Unusual Tropheus aggression and tank redecoration.

seamonkeything

Member
I have a fully grown male Tropheus Dubousi housed with 4 Psuedotropheus sp., 1 Hemichromis Bimaculatus, 1 female Andinoacara rivulatus, 2 ancistris sp., and a male Polypteris Senegalus in a 55 gallon cube planted tank. All of these fish (including the 2 Chromobotia macracanthus witch will be re-homed when larger), usually get along quite well with no water quality issues or aggression. But, recently all of the chiclids (except the green terror) all collaborated and killed a single mbuna. The Tropheus was the one who started this assault, with the rest of the chiclids eventually joining the beating. I have heard of mbuna being hyper aggressive, but targeting all of their aggression upon a single fish i have never witnessed before. Please explain this unusual behavior.

Another thing is that I want to redecorate the tank to provide more space and comfort for the fish currently housed in there. My 55 gallon has a very large Anubius Nana, among many other live plants. Also there is a pile of empty flower pots, rocks and small pieces of driftwood. Personally I think I should reorganize the decor to fit all of the fish's needs.

How do you think I should resolve both situations.

Also i need to know whether not i can overstock this tank with more chiclids to prevent aggression or if the tank is already overstocked.
 
Best Answer - View A201's answer

jkkgron2

Member
I’m guessing the fish that was attacked was weak so the other fish took the opportunity to attack. Adding in more caves and rocks to give them more spaces to hide/claim as territory can help prevent this from happening in the future :)
 
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seamonkeything

Member
I already have the tank bottom covered with driftwood and flowerpots, not to mention all of the plant life and rock piles.
 

jkkgron2

Member
seamonkeything said:
I already have the tank bottom covered with driftwood and flowerpots, not to mention all of the plant life and rock piles.
I know, but more hides can’t do any harm. However, you don’t need any more, the only reason I suggested more was because a fish was attacked.
 
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seamonkeything

Member
I am also nervous because maybe after one fish was eliminated, they will find a new weakling and kill it. That is my worst fear. Will overstocking with other mbuna help with aggression like so many others before me say it does.
 

jkkgron2

Member
seamonkeything said:
I am also nervous because maybe after one fish was eliminated, they will find a new weakling and kill it. That is my worst fear. Will overstocking with other mbuna help with aggression like so many others before me say it does.
Yup. A201 Has more experience with mbuna though so he might be able to give better advice than me.
 
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seamonkeything

Member
ok
 

A201

Member
It's usually not a good idea to mix African Rift Lake Cichlids with other fish. That being said, it's done quite often with varying degrees of success.
As long as you're up to a weekly 50% WC & have quality oversized filtration, adding certain Mbuna species such as Rusties, Hongi, Acei or Yellow Labs might work in your situation.
Designing a suitable hardscape is the most viable lasting solution to cichlid aggression. Each tank has it's own distinct hardscape needs. It's up to the Individual keeper to create a hardscape that's both aesthetically pleasing & beneficial to the fish.
Here's a pic of an old hardscape I designed. The fish community included Red & GreenTerrors. Silver Dollar fish & a mixed bag of African Cichlids.

20200922_134147.jpg
 
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seamonkeything

Member
I use a hang on the back filter that is for tanks over 150 gallons. There have been no water quality issues in my tank, so i believe adding new fish will be successful. I do 50% water changes each week, so the bio load is controlled. Above the tank there is a sweet potato plant and a monstera delciciosa to control the waste between water changes.

However, the water does occasionally form floating detritus, but this is not a problem because it is barely noticeable under most circumstances.
 

chromedome52

Member
If I remember correctly, this Tropheus is just recently maturing into adult coloration, from the pretty spots to the plain light bar on black. A single Tropheus will invariably turn violent at sexual maturity, especially if male.

People are always buying immature Rift Lake Cichlids, which have no territorial instincts yet, and say, "Oh look, I can keep African Cichlids with these other fish." The Cichlids, however, will eventually mature sexually, at which point territorial behavior becomes life-or-death with the males, and the females start equating feeding areas with territory, and also are quite possessive. Then people come crying, "My Cichlids were fine for months with other fish! Why are they suddenly so violent?!"

They're Cichlids. Deal with it.
 
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