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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new to this forum but not the hobby. I've had Africans for about 3-4 years now, but my stocking has never been quite right. I'm finally graduating highschool and will be going away for college in the Fall and I want to get my tank in ordere so my mom can take care of it with ease.

It is a 55g with:
3x Nimbochromis Venustus [2.5-2.75 in.]
1x Yellow Lab [3-3.5 in.] (the sole survivor of a breeding pair I had years ago)
3x Melanochromis Exasperatus[1.75-2.75 in.](2 confirmed males)
4x Kenyi [1.5-2.75 in.] (2 conformed males)
1x Acei [4 in.]

Cascade 1000 canister filter

The most dominant fish is one of the exasperatus males and he had been picking at other fish so much that I had to set him up in his own 36g. There is about 90 pounds of reef base rock in the tank, so plenty of space for territories. My biggest problem is just aggression. Lately the dominant of the venustus has been picking at one of the others and has forced it to retreat to behing the spray bar.

Anuy help or suggestiong are VERY welcomed :D
 

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Congrats on graduation high school and going to college!!!

I will comment that the Nimbochromis venustus will continue to be a problem in a 55G tank as they will get more aggressive as they reach adult hood so I would remove them from the tank and rehome them before you leave.

I can't comment on the Kenyi as I'm not familiar with keeping them.

However I do see a yellow cichlid with vertical bars in the right side of your 2nd pic which appears to be a Pseudotropheus crabro or Bumblebee cichlid and this would be another cichlid that I would rehome as they are known to be highly aggressive when mature.

Despite your pics being upside down on the forum, they do appear right side up when I click on them.

Does your mom now help with maintaining the tank and feel comfortable with doing water changes and filter maintenance? I think that will be the biggest question you need to determine going forward.
 

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Balance is always tricky. You want it crowded somewhat to keep it more social, but you want to avoid having two males of a kind with some species.

Your Kenyi are just maturing and have a reputation for getting very annoyingly aggressive, they will be much more likely to be more trouble as they get bigger, and are often not even that attractive. Maybe choose one male, take out the other male and get some more juveniles and hope that they are female.

Having two male Exasperatus might be trouble also, the lone female might be harassed too. Not ideal. Can you get more?

Venustus get rather hefty and there really isn't any way of stopping the aggression between themselves, you certainly do not want more in that tank. Ideally they do not fit into this setup well, maybe choose one out of the three.

Really no easy fix here, cichlids are cichlids and they are going to get more violent when sexually mature. You could get more juvenile Yellow Labs to crowd the tank more after you remove some of the other fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for such a late reply! & thank you for the congrats!

Sometime this week i'll start removing fish an taking them to the lfs. I haven't talked to my mom about the how-to's yet because I wanted to get everthing balanced before she took over. Should I get rid of the Kenyii too?
List so far:
2 less dominant Venustus
2 less dominant exasperatus (and reintroduce the other male, alone

I belive I have all male Exasperatus becuase the "female" has started developing territories and has a developing egg spot.

Any ideas on what to replace them with other than Labs?
 

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Are you going all male (with one of each and no look-alikes)? Since you have one exasperates and one acei?

Or are you going mixed gender? If mixed gender I would stock 3 species, each with 1m:4f and the yellow labs would work well for this. (Acei grow too big for a 55G.)
 

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In a 55G tank think in terms of 3 species with 1m:4f of each. Choose fish that mature <= six inches, including tail and peaceful.

Most of your fish don't fit this criteria, except for the yellow labs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Today I returned a keny, exasperatus and venustus. I picked up 3 more acei, 2 small yellow labs, and 1 blood dragon peacock. The Acei were pretty beat up, so I put them and the peackock in the 36g to heal up and get stronger. Later this week or next week I'll try to get more or I might even get rid of them all together, since theyre the ones causing me the most hadaches. I'll also try to get some plants like swords, vals or hairgrass.
 
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