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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 400-litre aquarium with mostly Malawi cichlids. Aquarium has been functioning well for three years, and all parameters are good. Low nitrates. I have lost fish one by one over the past several months, but they are always the same species - six red zebras, fully grown siblings about three years old, and four fully grown pink peacocks, all siblings about the same age. I've lost no other peacocks (OBs) or any other mbunas. The tank also contains clown loaches, silver scats, a mono sebae, catfish, all healthy and about the same age - around two or three years. I do have two other red zebras, not siblings of the ones that died, and they are in good condition. My initial thought was that all of these early fatalaties could be genetic, as they should live longer than three years in a system that is well managed, with all fish being fed the same nutritious food. Any thoughts about possible causes will be appreciated.
 

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I doubt it is anything genetic and I am not aware of anything genetic that allows the fish to live three years and no more. What is the complete stock list? What were the genders of the six zebras?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response, DJRansome. I have six 6-inch male OBs, about six mixed Mainganos, 10 mixed electric yellows, three male cobalt blues, one tret (five bar), one bristle nose catfish, two Syn petricola, five 3-inch clown loaches, two 4-inch silver scats, one 4-inch mono sebae. The zebras that died were mostly male, and the peacocks were male.
 

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I would attribute the zebra deaths to having multiple males in the same tank. Ideally one male Metriaclima per tank. I would expect the same problem with the cobalt blues (Metriaclima callainos).

Having multiple male mbuna in the same tank of the same species often does not work and then you rehome the extra males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your advice. I have to say that the red zebras didn't exhibit a lot of aggression towards each other, and the dead fish showed no signs of injury. The same applies to the pink peacocks. The cobalt blues are aggressive, but none have died; similarly with the mainganos.
 

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Just a theory. The dead fish will not show signs of injury...they actually die of illness as opposed to injury when harassed. Harassment is often not witnessed by the fishkeeper. Something to keep an eye on. Make sure every fish eats every day.
 

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The one-by-one pattern is typical of "bloat" so keep a close eye on the eating and feces for a couple of months to be sure you are out of danger.
 
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