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FAQs on African Cichlid Parasitic Disease
(Ich, Velvet...)

FAQs on African Cichlid Disease:
African Cichlid Disease 1African Cichlid Disease 2, African Cichlid Disease 3, African Cichlid Disease 4, African Cichlid Disease 5, African Cichlid Disease 6, African Cichlid Disease 7, African Cichlid Disease 8,
FAQs on African Cichlid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: African Cichlids, Malawian Cichlids: The Mbuna and their Allies By Neale Monks, The Blue Followers: the Placidochromis of Lake Malawi by Daniella Rizzo, Cichlid Fishes,

Related FAQs: Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Disease 2, Cichlid Disease 3, African Cichlids in General, African Cichlid Identification, African Cichlid Selection, African Cichlid Behavior, African Cichlid Compatibility, African Cichlid Systems, African Cichlid Feeding, African Cichlid Reproduction, Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Reproduction,


Protomelas taeniolatus still flashing 7/22/10
As I was working on the 55gal tank I was keeping a eye on my 72 with the Protomelas taeniolatus female that had been flashing and scratching her head on the gravel and I saw her doing it again, this time with a little more vigor. So I checked the water parameters again and found the following results nitrites and chlorine at zero and the nitrates at 10 ppm. The water for all my fish tanks come from the same source and none of my other cichlids are showing any signs of stress. Water conditions were my first thought but everything is within the desirable parameters for these fish.
My second thought would be ich but I haven't seen any white spots on her or the other fish. No labored breathing like it's in their gills. They have been in the tank for 2 months now which should of been more then enough time for a out break of ich to occur. I'm not going to start dumping chemicals in there just to see what might happen without knowing what is the most likely cause. What else could cause her to do this?
<Hi Paul. It does sound like either Velvet or Ick might be an explanation, and a low-impact approach might be to use the old salt/heat method. This shouldn't bother cichlids at all in the short term -- though I'm sure you know about the possible connection between sustained use of salt and the appearance of Malawi Bloat. I do agree, the use of formalin, copper, etc. is generally best avoided where possible. Do also look to see if the water is silty, and check the sand you're using is "burrower friendly" -- some aren't, and these will irritate their gills if used in cichlid tanks. Carib Sea are good about stating which are safe to use in such tanks, and you can find the info on their web site, but other manufacturers are not so transparent. One reason I recommend smooth silica sand is precisely because it's always safe to use. The same can't be said about Tahitian Moon Sand and the like. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Protomelas taeniolatus still flashing 7/22/10

Thanks for the quick response!
<No problems.>
The substrate in this tank is aquarium pebbles so the water is quite clear.
I'm going to try the heat salt method. The correct salt to use would be sea salt or kosher salt?
<Kosher or non-iodised "cooking" sea salt is fine. What you don't want is marine sea salt mix as that has added carbonate that will affect the pH and hardness. Actually, for the fish you're keeping it probably could matter
less! But I'd still use tonic, kosher, or non-iodised cooking salt.>
As I understand it the mixture is 2-3 tablespoons per gallon with elevated temp to about 84-86, leave heated over a period of three weeks correct?
<Pretty much. I prefer to make up a jug of water with the amount of salt required added to it, and then dribble this "brine" into the tank in stages across a couple of hours. Minimises any shock to your fish. Not that cichlids are much phased by salt, but some fish are. I'd bump up the aeration if possible, because higher temperatures means lower oxygen solubility.>
Then a 50% water change weekly, vacuuming the gravel well each time and adding the salt/water mix with the new water? Is there anything that I'm forgetting?
<Nope, sounds fine. I tend to do my usual water changes rather than extra-large ones, especially when salt-tolerant fish like cichlids and livebearers are concerned. But if you're sure you won't otherwise change the pH or hardness by doing a 50% water change, sure, do that instead.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Pseudotropheus acei - parasite?
Parasites On Ps Acei 12/18/09

