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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to African Cichlids and need some advice on how to get my females cichlids to feel safe in my 75 gallon; all fish are around 4". I did a fishless cycle and added them all in at once ~1 month ago.

Stocking list: 1M 4F Red Shoulder Peacocks, 1M 1F Red Fin Borleyi (trying to get more females - I was accidentally sent 3M 2F instead of 1M 4F so I had to rehome two subdominant males), 1M 4F Otopharynx lithobates.

Aquarium decor was originally a handful of large rocks that I later reduced to three large rocks and slate to help break line of sight. During this females were generally hiding in corners, so to help that I added more rocks yesterday to help provide more hiding places. However today things seem worse for all the fish except the male peacock and male borleyi that now own have the aquarium each.

Should I remove the additional rocks I added, since it seemed to have created more issues or should I give it some time to allow everyone to adjust? Honestly, I'm at a loss and feel very frustrated. Any other suggestions to lower overall aggression?

I should note that no one is getting bullied so much that their getting fin or body damage. Both the borleyi and peacock males are heavily courting a female each, so maybe I should give it some time to see if aggression settles down?
 

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The borleyi will be too large for a 48" tank so I would consider rehoming them.

The Otopharynx are timid haps so for your third species, I would choose another timid hap. Placidochromis electra or Protomelas marginatus would work, among others.

You want to have about 20 individuals in the tank so adding fish will help manage aggression. This would be prudent whether you have aggression or not. You could add females of existing species or a 4th species.

No damage is a good sign but 2 fish claiming half the tank is a sign that you need to do something. How long has this been happening?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick response :)
I had a fourth species, Eastern Haps, but the male was much too aggressive for the other fish so I already re-homed them last weekend (I knew he might not match the aggressiveness of the others, so it wasn't a surprise that I had to rehome them). The two males "owning" the aquarium has been happening a bit on and off since I got rid of the Eastern Haps, but it's definitely more pronounced since I added more rocks yesterday.

Now that I look at data on the Borleyi, you're right that it will get too big. I thought they got to 6" but that definitely isn't the case - I don't remember why I thought this :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For other species, would you be able to advise on if any of these would be suitable temperaments/sizes? I do have the ability to get Placidochromis electra.
Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan
Placidochromis phenochilius (mdoka white lips) - too big I think
Sciaenochromis fryeri
Protomelas taeniolatus (red empress) - too big?

Would the Borleyi be ok in the tank for the next few months while I wait for suitable replacements to be available? Local stock has been impacted by COVID so I've been relying on online, typically from Florida.
 

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All too big except for fryeri which is not timid enough for the Otopharynx.

The borleyi is causing trouble, else the answer would be yes. You could try isolating the male until you can rehome.
 

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I have found borleyi to be fairly boisterous and can easily take half to 3/4 of a tank for their territory. If you stick to more timid species, like DJ said.

I would stick with fish that stay 6" or less in a 4' tank. Have you looked at Copadichromis azureus? This could be a substitute for the fryeri you were thinking of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses!
I added some extra rocks on Saturday to hopefully create more territory but the Red Shoulder Peacock took it as an invitation to take more territory (3/4 of the tank). I have removed the male Red Shoulder from the tank and everything has settled down a lot. All fish, including the Otopharynx are swimming around the entire tank now and there's very little chasing.
I think I chose the Borleyi because the online fish store listed then as 6" max; I find it hard to understand max sizes for fish as most websites all list different lengths. What websites are the most accurate?
 

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daverham said:
What websites are the most accurate?
CF and fishbase.org. Or books by Ad Konings.
 

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Agree. I had one in a 75G and they are way better in a 72" tank.
 
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