juvenile kenyi is not alowed to roam

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by wallyb0rd000, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. wallyb0rd000New MemberMember

    Hey guys. Before I start, I understand that the tank is too small for these fish but once they grow a little I will be taking them home to my 47.5 gal. My boss upgraded his 4 gal desk top tank and gave it to me. everything has been established for years so I know it isn't the cycle. my boss had two 4 inch mbunas in theer before me I put in three very small (under and inch) cichlids. one is a kenyi, one is an albino mbuna of some kind and one was a very small one that I could not identify. The smallest one was never allowed (by the two others) to move around the tank. he always sat at the top corner and eventually died about 2 weeks later(not sure why...just found it sucked to the filter. Since the little one died, I re-did all the decorations and rocks. Now, the kenyi is being forced to stay at the top of the tank under the HOB filter. any time he/she leaves the top to roam, the albino takes off after him/her until he/she returns to the top spot. Is it just because the albino (who is a little bigger by the way) now sees the whole tank as it's territory? any advice? I feed flake food so it isn't a problem for either of them to get to the food. both seem very healthy. I just don't want my kenyi to die off like the other little guy.
    Any advice is appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    This tank is just a 4 gallon?!? Not even the most experienced fishlore member would be able to pull off what you're doing- sadly, I think (actually, I know) you'll won't be able to pull it off either. If you're aquarium info is correct, both of your tanks are overstocked.

    Let me just say that most cichlids (just housed by themselves) need a 20 gallon tank, even if they are juvies. A common pleco needs AT LEAST a 55 gallon tank, and there's no way you'll be able to get away with putting one in a 4 gallon tank. That being said, and since you're 47 gallon is already overstocked, you really need to find a new home for everything in the 4 gallon and start over. 4 gallons can really only house bettas and shrimp.
  3. wallyb0rd000New MemberMember

    I understand all that. Again, the ones in the 4 gal will be transferred over to the bigger one. The bigger on will be stocked correctly once it is time. All I was wondering is about the behavior of the two cichlids. Any advice on that?
  4. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    4 gallons is not enough room for the fish to claim a territory. It sounds like your fish are being bullied to death. Not much you can do in a tank that small IMO. Other than moving them to a bigger tank.
  5. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember


    Sounds like you have quite a problem there. There really is no solution if you aren't willing to take them out of that tank. I suppose you could divide the tank so each cichlid had its own space but that would cause more problems in the near future. Also keeping fish, which need a 55g or 4ft tank, in such a small tank will result in stunting which is very harmful for the fish. Your current Kenyi is being bullied to death by the Albino. The Albino is taking advantage of its larger size and will eventually kill off the Kenyi just as it killed of the smallest cichlid. The Kenyi is most likely starving also because when they are bullied like that they are not able to get any food. Your only solutions to the situation are to either rehome the cichlids or upgrade them to a proper sized tank. As I said earlier, Mbuna require at least a 4ft tank to be housed properly.
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Actually in addition to aggression due to being overstocked, it could be the cycle. You added three fish to a tank that was already overstocked. I'm sure there wouldn't be enough bacteria in a filter for a 4 gallon tank that could handle the additional bioload.

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