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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I've had a tropical community tank for 5 years but just started up a 36 gal mbuna tank, and I'm absolutely loving these little guys.

My tank has 2 bumblebees, 2 red zebra, 2 yellow lab, 1 chinese algea eater (the starter fish), and 2 of what I'm pretty sure are Labidochromis flavigulis.

Everybody seems to be getting along well so far although all the fish are still young, but one of the Flavi's seems to scare the other. They both seem health and are fairly active during feeding, but one tends to stay near the top of the water most of the time and any time he ventures down the other Flavi chases him around until he hides back up near the surface.

My question to the more experienced cichlid-philes here is whether I should just leave the pestered fish with the rest of the fish, or I also have recieved a Fluval Chi 5.5gallon tank as a gift and I'd love to be able to have 1 or 2 small cichlids in there (currently attempting a fishless cycle).

So, what do you guys think I should do? I fear the weaker flavi will eventually die if left in the larger tank.
 

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Best to isolate the fish until he recovers. Even if he doesn't die, he could become ill from a stress related illness and infect the tank.

It may be impossible to return him to the tank so I'd look into rehoming options.

What are the dimensions of the 36G?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the other tank is still cycling so I'll have to leave him be for a while longer. He (I'm assuming its a he, I have no proof) looks healthy, just a bit smaller than the other guy and tends to spend most of his time near the surface.

The tank is an aqueon 36 gal bowfront, 30x15x21.
 

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Well in a 36" tank you may have trouble with the red zebras who will do better in a 48" tank like a 55G. And the bumblebees who will do better in a 48" x 18" tank like a 75G.

Also note that Malawi are not fish that do well in pairs, for the health and safety of the female they are kept in harems with one male and four or more females. The male will harass a lone female of his species until she becomes sick and/or dies.

Bumblebees are so aggressive that one male and seven females has a better chance of success.

If they are juveniles they may be fine for the first 6-8 months until they mature and start spawning.
 

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DJRansome said:
Well in a 36" tank you may have trouble with the red zebras who will do better in a 48" tank like a 55G. And the bumblebees who will do better in a 48" x 18" tank like a 75G.
Increase the severity of the potential issues and shorten the timeline since it's a 30" tank. :(

That's a very small footprint for some very aggressive fish in non-ideal ratios.

Your best bet for long-term success in this tank would be something from here.

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
Well in a 36" tank you may have trouble with the red zebras who will do better in a 48" tank like a 55G. And the bumblebees who will do better in a 48" x 18" tank like a 75G.

Also note that Malawi are not fish that do well in pairs, for the health and safety of the female they are kept in harems with one male and four or more females. The male will harass a lone female of his species until she becomes sick and/or dies.

Bumblebees are so aggressive that one male and seven females has a better chance of success.

If they are juveniles they may be fine for the first 6-8 months until they mature and start spawning.
Thanks for the response. I think like a lot of newbies I did a lot of reading up before, but then you go to your local petsmart and they don't have the species names nor sales reps that have your best interests in mind, and with the limited selection you end up not choosing the ideal community combination.

I'm aware that the bumblebees will outgrow the tank, although I've read mixed reviews on their aggressiveness. I think I lucked out and got 2 females as they are both fairly calm and not harrassing each other or the other fish (although one seems to like playing with the CAE). I know once these get bigger I'll probably have to sell or trade in to a LFS.

At first I got the 2 red zebras and 2 bumblebees, then a week later I knew I should have more female red zebras but I thought that yellow labs were close enough in species that any female yellow labs would keep the dominant male red zebra busy...was I wrong in that assumption?
 

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zebras will try to breed with anything that looks like them. the issue is that they can cross with yellow labs, and the babies are ugly brown and twice as mean..
 

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And I hate killing the babies. :(
 

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I did just about the same thing in my first african tank. I only had one bumble bee but he lived for over three years in a 29 gallon with a labmix ob zebra and two other fish I could never figure out what they were. I must have been really lucky cuz he was never agressive. But my experence with them says u may get lucky for a little while with them for awhile just my 2 cents tho. Enjoy for awhile if u can untill they get mean or big
 
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