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Old 03-20-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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What do I do about this bully?

About a week ago i got 3 new cichlids they are:
Compressiceps
Yellow lab
Moori dolphin
The yellow lab has been in hiding almost the whole time, only darting out for a split second to get food. The compressiceps had a clamped fin but now he is very healthy. The moori dolphin was fine until a couple days ago he became a bully. The yellow lab cam out today for the first time and i noticed a scrape on his head. I dont know of it is from the moori dolphin or just darting in and out of the rocks he scraped himself. The compressiceps also seams to be hiding in the top of the tank behind the filter after being chased by the moori dolphin. I have seen the moori dolphin nip at some of them and i also noticed he had a cut on his lip. Check out the pics.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
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These are the pics of the compressiceps hiding, the yellow lab with the scrape on his head, and the moori dolphin with his cut lip.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Anybody?
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:13 PM   #4
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I put the moori dolphin in a fry basket. I think ill leave him in there for around 3 days. Maybe when he comes out he will be nicer.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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That may or may not work. African cichlids tend to form hierarchies and some individuals tend to be motivated to be at the top of the pecking order regardless of time outs or aquascape rearrangement.. Once re-introduced to the tank the c. moorii may resume its behavior or it may tone down a bit.

The behavior of the d. compressiceps and yellow lab will factor toward how the dolphin will behave. In my experience c. moorii are will and able to harass smaller and less aggressive tank mates.

Two factors that can change this: the target becomes larger than the blue dolphin (not quite the destiny for a yellow lab) or the target becomes more aggressive than the blue dolphin (a fully matured male yellow lab may be able to accomplish this).

Were these three cichlids the newest acquistions to an established group or are they the only cichlids in the tank? What size is the tank?

Recommendation: increase the yellow lab group size. This may not prevent the c. moorii from harassing them but will increase the difficulty for any one of them to be singled out.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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These are the only fish in a 36 gallon tank.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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Recommendation: Re-home the dimidiochromis compressiceps and cyrtocara moorii, then add more yellow labs.

D. comps get upwards of 10-11", and blue dolphins max out at 7-9". Both are open water haps (6ft tank minimum for the eye biter and 90gal-125gal minimum for the blue dolphin).

Better recommendation: get a larger tank (55gal minimum for yellow labs as is the case for most mbuna species; a smaller tank such as the 36gal may work for some yellow labs as they are usually on the lower end of the aggression scale. Multiple male yellow probably not do-able when thinking long-term (target group 1m/4f).

Small group size amplifies aggression. Small tank size does too, so a small group size in a small tank will almost always lead to aggression problems (when stocked with rift-lake african cichlids, excluding shellies).
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