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FAQs on African Cichlid Diseases 4

FAQs on African Cichlid Disease:
African Cichlid Disease 1African Cichlid Disease 2, African Cichlid Disease 3, African Cichlid Disease 5, African Cichlid Disease 6, African Cichlid Disease 7, African Cichlid Disease 8, African Cichlid Disease 9, African Cichlid Disease 10, African Cichlid Disease 11, African Cichlid Disease 12,
FAQs on African Cichlid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), 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 WorldCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease Cichlid Reproduction,

Cichlid getting picked on or sick?   6/18/06 i <I> have a 55 gallon tank with 5 cichlids a Texas, 2) bumble bees, red zebra and a electric blue.   <Mmm, the Texas is really not behaviorally compatible with these Africans...> nitrite is at 0 ppm and ph at 7.8 to 8.0  had the tank for 4 yrs.  all fish are doing fine but on bumble bee has 2 bumps around nose area and looks like the flesh is peeling away.  i don't know if its sick or being bullied by the electric blue the tank bully thanks for any help you can give me. <... could be an illness of sort... nutritional, parasitic (though doubtful), or environmental... On viewing your images, this is more obviously an environmental complaint... Something has irritated this fishes nares/nasal passages if you will. I would increase your frequency of water changes, enlarge your selection/use of fresh/er foods. Bob Fenner>


Electric Blue Cichlid with Black Mouth  6/3/06 Hello I have an electric blue that we got about a month ago. He has been doing really good until my husband put a Pacu in there when I told him not to. The Pacu was given to him by a friend and I don't know where it has been. It has been in our take now for about 2 days and I noticed that my electric blue has black blotches around it's mouth. They aren't little spots really unless there is a lot of them and they look like a blotch b/c they are all clumped together. My fish seems to be fine expect I noticed that it is like digging on the bottom of my tank moving the rocks all off the bottom?? Do possibly know what is wrong with my blue and what I need to do!! I find him shrimp pellets, could this be causing the black stuff?? If you would like to see pictures please let me know. Thank you and I will be awaiting your reply! Christie < Your cichlid now has a companion and is setting up boundaries by placing piles of gravel around the tank to delineate where his territory starts and stops. The darkened areas around the mouth are probably from the gravel being too coarse and injuring his mouth. Try changing to a smaller/finer substrate.-Chuck>


Pregnant Aulonocara died - could it be Mycobacteriosis?   6/3/06 <Mmm, possibly> I've attached photos of my pregnant female Aulonocara who died recently hoping I could get your opinion.  I thought she had an extreme case of black spot when I got her. <Black spot... as in Velvet? Looks more neurological...>   About a month after her first brood (which are all healthy and 2 months old) she began looking unhealthy and a little bloated. Mycobacteriosis kept entering my mind and I decided I would isolate her and try to treat her for whatever, when before I could, she was holding a 2nd time.  I decided to wait till after her hatch and lost her.  The first 2 photos were taken a month or so earlier when she wasn't pregnant.  The last 2 were taken recently (one while holding and the other right after).   She started swimming nonstop for 48 hours after moving her into an isolation tank, just 3 days before her eggs should have hatched.  The eve before her due date I saw 2" or so of something black hanging out her gill.  It fell off and appeared to be a black filamentous fungus (in hindsight, maybe it was gill filament).  More bits and pieces are shown on the white nylon bag covering the intake.  More trailed out shortly after and I spotted a dead baby fry in the tank.  She was manic and still making egg tumbling movements with her mouth, swimming in a frenzy and her gills were all swollen.  I realized something was wrong and either the eggs had fungused or she had dead fry in her mouth.  I placed her in a Methylene Blue dip and she spit dead fry.  She seemed better and her gill swelling went down.   The next two days she refused to eat and never rested completely.  Suddenly she darted like a missile across the tank into the walls twice and flipped upside down. I thought she was dead, but then noticed shallow breathing so I rushed her into another MB dip with aeration.  She was able to upright herself and swim.  I diluted the dip and kept her there for an  hour or so (making sure to keep the temperature constant).  I placed her back in her tank, added a few drops of MB and 1/2 dose of Furan 2.  She died several hours later.  I examined her gills and the filaments were completely gone and she had a gaping hole on each side under her operculum where you could see into her mouth and out her lips.   The gill areas were completely flesh colored with no evidence of anything black remaining. Cindy <The swelling, and raw areas could be bacterial in nature. I do wish Chuck Rambo wasn't incommunicado. If this were a breeding facility for Kaiserfishche/Aulonocaras, I'd treat all with a Furan Compound... Likely Nitrofuranace, after isolating all systems thus mal-affected. Bob Fenner>

