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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some time ago I mentioned that my Mbuna were very skittish and would hide if they saw any movement in the room. I had considered dither fish but didn't really want them in the tank so thought I'd give them more time. The tank's been set up for a good 8 months or so and they're still the same.
They're all healthy with no deaths and are constantly breeding.
When I go to feed them, they hide until my hand leaves the tank and I walk away.

The tank is a Juwel RIO 180 with aragonite substrate and ocean rock.
Stock: 14 Demasoni plus a number of fry, 3 Yellow Labs + 3 juvies, 3 Syno petricola and 1 ancistrus.

I have experimented with rearranging/adding/removing rock etc with no effect. The tank is in the corner of the main bedroom where I spend a reasonable amount of my time on the computer where I can watch them from about 5ft away and they're fine.

I'm considering changing to black sand in case the glare of the light substrate could be a factor.

The photo below is with 30lb or so of rock removed, there's probably around 70lb of rock in there at the moment.



Any suggestions or comments?

Ta
 

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I can't remember, what are the dimensions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's only a 45US gal tank. 40" long.
With 20 Mbuna + numerous Demasoni fry + the synos and ancistrus is it advisable to add more?
The thing is if I do add more, they may also be skittish and hide and I'm back to square one.

If more fish, more Demasoni and Yellow Labs or any other mbuna suitable?
Annoying thing is I sold a number of lab fry a few months ago and no signs of any more from the parents!
 

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I would not add more. Keep watch for the one who is the first to spook and try taking him/her out of the tank. It only takes one. The others may calm down without Mr. Paranoid.
 

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After my experience this weekend I would also suggest adding a couple more, strange as that might seem.

I've had a 2 species tank of 6 Yellow Labs and 6 Mainganos for a number of months and they are growing and breeding, but also very skittish and hide just like yours.

Just on Friday I added 4 Ps. Acei which are very relaxed open-water swimmers. This has TOTALLY changed the behaviour of the other fish which are now much more comfortable to hang out in open water rather than to just stay within the rockwork and dart out to get food or to chase each other.

So, unless you are already crazy overstocked, get a couple of slightly larger, relaxed fish that will stay in the open. It might make a huge difference for you!
 
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