Killer Malawis

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by leslie, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. leslie


    Oct 5, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Gordon's Bay, Cape Town
    The strangest thing has been happening in my Malawi tank over the last two weeks and I am not sure why.

    I have had my Malawi tank for about six months now with seven Malawi; two upside down cats; two small algae eaters(don't ask what kind as I do not know, they came with the Malawi), and they have been happy untill recently. Both my algae eaters on two seperate occasions have been eaten by the other fish in the tank...

    None of the fish were showing signs of stress or being sick, I feed the guys regularly and my water has been testing perfectly. Any ideas why they would turn on the algae eaters? I am afraid they may turn on the smaller of the two cats and have a good chowdown on him aswell.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  2. Guest

  3. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Hi there

    It is something that I have seen and heard of several times in Malawi setups. First, the cichlids tend to set up territories - this is natural and is to be expected. The algae eaters tend to cruise around the tank, regardless of territory, and therefore often get chased and attacked by the defending cichlids.

    This is one of a few reasons why I cannot recommend algae eaters within Malawi tanks. The other reasons include that those are the wrong water parameters for most common algae eaters, as well as the fact that several Malawi species naturally browse on algae, therefore leaving out other algae eaters from the tank may be beneficial to your cichlids.

    What upside down catfish do you have? Some species of upside down cats come from the same lakes as the cichlids and so tend to get on quite well. Otherwise they hide enough to not be a bother to the cichlids.

    I can only recommend that you remove the algae eater(s) from your tank if the attacks continue. Either move them to a different tank or take them back to the pet store before they receive too much damage or are killed.

  4. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

    Aug 2, 2011
    Likes Received:

    I agree with SalmonAfrica,

    Not sure what algae eaters you have from Malawi?
    But the Cichlids are aggro and will attack them unfortunately. Also the water is probably too hard for them.

    The only other fish that you should keep with them are some of the Rift Valley Synodontis (eg multipunctatus etc)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016

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