Overstocking For Agression

leftswerve

Member
I've kept cichlids for some time. I used to keep kenyI and other mixed back in the 90's. Now I have assorted mbuna and such.
My question. How much overstocking for aggression issues? I know this is dependent on both the fish and keeper, but I've seen some pretty heavily stock 55 gallon tanks, 15-20 fish.
Is that the magic number 15 or more?
I'm talking grown fish, 2-4 yr old 4/5/6 plus inch fish
 

goldface

Member
fissh would know. I think.
 

Iridium_2256

Member
If you're using a 55 with grown mbuna, 10-15 is probably a good number. Make sure you have strong filtration and good places to hide as well, that will help with the aggression.
 
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leftswerve

Member
Iridium_2256 said:
..........................good places to hide as well, that will help with the aggression.
That seems counter intuitive to me, giving good places to hide would cause more aggression because of ability to claI'm territory.
 

fissh

Member
You can put between 18 and 22 fish in your tank if you have lots of rocks to prevent "line of sight" aggression. You should have at least 10X gph on your filters. Plan on doing a half water change a week. And stay away from the more aggressive types of mbuna like auratus types, elongates types. I would recommend afras, zebras, lanidochrmis, they all have lots of different color morphs and are on the mellow side.

 
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leftswerve

Member
Thanks, good on filtration and already do 50% at least once or more a week. I was considering removing rock, but I guess I'll add more with more fish.
 
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leftswerve

Member
Alright, hear's where we're at. I almost split the tank up the middle longways. For a few days it was chaos. It now seems calmer. I did not add extra fish, yet. Hoping the "line of sight" trick was it.
 

Kels723

Member
Hey leftswerve! Just curious how things are going for you? Did you end up adding more cichlids?

I'm in a similar situation, I've got a 60 gallon with 7 malawI cichlids that are all jerks. I have one rusty that's getting beat up pretty bad, so I tried some dithers - it was a blood bath, started with 12 and only had 5 left by the next morning. Thinking about adding a few more cichlids but don't want to cause more problems, so...
 
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leftswerve

Member
I ended up adding more fish, the results are still inconclusive. IMO the dither fish idea will only work in a much larger tank. Some of my main aggression was male/Male. Had to let one go.
 

Kels723

Member
Ah, that makes sense. We have mostly males as well and I can see what you're talking about. Thanks for the update, if you wouldn't mind keeping me posted with how things go?
 

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