Hello WWM Crew, I hope you are well this morning (or whatever time of day it is on your particular slice of earth).
My Pseudotropheus acei cichlids have white "things" (descriptive, yes?), clinging to their fins. I have researched various diseases/parasites, but I am completely flummoxed as to what this could be. They look like white lines, approximately two-to-three millimetres long, mostly clinging to the Aceis' pectoral fins, although today I noticed two new ones on the dorsal and anal fin of a mouthbrooding female (photo attached). They are much larger than Ich. The one on her dorsal fin looks like a little oblong egg. Yesterday, this particular female had one attached to each pectoral fin, but today they have disappeared, leaving only faint white traces. They seem to hang on for a couple of weeks, then disappear. None of the other Cichlids have them, only the Acei females. There has been only a total of six of these white things over the past three weeks or so; it is not something that is spreading fast. Do you have any idea what this is?
Here are my tank specifics:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5 - 10
kH: 9
gH: 13
pH: 8.0 - 8.2
50 gallon breeder aquarium
50% weekly water changes
Temperature: 25 C
Food: New Life Spectrum pellets, frozen Mysis, Emerald Entre, various flake, Sushi Nori, cooked/shelled peas.
Decor: lots of hornwort, Vallisneria, rocky hiding places
Inmates: four Pseudotropheus acei (1M/3F), four Labidochromis caeruleus, (1M/3F), three Aulonocara stuartgranti (1M/2F).
Thanks so much, as always, for your help! Carla
< A treatment of Fluke-Tabs should remove the parasites from the fish.-Chuck>

Tropheus kiku has developed a bulge.
Wild Tropheus With Bulge 4/1/2009

The fish is a female wild caught Tropheus sp. Red .
She has been in the US for at least 17 months. Problem occurred around Oct/Nov 2008. (Arrived from the lake Nov/Dec 2007 I believe)
I bought this colony from friend who is a large collector of Tropheus here in Houston (where I live) in Jan 09, and he is keeping this female until we can resolve this. (as he has more of the facilities to do this for me, but I am doing as much leg work as I can, so I can take home my last fish)
She has developed a bulge on one side of her body. Pictures included see below. She is currently in a 20g hospital tank.
She has been medicated with a Melafix, Pimafix, Clout, Epsom salt and a few other medications. Nothing seems to help. She eats, poops and everything a fish normally does, including coming to the glass when someone is near, come to the surface to hit the food like any Tropheus does. I am most interested in a diagnoses, as this is something I have yet
been able to determine. Weekly 50% water change.
pH 7.75 electronically measured.
None of the other fish in the tank she was previously was in shows any signs of this issue. This fish was in a tank with 10 other and 35+ Ikola (all WC). Hopefully the pictures will assist the most.
There is a lot of them so please bear with me.
Thank you J Jesper, Jesper Houken Prairie Fyre Administrator
< Wild fish come in with all kinds of parasites both internal and external.
Dealers can medicate to get rid of some parasites but sometimes not all of them. Because you fish is wild there is no way to determine the age of the fish. Older fish have a much more difficult time with stress then younger fish. I have had wild A. calvus with the same problem. I would recommend a treatment of a combin ation of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace and raise the water temp to 82 F. This combination should treat both internal and external infections. While diving in lake Tanganyika in 2002 I actually found wild fish affected with this condition.-Chuck>

