Help African Cichlid Peacock Aggression?

Molasses

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Hello,

I thought I was lucky with my new peacocks. My first 4 fish that I got went along with each other decently well. But a little under 2 weeks later, with more fish in the tank, the aggression is showing. I currently have 9 peacocks in my 55g tank, all of which are about 3-4 inches besides my juvenile Eureka Red which I plan to rehome. I understand people prefer a 75, but I plan to keep up on the maintenance.

I started with an OB, Mbenji, Sunshine, and Dragonblood my first batch. My second batch a week later was an Apache peacock and the juvenile Eureka Red. The most recent batch came under a week after that which was a bigger Eureka Red, a Blue Dragonblood, and a Red Top Lwanda peacock which came in Wednesday. Right now, the OB peacock is the biggest bully, and will chase all of the fish constantly. After putting him in a timeout, the Sunshine started chasing the other fish as well. In fact, it seems there's a hierarchy based on when the fish were added. My original 4 fish seem to be the biggest bullies, and then the Apache, and then the new 3 fish are the ones being chased the most by them. I redecorated the tank numerous times but it hasn't seem to fix anything. All of the fish are males, I have noticed no nipped fins so far but the chasing is very often and quick.

What should I do about this? I feel I'm out of ideas and I'm frustrated. Is this just normal for them to do, or is it too aggressive for the fish to handle? Will it stop after a bit? I don't think I need more fish because 9 seems overstocked for a 55 as it is. Thanks for your input.
 
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KribensisLover1

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Molasses said:
Hello,

I thought I was lucky with my new peacocks. My first 4 fish that I got went along with each other decently well. But a little under 2 weeks later, with more fish in the tank, the aggression is showing. I currently have 9 peacocks in my 55g tank, all of which are about 3-4 inches besides my juvenile Eureka Red which I plan to rehome. I understand people prefer a 75, but I plan to keep up on the maintenance.

I started with an OB, Mbenji, Sunshine, and Dragonblood my first batch. My second batch a week later was an Apache peacock and the juvenile Eureka Red. The most recent batch came under a week after that which was a bigger Eureka Red, a Blue Dragonblood, and a Red Top Lwanda peacock which came in Wednesday. Right now, the OB peacock is the biggest bully, and will chase all of the fish constantly. After putting him in a timeout, the Sunshine started chasing the other fish as well. In fact, it seems there's a hierarchy based on when the fish were added. My original 4 fish seem to be the biggest bullies, and then the Apache, and then the new 3 fish are the ones being chased the most by them. I redecorated the tank numerous times but it hasn't seem to fix anything. All of the fish are males, I have noticed no nipped fins so far but the chasing is very often and quick.

What should I do about this? I feel I'm out of ideas and I'm frustrated. Is this just normal for them to do, or is it too aggressive for the fish to handle? Will it stop after a bit? I don't think I need more fish because 9 seems overstocked for a 55 as it is. Thanks for your input.
I have heard that the fish will protect ‘their’ home and so it makes sense that the the originals are the worst bullies. I have been told to take the oldest members (longest in there) out to another tank and then put them back in so they are now the guest in somebody’s home. I haven’t done it (I moved an angel after another bit it’s entire tail off and was thinking of trying the method and then didnt). Not sure that’s what I’ve heard.
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Molasses

Molasses

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Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately I don't have the convenience of putting the older fish in another tank. All I have is a breeder box for timeouts.
 

KribensisLover1

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Molasses said:
Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately I don't have the convenience of putting the older fish in another tank. All I have is a breeder box for timeouts.
I hope somebody replies who has more knowledge than me anyway. Regardless. Come on guys?!!
 

AquEric

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Not meaning to be rude but look up the definition of a cichlid you will understand a lot more I've had angelfish that would kill anything I put with them ie they are cichlids
 

A201

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Aulonocara / Peacocks, have the reputation
of being somewhat peaceful & that is true when comparing them to Mbuna. They can be mean as snakes to each other.
No fin damage or body injuries is a good indicator that a stalemate will eventually be reached.
At this point a heirarchy is being established amongst the group. Sooner or later an acceptance will be made & things will calm down. The weakest member of the group will almost always be hanging out in a corner or behind an intake tube.
The chasing & lip lock battles should diminish in frequency but will never be completely eliminated.
 
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Molasses

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AquEric said:
Not meaning to be rude but look up the definition of a cichlid you will understand a lot more I've had angelfish that would kill anything I put with them ie they are cichlids
I know what cichlids are, I own a SA Cichlid tank with fish much more aggressive in general than an Angelfish and they live in harmony because I followed what I've researched. With the Africans, this hasn't been the case.
 
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Molasses

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A201 said:
Aulonocara / Peacocks, have the reputation
of being somewhat peaceful & that is true when comparing them to Mbuna. They can be mean as snakes to each other.
No fin damage or body injuries is a good indicator that a stalemate will eventually be reached.
At this point a heirarchy is being established amongst the group. Sooner or later an acceptance will be made & things will calm down. The weakest member of the group will almost always be hanging out in a corner or behind an intake tube.
The chasing & lip lock battles should diminish in frequency but will never be completely eliminated.
I was hoping this was the case. Do you think I should increase the numbers a bit more and continue timeouts or let them be? As of now both the Sunshine and the OB are in timeouts and now the Apache is doing the bugging, so I assume there's no point to doing them anymore.
 

AquEric

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I have kept Africans before and yes they we're very aggressive but cichlids are cichlids PS I didn't mean to offend you my apologies
 
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Molasses

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AquEric said:
I have kept Africans before and yes they we're very aggressive but cichlids are cichlids PS I didn't mean to offend you my apologies
Haha don't worry, you didn't. I appreciate anybody who takes the time to read and try to help.
 

AquEric

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Thanks it's all good if I can help any way I can I will and never try to put anyone down even if they are a noob
 

A201

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African Cichlid aggression can be very frustrating. As long as there are no obvious injuries, might be a good idea to just let the situation ride. No more time outs for a while.
I keep a mixed tank of Peacocks, Haps & Mbuna. Forty Cichlids together in a 120 gal.
Needless to say, "never a dull moment".
 
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Molasses

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A201 said:
African Cichlid aggression can be very frustrating. As long as there are no obvious injuries, might be a good idea to just let the situation ride. No more time outs for a while.
I keep a mixed tank of Peacocks, Haps & Mbuna. Forty Cichlids together in a 120 gal.
Needless to say, "never a dull moment".
That sounds like a beautiful tank. I wanted to keep mbuna in here, the more peaceful kind, with the peacocks but the whole target feeding thing seemed tricky. How do you manage it? Sorry to bug, just very curious.
 

A201

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Omega One small grain sinking Cichlid pellets. I dump some on each end, just enough for some of the pellets to reach the bottom. I also keep a group of aggressive Botia Loaches that keep the substrate clean.
Here's an old pic of feeding time.
20200705_005608.jpg
 

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I do also (and this is something I am not sure is proven in any way) feel much less bad when my cichlids harass each other as when they harass like mollies. Bc they’re used to it. I saw somebody say cichlids are cichlids so perhaps others feel this way, as well?
 

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