Cichlid Agression

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Friends.NotFood.

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ok so I have a problem. I have 6 African cichlids in a 55 gallon the largest being about 3.5 inches and the smallest being about an inch. I recently just added a 1 inch demasoni and about a 1.5 inch venustus. The problem is that the venustus gets picked on by my bumblebee and my powder blue. They’ve literally eaten his whole tail. All he does is hide in the plants all day. He still eats whatever he can get but what do I do?
 

Demeter

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Venustus are haps, and rather large ones at that. It is not recommended to mix haps with mbuna because mbuna often bully the haps. I've made the same mistake except it was a yellow lab beating up on a livingstonii. I've gotten rid of all my original stock (mostly mbuna) and now I've got several peacocks, a few smaller haps, and I did give in and rescued a few very malnourished mbuna but so far they aren't going after anyone. I suggest you either do all mbuna or all hap/peacocks.

The venustus needs a larger tank than a 55 gallon and is unlikely to do well if kept with the mbuna. Separate it ASAP, a weak and bullied African will soon become a dead African.
 

Iridium_2256

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If you can get the haps larger than the mbuna, you should be ok. We have a demansoni as well right now who lives perfectly fine with our 3-year-old frontosa whos about 6 inches right now, and a few other decently sized haps.
 
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Ok
Demeter said:
Venustus are haps, and rather large ones at that. It is not recommended to mix haps with mbuna because mbuna often bully the haps. I've made the same mistake except it was a yellow lab beating up on a livingstonii. I've gotten rid of all my original stock (mostly mbuna) and now I've got several peacocks, a few smaller haps, and I did give in and rescued a few very malnourished mbuna but so far they aren't going after anyone. I suggest you either do all mbuna or all hap/peacocks.

The venustus needs a larger tank than a 55 gallon and is unlikely to do well if kept with the mbuna. Separate it ASAP, a weak and bullied African will soon become a dead African.
here’s what’s in my tank: orange blotch. Auratus. Bumblebee. Powder blue. Demasoni. Venustus. Only the powder blue and bumblebee pick on the venustus but I’m gonna go ahead and take your advice and return him. It doesn’t look fun having to eat what floats down to him and hiding in the plants ALL DAY LONG. So my question to you is, how about an acei? I’m not so well rounded in knowing which ones are haps or peacocks etc....
 

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Acei is a mbuna, as are yellow labs and zebras. Just do a quick google search of mbuna cichlids. You will see they all have rounded heads and a fair amount look like zebras in body shape with varying body lengths.

Haps and peacocks all have larger eyes, most have pointed and larger mouths too.

You should find that if you add another 7-10 mbuna the agression will lesses quite a bit. Africans should be over stocked, especially mbuna, to spread aggression and lessen the chance of just one fish getting bullied. In a 55 gallon I’d shoot for 15-20 mbuna.

The only non-mbuna you have(other than the venustus, is the OB peacock. It can stay unless you start noticing too much aggression towards/from it.

The last thing I should mention is gender ratios. Mbuna will breed with other mbuna (and sometimes haps and peacock) even if they are not the same species. That means males will be constantly looking for females to spawn with and the females will get bullied. A ratio of 2-3 females per male is good but usually it will be one or two dominant males going after the girls, so even if only half the fish are female, it might be ok. You could do all male fish but sexing juveniles can be near impossible.
 
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Demeter said:
Acei is a mbuna, as are yellow labs and zebras. Just do a quick google search of mbuna cichlids. You will see they all have rounded heads and a fair amount look like zebras in body shape with varying body lengths.

Haps and peacocks all have larger eyes, most have pointed and larger mouths too.

You should find that if you add another 7-10 mbuna the agression will lesses quite a bit. Africans should be over stocked, especially mbuna, to spread aggression and lessen the chance of just one fish getting bullied. In a 55 gallon I’d shoot for 15-20 mbuna.

The only non-mbuna you have(other than the venustus, is the OB peacock. It can stay unless you start noticing too much aggression towards/from it.

The last thing I should mention is gender ratios. Mbuna will breed with other mbuna (and sometimes haps and peacock) even if they are not the same species. That means males will be constantly looking for females to spawn with and the females will get bullied. A ratio of 2-3 females per male is good but usually it will be one or two dominant males going after the girls, so even if only half the fish are female, it might be ok. You could do all male fish but sexing juveniles can be near impossible.
You don’t know how happy you just made me. Let the overstocking begin!!!! Lol but my peacock is the largest in the tank. He’s really not that aggressive towards the others nor they to him so that’s perfect.
 

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Get separate tank
 
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