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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've been lurking this place for years, can't remember the last time I posted lol. I've been fish keeping for the past 15-20yrs, mostly raising juvenile discus to adults for planted show tanks. I've had a few malawi tanks in the past with success but it's been years. Anyways, wanted to post this here before contacting the online fish shop

Tank specs:
Fluval FX6
Eheim Pro 4+
AC 110
300W heater
Kessil A160s

Fish:
19 Male Haps/Peacocks (I'll list in another post when the tank is finalized)

My LFSs aren't that great at all, so the goal was to buy as much stock as possible based on two online store's stockings. It's impossible to get everything and everything you want at once. So the plan was to weed out the duplicates/super aggressive fish to a healthy stocking over time. It's been months and everything has been going better than I could possibly imagine.... UNTIL lol.. my I got my last shipment of about 6 fish, including an OB Peacock and Electric Blue Ahli--all purchased as males. After about 3 days, they're both doing the mating dance where they circle each other and vibrate their bodies. The EBA went from being peaceful to terrorizing the entire tank, except the OB and protecting the same area. Now, the other fish are swimming in place and are basically stuck in one corner. I've moved the rocks around entirely, but still, the same thing.. and he only tolerates the OB coming near him/the area. A little frustrating since the tank was peaceful and a beauty to watch until now.

I'm almost 100% I have a female, but I wanted to check here to make sure I'm not crazy or missing anything? Thank you all in advance!!!
 

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You may have a female, but not sure who it is. The fish do the "mating" dance to each other for purposes of aggression as well. Males and females do this.

Try removing the fryeri and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
You may have a female, but not sure who it is. The fish do the "mating" dance to each other for purposes of aggression as well. Males and females do this.

Try removing the fryeri and see what happens.
You answer everything on this forum so quickly lol. Thank you. That's what I was wondering, I thought maybe males do this as well through aggression. The only thing that seems so weird is that the Ahli seems so protective of the OB. And thanks for the advice, I may just do that.
 

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I had something similar happen in my all male Peacock / Hap / Mbuna tank with my VERY peaceful Makonde alpha male when I added a new male Taiwan Reef. He kept all of the other males in the upper right corner and it looked like he was trying to mate with the Taiwan Reef. It only lasted that night, the next morning it's like nothing ever happened and everything was peaceful again.


 

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DJRansome said:
You may have a female, but not sure who it is. The fish do the "mating" dance to each other for purposes of aggression as well. Males and females do this.

Try removing the fryeri and see what happens.
The first time I say this for myself I was certainly confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sub-Mariner said:
I had something similar happen in my all male Peacock / Hap / Mbuna tank with my VERY peaceful Makonde alpha male when I added a new male Taiwan Reef. He kept all of the other males in the upper right corner and it looked like he was trying to mate with the Taiwan Reef. It only lasted that night, the next morning it's like nothing ever happened and everything was peaceful again.


I've never seen anything like this. For two days the ahli was obsessed with the OB and now he's rushing it away just like everything else in the tank and ignoring completely. I know when mating they'll still occasionally chase females even when mating, but it's really been night and day. I'm going to remove him tomorrow. The fish store, with excellent service, credited me already.. I'll ask them to take it back if this isn't the case.
 

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That's weird that the new ahli is controlling the tank. Normally it's the established fish harassing the new fish or taking control.

Definitely get rid of him if it hasn't stopped by now but then again how do you know that the OB isn't female? You could get rid of the ahli and another fish step up and be just as aggressive if the OB is indeed a female.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's exactly my concern, I'm thinking I'll just give them both to my local fish store. And yea, the ahli is still causing ****. It's not worth the headache trying to sort it out. I'll just replace them. Thanks again!
 

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If you really like the ahli just give the OB up and see what happens, he might calm down once the OB is removed.