Re: Imported Loricariid death/s  6/5/06 Bob,  off the record.. I got this Aulonocara from Cichlid Exchange in Portland.  My LFS orders from them (when they can't get stock from African Northwest in Seattle).  I'm furious after this Aulonocara and recently receiving a special order King Tiger Pleco from them last month with a severe case of sunken belly (take a look at the photo attached). >Did you bring this up with them?< > >I returned the dead Pleco and talked to the manager of the fish department.  He's worked there for years but was only recently promoted to manager when the previous manager graduated with his PHD in Marine Biology and left to pursue a career in environmental ecology.  He has a lot to learn now that he's in charge of inventory and ordering and appreciates that I take time to do research and share it with him.  He hasn't placed an order with Cichlid Exchange since I got this Pleco with sunken belly and explained to him these are wild caught, not captive bred Plecos and that's the reason he's been having so many recent Pleco losses.  I told him what happened with my Aulonocara and my concern that the breeder's facility might have an outbreak of mycobacteriosis or some other serious bacterial problem.  He said after hearing this he doesn't plan on ordering from them again.  He has had a number of recent Aulonocara losses and some were large expensive fish.   He thought the problem might be with the Aulonocara species in general and had even considered discontinuing stocking them.  Do you know any reputable breeders/distributors you would recommend for Cichlids and exotic Plecos?  He could use some help now, especially after receiving a shipment of saltwater with cyanide poisoning (? I know nothing about saltwater) that forced him to shut down half his tanks for a week.<< <Am referring this question of supply to our most able Cichlid expert, Chuck Rambo. Bob Fenner>

 Re: Pregnant Aulonocara died - could it be Mycobacteriosis? Finding A Source For Plecos and Cichlids 6/5/06 Dear Bob,/Cindy A few comments concerning this email. 1) Pregnant Aulonocara I know the cichlid exchange has been getting in many wild Aulonocara species direct from Lake Malawi. After getting this email I am sure that the fish was not pregnant and indeed died of Malawi Bloat. The stress of being shipped half way around the world takes its toll on many of the fish but especially the females for some reason. I don't know the area Cindy is in but it appears to be the NW area of the US where the water is usually very soft and somewhat acidic. Her tank may be set up for Malawi fish but I wonder if the store itself was set up for wild fish. Captive bred fish are much hardier than wild fish when it comes to water conditions and pH. I suspect that the store was not experienced enough to handle wild fish and did not modify the water as needed. Not ordering these wild fish would probably be a good move for the store, the fish, and their customers. Tank bred species would be better but stores and customers are reluctant to wait while these fish grow and color up.  2) Hollow Bellied Pleco That was really bad. I would recommend that Cindy contact the Cichlid Exchange herself at their website and send along her photo to back up her story. It is true that they are wild fish but that particular fish should not have been sent out. The trouble is, that the suppliers that have good Plecos are very expensive because they hold on to their Plecos for awhile and the Plecos die on them. They make up for the losses by passing the additional costs on to the price of the living Plecos. Many times these prices are too high for many retail customers to buy.  3) Finding A Source For Plecos and Cichlids. If you are interested in Aulonocara species then there really is no better source than the Cichlid Exchange. The owner is one of the most renown experts on this field in the entire world. Next time I would recommend that you order captive bred fry and grow them up. They are the best and are usually as good or better than wild fish without all the problems that wild fish come with. The wild Plecos are a crap shoot. I see these Plecos all the time at my local wholesaler. Some come in with nice full bellies while others right next to them are skeletons. Apparently when an order is placed it may take three weeks for the collectors to get enough Plecos to fill a box. At day one the first Pleco is caught and placed in a container. It stays their until enough Plecos are caught to fill the box. It has not been fed and so lives off its reserves. The recently caught fish look great. The first ones caught resemble the ones in Cindy's photo. There are many good Plecos from vendors at aquabid.com. But the pricing and shipping may make a purchase cost prohibitive.----- <Thanks much for these insights Chuck. Will post/share. BobF>