Malawi Cichlid With Ich Hi There, About six months ago we noticed that our African Cichlids were scratching/flashing on our aquarium decor (rocks, gravel, plants) after introducing some new fish.  We have *P. saulosi*, *P. acei*, two *C. moori*, a couple of peacocks and some 'cuckoo' catfish, etc (total 21, mostly fish<1yr old).  All fish are displaying the problem, but none have any external signs of disease as far as we can tell.  Over the past few months we've treated the tank with Para-Cide by AquaMaster for control of external parasites (Trichlorfon) on three separate occasions and also started Fluke & Tapeworm tablets by AquaMaster (Praziquantel).  The problem seems to get worse when treatment first starts and then seems to improve for a short time (or I could just be hopeful) but still persists after treatment is completed. On two occasions we have removed fish to put in separate tanks (two at a time using water from the large tank) and they seem to have stopped scratching completely, without the above treatment of Para-Cide in one case. The fish are otherwise healthy (some are even breeding) and the water quality is maintained for African cichlids (total hardness=18-20 degrees, carbonate hardness=10 degrees, pH=8-8.2, ammonium=0ppm, nitrites=0ppm, temperature=26 degrees, have had nitrates tested at <5ppm).  The aquarium is set up with fine marble chip gravel, lots of rock, Vallisneria and Anubias. It's a 4ft tank with approx 200L and we have an Eheim 2215 filter.  We do a 20% water change fortnightly and feed the fish daily with pellets and occasionally frozen brine shrimp. No one seems to be able to tell us what is wrong with our fish.  We've lost one probably due to an infected injury from scratching and I would hate to lose any more.  Are we on the right track with the treatments or could it be something completely different? Thanks in advance for your help, Carl & Monica < You have an Ich type protozoa infection. Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Treat with Rid-Ich Plus by Kordon. The catfish are going to be very sensitive to this medication. This is a newer formula and is supposed to be safer for scaleless fish. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully. Add a cup of rock salt per 20 gallons. of water. Do not feed while medicating. After treatment use good carbon to remove the medication. The fish are cured but the good bacteria in the system may be gone. Add Bio-Spira from Marineland to replenish these bacteria. Watch for ammonia spikes. You may have to recycle the tank all over again. Do not over feed and use a Spirulina based food.-Chuck>
Malawi cichlids With Ich II  1/16/06
Hi Chuck, Thanks for your insight and amazingly quick response! We're in Melbourne, Australia; and I'm not sure we can get Kordon's' Rid-Ich+ from our fish shop.  Do you know what the active ingredients are in this product, so that we can find a suitable replacement, or should we contact Kordon ourselves? < It is a combination of Malachite green and Formalin. I am sure that you have some Ich medication available, I am just not sure how it will work with your catfish.> We've printed out the product information sheet from their website, but it's not straight-forward listing the ingredients. Thanks (a lot!) and Regards, Carl & Monica < See if you can find Clout. It may work as well.-Chuck>

My  Nubilis is sick! Hi BOB, My name is Michelle W. <Hi Michelle, Ronni here today answering the freshwater questions.> and I have some serious problems with my Haplochromis Nubilis, He was in a 135 tank with my other fish and a female Nubilis and he was getting real aggressive with the other fish, it could have been because of the female, she was holding and I took him out of the 135 gallon tank  for reason no. 1, I didn't want no more fry and no. 2 he was chasing every thing that went by him, but he was just fine when I took him out. The photos that I sent are not so great but the first photo where he is really dark, he looks great, I moved him into a 30 gallon breeder that was available. About four weeks ago, I just noticed the other day that he has a lump under his mouth, chin? and his gills are looking funny, they look like they are folding up on the edges and in side is really red, I sent some pictures and drew a line around the areas where the problems are, he is in a 30 gallon tank , I know these pictures are pretty bad!! <The pictures are fine and were a great help!> But I hope you can get an idea any way. That is not a stripe, that is the gap where his gill plate is suppose to be, please help, I tried to medicate him first for bacterial and then for parasite, now I am feeding him tetra food for bacteria and for parasites. He is still eating thank god!! <First off, how is the water quality in the tank he's in? Are any of the parameters different than they were in your main tank (or have they been different since you put him in the new tank?) It really looks and sounds as if he has some sort of a parasitic infection though. What parasite medication did you use? Check your LFS for medications to treat internal parasites. If you can find one that treats both internal and external parasites I would recommend using that.> I would really appreciate it if you could get back with me on this ASAP! Thank you again! Michelle W. <Good luck! Ronni>

Re: My Nubilis is sick! Thanks Ronni, <You're welcome> I had used Paragon II , but I didn't use it long enough, <When using meds, it's always best to follow the directions exactly.> since then I did a water change, I have some clout, but first I will check the water  and use the clout, I hate doing that but, I know sometimes you have to. I will let you know, he seems strong enough, I hope. Wish me luck! Thanks!!!! Michelle W. <Good luck!


