need help with aggression....
Hi I'm new to fishforum but anyways I was just looking for some advice and had a couple of questions. I have a 120 gallon with 10 african cichlids, 2 clown loaches, 2 yoyo loaches, 2 catfish and 3 plecos in it. My problem is that recently my demasoni has become a terror, there are 3 cichlids that he likes to keep in a corner and will not let them come out...... Is there a way to stop this? I once heard that a little bit of overcrowding will help with aggression problems, is this true? I don't want to lose any of these three because they are really pretty but I'm afraid that they wont get enough food if he wont let them out of the corner. This tank has only been set up for about 2 months, I previously had a 55 gallon and a 30 gallon and when I got the 120 gallon I combined the fish that I had in both tanks to just the one and of course added a couple more, in fact 2 out of the 3 that my demasoni is keeping cornered have only been in there a week. Anybody that has some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
One speculation is that since it's recently added fish added to the tank that are being terrorized, move the decor around. Remove the fish for a time being and rearrange your entire 120. Then when you add the fish in, put the most aggressive ones in last, giving the others time to find their spot.
Do you have enough decor for all the fish to have "territory?" If you have fish that are being picked on hiding behind filters or heaters then you need to add more decor.
If this doesn't help, then you may just have to remove the most troublesome ones permanently.
I use the "get lost in the crowd" formula for my African cichlid tanks. The trick here is put so many fish in the tank that the aggressor loses his target in the crowd. But, you must have massive filtration. It used to be a controversial practice, but now is becoming quite common. I first introduced this philosophy in 1982 at the ACA convention and met with rugged opposition from most of the people.
Then, the late Jack Inghramm visited my home and wrote an article explaining the method. Since then, many cichlid keepers have utilized it. You still need hospital tanks for these pugnacious little piscivores as they are cichlids, afterall. But you will find that you will usually have an empty bed.
Well like I said 2 out of the 3 have only been in the a week the other 1 has been in there since set up. I did rearrange the tank last week when I added the 2 newest.I think its getting better with time this morning when I fed them 2 of them came out and ate with the rest and then I just sprinkled a few pellets in the corner where the other one was at while the others were eating and he came out a little bit to eat. Im beginning to wonder if its a male/female thing because I know that the one that has been in there since set up is female, the other two I don't know about because I'm not quite sure what kind of cichlids they are. One looks to me to be an OB mix of some sort and the other I had never seen before but is gorgeous. I just bought a bunch of texas holey rock off line so once that comes in I will add a few more rocks and rearrange the tank again to see if that helps. I would definitely like to add more cichlids because my father has a 125 gallon and he has his over populated a bit and has no problems with agression at all. My problem is there is nowhere close to me that sells quality cichlids (that I know of) except for one place but they are quarentined due to an infection of ich so I can't buy any there right now. There are two other places, one is petsmart and the other is a local petstore but they don't have any purebread cichlids just a bunch of mixed, and I'm leary about petsmarts cichlids also. Whats funny is that I have always rearranged my tanks when adding new fish and my brother who also has a cichlid tank just adds the fish and turns off the lights for a while and never has any problems. He has most of the same cichlids that I do, now maybe the difference now is that mine is 120 and his is still a 55 and mine aren't used to having that much space. I started my family on the cichlid addiction with my first tank which was a 20 gallon, once I got my 55 gallon I gave the 20 to my parents who started cichlids and then once I moved out of my parents house and took my 55 gallon my dad decided that he missed it so he bought one and then my friend gave me a 55 gallon tank that her parents didn't want anymore and I gave that to my brother. Now I have a 120 gallon, a 55 gallon, and a 30 gallon, my parents have a 125 gallon and a 55 gallon and my brother has the 55 gallon with hopes of buying a house soon and getting a 120. My husband thought I was crazy when I wanted more tanks but he as actually grown quite fond of them himself. I guess that's enough rambling from me though.
Thanks for the tips and as soon as I get my new texas holey rock in I will rearrange and see if that helps and maybe eventually add some cichlids if I can find some good ones.
update on aggression problem :)
Ok so just an update....in case anyone cares. My brother started having problems with his demasoni in his 55 gallon tank so we decided to trade demasoni's, his was much smaller than mine. I have added a few more rocks in the tank and rearranged everything and have also added a few more fish to the tank. I got rid of my blueberry ob and my demasoni, and replaced them with my brother's demasoni(its a baby), a bi-color peocock, a moorii cichlid, a baby electric blue jihanni, and I also transfered a sunshine peacock and a regal peacock from my smaller tank. I really am excited about how the tank looks now and it is full of peaceful cichlids, with the exception of the jihanni but hopefully he's young enough that he wont become aggressive.
So are there pics anywhere of the tank now? I'd love to drool.....I mean see it!
I will try to get some posted....
One thing you may want to try if you ever have another aggressive fish. Lower the temp of the tank a few degrees. This will slow their metabolism slightly, and reduce their aggression. Putting in a few female fish of the same species as the aggressive fish can also help.
Putting in a female fish? I've always avoided putting in the other gender, as they tend to go super-crazy-violent when breeding. I'm really not a cichlid expert though, so what's your logic for it?
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