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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so,

I'm wondering if anybody has any experience or thoughts on adding a small night lite of some sort to help curb aggression in the dark when the main tank lights are out. I have a 125G 6x2x2 all male hap/peacock tank with a fairly heavy stock list and it seems like most of my nipped fins and damage seems to occur overnight when the lights are out? During the day they all seem to mesh pretty well (no persistant bullying anyways). I'm just wondering if a little light somewhere in the tank might help the fish to see each other better, but still allow for adequate rest? I'm kinda pissed I got up this morning to find my "Taiwan Reef" got nicked or bit on one eye. Its not very bad. I'm hoping it heals? Every time I've had a fish get an eye injury or scratch they just never seem to heal? Anyways, with my setup and stocklist I'm sure I'm gonna have some damage here in there I'm just eager for any tips that may help curb future Night fights...

Here's my (all male) stocklist:

Peacocks:
Aulonocara Sp. German Red 3"+
Aulonocara Jacobfreibergi (Undu Reef) (Lemon Jake) 2"+
Aulonocara Stuartgranti (Ngara) (Orange Flametail) 3"+
Aulonocara Sp. (Lawanda) 4"+
Aulonocara Baenschi (Sunshine Benga) 3"+

Haps:
Otopharynx Lithobates (Zimbawe rock) 2"+
Copadichromis Azureus 3"+
Copadichromis Borleyi (Red Fin) 3"+
Placidochromis Electra (Deep Water) 4"+
Copadichromis Trewavasae Mloto Likoma (Fireline Mloto) 2"+
Protomelas Sp. (Spilonotus Tanzania) (3"+
Protomelas sp. (Taiwan Reef) 4"
Protomelas Taeniolatus (Super Red Empress) 3"+
Dimidiochromis compressiceps (Albino) 3"+
Nimbochromis Sp. Venustus 4"+
Chilotilapia Rhoadesii 3"
Cyrtocara Moorii (Blue Dolphin) 4"+

Mbuna:
Pseudotropheus Sp. (Acei) 4"+

I realize I'll have to lean out this tank depending on aggression levels. I also realize some of the larger haps might have to go.. I luv them all so much! I'm like to say this is my growout tank and I'll be upgrading to a 180 or 220 but doubt that will happen lol.

Any ideas or input will be very welcome.
Thanks!
:thumb:
 

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If you add a night-light you're more likely to see increased aggression, not decreased. If you ever got up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and turned the room lights on where a tank was, you'll notice that all of the fish are pretty much hovering in one place with very low rates of respiration. This is the equivalent of sleep for fish. A tried and true tactic for decreasing aggression is actually to decrease the number of hours of light that a tank gets.

Do you have rocks with sharp edges in the tank?
Who is the tank boss?
Is there any single or few fish which have battle wounds most often?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been keeping various cichlids and single species piranha's for many years now so I realize that they rest/sleep somewhat dormant on the bottom of the tank at night. This is my first all male hap/peacock tank though. I really don't have any (sharp) rockwork. I think as they rest they perhaps kinda bump in nip so to say. Being completly dark I feel they could be more prone to getting nipped in the eye. I've had blue led (moon lights) on the tank for some time now, but I feel its too much light for overnight. I think I'm going to put a like a (4 led white) pod behind my center rockpile just to try and give the tank a tiny bit of ambient light. Can't hurt to try uh?

Oh, and just for the record the tank is 72 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 23 3/8. Its a 125g. At 18 fish and none over 4 1/2 inch mark I don't feel the tank is (way) overstocked at all? Not compared to a lot of all male setups I've seen anyways.

I'm going to update this thread with some pics tonight.... :fish:
 

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As Kanorin has already stated, when the lights are out is usually sleep time for fish...I definitely wouldn't add anymore light.

Your tanks way overstocked and the night battles are impossible
18 fish in a 125 is too many?

When stocking my latest 55g, I was told by many people on here that 6 red zebras, 6 rustys and 6 lab. mbamas would be perfectly acceptable in there(1m:5f ratio for each).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
benny71 said:
As Kanorin has already stated, when the lights are out is usually sleep time for fish...I definitely wouldn't add anymore light.

Your tanks way overstocked and the night battles are impossible
18 fish in a 125 is too many?

When stocking my latest 55g, I was told by many people on here that 6 red zebras, 6 rustys and 6 lab. mbamas would be perfectly acceptable in there(1m:5f ratio for each).
Yeah, I think the poster above was looking at the size of my fish thinking it was quanity? I do know I most likley have to lean things out eventually with some of the larger haps. Meanwhile I'm lovin it! I moved my Mbuna (75G) tank to my girlfriends. Mbuna don't get anywhere near as large so inturn take up less room (and for sure are less aggressive) when overstocked. I have about the same ratio as you. Red Top Zebras, Yellow Labs, Hongi Is, Crabo, and a few dems. The tank is doing great. She dosen't really have to feed much because there is always so much fry running around lol.