Re: My nubilis HI Ronni, <Hi Michelle> I told you I would let you know how my nuby is doing, and it doesn't look good, when I feed him some of his food is coming out of his gills!  I still have clout in with him and he is eating but I don't know what to do now, poor thing, I can't figure out what happened to him! I hate when this happens!  I will probably have to freeze him, I don't know how old he was when I got him, he was an adult when I purchased him so I don't know if old age is part of it or what, thanks for listing to my problems. Michelle W. <I am very sorry to hear this. Age could be a factor but I've never heard of the food coming out of their gills because of age (or illness for that matter). Wish I could have helped more. Ronni>
Re: My nubilis
Hi Ronni, I didn't mean that the food is coming out of his gills because he is old, I just meant that he got sick so fast, and maybe he was more prone to diseases, I keep my water clean, when I clean my tanks I always gravel clean them, I don't just do water changes.  Have you ever heard of this before? (The food coming out of the gills?) Michelle Wrathell <My mistake, I read your last message wrong. But actually, the only fish I've ever heard of that has food come out of his gills is a friends Puffer and then only when he eats Mysis shrimp. He doesn't do it with Brine or other frozen foods; just the Mysis and we've never been able to figure out why. While we're talking about foods though, have you recently changed the food this guy has been getting? And has he been getting a good variety including some blue-green algae (like Spirulina)? Ronni>
Re: My nubilis
Hi again Ronni, I feed my fish a variety of foods from color bits tropical granules from tetra to tetra crisps and the flake foods and now and then I get those frozen variety packs, the one that has blood worms and shrimp. I do have some of that green algae because I also have Tropheus moorii that likes it, I also have Spirulina flakes, I will try some of that algae on him, I am not giving up yet! I did a water change to  give him a break for a while and maybe medicate one more time just to be sure, he does look better today, his gills are looking smoother and not so curled up and red, (a great thing)  why did you ask about the blue green algae? Are my fish lacking something maybe? Michelle Wrathell <Hi Michelle. I'm very glad to hear that he seems to be doing better! The blue - green algae (Spirulina) is an important part of the diet for any African Cichlid in captivity. Every breeder I've talked to recommends that they be offered this several times a week. In the wild, these fish are omnivorous. While a major potion of their diet consists of small crustaceans and larval insects, they do graze on the algae quite a bit and need this for proper health. In captivity, the lack of this can lead to many different health problems, one of them being 'Malawi Bloat'. Even though it's called Malawi Bloat and most often happens to fish from Lake Malawi, it can and does happen to Cichlids from other lakes (like Lake Victoria where yours is most likely from) and occasionally even the S. American Cichlids. Since your fish readily takes flake or floating pellet food he should do just fine with the addition of the Spirulina flakes. Try supplementing him with them a couple of times a week and see what happens. This may be what you meant by the green algae that your Moori likes but you can get dried algae that can be clipped to the side of your tank with a lettuce clip or that can be attached to a rock, this allows them to graze on it a bit more than the flakes do since it doesn't foul quite as fast. Basically, try feeding the Nubilus just like you do the Moori and see if it helps. Ronni>

Enquiry (Tilapia parasite fauna information request) Sir/Madam: Greetings!!!!!! I'm a fourth year Bs Biology student and I'm having a thesis entitled " helminth parasites in the gills and guts of tilapia". In connection, with this I would like to acquire a copy of any published article concerning this subject or any related literature about this topic. hope you could offer a few time to read and could give a positive response of this request. Through your positive reply my future will be brighten and it could give assistance to my study. Until here, and I'm waiting for your reply. God blesses you ! Respectfully yours, Andre Aggasid C/O College of arts and sciences Central Mindanao University Musuan 8710 Bukidnon PHILIPPINES <Hmm, good topic (Tilapia, Oreochromis cichlids are very important food fishes in many places of the world). I don't have such pertinent literature, but will post your message on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com) in hopes that others may be able to help you. Bob Fenner>

