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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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Old 03-13-2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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What kind of mbuna did you happen to get?

Best of luck on that strategy, if it doesn't work, just place the rocks back in and re-thinking your stock would be pretty much one of your next option (especially ones from the assorted tank, always better knowing what type of mbuna you have to increase your chances at compatible tank mates).
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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Yeah buying from assorted tanks is highly likely to end in tears. Buy from breeders if you possibly can then you'll end up with true fish.

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Old 03-13-2014, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicsDC25 View Post
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
Thanks for sharing that, as I said, new to me.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Thanks for sharing that, as I said, new to me.
Likewise, my mind was blown when I read, watched, and even saw some tanks in person with no rocks since I'm a huge proponent for them. Hopefully this situation ends on a good note (though with half of the fish being from an assorted tank, it's a bit iffy ).
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:25 AM   #15
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Okay..... So I took all the rocks out and all heck broke loose in the span of 15 minutes after removing all the rocks 3 fish began to get chunks taken out of their fins and 2 pairs of fish began to mate. I saw them lay the eggs fertilize and scoop them back up. So thoroughly upset I removed five unknown mbunas and took them to my local fish store for adoption. What's left is an ob peacock an electric blue peacock
3 sunshine peacocks
A blood dragon peacock
2 acei
A red zebra
An albino flame fin zebra
2 johnni
And my african feather fin
There are only two rocks in the tank that are far apart and everyone is now peaceful. The ob peacock is the largest fish and now dominate male
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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That's really terrible to hear and unfortunate it didn't work. Though if you started with 18 fish, added more mbuna a few days ago, removed 5 recently, and your current stock is 13, then you're still only at 18 like in the beginning, what type and how many mbuna did you add? 18 is pretty under stocked for a 90g IMO. If there were females in the tank without the right male/female ratio and similar color/barred males, then that over aggression will always be there. If you can try to vent all the fish and remove any remaining females in the tank.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:39 PM   #17
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Cichlid aggression

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicsDC25 View Post
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

To start I love Johns videos I am fairly new to cichlids as well and have watched practically all of his videos and learned a ton. One of the things he suggests is if you are going to mix peacocks and mbuna is to make sure the peacocks are bigger than the mbuna. Mbuna are more agressive and if they are larger it can cause problems. I have modeled my all male tank following this advice. For the past few months I have had very few issues. My only problem has been an ob peacock who can't seem to get along in the main tank so he had to be removed. But like others have said it's a trial and error process. One thing I have had problems with is finding peacocks locally with enough size to add to my tank. I recently added a sunshine peacock who was smaller than some of the mbuna and he was picked on for a few days but since has settled in fine. So the way I see it there are no hard and fast rules that will work for everyone unfortunately it seems that sometimes trial and error is the only way to figure it out. Its hard but I quickly realized that sometimes fish need to be removed to ensure the harmony in the tank. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:13 PM   #18
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The tank does look rather empty but at least it is peaceful. I have a new pet store opening up here next weekend so I should be able to bump my numbers here shortly I'll be going with peacocks though as I seem so have better luck with them.
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