People seem to think I'm wanting to add a lot of light. I'm not. Just picture laying in your bedroom in the dark with just enough light beaming under the door to see..... :zz:

I'm gonna post some pics tonight so be sure and check back.... :thumb:
 

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I think as they rest they perhaps kinda bump in nip so to say. Being completly dark I feel they could be more prone to getting nipped in the eye.
I would bet that the nips and bumps are happening during the day. I don't keep any haps, so my experience is limited to mbuna, but all aggression and nipping in my tanks occurs during light hours.
 

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No night light here, no bumps or nips day or night. I'd look to the stock list.
 

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In my experience with all male - nipped & torn fins, body nicks, etc. are par for the course as they work out the pecking order and then on occasion as adults as someone feels particularly spunky.

Given the sizes you list this is what I believe is happening - they are behaving like a bunch of teenage boys trying to test their manhood.

If no one is hiding behind a heater or up in a corner they are simply maturing and working things out.

You need to keep an eye on anyone hiding too much or no longer eating.

Also, you might be shocked at the behavior that goes on when there is no one in the room vs. when the food guy is around. I work from home and my office is one room over from the all male tank, during the day on occasion I will hear splashes and come into the room with fish racing around a bit, but while watching TV, or the fish, everyone just swims around all peaceable :fish: :fish: :fish:.

Personally, I'd leave the the lights out.

Good Luck,
 

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If no one is hiding behind a heater or up in a corner they are simply maturing and working things out.
May I ask how much hiding is too much?

In one of my tanks(the only one with hiding fish), I have 6 red zebras and everyone but the dominate male hides on a daily basis...They don't hide all day, but they are hiding behind a heater or a filter at some point almost every day...But come feeding time, they are all at the top of the tank as soon as the lid opens.
 

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benny71 said:
If no one is hiding behind a heater or up in a corner they are simply maturing and working things out.
May I ask how much hiding is too much?

In one of my tanks(the only one with hiding fish), I have 6 red zebras and everyone but the dominate male hides on a daily basis...They don't hide all day, but they are hiding behind a heater or a filter at some point almost every day...But come feeding time, they are all at the top of the tank as soon as the lid opens.
Too much is being basically pinned up in a corner/behind heater and not routinely swimming around the tank. Avoid aggression for a minute or two is not the same thing. Do you need a larger tank and/or a divided set of rock piles so the dominant male can claim one for himself?
 

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GoofBoy said:
Too much is being basically pinned up in a corner/behind heater and not routinely swimming around the tank. Avoid aggression for a minute or two is not the same thing.
While I agree with this, the fact that you are noticing and that particular hiding place is selected is an early warning sign. They may stay only a minute or two, but are they also going back dozens of times a day? Once they basically live in those places they are probably already stressed and weakened.

So I would take this opportunity to act. Add females, rearrange rocks, check stock versus tank size or do something to relieve the pressure on the non-dominant fish.
 

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Always found reducing the lighting reduces agression myself.
Except when it is so bright they are afraid to come out but then that never lasts. :wink:
Yep think the tank needs a change to help those being bullied into the corners to mix with the others freely.
Easiest way is move the rocks about. etc
If this continues not to work then removing the bullies (for a day or so) is the next step.
Final effort is removing bullies perminantly and replacing with less spiky species.

Though to be honest the species list looks pretty good to me.
Dimidiochromis and jacobfreibergi and Taiwan Reef can be pretty spiky but not exceptionalably bad usually, the others seem well chosen and sure you could be OK with that mix as I have kept worse. :oops:

Dunno are you getting a prob with fish growing at different rates due to hyperdominance?
You need to watch for this in any all male set up. Some individuals just fail to mellow out and continue to act like they do in mixed sex set ups. Just replace those individuals.

All the best James
 

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Hi. this is my first post though i always visit this site and found it very helpful.

been keeping the same setup for almost a year now and likewise its very hard to eliminate aggression in a community tank.

For me i guess you still have quite a few stocks in there. considering its a 6x2x2 tank. might as well add some more peacocks to spread the aggression so that not a single fish be singled out.

im looking forward to upgrade my tank since right now they are only housed in a 75gal with dimension of 48"x18"18". currently i have 18 haps/peacocks right now and still looking to add some more maybe till they reach 20-23 fishes.

for me to curved down the aggression the only way is to have a controlled overcrowding.

also check if you have females in your comm. (not unless all of your peacocks have shown their colors already and you can clearly say they are all males) since its an all male setup having a single female can be problematic.

try to stay away from other mbunas since they are more aggressive. had learned this the hard way. my red top lwanda died because of my C.afra hai reef.

also like what they said. keep the lights off as much as possible at night. if you want turn it on during the day time for better viewing.

also another cause of aggression is territory. if you have just a few rocks or caves in your tank try to put some more or if not try to lessen it. so that they will just fight for a fewer caves or rocks or if you have lots of fish in your tank it will be hard for a single fish to claim one spot of your tank since theres alot of them competing. this lessens the aggression over a single territory.

hope i was able to help out.
 

