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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've lost 4 female yellow labs in the past week.

75 gal tank (48")

0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 2.5 nitrates

Fish from the LFS have been in the tank for 4 weeks. Fish from online store for 3 weeks.

Stock list (pre deaths):

From LFS:

6x Labidochromis Caeruleus Lions Cove - Electric Yellow Lab 5f:1m

Pseudotropheus acei - Yellow tail acei

OB Peacock

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Albino Dragon Blood? Solid Orange Color

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Was sold as a Strawberry Peacock. Solid Pink Color

From online store:

Aulonocara stuartgranti - Ngara Flametail

Otopharynx Lithobates - zimbabwe rock

Aulonocara sp. Turkis

Protomelas taeniolatu - Red Empress

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Blue Dragon Blood

All of these are around 3" long. The labs might be closer to 2.5" though.

4 female yellow labs died in the last week. 1 of them had babies though. There are fry living under a rock that the larger fish can't fit under for now. The OB is the tank boss. He'll chase everyone but usually not for long. He'll give up and start chasing someone else. I didn't notice any nipped fins on the ones that died or on any other fish for that matter. Can these deaths just be attributed to stress? I noticed the labs hiding a lot and not coming out to eat much either. Is it possible they starved? Bad batch from the LFS? I haven't noticed anything abnormal with their poop or anything that would suggest parasites. And if it was that or an illness I would think some of the other types of fish would have gotten it and not just the super timid hiding yellow labs. Should I return the OB to my LFS or just continue to monitor the situation? Is it odd that the ones that died all seemed to be hiding a bit excessively before they passed? Sorry for the million questions and for posting so often. I'm just trying not to half ass this whole cichlid thing that I'm new to. Thanks for any help
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One more thing. I was feeding Cobalt Cichlid Flakes but switched to just NLS pellets. All deaths are since the switch to NLS. Coincidence?
 

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artlee6 said:
I've lost 4 female yellow labs in the past week.

75 gal tank (48")

0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 2.5 nitrates

Fish from the LFS have been in the tank for 4 weeks. Fish from online store for 3 weeks.

Stock list (pre deaths):

From LFS:

6x Labidochromis Caeruleus Lions Cove - Electric Yellow Lab 5f:1m

Pseudotropheus acei - Yellow tail acei

OB Peacock

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Albino Dragon Blood? Solid Orange Color

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Was sold as a Strawberry Peacock. Solid Pink Color

From online store:

Aulonocara stuartgranti - Ngara Flametail

Otopharynx Lithobates - zimbabwe rock

Aulonocara sp. Turkis

Protomelas taeniolatu - Red Empress

Aulonocara sp. Firefish - Blue Dragon Blood

All of these are around 3" long. The labs might be closer to 2.5" though.

4 female yellow labs died in the last week. 1 of them had babies though. There are fry living under a rock that the larger fish can't fit under for now. The OB is the tank boss. He'll chase everyone but usually not for long. He'll give up and start chasing someone else. I didn't notice any nipped fins on the ones that died or on any other fish for that matter. Can these deaths just be attributed to stress? I noticed the labs hiding a lot and not coming out to eat much either. Is it possible they starved? Bad batch from the LFS? I haven't noticed anything abnormal with their poop or anything that would suggest parasites. And if it was that or an illness I would think some of the other types of fish would have gotten it and not just the super timid hiding yellow labs. Should I return the OB to my LFS or just continue to monitor the situation? Is it odd that the ones that died all seemed to be hiding a bit excessively before they passed? Sorry for the million questions and for posting so often. I'm just trying not to half ass this whole cichlid thing that I'm new to. Thanks for any help
They were hiding because they were being harassed by the OB more than likely. We tried warning you early on about this in another thread. You have an OB and three Dragon Blood varieties that are all hybrids. The OB is probably the biggest aggressor. They will also compete for any female in the tank. Even the yellow labs. They will cross breed with them. If you like the male colors and want to keep them, you need to get rid of all females. I would then watch the OB, it may still cause problems. If you trade it in, don't be surprised is another steps up to take its place. Running all male tanks aren't easy until you find a balance that works. Then, if you add any other fish to it after balanced, it starts over again. Hope this helps you understand a bit. You have some nice fish, but watch for the aggression or fish that are hiding. Especially high in the tank or behind a heater, etc..They are being harassed or picked on and sadly, if not taken care of soon, you will,have more deaths.
 

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Agree this was harassment. You may find the fry have the OB as their father.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I'll take the OB back today. When I asked about stocking ideas I was told on the yellow labs that 1m:5f would be fine in an otherwise all male tank. Should I remove the last remaining female? Or get more to get that ratio back?
 

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I think the labs were fine...but not with the OB in the tank. And not with the acei in the tank. Females for all mbuna, or females for no mbuna. OB is 1/2 mbuna…..maybe this one is taking that more seriously than the others.

Like Kipnlilo said, too many firefish in the tank...they are hybrids and closely related even if they are different colors. I would eliminate them all, but you could try choosing one to keep. You have timid haps and peacocks in the tank.

Also the empress will be too big...also a relatively aggressive hap, considering the timid haps and peacocks in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Makes sense. My wife really liked the hybrids so I lost that argument. I'll probably take the OB back and keep a close eye on the other hybrids and if they take over I'll remove them. They seem pretty timid now but now I know what to look for. And is there a difference between Red Empress and Super Red Empress? The place I bought him from says adult size is 5 to 6". I've searched online and have seen that the "super" ones get bigger but this wasn't listed as that. Thanks for your help. Guess it's more trial and error until I find a good mix.
 

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Profile says 9" for empress...both are listed. Super red is same fish but line-bred for color.

Keep an eye on the victims, not the hybrids. If possible act before there are actual deaths. There is some trial and error but there also predictable outcomes. Keep a hospital tank cycled and you can put aggressors or victims there as soon as you notice and keep them alive until you can rehome them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good to know about the Empress. There's a lot of different sizes shown for them depending which site you look at but I'll trust this one.

I surrendered the OB back to the LFS later that day and the rest of the fish seem to be out and exploring more areas of the tank now. No one is hiding as of now. I haven't noticed any chasing at all yet with the other hybrids or the Empress for that matter but I'll continue to look out for that. I noticed the Ngara Flametail lost a lot of color since I removed the OB though. Maybe having a couple of nets in the tank while trying to catch the OB (took about 20 minutes to finally catch him) stressed him out. Thanks for your guy's help though.
 
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