Tumors on my I have a trio of Kribs, 2 males and 1 female. One male and the female have formed a bond and I expect will be making babies soon. I've had success with breeding Kribs in the past so am familiar with the behaviors I am observing. My question is about the unpaired male. He has bumps near his tail that appear to be tumors.  <could be parasites too... added any live plants?> By this I mean they seem to be under the skin, and pushing it up in bumps. There are 4 or 5 of them. Some are whitish, others more brown. They are small, maybe the size of a pinhead except where several sort of blend together. The fish is under a lot of stress, he is definitely a target fish for the mated pair. They ignored each other until the "sick" fish was introduced to the tank. They then almost immediately pinked up and claimed a territory. They both chase him unmercifully, my tank is a 40 gallon and is not crowded plus has lots of hiding caves, tunnels, etc... so he basically hides out a lot with the Corys. On top of all that my honey Gouramis recently spawned and the male of that pair also chases him out of "his" corner. The "sick" fish's appetite is good and I make sure he gets food while the mated pair is distracted with their own food. I'm wondering what these bumps are. Do you have any idea?  Also if you do know if you have information on treatment I would appreciate that too; plus information on contagiousness. Thank you, Carla D'Anna <alas... too difficult to diagnose via e-mailed description. Do look into Dieter Untergasser's Handbook of Fish Diseases for a better ID and treatment. Best regards, Anthony>
Re: Tumors on my Kribensis?
Thank you, I have separated that fish from the tank and am taking him to a local fish store where I hope I can get some information. I fear it may be parasites because yes, I did add new live plants (water lettuce) from an outdoor pond and have had a small snail population building. The fish appear to eat the eggs and some of the smaller snails. I also have 2 1 inch Ram's Horn snails from the fish store. So, while none of the other show any signs of this if it is a parasite carried by the snails I suppose I may need to treat the entire tank, not just the sick fish.  <perhaps not... begin with the sick fish separated to a QT tank> My problem is I have so many types of fragile fish. 5 Cory cats, 1 upside down catfish, 5 neons, 1 killifish, 2 mini dwarf Gouramis, 2 German Rams, and now just 2 Kribensis (since I took the sick one out). Plus, I have a floating bowl with about 20 honey Gouramis fry and I throw their old water out by about 1/3 per day and replace it with tank water. PLUS, the Kribensis are broody and may have already spawned so there may be fry in the main tank. I guess depending on the diagnosis I may need to kill off all the snails. <hmmm... I don't follow or agree. > If it is a parasite that the snails are a vector for would it be likely that the Ram's horns have it too? I don't mind getting rid of the little wild ones but I'm fond of the Ram's horns. <I don't think you have to rid either. The vector cannot maintain the pathogen indefinitely. Once the tank is clean and all new entries are properly QT'ed, all will be fine> If I do make the decision that the origin of the problem is the snails what treatment do you recommend to kill off all snails (in view of the fish I have). <good heavens... don't kill anything! Especially not the innocent. The plants and water are more likely carriers> Oh, tank is 40 gallons. Ph is 7.2, ammonia zero. Filter is Magnum canister and an under gravel. Just remembered, last partial water change I sucked up some one inch living red skinny, skinny worms from the gravel. I did feed black worms (live) once months ago,  <also a VERY risky food... in fact, that is the most likely import of the pathogen at this point. There presence after one month suggests a nutrient problem in the tank (overfeeding and/or lack of water changes that allowed them to survive in the gravel> the Rams got ick and I learned my lesson. I treated the tank and all the fish recovered except I lost several neons (I understand they are fairly fragile, I tend to lose them a lot. When I try to build the school up I'll typically lose 50% of the new introductions. I get similarly sized ones so they can compete for food, they seem to be accepted into the school and they never look sick. They just disappear and I never find the bodies so I suppose the other fish eat them after they die. I don't think they eat them alive because I get large neons. My killifish MIGHT eat them but I doubt it, he is about 3 inches and can eat some pretty big bugs but he seems to only grab things near the surface. None of my other fish are over 2 inches. Speaking of bugs, I do feed bugs from the yard to the killifish. Maybe I should stop that.  <terrestrial are OK and most FW aquatics are cool too... the blackworms simply come from cess pools!> Plus I maintain 2 containers of green water that attract mosquitoes and flies and I feed those larvae to the fish.  <very fine food> I also feed the micro dots swimming about to the fry. This water was originally tap water with lettuce in it that I left in the sun to grow algae, it did not come from a pond. <also safe/fine> I love to see spawning behavior, that is why I choose the Kribs, rams and Gouramis. I've had all of them spawn plus angels, blue Gouramis, guppies and Bettas in the past but all those sources of live food help may be a source of illness. The fish love it and some pair is always spawning but it may be causing more diseases too. I hate to raise brine shrimp (messy) but maybe I'll get a daphnia culture going and stop all the wild bugs. <wise, yes> What are your thoughts on any area you'd care to comment? Thanks in advance for your advice. Fish store employees seldom have much to say that I don't either already know or worse, that I know is wrong. I probably should join a local aquarium club and will look into that. <indeed one of the most helpful things you could do!> Carla <best regards, Anthony>

