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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had these Mbuna for 3-4 months and never had a problem. Recently whenever I walk into the room they all go ABSOLUTELY INSANE!! They smash into the glass and rocks and I know they have to be hurting themselves. It is bad enough where im almost afraid to walk into the room to hurt them. The only thing that has changed was I turned the air stone off and has been off for about a week. They havent been hanging by the surface or labored breathing so I doubt they are related but that is the only thing changed recently. Any ideas what would cause the sudden fush scared syndrome?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the tank is 48"x18" 85g. probably 20 fish most fish are 3-4 inches. johanni, zebras, venustus, bumble bee, kenyi. Like i said i have had the fish for 4 months and never had any issues until now.
 

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You have some pretty aggressive fish in there. Without knowing the individual personalities of the fish, a scenario like this could be happening: You have a male that is getting to the size where it is starting to show it's aggressiveness and dominance. You walk into the room and he starts swimming more actively. This scares the other fish into a frenzy. You may want to just sit on the other side of the room for a while and watch for dominance issues.

Like I said, that is a possible scenario. I'm sure there are many others.
 

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How many of each species? They are probably starting to mature and be aggressive. I agree I'd consider changing the mix. I think they might be making each other skittish and you just notice when you approach.
 

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Mine come to the glass when they see me coming - not smash into it, but they are just waiting to be fed.
 

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I have the same problem.

But it happens from time to time whenever someone new comes in the room or my wife is cleaning close by. Even the most dominate fish shoots away. But they are fine afterwards. I just figured they get spooked every now and again. Like us humans do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know the fish are agressive. Once they dart away and hide, if i stand there for 30 seconds then they all come out and want to be fed it it just the initial entering of the room that freaks the out and never has before.
 

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Mine get very skittish when a male wants to breed and is "hunting" females... Other than that, a little bit of darting is pretty normal. I've heard that if the tank is closer to eye level, they scare less easily.
 

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An interesting thing that somebody previously told me was that his fish recognize him by the color of his shirt. My guess is that he wears some sort of uniform to work. If he wears a different shirt the fish hide and don't come out to beg for food in the way they usually do.

So...have you looked at yourself in the mirror today?

:lol: Just kidding.
 

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So based on the fact that they are an aggressive mix, we are putting forth the theory that they are making each OTHER skittish, and it shows when they jump at shadows (you) that aren't going to hurt them.

I'd lose the venustus and the crabros. You have not told us how many fish you have in each group, but I'd make sure there are 4 females for the zebras and 6 or more females each for the kenyi and johanni. Get rid of males until you have one male in each group.

The larger than usual # of females works better with aggressive fish. If they have plenty of females to keep them busy, the tank should calm down.
 
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