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-   -   Murder in the Malawi Tank (http://www.fishkeepingbanter.com/showthread.php?t=22606)

Gill Passman September 11th 05 11:43 PM

Murder in the Malawi Tank
 
I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought
it was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and
isolate for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around
and keeping out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this
morning) Lab. It was pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they
now both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other
night. Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see
I'm now suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5
inch plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused
about their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't
match anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as
they will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions?
Should I leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by
their nature will then fight again and another dominant fish will
emerge? Should I pick one and keep it and get rid of the other one?
"Innocent" fish are getting caught up in their war...

Gill

kay-bee September 12th 05 03:53 PM

Sorry for the loss of your lab.
Keep trying to catch and isolate the tattered yellow lab....it might be
next.

Any possibility the yellow lab died of something else and the other fish
just picked at its carcass?

I'm not sure what size tank you have or how many mbuna are in there, and I'm
not sure what solution would really work.
With the M. lombardoi or lombardoi-hybrids (if that's what they are),
you're tank is pretty much on the aggressive side.

You could try increasing the number of yellow labs (which are generally a
less aggressive fish) to decrease odds of a specific fish being targeted
(but the threat of more 'murders' will still exist). I'd go with adding at
least 4 more. A total of 8 labs would be a good quantity if you are able to
stock that many. If that doesn't help you could try removing the most
aggressive fish in the tank

If that doesn't work you could try removing all of the lombardi and
replacing them with less aggressive fish (ps. acei would go nicely with
yellow labs).

If you want to keep all the hybrids you could add more aggressive fish, but
that's a risky option.

Any pics of your fish?

kay-bee


"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .
I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...

Gill




Gill Passman September 12th 05 04:53 PM

kay-bee wrote:
Sorry for the loss of your lab.
Keep trying to catch and isolate the tattered yellow lab....it might be
next.

Any possibility the yellow lab died of something else and the other fish
just picked at its carcass?

I'm not sure what size tank you have or how many mbuna are in there, and I'm
not sure what solution would really work.
With the M. lombardoi or lombardoi-hybrids (if that's what they are),
you're tank is pretty much on the aggressive side.

You could try increasing the number of yellow labs (which are generally a
less aggressive fish) to decrease odds of a specific fish being targeted
(but the threat of more 'murders' will still exist). I'd go with adding at
least 4 more. A total of 8 labs would be a good quantity if you are able to
stock that many. If that doesn't help you could try removing the most
aggressive fish in the tank

If that doesn't work you could try removing all of the lombardi and
replacing them with less aggressive fish (ps. acei would go nicely with
yellow labs).

If you want to keep all the hybrids you could add more aggressive fish, but
that's a risky option.

Any pics of your fish?

kay-bee


"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .

I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...

Gill




The tank is a 200L (4ft). Its current occupants a-

5 Yellow Labs
2 Aulonocara Hybrid OB Peacocks
4 Maylandia Lombardoi
3 Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos (Electric Blue Johanni)
1 Snowball Plec
Around 6 Melanchronis Juvs
Around 6 plus misc fry that are at various stages of development

I'm actually getting concerned that with the number of growing fry
(especially the Melanchronis) that this tank is getting overstocked and
am planning to sell them on (or get store credit for them). Maybe
returning the Maylandia might be a better option for now.

The Yellow Lab in question showed no signs of any illness and the water
quality is good (I check the fish day and night at feedtime). The
injuries looked similar to those that I have seen on one of the
Melanchromis females after spawning (she always recovers though). But
yes, fish can die for whatever reason.

The two fish in question are still having a go at one another and any
other fish foolish enough to get in their way. I guess they need to go...

