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Old 02-08-2014, 02:52 PM   #1
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Question Cichlid's are fighting!

Hi everyone!

I've had my 4 cichlid's for about 6 or 7 months now and for some reason they just all of a sudden started fighting and acting weird. I have 3 electric yellows and one gray cichlid. Not sure what they are called. They live in a 55 gallon.

I was watching them after I did a water change today and I noticed that the gray cichlid and the bigger yellow cichlid (the two fish to the far right in picture 3) were constantly fighting. I also noticed that the bigger yellow cichlid was hiding under a plant leaf in a corner which wasn't where she usually hides. She's been doing that for a week or so now.

I added in that ship that's in the front thinking that I didn't have enough hiding spots for them. The bigger yellow cichlid gets inside that ship now but they are still fighting. They chase each other in small circles and open their mouths really big and sort of pinch the other one on their bodies. Looks very mean.

Do I not have enough hiding spots? Should I add more cichlids? (That should be my last resort because I don't want to add more fish and then they get picked on too.) Do I not have a big enough tank?

I checked the ammonia and it was 0. I didn't feel the need to test everything else but if suggested, then I will. (I'm kinda getting low on my ammonia and nitrate liquids in my API testing kit.)

History:
I started out with just the fish in picture 2 and the big yellow fish to the far right in picture 3 in a 29 gallon tank because a LFS said that they would do good in it. Well, they picked on each other constantly so I went back to the LFS and asked what was wrong. They said I needed a bigger tank with more hiding spots and that I needed a male in the tank. So I got a 48 gallon tank and added another electric yellow (male-i hope in picture 4/the LFS said it was a male) and that gray cichlid. They lived peacefully. Then I upgraded to the 55 gallon they are in now. They have been inside that tank for about a month now. And today is when I noticed them fighting.

Also, if anyone knows the type of cichlid the gray one is or the gender of each of them, I would be really grateful. I have tried researching the gender of the Labs and I still can't tell any difference.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #2
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That's just cichlids being cichlids. You might wanna add more to spread the aggression out. If their is only 4 then they can claim territory, if there's more cichlids, to much is going on to claim territory. I have 14 in my 55. Honestly I need to add a few more
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:42 PM   #3
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Oh, I didn't know I was THAT understocked. So you suggest adding a whole bunch more? Like 10? Wouldn't that require more water changes?
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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Yea. Cichlids are very dirty. I have 2 filters running that are made for 75 gallon tanks. I've always read it's better to over stock than under stock when it comes to AFRICAN CICHLIDS. I would add a few at a time. Like 3 or 4. Then let your beneficial bacteria grow for few weeks because it's only use to 4 fish. I don't know your filtration situation but it needs to be good to house many cichlids
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CameronCade View Post
Yea. Cichlids are very dirty. I have 2 filters running that are made for 75 gallon tanks. I've always read it's better to over stock than under stock when it comes to AFRICAN CICHLIDS. I would add a few at a time. Like 3 or 4. Then let your beneficial bacteria grow for few weeks because it's only use to 4 fish. I don't know your filtration situation but it needs to be good to house many cichlids

I agree, you'll probably need to do one 30-50% water change a week. When you start adding new ones change the decor around.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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Yep it resets the territory. Don't ever just add one. It will get harassed by the others.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by animallover09 View Post
Oh, I didn't know I was THAT understocked. So you suggest adding a whole bunch more? Like 10? Wouldn't that require more water changes?
I'm fixing to add around 24-30 to my 75.

Africans need to be a bit overstocked to spread the aggression
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:16 PM   #8
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What kind of filtration do you have?
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #9
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You should add about 10-12 more African cichlids. And as stated when u do change the decor around. It will do wonders and solve your problems I bet. Make rock strictures for them to use as a retreat. Overstocking makes it a lot harder for a fish to target aggression to a specific other fish. Here's a look at my 90 gallon for reference. Plenty of fish and rock work and no bad aggression problems and I have much more aggressive types than the electric yellow labs. From what I see the pics look like female yellow labs but they're hard to determine sex for sure. Add more of them as well as some other types. I'd add 5 of them and 5-7 other types. Don't just but othe types. Look at what's available and research. Post pics from your fish store to here to ask what they may be before you jump in. I'd get 5 yellows ASAP and post pics of what's available and add 2 groups of 5. The grey guy is hard to see. Need better pics to say what he may be. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-08-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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You should add about 10-12 more African cichlids. And as stated when u do change the decor around. It will do wonders and solve your problems I bet. Make rock strictures for them to use as a retreat. Overstocking makes it a lot harder for a fish to target aggression to a specific other fish. Here's a look at my 90 gallon for reference. Plenty of fish and rock work and no bad aggression problems and I have much more aggressive types than the electric yellow labs. From what I see the pics look like female yellow labs but they're hard to determine sex for sure. Add more of them as well as some other types. I'd add 5 of them and 5-7 other types. Don't just but othe types. Look at what's available and research. Post pics from your fish store to here to ask what they may be before you jump in. I'd get 5 yellows ASAP and post pics of what's available and add 2 groups of 5. The grey guy is hard to see. Need better pics to say what he may be.
You've been holding back bud, nice tank!
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