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Discussion Starter #1
I pretty new at this so I don't know exactly the best thing to do now.

I have three Keyhole Cichlids. I think two of one gender and one of the other. Do the males usually try to pursue the females or is it the other way around? If the males are the ones that pursue I think I have two males and one female. One male looks like he is trying to pair with the female and chases away the other male continually even though that one is just minding his own business. I want a peaceful tank so it bothers me that one fish is always picked on. Is there any solution to this besides removing one fish? Will adding more cichlids help?
 

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in general people keep higher ratios when it comes to cichlids just for that very reason...to distribute aggressiveness. that being said, i had a 4ft tank with about 21 fish...2sibling iceblue red caps. 1 took the 1ft space on the left, the other took the 1ft space on the right side and all the other fish got chased into the other 2 feet, so sometimes overpopulating doesnt work either and you have to make decisions as to who to keep. i got rid of those 2 and the tank was amazingly peaceful. hope this kind of answers your question
 

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in general people keep higher ratios when it comes to cichlids just for that very reason...to distribute aggressiveness. that being said, i had a 4ft tank with about 21 fish...2sibling iceblue red caps. 1 took the 1ft space on the left, the other took the 1ft space on the right side and all the other fish got chased into the other 2 feet, so sometimes overpopulating doesnt work either and you have to make decisions as to who to keep. i got rid of those 2 and the tank was amazingly peaceful. hope this kind of answers your question
The keyholes are in a 36" tank; it is the biggest I can have. It would be nice if the pair settled to one side of the tank so at least Sydney (the one who is picked on) could have a safe area but right now that isn't the case. He has brief moments of peace when he goes behind some driftwood or plants. I did have a fourth Keyhole but he was even more aggressive and persistent in chasing (and larger than the others) so I gave him away. I am reluctant to give up another one. I have seen Youtube videos of multiple Keyholes all peaceful together and I wonder why that isn't the case in my tank.
 

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it may be because they all like to be close to the bottom where the rocks are. maybe if you gave the couple a definate territory such as a cave, they may stay close to there and just protect that spot?
 

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it may be because they all like to be close to the bottom where the rocks are. maybe if you gave the couple a definate territory such as a cave, they may stay close to there and just protect that spot?
I have added another piece of driftwood and also aim to add more plants. However, I also have finally taken the problem fish to Fish Addicts. One morning the female's belly bump was gone and her coloring was less vivid (she looked more like my two males). I suspect she laid eggs overnight which had been eaten. She did hang around and move some gravel where I suspect she had laid eggs. My problem fish, Oscar, began to chase her aggressively like he did Sydney and it was then that I had enough of him.

Now that I just have the two cichlids, Felicity and Sydney, things are far more peaceful. Sydney and Felicity have both become more sharp and vivid in their coloring and Sydney has starting shimmering in front of her on occasion although she pushes him away sometimes. I hope she accepts him and I can try for babies with just these two. I doubt I can have peace with more than 2 Keyholes in a tank with both genders. I thought Keyhole Cichlids were supposed to be peaceful enough to handle several of them but apparently not. I have learned, however, that different fish in the same species have different personalities. Sydney, being at least as big, maybe even bigger than Oscar was, is a more timid fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I've had the one male cichlid, Sydney, and the one female cichlid, Felicity for two months now. Felicity often followed Sydney around and they always slept near each other; sometimes they would shimmer for each other and I thought they were a couple. Last Sunday morning I was giving the fish breakfast and I noticed that Felicity didn't leave the bedroom. (I call it the bedroom because it is a corner of the tank blocked in by driftwood and is were they like to sleep.) Looking closer, I saw that Felicity was guarding some newly laid eggs. I went out for a couple hours and returned to find Sydney in the bedroom and all the eggs gone (I presume he ate them). Felicity was very upset from then on and whenever she saw Sydney she would clamp her fins and dart away. The next day saw a lot of gill flaring between the two and for two nights now Felicity has slept on the other side of the aquarium which is very heart-breaking to see. Does anyone who has kept cichlids seen this kind of thing before? Do you think these fish will make up? Could they ever be a breeding couple?
 

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I have kept many cichlids over the years. I have never bred Keyhole Cichlids though. Cichlid parents eating eggs does happen unfortunately. It’s hard to say what triggers them. I have had great Angel parents raise a couple of broods and then start eating their spawn. My experience is if you keep the pair fed and in the same conditions they will breed again.

One recommendation I read recently with Angel pairs is to keep lights on for 24 hrs or just dim them overnight if they are in a mixed tank so parents can protect eggs and hatched fry from other tank mates including plecos ... in a non-mixed breeding tank this isn’t an issue but I thought this wasn’t a bad idea.
 

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My two Keyholes have been working on their relationship, there has been a lot of shimmering going on. They are no longer sleeping on opposite sides of the tank and Felicity seems to have forgiven Sydney for eating the eggs. I think it is just a matter of time before she lays eggs again. Thanks for the advice.
 
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