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Oh and you could add some large Malawi or Tang Syno catfish. The dom guys fight these for the caves causing less damage Synos being practically indistructable but relatively harmless to cichlids) than picking on the less dominant fish.
These will do far more to deprive the dom cichlids of sleep than a night light. :wink:
To be honest my guess is most damage is being done early in the morning as the lights come on and the fish find em selves in the wrong places and by scratchy rocks (nearly always the cause of eye damage rather than cichlid aggression).
All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
24Tropheus said:
Always found reducing the lighting reduces agression myself.
Except when it is so bright they are afraid to come out but then that never lasts. :wink:
Yep think the tank needs a change to help those being bullied into the corners to mix with the others freely.
Easiest way is move the rocks about. etc
If this continues not to work then removing the bullies (for a day or so) is the next step.
Final effort is removing bullies perminantly and replacing with less spiky species.

Though to be honest the species list looks pretty good to me.
Dimidiochromis and jacobfreibergi and Taiwan Reef can be pretty spiky but not exceptionalably bad usually, the others seem well chosen and sure you could be OK with that mix as I have kept worse. :oops:

Dunno are you getting a prob with fish growing at different rates due to hyperdominance?
You need to watch for this in any all male set up. Some individuals just fail to mellow out and continue to act like they do in mixed sex set ups. Just replace those individuals.

All the best James
Thanks for your input James!

I have noticed growth rates being different as you say. No real hyperdominance though. The Sp. Tanzania is growing like crazy and will pack as much food in his mouth as possible. He's not aggressive at all though.. I try and drop small amounts of food in various spots at once trying to get some of the slower fish some food lol. I use NLS small pellets once or twice a week and the rest of the time I use HBH 22% protein large sprillia flake food. I also space out feeded days here and there. Its just way to easy to overfeed these guys and bloat is just awaitin! The red emps kinda the tank bully but ever since adding the Moorii Dolphen he's seemed to chill out. The Moorii is cool. He's not a bully but he dosen't bow to anybody. He's like a pitbull in a corner so to say lol. Everybody else is fairly chill so far. Nobody getting beat up and hiding anyways. The Albino Compress is very shy and keeps to himself up in the corners. Nobody even seems to notice him. He eats great too, but has so far grown very slow. Which is fine. I hope my predators take their own sweet time growing so I can enjoy them.. :)

I'm going to to some new pics or uplink a new video tonight so check back if your around... :thumb:
 

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One thing I have done for my Compressiceps is to add a few tall plants in a one corner or the other. I had 4 onion bulbs bunched together and it really helped him with his shyness. He's out swimming all over the place now that he has a spot to retreat to.
 

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GSXRKID74 said:
I'm going to to some new pics or uplink a new video tonight so check back if your around... :thumb:
That would be great. Love to see it. No rush, big time consuming job uploading vids ect but can not be beet for showing a set up. Worth a whole heap of words. :thumb:

Good point above, tend to use artifical plants for this or air curtains. Can also produce nice resting places free of agression for the sub doms. Not very natural looking as not many plants in these guys habitat part of the lake but useful for getting em to live together in our tanks.

All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Finally got around to doing some video this weekend. Sorry, its kinda shaky at times. I'm a rookie with my new hd camera. Anyways, here's my tank with the new black background. I like it. It really brings out the colors better. I also installed the white led strips over the center rock pile like I wanted. With the blue leds it looks amazing at night. The glare in the video is because I had the tops open and the camera angle was just right. It turned out great though. I can turn the blue off and run just the white rock pile light as my so called (nite light). Its a lot less dim than the video makes it look, but I'll take all your words for it that the aggression (fin nipping) (eye biting) is most likley happening when I'm not home and not at night. Also added a few new members since my last video. Taiwan Reef, Moorii Dolphin, Venustus (last one turned out to be female), Rhoadesii. I'm done adding fish. You can see in the video my new Venustus is being a puss. He's colored down quite a bit which sucks.The Lawanda has been giving him a hard time? I think its kinda funny he's getting picked on by a peacock lol. I have a feeling that will change sooner than later?

Anyways,

Hope you enjoy the video. As always, I'm open to comments and suggestions... :fish:

 
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