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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. About a week ago, I noticed that one of my malawi cichlids was swimming unusually in the corner of my 75gal tank and seemed as if he was stuck in the corner. He was swimming almost vertically with his head towards the surface of the water and wasn't moving his fins much at all but didn't seem to be attempting to get air or anything of the sort and this was the first time that I had noticed this fish or any of the fish in my tank acting this way. My tank is fully cycled and has been running for a while now doing around 30% water changes about every 2 weeks. I feed the fish Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets two times a day. I became very worried about the fish and expected him to die and wasn't sure whether this issue was contagious or not within the tank so I removed the fish and put him in a 26 gallon bin full of water which was the same as the tank water and he seemed to swim fine in that water with no other fish around. Unfortunately after I had performed a water change on the bigger tank and put this fish back into the 75 gallon tank, he was acting just as before I took him out of the tank again. Then when I came home today I just noticed that another one of my malawi cichlids was doing the same thing. Does anyone have any idea what the issue could be. Aggression within the tank maybe? There are plenty of hiding places for all the fish in the tank but would like to keep them from dying. Thanks!!
 

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What is your nitrate level. 30% water change every two weeks may not be frequent enough. I don't know what you bio load is , but I'm doing 75% twice a week to stay below 10ppm.

Don't really know if that's your issue, but it's a good place to start.
 

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I think it may be aggression, can you post the number of cichlids and the species you have please.
 

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Definitely aggression. The dominant fish chase the subdominant fish OUT of the good hiding places no matter how many there are. What are the dimensions of the tank and what is your stock list with species and genders?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a total of 14 fish in there as of right now. They are all mbunas except for one I believe. I have a Pseudotropheus Aurora about 4.5 inches, a Cobalt Blue Zebra about 3 inches, a Red Zebra about 3 inches, another Red Zebra about 3 inches, an OB Rust about 2.5", Melanochromis Auratus about 3", another Melanochromis Auratus about 2", Maingano about 2", Powder Blue Pseudotropheus Scolofi about 2" x2, a Pseudotropheus Sauloci about 2", Strawberry Sunburst Peacock 2", and 2 Yellow Labs. Let me know if this helps. If there is an aggression problem is there anyway to help solve this effectively?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tank is a 75 gallon tank about 47"x18"x18" which is about the standard size of a 75 gallon tank I believe
 

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Are they all males? Any female in that tank will increase aggression. Who is the victim and who is the one who does the chasing? All male mbuna is the most difficult tank to manage and I would not put more than 12 adults in a 75G. I would remove the duplicates, the peacock, the aurora and the auratus and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a mix of males and females in the tank. The OB Rusty and the Pseudotropheus Sauloci are the two that are experiencing these issues. I know that the Auratus is a male, I believe that the Aurora is a female, the Cobalt Blue Zebra is a male, I'm not sure about the two red zebras though. Many of the other fish are still to small to tell what they are. I haven't noticed any chasing lately but I am also not home often and not constantly watching what is going on in the tank. I will try to keep a closer eye on what is going on in the future though and will remove the suggested fish and see how it goes then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I do remove these fish from the tank, will the process of them reestablishing dominance happen on its own or should I change anything in the tank to make this happen or make them reestablish dominance and their territories?
 

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First remove all the females. I would not rearrange the aquascape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I removed 3 fish that seemed to be females based off the shape of their tails and these included the Cobalt Zebra, a Red Zebra, and a peacock. How long should I expect this process to take and is it going to be possible for me to reintroduce these fish again afterwards if the problem is fixed with this solution?
 

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The short answer is no, never.

The reason why is that when you stock an all-male tank, having females creates aggression. So if you want lots of variety you go with all males, and no two fish that look alike.

If you can live with less variety, you could stock mixed gender, but then Malawi are harem breeders and you would want 4 females (or more if the fish is aggressive like auratus) for every male. Then you would have maybe 4 species with 1m:4f of each. And you would choose 4 species that are as different as possible. So one Metriaclima for example...not both cobalt zebras as well as red zebras.
 
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