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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having some aggression issues in my 40 gal 36" wide tank that is in my office at work. I currently have a single 5" female Convict, a 4" Blue Acara and a 2.5" Firemouth. There is also a small school of tetra's and a bristlenose.

I originally had 2 Firemouths but one has just recently died. I believe that he was bullied by both the other Firemouth and the larger Convict. Now, the Convict has decided to focus on the Blue Acara, which had until recently flown under the radar. My Convict is absolutely beautiful, her fins are long and flowing but the Acara (who just happens to be my favourite) is starting to look a little haggard.

Whats everyone's opinion? Not enough space? Pairing issues? Should I try and add more caves and hiding spaces?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have to admit I am a little surprised to see your min tank size requirement is 75 gal for 3 med sized cichlids considering the "Mixed New World Aquarium Cookie Cutter" 40 gal setup <http> suggests I could have 4.
 

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I can understand the two firemouths being a problem together, if they were both males.

It sounds like the convict is simply too aggressive for the tankmates. You could consider adding more aggresive tankmates to the equation, like a jewel or something. Every fish is different. If the blue acara is you're favorite, maybe you should consider replacing the convict with something else.

I assume you have decorated the tank to give the fish well-defined territories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, well I am going to either pull the convict or the Acara and Firemouth and put them in another tank. At least temporarily until I figure something out. The aggression seems to have stepped up a notch again. The way the convict is cruising around the tank looking up and down all the decorations, it almost seems like she is looking for a place to lay some eggs.
 

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you dont have to take my advice for it....

the three cichlids u have even in a 75gallon is risky....

its not about the 75 gallons of water to hold the bio-load with cichlids.....

the bigger the floor layout of the tank the better chance of housing more fish....

cichlids like space think of them as grumpy old men u shove alot of them in a tight fit room and you will have trouble..... (i work in a retirment home)
 

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what your doing wrong is trying to 2 pretty aggressive fish in a smaller sized tank with a 3rd cichlid of similar size and shape. If you dont remove the acara it will most likely get killed, acara are pretty mild manner cichlids. So if you remove the acara to another tank.....(bare min 20gal). then you have the FM and convict left in the 40gal but dont rule problems out just yet. even a 40gal tank is not big enough to say "oh well both the fish are medium i can put them in this medium size tank". Not true... i mean sure it could work great or you could end up with either a overly aggressive FM or an over aggressive convict....

So if i were you id leave the con and FM in the 40 and watch close if you have problems well ull probly need a third tank or give a fish away....
 

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Just goes to show you how you can't gauge a fish by the species. My 3.5"-4" female convict is as gentle as a lamb.

I agree with everyone that the tank is too small. I'd keep your favorite, rehome the other two, then increase your tetra school or add another species tetra school.
 

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I'd like to see a photo of this 5" female Convict with long fins. The behavior and description make me think you have a male rather than a female. In 40+ years, I've never seen a 5" female, though I do consider it possible.

It sounds to me like the Convict is an older fish, who's established territory was the whole tank. Then the other fish were added (guessing, based on the various sizes given). If the tank wasn't rearranged a lot, or the Convict removed and returned, he/she is just defending the established territory. Regardless, for a convict of that size, a 36" tank is going to be the whole territory eventually, anyway. The other fish are not as aggressive, and might get along in that tank. I'd remove the Con.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, thanks for the advice everyone. I do appreciate it.

I have pulled out the con, and placed it in a 30 gal that only had 3 hatchetfish and a rubberlips pleco. So now my 40 gal just has the Acara, Firemouth, a school of tetras and a bristlenose. I hope with the change the Acara can relax and perk up a bit.

I will try and get a pic of the con and post it so you can tell me if you think it's a male. When I bought it, "she" had quite a rusty red belly. It has faded over time but hasnt completely gone away. I would be lying if I told you I hadn't question if it was male or female before.
 

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Welllllll, it certainly looks female, but I think your size estimate is a bit overstated. From the items I see in close proximity, I'd say she's maybe three to three and a half inches at absolute best. Still, quite impressive for a female. Color's not too bad, either.

It's a shame she's gotten so ornery. Maybe find her a boyfriend? :wink:
 

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Certainly looks female to me.

Here is my 2 year old 4.5" female Con. She pretty much lost all her orange on her belly.

She is at the end of the vid. The ones at the beginning are her hybrid babies that paired up at about 2". Dad HRP is also in the video


....Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks those who commented to confirm that she is in fact a she. So I tried my best to "measure" her again and 5" in fact may have been a bit high. It's tough holding a ruler up to the glass and waiting for her to swim by close enough to accurately see. I am still pretty sure she is at least over 4" nose to tip of back fin.

So now that the immediate problem is taken care of I need to figure out the permanent solution.
First. My 40 gal 36" office tank with the Acara and Firemouth, is this now a mix that you can see working going forward? Would I be able to replace the con with another Acara since they are a more mellow cichlid? Or will this lead me down the same road again with not enough square footage for territory?
Second. Will my female con be OK in the 30 gal by herself? Not a ton of floorspace since it is a more vertical style tank. Clearly no other cichlid would work with her in there, but I could add a small school of dithers for her to chase. Or if this tank is just too small I may have to just take her back to the LFS. That would be too bad because in spite of her b*#chy personality, she's a beutiful specimen.
 

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you acara and FM may work out or may not...

really depends on the FM and how aggressive it becomes.\

just watch the acara closely for ant ripped fins and such

as for the convict yes the 30 gallon will do just fine for her
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I am happy to report that the Acara and Firemouth are looking a little better today. They are swimming around together without getting harassed. To this point they have not shown any aggression toward each other. As you guys have advised, I am going to keep an eye out for any signs. The Acara is about an inch larger that the Firemouth so hopefully they can develop an amicable relationship before the Firemouth is large enough to establish dominance.

Now that my Convict is happy in her own tank. Any suggestions on adding some tank mates? Colourful ones would make the two year old in the house happy. Tetras? Barbs?

Thanks
 

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All of my fish are fine with barbs or large bodied Tetras.

I like black ruby barbs and columbian or Buenos Aires tetras.

...Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I guess I was at least right about something. The step up in aggression and new exploration into all territories of the tank must have been due to her looking for a spot to lay her first batch of eggs. In her new tank she found a spot to lay and is busy protecting them from the pleco. Too bad there is no male to fertilize for her. Anyway here is a few pics of her in her motherly glory. Oh yeah, I posted a video too (don't mind the 8 month old being entertained in the background). Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

[/URL]
IMGP2325 by johnson.cd80, on Flickr [/IMG]

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IMGP2322 by johnson.cd80, on Flickr [/IMG]

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Elijah she really does have nice color for a female.

What do you think are the chances, if I go and pick up a single male, of them forming a pair? I know Convicts have the reputation of not being too picky on mates. I have admit I am a little tempted with her showing her motherly instincts now. Do you think she would accept a new single male in the tank that she's now establishes as her own.

But I am not sure I want to deal with the inevitable breeding aggression and don't know what I would do with the resulting babies... Maybe I should just be happy with my mini "wet pet".
 
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