Help Me, Help My Fish Dear WWM, I was referred to you by some people at Petco. I have an African Cichlid, I cannot say what type it is. It is kind of brown and has black vertical stripes. Today I noticed that it has been shaking its head as if something was wrapped around it. But later today, I noticed that he twitches and shakes his whole body, but mostly his head. He is about an inch and 1/4 long and only a couple of months old. The other fish in the tank are fine. The PH levels are fine and the nitrate level is also fine. My fish seems to be irritable and in discomfort. He'll chase every other fish away and doesn't seem to be able to be still, he darts around. I thought it might be Ich, so I put in some medication. I am thinking about taking him out of the tank, although the others are not messing with him. Please help, I am very fond of my fish and hate seeing him in such a way. The temperature is fine, oh yeah, and he rubs up against smooth parts of the decor inside. What could he have, and what should I do? < I think you are on the right track. There is something attacking the skin of your fish. It may indeed be Ich or some other protozoa. Rid-Ich from Kordon works really well. It contains Formalin that coats the fish. Follow the directions on the bottle. Make sure the temp. is up around 80 degrees. Add a teaspoon of rock salt to each 5 gallons of water too. This will help create a slim on the fish to fight off the attack. Keep up on your water changes and check that the rid-Ich has not affected the biological filtration. If the tank starts to get cloudy then check for ammonia. be ready for some water changes if the biological filtration becomes affected by the rid-Ich.-Chuck>  Sincerely, Liza Castillo

