View Full Version : red zebra on a killing spree

03-31-2007, 04:45 PM
hi ill give alittle description of what happened befor my female red zebra went on a killing spree. I had a cobalt blue zebra, livingstoni, male and female saulosi, and a unknown mawali in a 20 gallon and the tank was very well established, until it broke a leak. I had to move them into a 15 gallon were they were very unhappy, they were here for about a week until i got my 20 gallon replaced. once i moved all my fish back into the fixed 20 gallon my red zebra went on a killing spree and killed ALL of my fish in the matter of weeks. I was very upset. Its been about a week since she has had anny tank mates with her. Today I added a jeweled cichlid thinking that it would tame her becasue i have read that they are very agressive. Whith in hours the red zebra was beating the hell out of the jeweled so i moved the jeweled into a 15 gallon. Now to get to my question. Why the hell is my red zebra killing everything i put in her tank? and is there anny way that i can tame her?. She was fine when my 20 gallon was established but ever since i had to move her she has gone crazy!!!! how can i fix this? thanks alot it would be great to get my tank back to the way it use to be. :(

03-31-2007, 05:07 PM
20gl is way too small for malawi's esspecialy a livingstoni that will need a 100gl+ tank and probably the reason for your dead fish. the reason being there will be no space for your fish to escape agression. she became agressive again as she probably felt the need to reclaim her status as tank boss in the new tank.
if u set on keeping malawi's mate ure gonna need to upgrade to aleast a 55gl and even then a 4foot tank can be on the small side if u get the wrong mix of fish.

03-31-2007, 05:16 PM
i know the tank was too small in the first place but i had that same group of fish in the 20 for about 4 or 5 months and they hardly faught at all, they seemed quite happy. im just very confused as to why she got so agressive just out of the blue like that.

03-31-2007, 05:30 PM
You probably bought them all as juveniles. Baby cichlids are all pretty tame for the most part. They probably had established something of a pecking order and they were probably growing and maturing all during those happy four or five months. When you removed all the fish and then re-introduced them, their territories and hierarchy had all been destroyed. Add to that that most cichlids having been cared for properly are just coming into their own at around 4-6 months after having been bought, and your little female zebra decided it was time to take a territory. Her territorial requirements became the whole tank, and the other fish just wouldn't/couldn't leave like they would in a larger tank or the wild.

Unfortunately, this would likely have occurred even had your 20g tank not sprung a leak although it might have taken a little longer for the zebra to decide to claim her territory.

04-04-2007, 01:34 AM
Sorry for the losses.

Due to the nature of these fish your 20gal is now, for all intents and purposes, a solitary 'red zebra tank' (adding fish from this point on won't bode well, unless you can upgrade to 55gal+).

Out of curiousity, how large is the red zebra and it's former tank mates?

04-04-2007, 12:26 PM
I had a red zebra take over half a 55 gal before, he was around 2in and the other tank mates ranged from 2in-5in. I upgraded to a 75 gal and have no real issues with him anymore. But yeah your going to need a bigger tank.