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Old 09-03-2008, 03:21 AM   #1
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Cichlid problems

A similar thread is located in the breeding section.
Ok, Im fairly new to Cichlids so this will be an experience. lol
I have a 29g tank that has many many caves that I made. It has been cycled for a few months now.
Stocking: Pink Convict
Texas Cichlid
Yellow Peacock
2 yellow labs.
I know some would say that my stocking is a bit odd, or wrong. But it is a combination of my neighbor moving, and a lot of experimenting to see what would work. Lets go back a few days...I only have 1 yellow lab. (and everything else) Everything seems fine and I think it would be really nice to try breeding some yellow labs. I am fairly certain that the original lab is a female because the black markings on her anal fin isnt very prominent and sometimes isnt there at all. So I go out and buy a male lab, with much darker anal fins. I put him in, and all seems well. The labs seem to be playing(chasing eachother etc. in a playful manner) I check back in a few hours and the female lab seems to have taken control of the tank, the pink convict, yellow peacock, and the male lab all seem very scared of her, they are hiding btwn the filter and the glass, and other hardtoreach places. lol What is going wrong? I know someone is going to comment on the stocking scheme, but all I can say is that it was going great before the addition. What behavior(be specific) should I expect from the lab pair? Sorry for the lengthy post
Thanks in advance!!

update: now it seems to be just the male lab that is being bullied. I am currently trying to get him into a temporary breeders net until I can get things sorted out.
Should I remove the peacock?

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Old 09-10-2008, 08:03 PM   #2
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You've got incompatibility problems as well as an undersized tank (either one of these will tend to result in problems).

I'll just address the yellow lab issue from this point on.

Mbuna's such as yellow labs are best kept in groups (not pairs). Additionally gender determination can be difficult with this monomorphic species (so you may or may not have a male and female). Based on how mbuna's behave they will tend to react to new comers (particularly other mbuna's, and especially mbuna's belonging to their own species) as intruders to their territory and usually deal with them as such, at least initially (but in certain situations, constantly). Sometimes the addition of a single fish can set a fish (or group of fish) off.

To fix the yellow lab problem, remove all other cichlids, except maybe the peacock, get a larger tank (55gal+), and add a group of yellow labs so individual fish aren't singled out. Even though yellow labs are one of the more mellow mbuna's they're capable of being aggressive when conditions permit or promote it. Mbuna's shouldn't be added single-ly or in small quantity.

In a 55gal you could stock about a dozen yellow labs or more (if you want a species tank), but bare minimum, 1 male and 3 females.

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Old 09-11-2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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Agree'd.. besides the fact your mixing africans with CA cichlids the tank is way overstocked. You could keep 1 convict and one firemouth in there but thats about it. The texas will get way to big by itself.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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gregpape23, there are definitely problems here.
"The labs seem to be playing(chasing eachother etc. in a playful manner) I check back in a few hours and the female lab seems to have taken control of the tank, the pink convict, yellow peacock, and the male lab all seem very scared of her, they are hiding btwn the filter and the glass, and other hardtoreach places."
Probably not playing. More like checking each other out--sizing each other up. You may very well have two male labs, as it would be odd, but not unheard of for a female to take over.
Aside from what has already been said--mixing of cichlids from different regions (been there, done that, lost money, time, and fish), too small a tank, and wrong groupings for mating--you will not be able to raise young fish in this tank. The grouping of fish will probably be too stressful to get a successful mating. If a successful mating does occur, the fry will be eaten by the other tank mates. I don't want to be full of gloom and doom, but you need to read up on cichlids and make some changes to get the result you want.

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Old 09-15-2008, 06:23 PM   #5
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If you can't do tank upgrade or return the fish, especially if its a lfs and not a chain pet store. My lfs here does not accept returns for fishes, only trade ins which works like trading in a car. I suggest doing what you can with what you have to work with right now. Heres a few suggestions:
First, rearrange the decors, rocks, plants, etc. Take out the dominant lab put it in a different tank/container, and put him/her to the tank after a few minutes. That should lessen his/her aggression. Also, it would give them time to establish territories all at the same time. This technique worked for me with my dominant front.
Second, as overstocked as your tank is already, I suggest putting another lab in there with the other two replacing one of the CA cichlid. Texas, preferably. Two mbuna cichlids of the same species together often cause a lot of problem since both will fight for dominance of the tank. Three labs should spread out the aggression a bit.

The people here already identified whats wrong with your stocking, so I am not going to mention them again. You would probably have to choose whether you want to keep the african cichlids or the ca cichlids. I have seen people have 4 sub adult yellow labs in a 29g before so it should work for a while, an upgrade should be kept in mind in the future. They look awesome full grown especially the male. I have only kept african cichlids except for flowerhorn so I would suggest going with african cichlids and keeping the labs and peacocks. Anyways Good luck!
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