The only pictures that are posted anywhere can be found at:-

http://fishgallery.com/default.aspx

Although you have to join the site to view them I'm afraid....still
working on sorting something out for posting my fishy pics. They are a
little out of date having been taken a few months ago but give a general
idea of the setup

The pics are under "Fish Pictures" and are titled:-

The Boys in action
Centre View of tank
Full view of tank
OB Peacock (I thin)
Melanchronis Cyaneorhabdos

One of the perpetrators can be seen in "The Boys in action" next to the
Melanchronis

Thanks for your response
Gill

matt September 13th 05 12:06 AM


"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .
I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...


Hey, i've had 2 yellow labs be "murdered" in my tank too. I originally came
to this NG to find out what happened to the first, but found out it was one
of my demasoni's picking on him. I bought a larger one to repalce him, but
the second one died, leaving just hte larger one. So far he's been ok.
He's about a 1/2" larger than the others. All the labs were larger than the
demasonis. THis week he killed yet another fish. I'm not sure what to do
about this agressive fish. In any case, the yellow labs are on the less
agressive side, and having a larger one seems to help.



kay-bee September 13th 05 05:38 AM

Nice tank.
Well, it seems you have a good number of yellow labs and other fish.
I'd definately try and put the tattered lab in a hospital tank as mentioned
earlier.
You can remove the lombardoi's to tone down the aggression in the tank, or
keep it as it is and see what happens.

kay-bee



kay-bee September 13th 05 05:52 AM

Is your demasoni the only one of its kind in your tank?

I have yellow labs with demasoni and other mbuna. With multiple demasoni in
the tank, mine ignore the other cichlids and focus on each other (nothing
beyond some chasing).
For a while my dominant male demasoni possessed a certain cave and was
territorial. He'd ward off any fish that got too close to the entrance...but
then I rearranged the tank and the cave got taken over by my largest
socolofi.

kay-bee

Hey, i've had 2 yellow labs be "murdered" in my tank too. I originally
came to this NG to find out what happened to the first, but found out it
was one of my demasoni's picking on him. I bought a larger one to repalce
him, but the second one died, leaving just hte larger one. So far he's
been ok. He's about a 1/2" larger than the others. All the labs were
larger than the demasonis. THis week he killed yet another fish. I'm not
sure what to do about this agressive fish. In any case, the yellow labs
are on the less agressive side, and having a larger one seems to help.




Gill Passman September 13th 05 09:01 AM

kay-bee wrote:
Is your demasoni the only one of its kind in your tank?

I have yellow labs with demasoni and other mbuna. With multiple demasoni in
the tank, mine ignore the other cichlids and focus on each other (nothing
beyond some chasing).
For a while my dominant male demasoni possessed a certain cave and was
territorial. He'd ward off any fish that got too close to the entrance...but
then I rearranged the tank and the cave got taken over by my largest
socolofi.

kay-bee


Hey, i've had 2 yellow labs be "murdered" in my tank too. I originally
came to this NG to find out what happened to the first, but found out it
was one of my demasoni's picking on him. I bought a larger one to repalce
him, but the second one died, leaving just hte larger one. So far he's
been ok. He's about a 1/2" larger than the others. All the labs were
larger than the demasonis. THis week he killed yet another fish. I'm not
sure what to do about this agressive fish. In any case, the yellow labs
are on the less agressive side, and having a larger one seems to help.




I wonder if a little rock rearrangement might help in this case - plus
it will be the only way to get the injured lab out...she's out right now
feeding and it looks like there is some regrowth with the fins and tail.

Gill Passman September 13th 05 09:02 AM

matt wrote:
"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .

I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...



Hey, i've had 2 yellow labs be "murdered" in my tank too. I originally came
to this NG to find out what happened to the first, but found out it was one
of my demasoni's picking on him. I bought a larger one to repalce him, but
the second one died, leaving just hte larger one. So far he's been ok.
He's about a 1/2" larger than the others. All the labs were larger than the
demasonis. THis week he killed yet another fish. I'm not sure what to do
about this agressive fish. In any case, the yellow labs are on the less
agressive side, and having a larger one seems to help.