Cichlid Troubles Hello, I am new to the freshwater aquarium world and I'm hoping you would point me in the right direction on what I should do with my sick (or maybe not) cichlids...I currently have 5 African cichlids no more than 2 inches, electric yellow, cobalt blue, red zebra, Kenyi and auratus cichlids (they were 5 for $10, so I got one of each.)  I also HAD 5 blood parrots about 3-4 inches, all have died recently due to Ich (they had white spots all over their body.)   <I'm sorry to hear that.> They were all in my 90 gallon tank which was set up about 3 months ago.  I think it could be the water change that caused them to get sick because white spots appeared on the parrots immediately after the water change.   <Quite possible, if you didn't match pH and temperature on the water change.  I trust you did use a dechlorinator, though?> I regret to say that we didn't check for nitrate, ammonia, etc but only checked the pH.  I don't' think the water temperature was correct either, we had only one heater that maintained about 75 degrees.  My tank is being cleaned right now and I have moved the African cichlids to a smaller 5 gallon tank (might be a bit small) <Oh goodness, yes that is a bit small!!> until the bigger tank is cleaned.  I also went and bought supplies for the aquarium, such as medications, nitrate and ammonia testers, aquarium salt and an extra heater. <Make sure you have test kits for pH and nitrite in addition to ammonia and nitrate.> I was told by LFS to quarantine the fish and separate the ones that had white spots from the ones that don't, they had also told me to treat all of the fish with Ich medicine because more than a couple of fish had white spots, possibility that they're all infected but not showing signs yet.   <With Ich, I would quarantine the fish together in the same tank and treat them all for it - it is quite possible that even fish that don't look infected really are, and have the parasites in their gills> They show the early signs like scratching on objects or rocks, hanging motionless at the top of the tank.   <Very sure symptoms, yes> The electric yellow is the most active fish but now we don't' see him as often as before and he's always next to the water flow or the air pump.  My Kenyi is also scratching and sometimes looks as if he's having a seizure and my red zebra all of a sudden developed redness along side his gills.  The Cobalt Blue is the most aggressive fish and he seems fine.  Auratus is starting to act like the electric yellow.  Should I be worried that they're acting this way?  I know these are signs but they don't have any white spots.   <They don't need to have visible spots on them to be infected - again, they may have parasites in their gills.> I do also have 2 mollies (They were my first fish) and one of them only has 1 white spot (definitely looks like Ich.)  I read that it can take only several white spots to do a small fish in.   <Indeed - if you see spots on the fish, you can be relatively certain that they have Ich in their gills as well, compromising their ability to take in oxygen.> Sometimes they splash at the top of the water, as if gasping for air and resume normal activities.  This happens occasionally.  (They've been hanging around at the top of the aquarium lately as well.) <Definitely signs of Ich - the splashing can be to try to dislodge parasites, or can also be in response to poor water quality - be sure to check your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH levels> Should I separate them from the cichlids?   <No, I would treat all the fish together.> I have already begun to treat them with Rid-Ich for the last 2 days.  I have been doing a 20% water change from the small quarantine tank everyday and checked for pH, nitrate, ammonia, added some aquarium salt and stress coat, and following with the Ich medication.   <Sounds perfect> Can I feed them during medication and how often?   <Feed as normal, or a little less.> Should I not treat them now with the Rid-Ich and wait until white spots appear (if they do) and then treat them?   <Treat all the fish; it sounds to me like all are exhibiting signs of Ich> If so, how long should I continue treatment for? <I would continue treatment for two weeks from the time you started; if you're leaving the main tank fallow (fishless), turn the temperature in there up to 85 degrees or so while you're treating the fish; this will help rush the Ich's life cycle and hopefully eradicate them from the tank when they go in search of hosts and find none.> And when doing water changes, is the water that I'm going to add to the tank supposed to be the same temperature as the water in the tank? <Yes, absolutely; this will help prevent future problems.  Major temperature swings can bring on outbreaks like this.> Please help.  I've lost the parrots and it was sad enough and I don't wanna lose my baby cichlids....I want them to grow BIG!! =o) All the advice that you can give me is greatly appreciated.  Sandy <For some further reading, please check this out:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .  Hope everything goes well for you, and that your fish recover shortly!  -Sabrina>
Cichlid Troubles II, and some praise
Hi Sabrina, Thank you for the advice...I must say, your website does wonders for clueless aquarists like me!  I don't know what I would've done, probably nothing or something that shouldn't be done, if I hadn't discovered your website.   <Thank you for the kind words!  It is indeed something that I am honored to be a part of.> Taking your advice (although I was hesitant to move all the fish to separate tanks because I really didn't know what I was doing) I kept them all together and have been treating the mollies and the cichlids with Rid-Ich. The male molly who previously had one white spot HAS NO MORE SPOTS!!!   <Yay!> The only thing is that he seems to be going through some fin and tail rot, (not sure if ICH can lead to that but I think so or the cichlids may be nipping at him)  His tail is raggedy and so are his fins.   <Might possibly be a result of the medication, the illness, or yeah, the cichlids.  The mollies probably won't fare very well with the cichlids in the long run.> I'm a little over a week into treating the fish with Rid-Ich and 20% water changes everyday (using Amquel to remove ammonia, chlorine and all that stuff) I am actually seeing some improvements.   <Good to hear!  Be sure to keep up with the Ich treatment until all the Ich is off the fish, and for the full life cycle of it thereafter.> As for my molly, I'll be keeping him separated and treat with Maracyn for the fin and tail rot after treating with Rid-Ich.   <Excellent.> The good news, THEY ALL SEEM TO BE GETTING BETTER!!!  Well I just wanted to thank you for the advice and your website...there is LOTS of useful information and needless to say, I've learned a lot from reading all the articles and will definitely keep your site as a reference for any future occurrences. <Again, thank you so much for the kind words, and I'm so glad to hear of the fishes' improvement!  Keep up the good work.  -Sabrina> Sandy

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