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Old 11-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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MY Africans are often shy with people around and I was wondering if there were any dither fish that would be safe in their tank. I currently have 2 red zebra 1 johani 1 kenyi and one unidentified peacock. It is an all male tank and I also have a featherfin syno. Before you tell me that it is understudied I want you to know that I did it on purpose and everyone gets along great.

I also had a question regarding my kenyi. He near the bottom of the dominance "ladder". When I got him he was yellow but after being introduced to the other fish he turned blue with just a hint of yellow. Does this mean he is a female or is he exhibiting sub dominate male coloration? Just as side note he was the only kenyi in the display tank and my other fish do not harass him like they would with a female.

Almost forgot. It is a sixty gallon tank. Well filtered, heated, etc. It also has a surplus of caves so each fish has been able to claim it's own territory. They are not scared of me but often will hide when a stranger walks by or there are multiple people in the room.

Thanks in advance for your help.

I forgot to say that I had a cobalt zebra. (face palm)
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like the kenyi reverted to sub-dominant colors when introduced to other fish.

Instead of dithers, ya could opt to increase the cichlid stock; you could easily keep three times that many fish in a 60 gallon. I have 16 fish in my 55 gallon mbuna tank. This would reduce the shyness. I'm curious why yer intentionally keeping the stock down.

Last, I've used giant danios as dithers for mbuna in the past. The list of dithers fast enough, large enough and tough enough to take the occasional hit from an adult mbuna is limited in my opinion. I've seen rainbows used, but most rainbows command a higher price tag than what I'd allow to become a mbuna punching bag.

WYite
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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I keep it understocked because I think it's healthier and there are times where I end up slacking on maintenance because of school. 5 cichlids pull thru fine but if there were 20 I'd probably have some issues. I also just don't like the idea of fitting 20 5-6 inch fish in a tank that size. I may end up getting more later.
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