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Just curious, how big are the Ahli and OB? Any pics? I'm with sub-mariner, odd that it instantly dominates the other 18 unless it's signiicantly larger or all the others are super docile. Don't get me wrong, I've had males that were just #*$#&'s! They quickly found new homes. I assume you don't have a spare or hospital tank to put one in for a couple days just to see the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kipnlilo said:
Just curious, how big are the Ahli and OB? Any pics? I'm with sub-mariner, odd that it instantly dominates the other 18 unless it's signiicantly larger or all the others are super docile. Don't get me wrong, I've had males that were just #*$#&'s! They quickly found new homes. I assume you don't have a spare or hospital tank to put one in for a couple days just to see the difference.
All of the fish are 3-4 inches. The ahli is 3 and yea he was absolutely terrorizing the tank. I have a Marina holding tank hanging off the side of the tank, I was able to get him out and in that. I can't catch the OB at all. I may tear the tank town this weekend to catch it... but the ahli has only been out of the tank a few hours and it's already a bit more peaceful. I have a mdoka white lips that has also been pretty territorial so I'll have to keep an eye on it as well.

I'm about to add another 5 fish today and that should pretty much be my last stocking and then just weeding out the ones that are too aggressive. Just worried about another fish stepping up to take that place lol. I'll get some pics after the fish are added today.
 

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Slow-n-Steady said:
I'm about to add another 5 fish today and that should pretty much be my last stocking and then just weeding out the ones that are too aggressive. Just worried about another fish stepping up to take that place lol. I'll get some pics after the fish are added today.
That's the thing with an all male tank, they're beautiful but you have to keep an eye on things.

I've had to rehome 3 fish so far (Rubescens, Intermedius and a Firefish). For now everything is calm.

Good luck with your tank.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sub-Mariner said:
Slow-n-Steady said:
I'm about to add another 5 fish today and that should pretty much be my last stocking and then just weeding out the ones that are too aggressive. Just worried about another fish stepping up to take that place lol. I'll get some pics after the fish are added today.
That's the thing with an all male tank, they're beautiful but you have to keep an eye on things.

I've had to rehome 3 fish so far (Rubescens, Intermedius and a Firefish). For now everything is calm.

Good luck with your tank.

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How long have you had your tank up? Also, the good LFS agreed to take the ahli. I think I'll wait out the OB peacock a little bit longer, 1) because it's the fastest fish in the tank it seems. I can't catch it without tearing down the tank lol.. I have very heavy, large creek rocks and 2) just in case I'm wrong.. it's a beautiful fish. Thanks and I'll follow up.
 

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Depending what 5 fish you add today, the Ahli may be ok if you add him back with them at the same time. It's been my experience, once a bully, usually always a bully trying to reintroduce them after a timeout. But, you are adding 5 more fish. Can't hurt to try as long as you keep an eye on it. I've also traded one in for another of the exact same and had it work. Some are just meaner than others. In the end, running an all male tank is a challenge. One will always step up to be the boss. Eventually, you'll find a boss that tolerates the others, but reminds them who's the boss when one gets out of line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, I may end up overcrowding more than I wanted. Or else the one or two dominants won't really let there be full peace. The tank is much more peaceful without the ahli and with the new fish.. much more. The Mdoka White Lips has been and is still really aggressive over a lower portion of the tank, may take him to the LFS as well. Besides that the new fish are getting acclimated. I'll be patient for a bit, but ultimately if the next one always steps up in aggression as I remove fish, I'll just overcrowd quite a bit more.

Thanks all for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update.. I kept the lights out (even tapped a blanket over the front) for two days.. then watched an additional day after while the ahli was still out. Definitely more peaceful except for the one Mdoka.. I decided to be a bit more patient and so yesterday I added the ahli back, did a large water change and flipped every rock in the tank and moved a few.. it was fine at first but now the ahli is back at it lol. And he coupled with the Mdoka have the others back in the top of the tank.

Going to remove both of them and re-home some time next week. I have a Sunshine Peacock that will without a doubt step up next. Will give it some time before deciding to order more fish. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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Sounds like you are figuring it out. Wish you were closer, I'd take the Mdoka White Lips off your hands. Good luck!
 
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