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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gallon standard aqueon tank with African cichlids.

6 lab mixes
2 kenyi
4 acei

All were bought and added at the same time. They've been in the tank for about 3 months now, but the tank has been up and running for about 3 years (used to be a full yellow lab tank.)

When I got the cichlids, one of the acei looked skinny, but they came from a reputable source and I was told to feed it a few times a day and it would gain weight.

The acei in question will only take nls flakes because that's what the breeder fed them. I tried to get them on omega one veggie pellets and flakes. All the other fish eat these, but the odd one doesn't.

The other 3 acei chase the odd one and prevent it from swimming in the rocks, so the odd one is usually hanging out at the top corner of the tank. Oddy will eat like a pig when offered his favorite food, but freaks out when the other acei chase him away. And it's only the acei who chase him.

I'm not quite sure what to do for Oddy. He seems like he'd be healthy if he was allowed to eat and frolick naturally. I have rocks and caves but idk what else to do for him.

I tried rearranging the rocks when I did a water change today, but it didn't help.
 

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Even though they are not guilty of aggression, I would remove the kenyi. This fish is generally too aggressive for a 55G tank. And it is rarely a good idea to keep 2 of any Malawi species...2 males will try to kill each other and 1m:1f the male will accidentally kill the female.

Depending on what the labs are mixed with they might be OK. Do you know? You might try posting pictures of them in the Unidentified forum to see if you can find out...if they are mixed with kenyi I would rehome them as well. I am not aware of any reputable sources that will sell hybrid yellow labs.

Usually acei are considered to be too large for a 55G. If you want to try a tank with labs and acei I'd go with 7 of each. The right level of overcrowding (15 is good for a 55G tank) helps manage aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The labs look like they're mixed with possibly johanni. I'll post pictures. I'm trying to actually sell them on a local fish page. The store I got them from is considered a local reputable place. The shop is very well known in the fish club.

I haven't seen the kenyi go after anything, it's the mixes that are more aggressive. I do have a 75 gallon tank that is currently occupied with green sunfish. They are going into a pond behind my grandmas house when it gets warm. So I have that option if I need to transfer the cichlids in spring. All the cichlids are about 4 inches currently.
 

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Johannii are aggressive too. I would rehome the labs and the kenyi...maybe the store will take them back if they sold them to you.

Just to give you an idea, kenyi can work if you have 1m:7f (to manage aggression) in a 75G 48x18 rectangle tank.

Meanwhile your acei is being harassed. If you cannot make other stocking changes at this time, I would put the victim in a tank by himself until you are ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The mixes are pending pickup sale. So that would leave just the kenyi and acei.

I would like to keep the acei most of all. The 3 other ones shoal together.

My original plan was to buy juvenile cichlids, watch for pairs, and rehome the ones left out. I was hoping all the acei would get along. I have a 29g Oddy can hang out in for a while. Not permanently, of course.

In the 75g, which is where I planned on transferring them, that would obviously be a better tank than a 55g, but would that still be too small?
 

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Malawi do not pair...they are harem breeders. 1m:7f for the kenyi and 1m:4f for the acei. At 3" they are ready for the 75G...the victim fish might be fine once you add more fish for distraction.

In the 75G you could/should add a species or increase females of the 2 species you have to end up with 20 adults. Avoid labs because the kenyi males are yellow. Avoid blue barred fish because of the kenyi females.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok. Thanks for the info. I think I'll just stay with the two species. Problem is... I'm not good at telling the gender. All the three other acei stay together in a little shoal and the two malawi always stay near each other.

The sale for the mixes fell through when I told the guy I wouldn't drive 2 hours to drop the fish off at his house. So they're up for sale again. But I'm not including them in my final stocking plan. As a last resort, petco will take them.
 

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The acei should be OK even if you have too many males.

The kenyi males turn yellow when mature so it is easier to ID them.

But definitely move them to the 75G before adding kenyi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just realized I made a mistake in my typing. I've been calling the kenyi cichlids malawi. The stocking info in the first post is correct.

I want to stick with acei a d KENYI. And so on. Sorry about that. Been working way too much lately @[email protected]
 

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Both Acei and Kenyi are mbuna from Lake Malawi. The scientific names are:
Metriaclima lombardoi are kenyi.
Pseudotropheus sp. Acei
 
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