Cichlid Aggro 55 Gallon Tank 

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Rallycat

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Hi! Got a problem I'm sure you guys have never heard of before, cichlid aggression. hehe

So, here's the stock:
2 yellow mbuna
3 blue zebra
1 red zebra
2 OB Peacock (biggest fish in tank @ 2.5" or so)
1 albino zebra (smallest in tank @ 1")
1 jeweled cichlid (SO pretty! ;D)
3 blue johanni (i think one is female, it's colors are drab compared to the other 2)
2 electric yellow

2 synodontis cats (these are actually the biggest but they aren't aggressive at all so I didn't count them)

Ok, so. Who do you think is the culprit? I didn't think with a 55gal that I had overstocked it- but the size difference between the fish is pretty significant.
The albino is in a recovery tank after he lost most of his tail, and one of my lectric yellows died today- tail completely gone.

I have to admit I dont know much about cichlid temperament, I have mostly kept gouramis and tetras. I knew they can be aggressive so I tried to take fish that were already co-habitating in the store. The bf's getting ticked b/c he funded this project and all he sees are dollar signs getting flushed. >

Any advice? I'm all ears.

oh, and they get fed once a day in the evening: a mix of Ginger cichlid gor-flakes and tetra cichlid crisps (for color) as much as they will eat in 5 minutes etc etc.
 

brokenwing

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Hey rally, the problem i see is to many species spread out, as well as the zebras. Yellow labs are one of the least aggresive cichlids. If your fish store would be willing to take the zebras back, I would keep the yellow cichlids, and do like 1 male to 4 females. I would then add another low temperment cichlid such as pseudotropus acei. Here is some info for you to take a look at.



I wanted to edit the post, becuase i made it sound like the zebras were all to blame. The johannis are very aggresive and they could be to blame as well. So take a look at the cookie cutters from the cichlid forum, and any questions you have, we are all here to help. Cichlids are great, and I want to see you have success with your tank. Hopw this helps a little.
 

Nick G

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Good advise from Wing, your issue is probably species choice and lack of groups of the same species. Just like to add that I'd remove the Jewel Cichlid if I were you. Jewels are African riverine Cichlids, and don't mix well with the lake species. The Jewels have a reputation for being aggressive, and your one could even be the culprit, however your fish are still Juveniles, and once they mature the Jewel will get thrashed.
 
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Rallycat

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Ok, sat down today and took some zen time just watching the fish and their behavior. I was thinking how it wasn't really fair to say just ONE fish was responsible, it could be multiple fish.
But! I was wrong. I was eyeing my OBs b/c when I was putting the plants in one nipped me and it HURT! lol (so of course it was them, right?) As it turns out, the most aggressive fish (by faaaar) was one of my melanochromis johanni.
At first I thought this fish was a female, b/c it grew much larger and faster than any of its tankmates, and was very drab, almost grey in color. Also, the pelvic fin (belly fins, w/e they're called) are Bright Yellow! They weren't like that when I got him/her.

I watched for about 20 minutes so I think I can say he's one of the bad fin-nippers. But now, I have another issue: I still have 2 other johannis in the tank, although they seem pretty docile.

Also, looking for a good home for my Jewel, even though he's gorgeous and I love him best (shhh...dont tell the others) I would feel awful if he was torn up. It's what they need to be happy, not what I want to look good. Happy fish = Happy Rallycat

Thanks again! If I find homes, I will be down 4 fish. Any suggestions for tankmates?
 

swervo513

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I would simply feed them more... add more fish of the same species to spread out the aggression. I kept african cichlids and they are constant fin nippers. Albinos are usually slower and weaker so I would completely take them out unless you kept more docile fish. Mbuna such as zebras are extremely aggressive as they sexually mature. Also male peacocks and electric blues can be very aggressive if they don't have females to chase. Put a ton of rocks in there and create hiding spaces and more territories and feed them often.. atleast twice a day. you will be fine if you follow this advice in my opinion.
 
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