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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve now kept my colony of 14 tropheus duboisi maswa for a little over a month with great success. My aquarium is 75 gallons, 4 foot by 18 inches. They’ve colored up considerably from when I first got them and have gotten slightly bigger. So far I have not dealt with any bloat or deaths, but I do have one fish that appears to be missing one of his pelvic fins from what I assume is aggression. He still acts perfectly normal, but I’m monitoring him closely.

I have 2 males that appear to be the dominant ones, as they are the largest and most colourful ones, and also the most aggressive. So far I have no means to sex them and my seller does not sex fish. I don’t know if I should try sexing then and creating an ideal gender ratio or if I should leave it be.

I’ve heard people say 20 is a good number for tropheus. I have 14. Should I buy 6 more or stick with 14? Also, does 1.75” sound too small to try venting these guys? I’ve never vented a fish and don’t want to accidentally hurt them.
 

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'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

It sounds like everything is just fine in your colony, except for the one damaged fish, which is likely a one-off, and not worth worrying about. So my advice would be the following-

(1) You do not need to buy more fishes; 14 T. duboisi is just about perfect for a 75. As they begin to spawn, at least some of their fry will survive in this tank, so you will have little ones of various sizes, and you certainly won't need to add any more fishes. All of my Tropheus colonies have juveniles that have been born in situ, and this includes some Tropheus populations that are much more aggressive than T. duboisi.

(2) There is no reason to vent your T. duboisi; and there is no such thing as an 'ideal gender ratio' for these fishes. There is a great deal of nonsense posted on this forum (particularly in the Malawi section) about these magical sex ratios, and these claims have been repeated so many times that newcomers tend to think the claims are facts. They are not. Tropheus colonies in particular will work out a social hierarchy themselves, largely independent of the sex ratio. Sure, you might have to remove a male every now and then (usually only temporarily) because he is being picked on by a more dominant male, but other than that, the fishes will work it out themselves. Based on behaviour and subtle morphological differences between fully grown males and females, I am quite sure that the sex ratios in all my Tropheus colonies are pretty close to 50: 50, just as they are in the wild.

Good luck! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

It sounds like everything is just fine in your colony, except for the one damaged fish, which is likely a one-off, and not worth worrying about. So my advice would be the following-

(1) You do not need to buy more fishes; 14 T. duboisi is just about perfect for a 75. As they begin to spawn, at least some of their fry will survive in this tank, so you will have little ones of various sizes, and you certainly won't need to add any more fishes. All of my Tropheus colonies have juveniles that have been born in situ, and this includes some Tropheus populations that are much more aggressive than T. duboisi.

(2) There is no reason to vent your T. duboisi; and there is no such thing as an 'ideal gender ratio' for these fishes. There is a great deal of nonsense posted on this forum (particularly in the Malawi section) about these magical sex ratios, and these claims have been repeated so many times that newcomers tend to think the claims are facts. They are not. Tropheus colonies in particular will work out a social hierarch themselves, largely independent of the sex ratio. Sure, you might have to remove a male every now and then (usually only temporarily) because he is being picked on by a more dominant male, but other than that, the fishes will work it out themselves. Based on behaviour and subtle morphological differences between fully grown males and females, I am quite sure that the sex ratios in all my Tropheus colonies are pretty close to 50: 50, just as they are in the wild.

Good luck! (y)
Wow thank you for the amazing advice. I was actually curious about the sex ratio thing because I’ve heard some people scream that it matters and some people say it doesn’t. I definitely trust you over most if not everyone.

in that case then, I will not buy any more fish, and instead just do everything in my power to reduce stress and keep the little damaged guy healthy. So far my experience with my tropheus has been amazing. They’re really fun fish.

One thing that sucks is my main method of reducing aggression is minimal lighting, which means I can’t get any green algae to grow on my rocks 😕
 

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With regard to lighting and reducing aggression, I think it is possible that you are misinterpreting normal Tropheus behaviours as undue aggression. Tropheus are hyperkinetic fishes that chase each other all the time. This is perfectly natural, and nothing to worry about unless one fish in particular is being singled out for all the aggressive behaviours. That's why it is imperative to keep these fishes in social groups. So keep an eye on them to make sure that no one fish is getting damaged, but otherwise let them have their fun. T. duboisi in particular are relatively easy on each other. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With regard to lighting and reducing aggression, I think it is possible that you are misinterpreting normal Tropheus behaviours as undue aggression. Tropheus are hyperkinetic fishes that chase each other all the time. This is perfectly natural, and nothing to worry about unless one fish in particular is being singled out for all the aggressive behaviours. That's why it is imperative to keep these fishes in social groups. So keep an eye on them to make sure that no one fish is getting damaged, but otherwise let them have their fun. T. duboisi in particular are relatively easy on each other. (y)
Okay, I did not know that so thank you, that eases my mind a little because I have never seen any fish get singled out.
 
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