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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've got a 50 gallon mbuna tank running for 4 months, I've been on tropical fish keeping forums but decided that I should join a forum dedicated to cichlids too.
When I started the tank I bought some pseudotropheus elongatus and had no idea what I was in for. They suck.
Anyways, amazingly I was able to get rid of them for free on craigslist and just days after, my yellow labs and mainganos are more colorful and active than ever. Big surprise haha.
Anyways all is well except for a little maingano I have, he's my smallest one and has a ton of fin nips. He usually is beat to the food and is pretty pale. I currently don't have a qt available (I need different tanks for my qt and grow out tank haha). I caught him and put him in a breeder net for a couple of days, he ate and got a little less skinny, so I let him back in the tank. He's doing alright, but I'm not seeing any dramatic improvements. Should I do anything?
p.s. I'll get some pix 2morrow :)
Thanks,
-Ian
 

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What are the tank dimensions? If it's 48" you could get more Mainganos to get as many females as possible. You'll want at least 5 or more for 1 male & be ready to remove any extra males.
If it's 36" long, I would not even try the mainganos. They're very aggressive & males do not tolerate other males, especially when they start maturing & breeding.
 

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Well if you notice your fish still getting bullied you can go to a petstore and buy one of those small lizard travel kits and put him in there inside your tank. I'm using 2 in my 90 currently for some small juvis and a rehabing peacock. Work great. Or you can get a Gatorade bottle. Drill tiny holes for water flow all over. Clean the label and glue off and you have a hospital housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
it's 48 inches long, I just bought all 6 my lfs had, and I believe I have 2 males. One is surely the dominant one, i've seen him win a mouth-lock fight, and I haven't really seen a fight since, the other male seems to be fine. But I am completely prepared to remove him as it could get nasty during breeding, etc. As for the beat up one, if I would take a stab at it I would say she is female (now that I notice it, I did write he in the previous post my bad). She's never been vibrant or flared, and she's always been little. I guess the only way to know for sure is to vent, and I don't really want to put her (him) under any more stress :?.

As for the gatorade bottle, that is a good idea, but my breeder net is probably bigger than the bottle so I may as well use that.

So you're saying I should get 5 more mainganos, and then take out the males and see what I have left? In that case I could end up with the 6 I have now or 11.

Thanks for your help guys!

P.S. woops! haha ignore my signature I have 6 mainganos for sure not 5 I need to change that...
 

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I think the suggestion from kyboy was to have one male and at least 5 females in your tank. If you can take a good guess at what sexes you have now you can think about adding more females if necessary. If you have 6 mainganos now, you may be real close to a good ratio. Depends on if you have one male or more than one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
after watching them for a couple months and looking at them, I'm pretty sure I have 4 females and 2 males. I could get rid of the non dominant one, but after one mouth locked fight, they seem to tolerate each other. He'll probably cause problems when they start to breed and stuff, so I'll get rid of him one of these days. How should I go about getting one female? I have to special order mainganos from my lfs and they're a good 45 minute drive. I could maybe order one when I get a third species but 1. that won't be for a while and 2. what if the one fish I order is a male?

I was just wondering if it would be a good idea to isolate it in the breeder net until it gets better or if that would just cause it more stress. I don't know why the single out that one to pick on, but you can tell by looking at her fins.

By the way, if I was to get a 3rd species, what would be good? I like rusties but I'm afraid the mainganos will pick on them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's some pix




 

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I am no expert, but I do have a group of maingano in my tank :D .

Every tank is different, but my maingano are tolerant of the other fish with little aggression between groups (yellow labs, socolofi and acei).

If it were me, I'd remove the sub-dominant male when a good opportunity presented itself, and add 2 or 3 additional mainganos. Since you probably can't easily get confirmed females, you will need to watch the new fish and if any are males eventually remove them.

I have been keeping cichlids less than one year and have not tried isolating a fish in a breeder net. I did try moving my smallest fish (a yellow lab) to a 10G tank in hopes of growing her out a bit more, but she didn't really grow much and spent her days trying to escape the small space. I eventually moved her back to the 75G tank where she is doing fine (but still remains small). So far I have not had a fish that was being beat up to the point of needing to be isolated.

I have not kept rusties but if your yellow labs get along with your maingano I would think that the rusties would get along as well. And the higher number of total fish should help spread any aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sweet, thanks.
Yup, I've heard to not keep less aggressive fish with mainganos, but they don't bother my electric yellows at all. All of their aggression is spread out between themselves.

Anyways, here's my plan:
I'll watch the little maingano carefully, see if she gets worse. After I get my elongatus fry out of my spare tank, I'll order 5 rusties and 2 mainganos, I'll quarantine them in my 10 gallon, after 2-3 weeks I'll put the rusties in the big tank, choose one of the mainganos to keep (if there is a female) and sell the other one with my sub-dominant male. Whew!
 

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Awww poor little fishie! I'd put him/her back in the breeder net if you don't have anything else. He/she needs to heal up and fatten up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
alrighty, I'll try to catch her/him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok, got her in a breeder net. I'll take some pix when she makes some progress 8)
 
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