I remember that posting. Weren't you thinking of swopping out the Demasonis?

Gill

NetMax September 13th 05 01:03 PM

"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .
I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...



Mbuna tanks sometimes need to be reset, in regards to the choice of
occupants and to thin out the herd. I'd turn down the water temperature for
a while (until you have time to do the reset). About 74F cools their
tempers down. The reset involves removing all the rocks & fish and
re-arranging them before re-introducing the fish (with a few ommisions which
get given away or sold).

Sometimes, I've hit a combination of mbuna and/or other africans which
peacefully added several generations. These ran several years without
intervention, but typical mbuna tanks require tweaking much more often.

ps: Don't neccesarily focus on the alpha male (troublemaker) as a new alpha
male will quickly take his place and might be worse. Use your discretion.
In regards to the odd fish being found dead, this happens. We joke that
they got 'voted' out. It seems like there's a temporary truce called
amongst the usual combatants, and they cooperate to 'remove' the one voted
out, before going back to their usual chinanigans. Really well balanced
mbuna tanks *almost* don't have this.
--
www.NetMax.tk



Gill




Gill Passman September 13th 05 06:45 PM

NetMax wrote:
"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .

I came down this morning to find a dead Yellow Lab. I instantly thought it
was the tattered beaten up one that I've been trying to catch and isolate
for the past few days....but no...she is still swimming around and keeping
out of trouble. It was a perfectly healthy (until this morning) Lab. It was
pretty badly chewed up.

I have two suspects that are beating on one another so much that they now
both have sores on their mouths...and one of them bit me the other night.
Allegedly, they are Maylandia Lombardoi but from what I can see I'm now
suspecting they are "mutts" - I have 4 of them - 2 are slightly
bluish/white, one is very yellow and the other is a browny yellow. It is
the yellow and the browny yellow that are fighting - they are now 4-5 inch
plus and very fat. From the fry in the tank I'm a little confused about
their origin - deep blue with black vertical stripes - doesn't match
anything else I've got so I'm guessing they are from these fish.

Should I oik both of these fish out of the tank and trade them in as they
will certainly kill one another if not other tank companions? Should I
leave the status quo as if I get rid of these two Mbuna's by their nature
will then fight again and another dominant fish will emerge? Should I pick
one and keep it and get rid of the other one? "Innocent" fish are getting
caught up in their war...




Mbuna tanks sometimes need to be reset, in regards to the choice of
occupants and to thin out the herd. I'd turn down the water temperature for
a while (until you have time to do the reset). About 74F cools their
tempers down. The reset involves removing all the rocks & fish and
re-arranging them before re-introducing the fish (with a few ommisions which
get given away or sold).

Sometimes, I've hit a combination of mbuna and/or other africans which
peacefully added several generations. These ran several years without
intervention, but typical mbuna tanks require tweaking much more often.

ps: Don't neccesarily focus on the alpha male (troublemaker) as a new alpha
male will quickly take his place and might be worse. Use your discretion.
In regards to the odd fish being found dead, this happens. We joke that
they got 'voted' out. It seems like there's a temporary truce called
amongst the usual combatants, and they cooperate to 'remove' the one voted
out, before going back to their usual chinanigans. Really well balanced
mbuna tanks *almost* don't have this.



Thanks for the update. One of the problems is that the two fish in
question are fighting over who is the alpha male and going for anyone
who gets in the way. At the moment it's a bit like "guns at dawn". They
have occuppied one half of the tank each and spend most of their time
posturing and flaring. Occassionally one will encroach on the other ones
half of the tank which results in them locking jaws - both now have
injured mouths. The problem first emerged a few weeks ago when the
non-alpha male mated with one of the females....it has just gone
downhill from there.

The only end I can see to this is that one of them will emerge dominant
either killing or severely injuring the other one. I will try the
breaking down the tank option and see how this pans out - it's better
than doing nothing....one of the fish will have to go back I think...

Thanks again
Gill


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