Hi if someone could help me with this dilemma that would be great. Currently I have a 40 gallon breeder with mbuna stocked in it- these being 1 cobalt blue zebra, 3 P Acei, 1 rusty cichlid, 1 pale red zebra, 1 unidentified blue/purple cichlid, 1 yellow lab and 2 brown peacocks (females). Prior to moving these fish into the 40 gal I had them in a 30 gal tank where they were fine and were doing well. Then when I moved them into the 40 my problems with aggression began. The large blue zebra has always been the tank boss and seemed to have claimed the entire rock formation as his, forcing the other fish into one side typically the left. I noticed that this was seemingly bizarre because from what I know of mbuna they are quite active and always moving, as is the case in my fry tank. However, all the fish except the large blue zebra were always hovering in the left side of the tank, near the top of the water column. They would only swim out into the middle and be active whenever I came to interact with the tank to either feed or do a water change and when I did feed they would all eat vigorously. I knew it was not water quality as the temperature and pH and hardness and all other conditions were within ideal parameters. I suspected it must be the dominant cichlid preventing them from encroaching on his territory. I then proceeded to move up and change the rock structure to rearrange territories but to no avail. It was then that I began to notice that all of the fish except the dominant zebra and the pale red zebra began to have substantial damage to their scales and fins, with the red zebra often chasing only the yellow lab around and the blue zebra chasing everyone else. I came back from work today and the yellow lab had died, and I am worried about the other fish. I had heard overstocking could help reduce aggression but despite doing substantial research online I was not able to find a specific stocking set for a 40 gal mbuna tank. While I know that size is not ideal I am a working high school student in many difficult classes and thus do not have the space for an extremely large tank. I do have a 55 gal but it has a turtle in it. My question is, what should I do at this point as I don't want the other fish to get killed either? Should I switch the tanks and put the mbuna in the 55 and the turtle in the 40? Or should I start over with new fish? Should I add even more and overstock more or add more rockwork? I particularly like the blue zebra so that is why I haven't given it back to an LFS and I am unsure if it is even the blue zebra or the red zebra? Of some of you experienced mbuna keepers could help that'd be great thank you. I have included come pictures below. I don't like my fish dying and would love to fix this soon.
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