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Old 03-12-2014, 02:25 AM   #1
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Hello I have a 90 gallon tank with 18 fish
One african feather fin catfish
4 peacocks
3 yellow labs
One johanni
One albino yellow fin zebra
And the rest are various mabunas I don't know what types my LFS only marks them as assorted african cichlids
The tank has been stocked this was since September and recently one of the mabuna has matured changed color and began to assert its dominace. In response I removed all the fish from the tank and rescaped the whole thing. Now a new fish has claimed the dominate position and he is much more violent destroying my albino zebras fins yesterday in under an hour even though the zebra is larger. It has been suggested that more fish will be the solution to my problem if this is the case how many more should I add? Filtration isn't a problem I have a large canister filter, hob filter, and am planning a second canister install.

*mbunas
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:50 AM   #2
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Yeah I'd agree with more fish, I'd stock 30 in a 90 gal. Provided you have enough filtration.

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Old 03-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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Really that many? I'm going to have to do something soon I keep the lights off except for feeding time to keep aggression to a minimum but that's only a quick fix
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:03 AM   #4
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Yes overstocking with plenty of filtration and plenty of hiding spots between rocks really helps mbuna aggression. With also have peacocks in there you have given yourself a harder task as the mbuna mature the peacocks may have to go. If you can sex the mbuna you really need to get to a 1 male to 3 or 4 female ratio to really help reduce aggression. Or remove the mbuna and go all male peacocks as male peacocks without any females to chase and harass are a lot better behaved but you can't overstock peacocks I think 10 to 12 max for your tank.

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Old 03-12-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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First off, how about a picture of your tank? How much rock do you have in the aquarium? What are you trying to accomplish with your tank? Mbuna establish territories, its what they do, overstocking isn't going to prevent mbuna from establishing territories, nor is it going to prevent having a dominant male in the tank. If you want a tank without territories or aggression, I think you need to rethink the mbuna.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:57 PM   #6
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Sorry for the bad picture quality the one with fish is as it stands today the second was my old scape that I trashed to try and reassemble the dominance. I know that's just how this fish are and I also know there's a way have them without fish constantly being bullied to death. I have had them for 6 months and haven't lost a fish to aggression yet but I realize things are going to be different once the all begin to reach maturity.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #7
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If you insist on having mbunas and peacocks together, IMO your best shot is removing all your rocks and any females that may be in the tank.

In theory, by removing all the rocks, they won't be as aggressive since they have nothing to fight over; however there has been success stories where people had rocks in the tank. That being said, it's all a trial and error process where you'll have to mess around with the stock and decor. Know what type (aggression level/gender/herbivore/carnivore/ect) of mbuna/peacock you're putting into the tank, it by no means will guarantee that a more mild/peaceful cichlid will lead to success, but the goal is to maximize your CHANCES at achieving a peaceful tank. Best of luck !

P.S: Really look into the fish's diet since a lot of mbunas are herbivores and can't have high protein diets; whereas there peacocks are primarily carnivores.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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I've never heard or seen anyone recommend keeping an African cichlid tank without rock work, so that is new to me. I doubt that removing the rocks is going to prevent an inborn behavior from occurring. territories are established around area, not rocks. The rocks provide places for fish that are being attacked/bullied to have somewhere to hide to get away from the bully. I've not kept many peacocks, so I really can't speak to that side of the issue. I would think that removing the rocks is not going to help with the mbuna as you will expose everyone to the bully all the time. Your best bet is to work with it till the big dominant individual in your tank is a milder bully. But even then, you may have two or three that start claiming the same territories and then your going to have large scale aggression going on. Also territorial behavior is about food resources primarily.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
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This vid has someone who has experience with removing rocks to reduce aggression in his 200g+ show tank (starts around 3:30'ish and ends around 7:00 minutes). By no means does he speak for ALL hobbyist, but it shows that it can have good results. Like I said in my previous statement, in "theory" it makes sense, but I never said it's 100% failproof. I've also spoken to mbuna/peacock hobbyists in an aquarium club I've registered with here in the greater Seattle area and people have had success with the same process. Like I mentioned, it's all trial and error process and if the OP already tried rescaping, it doesn't hurt to try removing the rocks and also overstocking his tank a bit to see if he has better results.

Aquascapeing an African Cichlid tank? Will female A/Cs swallow fry? KGQandA Episode 17 - YouTube
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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I got some more mbuna today but I think I am going to try going rockless. If it doesn't work I can always put them back in. I'll keep you posted
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