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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope you can help....

In my tank... ( small 90 ltrs, 28gl - 100cm x 30cm x 30cm) i have 5 miangaino, and 4 yellow labs, all the fish are between 2 and 3 inches, the labs being the larger.
The problem i have is that they love to hide... too much!!
I have a large holey rock pile on one side, and a smaller rock pile on the other... swimming space (that is normally empty) in the middle...
Is there anything i can do to encourage them out? can i add another male of another type of mbuna?, can i get rid of some rocks....??.

what do you suggest....
all your help is really appreciated..
thanks

Darren.
 

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How long have you had these fish? Have you tried keeping the lights off for a day or two, and just letting the tank be lit with ambient room light?

From my experience - fish that like to hide are just not used to their new surroundings and/or don't feel they have "safety in numbers" (too few of their own kind).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
*** had the fish 3 months, and the tank hasn't really been changed around at all...... i think there happy enough, one of the maingano just spat her first batch of fry out.... only 3 but a good start....im tempted to really cut down on the rocks......
 

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I think removing some of their "safe spots" may stress them even more. :? I have yet to see an mbuna that liked their hiding spot removed...
 

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Try just sitting in front of the tank being very still for a while, turn out the room lights if needed at first. Kinda like watching TV. After a couple of evenings doing this, soon they should not see you as a threat and become accustomed to you being there. When I first walk up to the tank mine all hide but soon come out and mingle.
I hate to sound like a broken record here but you do know a 29g is too small for 5 maingano, and 4 yellow labs... right?
 

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I'd add more rocks, the more hiding places you give them the more secure they'll feel. That could inspire them to be out more. Then again you might have aggression problems with the maingano in the small tank, and that might throw things off.
 

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I have some pretty mellow maingano in my 55g. and was considering putting them in a 29g. tank. It looks big enough to me for a species only breeding group of them (1m.3-4f.) I decided against it but I still think it looks big enough. I might be wrong :roll: . I think I'd try removing some rock too. If you notice a fish vertical in a corner or at the end of the tank, or up under the filter trying to hide that's not good so put rock back. This is just my opinion I could be wrong about everything since I've only been keeping fish about a year lol.

I think the yellow labs might make to many fish with the maingano in the 29g. though.
 

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i had this problem with my 90 gallon.. there is tons of rock work as well as large skeletons to hide in, so they used all the hiding spots too much for my liking.. THEN I GOT BLACK ACIE.. This is why i call them tank activators now every one stays outta the rocks and hangs with the acie's at the top. They allways seem soo hungry now and are not scared of anything!
OH wait 29 gallon's never mind the acie then lol...
 

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It may be more than one factor causing the fish to hide in a tank that size. Do they appear to be overly stressed? (Clamped fins, hiding by filter intake tubes, heaters, etc.?)

The yellow labs shouldn't be a long term problem in a tank that size, but I've always been worried about those mainganos being in there.

They could be hiding out from stress, but it can also be due to the traffic in the area of the tank.

If I had too many fish hiding out and I knew nothing was really wrong, I'd probably remove some rocks to force them out in the open a bit, however, in a tank that size, I'm not sure that is a good idea.
 

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mine were like that. I dont think taking rocks out is a good idea. Them hiding is natural and they need those hiding spots. I mixed in some non cichlids to zip around and they brought out the africans. A few tiger barbs did the trick for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i do have one of the maingano who has made the filter his own......, he looks happy enough as do the rest. no clamping of the fins, or anything obviously stress related... they all seem to come out an hour before i go to bed....
i think im going to add some more rocks......
 

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i have the opposite problem...i just wished a few of them would go off and hide....everytime i pass the tank i feel like the pied piper...they just follow.....and its not food becuase they do it right after feeding ..i think i am their god....simple as that. :wink:
 

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IMO the tank is too small and is causing aggression=fear=hiding. The maingano who has made the filter his home is "hiding" in spite of how it may appear. More rocks might help short term, but a larger tank is needed ASAP.
 

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DJRansome said:
IMO the tank is too small and is causing aggression=fear=hiding. The maingano who has made the filter his home is "hiding" in spite of how it may appear. More rocks might help short term, but a larger tank is needed ASAP.
You can try adding more rocks, but I have to agree with DJRansome. I don't think it's going to matter with the mainganos...I just think they need more space, and the aggression that is stemming from the cramped quarters is causing them to hide. More rocks may even make things worse, since it will cut into the small amount of space that they have, and allow them to hide more.
 

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zazz said:
i have the opposite problem...i just wished a few of them would go off and hide....everytime i pass the tank i feel like the pied piper...they just follow.....and its not food becuase they do it right after feeding ..i think i am their god....simple as that. :wink:
I am the god of my tank too :lol: :lol:

To the OP: your tank seems to be too small. The non-dominant fish don't have enough room to get away from the dominant fish so everybody is hiding to prevent attacks.

You could try feeding a very, very small pinch of food every time you are near the tank (forgo the normal feedings on days when you can do this a few times). They might begin to associate you with food and come out when you're around. If nothing else, this could allow you the opportunity to see what is actually going on.

Good Luck.
 

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Acei are a great addition to help the cause. They are such social fish and fish learn from others in the tank. For instance, if one gets spooked they all tend to spook. Thats where the Acei really helped my tank out. They are social butterflies. If you can get 3 or 4 for the tank when you upgrade.
 

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Acei do tend to bring other fish out of hiding, but this tank is already overstocked, and they grow quite large. :thumb:
 

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suffolk bloke said:
i have acei and none of the blighters go inside the caves to get busy and have fry,they watch me or the tv :lol:
They are nosey, aren't they?? I've only had mine a couple of weeks and they have no fear! Tuesday when I did a W/C I was scared I was going to suck them up with my siphon because they wouldn't stay away from my hand and the siphon. All of my mbunas are out in the open (have red zebras and msobos as well). I don't know if they are all like that or the acei are brining them out. Most of the time if they see people in the room they are hanging out at the top acting like they are starving to death.

My kids really like these guys- most fish will swim away if someone approaches the tank- these guys will swim right up to you if you stick your nose to the tank!
 
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