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Title : African Cichlid Aggression, Why It Happens and How To Stop It! COTW Episode 10
Description : One of the biggest challenges for African Cichlid keepers is dealing with a tank bully or aggression in general. That’s what we’re talking about in this episode of comment of the week.

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Let me tell you a story about what happened in this tank. (Play footage of Livingstonii from live fish direct video) Remember in my video showing all of these fish after we got them from live fish direct I told you that the Livingstonii was the tank boss? Well he took over the tank almost instantly after we got them. He didn’t hurt anyone but he was definitely the boss. Well about a week after we got these fish we started to get concerned. Not about the Livingstonii being the tank boss but we were concerned that there was a more significant problem in the tank. Fish started breathing heavy, acting lethargic etc. Well we immediately moved things around and took all of the fish out to address whatever the problem was in the tank. It turned out to be a problem with out water supply. (Maybe we can talk about that in a future video). The water service authority recommended we run the water for 20-30 seconds before using it for anything so the problem was easy to solve.

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because after we solved the problem and put all of the fish back into this tank the Livingstonii was no longer the tank boss and hasn’t retaken authority over the tank. So why did this happen?

African Cichlids are aggression for a few different reasons.

1 is hierarchy, There always has to be an alpha male and there is always gonna be a competition for that spot.

Sometimes an alpha will emerge and everyone else will fall in line and everyone will get along but more then likely there will be others in the tank that will wanna test the alpha to see if they can take over the spot.

2 is territory. They claim a spot as theirs and defend it as their home.

The third thing they fight over is the same thing that human males have fought over since the beginning of time, girls.

If you have females in your tank the males are gonna be trying to show their dominance over the other males so they can be the Alpha, so they can claim whatever territory they want AND so they can get the girls.

So when you have aggression in your tank there are a few things you can do that should help.

#1 if you have females in the tank get em out (unless you want to breed them.
#2 Create confusion in the tank. Here’s what I mean:
Move things around in the tank so the fish feel like they’re in a new space and have to start all over again as far as the hierarchy goes.
Take the fish out and put them in time out. A “Time out” for the tank bully can be very effective, just make sure you keep him in time out long enough to where he forgets whats going on.
Move all of the fish out, move all of the decorations around and completely remodel things. Then when you put the fish back in the tank they no longer remember who is in charge.

That is pretty much what I did with that Livingstonii but it was for different reasons. He was the tank boss but he wasn’t hurting any of the other fish. I moved them out because of a water issue. They were in the other tank for about 48 hours and then they went right back in and everything was fine.

Movie clips used in this video:
Family Guy
Boyz n the hood
Young Guns 2
Animal House
Game of Thrones
The Princes Bride

Fun pop ups
Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Lola (A Sharks Tale)
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