stores as juveniles and then foisted on unsuspecting customers often by poorly informed fish store employees. You have learned a valuable lesson about researching a fish before purchasing it, so at least you gained some wisdom from this event.

I hope your yellow lab recovers. I have four of them, which are about 5 inches each in my 125G tank. They enjoy chasing each other and mostly ignore the Haps and Peacocks. Yellow labs are very cool 😎 and make much better neighbors with other only mildly aggressive cichlids.
she didnt make it. And another passed as well, he wasnt eating and I separated him but it was too late the stress was too much. I can’t find a home for the aggressor and I need to remove him asap
 

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Yikes! :eek:
Definitely time to re-home some fish in that tank and re-group. It seems that the aggression in your tank has become completely out of control in there, with some totally incompatible Cichlids!
 
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I was terrified of that happening when I got into mbunas... The best advice I ever got was to start with more than you want and don't get attached as they will kill indiscriminately. I've had gentle species be the meanest in my tank, and different types of blue zebras get along with each other. My tank hasn't followed any "rules" beyond being busy and entertaining. It's so hard watching a well planned out tank do its own thing. Sorry about your fish...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you guys…it really did feel like a plan was working but as Auballagh told me in the beginning things could turn at any moment. The need to mate and not able to really made things go nuts. I still haven’t found a home for those guys…
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was terrified of that happening when I got into mbunas... The best advice I ever got was to start with more than you want and don't get attached as they will kill indiscriminately. I've had gentle species be the meanest in my tank, and different types of blue zebras get along with each other. My tank hasn't followed any "rules" beyond being busy and entertaining. It's so hard watching a well planned out tank do its own thing. Sorry about your fish...
Thank you so much….I found the culprit and posting a photo. He got moved into a 29 gallon by himself. I had to steal two filters, some stone, plants, and driftwood to make his tank instantly safe. He is stressed and not eating much. I’m worried and want to get him a harem but a 29 gallon wouldn't be ideal even though technically there is swim space. I ordered him a tank mate. A juvenile clown pleco. Being they are recommended for a ten gallon I figure my filtration could handle at least these two. Unfortunately due to Blue and Jerry’s mating aggression another male Charlie whom had suitors was chased off doubly and stressed to the point I couldnt get him to eat anymore. He is digging in his new abode which means his need to procreate is strong and as I said I want to get him a Harem but I cannot find anymore Purpuratus for sale anywhere, Idon’t want to sacrifice another female. Any ideas anyone?
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I would rehome him. The digging is not necessarily spawning behavior...even the females dig. I think the pleco will be in danger with him in the 29G.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would rehome him. The digging is not necessarily spawning behavior...even the females dig. I think the pleco will be in danger with him in the 29G.
I was hoping his aggression was only mating aggression. This is sad to hear. Rehoming has been an issue. No one is interested
 

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You could keep him alone in the 65G and return the pleco. Its always a challenge if you end up with an incompatible fish. The good news is next time around you will have more experience in selecting tank mates.

I don't recall the rest of your stocklist, is there a possibility that you will need to rehome another fish over the next two years? It might be worth looking into more rehoming options. Other LFS? Local hobbyists? This only works if you are sure your fish are pure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You could keep him alone in the 65G and return the pleco. Its always a challenge if you end up with an incompatible fish. The good news is next time around you will have more experience in selecting tank mates.

I don't recall the rest of your stocklist, is there a possibility that you will need to rehome another fish over the next two years? It might be worth looking into more rehoming options. Other LFS? Local hobbyists? This only works if you are sure your fish are pure.
yes I know that golden Mbuna will be an issue eventually. She colors up as a male often. I do have an lfs that said they will take a surrender
 
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