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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says, I have five cichlids and I have not identified any of them. I bought two of them from a fish store and the tank was labeled assorted cichlids. I bought the other three at petco out of a tank that had similar type of cichlids.

Take note: The orange fish in the picture is extremely aggressive. I am trying to identify my fish because I need to get more but I do not want to buy anymore that are going to cause problems.

I like the aggressiveness of these fish but I don't like how the (orange) one singles out all of the other fish and chases them around the tank as if he wants to kill them. Now the other fish are afraid to even get near the rocks. The yellow one I have ( I believe it's a yellow lab) is not looking soo good. He has been picked on so badly by the orange guy that he is spending most of his days just hanging out next to the heater looking stressed, ( the temp of my water is 80).

Basically, I am looking to identify my fish and I would also like some suggestions on what fish I should stick with. Thanks

This fish is brown but kind of has a blueish tint to him.





This is the orange guy (aka the boss of the tank) and a yellow and black striped cichlid.





I think this is a yellow lab and im pretty sure he is about to die from stress



This is my blue cichlid, I think he might be called an electric blue but I am not sure completely.



Sorry if some of the pictures are hard to see, I'm using a camera phone
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yup, thats him.

Does anyone know what the other cichlids are? And what should I do if the orange one is not compatible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, is yours aggressive? Mine wants to kill every other fish in my tank. I just want to find out what type of fish I should buy when I get more for my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How can you tell? Mine has one orange egg looking spot on it's bottom fin. If that helps, you can see it in one of the pictures if you look closely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, I read that one way to identify a male between a female is their fins. This orange fish's fins are always sticking straight out and just always looks aggressive. If I had to guess I would say it is a male
 

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The only way to tell for sure is physical exam, which isn't always easy or possible. The egg spot seems to be the most common way but that's not accurate. I think it depends on the species. I had a fish that I thought for sure was male because it was aggressive and the largest fish in the tank-that was until she started holding eggs.
 

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Eggs spots are not reliable indicators of gender.

In order your fish are.

1. Some type of Peacock, Aulonocara species. It is too early to tell which species, or if it is pure.
2. Metriaclima estherae and Ps. crabro
3. Labidochromis caeruleus
4. Metriaclima lombardoi

Individual behaviour will vary, but typically if they were all males, the lombardoi would be the most aggressive, followed by the crabro, then the estherae.

Unfortunately, these are often the most common fish available, and I say unfortunately because they can be quite aggressive species. The estherae isn't too aggressive for the other fish, except maybe for the Peacock, the numbers just aren't good.

Even in a four foot tank, I wouldn't recommend more than three species, if your plan is to have breeding groups.

If you wish to have multiple fish, with different colours, no breeding it would be different. Some trial and error would be involved here, but definately play which fish you want, to ensure they won't get picked on by your existing fish.

It's up to you what you want from this tank now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wanted to get some more fish today, would it be okay to add about four more fish? And I guess that its ok to just get any fish from an assorted cichlid tank as long as they are all close to the same size?
 

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No. No no no. No.

If you're planning on keeping your 4' tank and never upgrading, return the lombardoi (blue one) and crabro (yellow with brown/black stripes). Then find a reputable store that sells fish that aren't "assorted" or "mixed." Then get 4-5 more each yellow labs and red zebras. They'll hybridize, but at least they won't kill each other. And if you let the females spit in the tank, you won't get many fry surviving.
 

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tjc348 said:
I wanted to get some more fish today, would it be okay to add about four more fish? And I guess that its ok to just get any fish from an assorted cichlid tank as long as they are all close to the same size?
Impatience is going to end up being just a bigger disaster down the road.

What did you want from this tank, as per the questions I asked above?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't expect anything specific. Just a nice community of cichlids that get along. No species in particular
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, so some of you might disagree with the fact that I bought two more fish for more tank. Considering you guys helped identify that my bully was a red zebra, I went to my aquatics store and talked to one of the employees. I ended up buy two more zebras, one is a red zebra and the other one is a different color but it is still a zebra species. When I brought them home the zebra that I already had in my tank had a little confrontation with the new red zebra but the new zebra put him in his place. They soon stopped butting heads and now all of the fish seem to be getting along great.

I was kind of going by what fogelhound said, he told me to be careful not to buy fish that are going to get picked on by my existing fish.

I figured that it would be ideal to buy two more zebras so I have a few more of the same speciies and the one zebra would stop picking on my other cichlids.

As of now, they are all doing great and have not been picking at each other.

Thanks for eveyrones advice. I do plan to upgrade my tank to a much larger one once I get the money.
 

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dielikemoviestars said:
No. No no no. No.

If you're planning on keeping your 4' tank and never upgrading, return the lombardoi (blue one) and crabro (yellow with brown/black stripes). Then find a reputable store that sells fish that aren't "assorted" or "mixed." Then get 4-5 more each yellow labs and red zebras. They'll hybridize, but at least they won't kill each other. And if you let the females spit in the tank, you won't get many fry surviving.
I agree for the most part. However it depends what hes going for. What you recommend is a species breeding tank, if he goes with say what i have, a mostly all male show tank than its different. I dont think the lombardoi or kenyi needs to be returned. He seems to have gotten them very small, i would imagine the bumble bee will be the biggest issue. I never kept them but i hear they are very aggressive and get pretty big. I have a female kenyi in with my male tank, (mostly male) had her in there for 2 and a half years with my zebras, peacocks, haps, and cats. If its a male than i would say that may be an issue. As it turns yellow, his zebra will become aggressive with it if its a male as well.

I would say way the options, if you want a species tank like what dielikemoviestars mentioned go for it, if you want a community of different fish, you would likely need to do an all male or have only 3-4 species which arnt too aggressive. I do agree with not selecting from mixed cichlid tanks.

Good luck, keep us posted.
 

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tjc348 said:
Ok, so some of you might disagree with the fact that I bought two more fish for more tank. Considering you guys helped identify that my bully was a red zebra, I went to my aquatics store and talked to one of the employees. I ended up buy two more zebras, one is a red zebra and the other one is a different color but it is still a zebra species. When I brought them home the zebra that I already had in my tank had a little confrontation with the new red zebra but the new zebra put him in his place. They soon stopped butting heads and now all of the fish seem to be getting along great.

I was kind of going by what fogelhound said, he told me to be careful not to buy fish that are going to get picked on by my existing fish.

I figured that it would be ideal to buy two more zebras so I have a few more of the same speciies and the one zebra would stop picking on my other cichlids.

As of now, they are all doing great and have not been picking at each other.

Thanks for eveyrones advice. I do plan to upgrade my tank to a much larger one once I get the money.
Your new zebra may become aggressive with the others, maybe not. I just hope they arnt all males. You wont have a problem for the next couple months for the most part, but if they are all males or you have 2 males and 1 female, you will need to take some out until you have 1 male. If you have mbuna or zebra males, even of different color, they will be aggressive with each other. I do have 3 zebra males in my 90 gallon tank. However i raised them all from like 1 inch, now being over 2 years old. They are of different colors, ones dark orange, another bright yellow, another white. I keep them in there because i have no females for them to fight over. the Yellow and white tend to show off in front of each other, but i like that behaviour personally its interesting. What keeps them from not killing each other is having a large overstocked tank. However i still recommend only having 1 male zebra. If you want other species get ones that look totally different.

Basiclly the rule of thumb is, if you have males that look like each other, they will likely be aggressive and fight.
 
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