Update on Pregnant Aulonocara Death & Cichlid Exchange... Monogenes   6/18/06 I think we've isolated the cause of death of my pregnant Aulonocara ruben Red and fry.  The 2 ½  mo. old fry were exhibiting similar symptoms, one died and I almost lost another just 1 ½ weeks ago.   When we last left off I was treating both the fry and remaining adults with Furan-2 and concerned they might have mycobacteriosis.  Not knowing for sure what I was dealing with I treated this as some sort of bacterial gill infection.  They survived the Furan-2 treatment but the fry still looked pale and their gills looked pink and irritated.  Several were thin and wasting away. Chuck:'¦'¦'¦Cichlid Exchange contacted me after you contacted them.  They checked my date of purchase for the female Ruben Reds against their records and confirmed they were from a breeding pair of theirs sold to my LFS. Cichlid Exchange thinks the pregnant female Aulonocara died from digenetic flukes after talking to me and viewing photos (the pinhead cysts are evident in the photos I sent you). <Ahh! Not uncommon>   I have a feeling she also had monogenetic flukes because her gills were swollen and red.   They recommended treating the fry and adults with a bath of a ½ dose of Clout for 5 days, then doing a partial water change and repeating the ½ dose another 5 days.  They mentioned possibly following up with Praziquantel medicated food.  I'm actually considering a Praziquantel bath over medicated food since it sounds as though Praziquantel absorbs well through the skin.  Right now I am on day 4 of the Clout treatment and the fry seem okay but are still pale with pink gills.  I am disappointed I'm not seeing any results so far.  Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon, but I was hoping to see some reduction in the gill irritation by now.  I worry that a ½ dose isn't sufficient, <Best to be conservative here. With fishes that are already border-line gill-damaged> yet anything stronger might kill the young ones who are only ½' -3/4' long.  I don't know how they tolerate Clout, my hands itch as soon as I place them in the tank until I wash them with soap.  I have an aquarist friend who thinks Clout is the worst treatment and a shotgun approach.  He's trying to convince me to switch over to Fluke Tabs.  He said fluke tabs aren't as hard on the fish, especially babies.  Any suggestions? <I would finish with Clout for now... but switch to Fluke Tabs if there is a next time> I think the fry have monogenetic flukes as several of them were flashing against objects 8-10 weeks ago (at the time I thought it was due to traces of ammonia in their brand new uncycled tank).   I kept up daily water changes until I was able to get my hands on some Bio-Spira and then I was soon able to cut back to every other day changes.  None of the fry have any evidence of external lesions or cysts.  The flashing, pale skin, irritated gills, and emaciation sound more like symptoms of monogenetic flukes, but then again, what do I know?   <Need microscopic examination for an assured diagnosis, but Trematodes are common on wild-collected fishes or ones that are mixed with same> I know there are a number of different types of flukes and some have complex life cycles, can attack different organs, some attach externally, others internally, and others live in the blood. I've heard some types of flukes may be incurable.  I haven't had sufficient time to research this more thoroughly as I just got back from 5 days in FL (I flew back the night before the storm officially was upgraded to a hurricane.  I waded through ankle deep water during a torrential downpour & 40 mile an hour winds at Cape Canaveral so I could make my flight home -- but it was worth it and I got to see a several Manatees before I left!).  In case you're wondering, I had someone tending to the fish in my absence (a needed break after the losses I've been dealing with here recently!). My fluke problem may extend beyond the Aulonocaras.  I quarantined an Astatotilapia latisfaciata (Zebra Obliquidens) in the same tank the pregnant Aulonocara was in immediately after I moved her into her permanent residence.  Right after moving the Zebra Obliquidens I quarantined three Plecos (one of which I sent you a picture of that died from sunken belly), all again in the same tank.  The quarantine tank has a gravel substrate which could harbor flukes and fluke eggs. Now I feel I need to treat these fish as well and I don't have a clue as to which fluke medications are safe to treat Plecos with.  The substrate goes when this is all over! Cindy <No need to toss all, any gear that's been exposed as long as it is treated along with the fishes. Bob Fenner>

Peacock Cichlid Female Died After Breeding  6/3/06 Pregnant Aulonocara died  - could it be Mycobacteriosis? <Usually after breeding females become stressed and are weak. I think more likely your fish died from bloat, which is an internal protozoal infection.-Chuck>

Re: Pregnant Aulonocara died - could it be Mycobacteriosis? and Loricariid sel. hlth.  6/3/06 <Mmm, possibly>   <<If this was indeed mycobacteriosis, what are the chances her baby fry will have it?>> >Frightening to consider... Mycobacteria are pretty much ubiquitous... can become virulently pathogenic under "right/wrong" circumstances. I do suspect this strain, species is still about< I've attached photos of my pregnant female Aulonocara who died recently hoping I could get your opinion.  I thought she had an extreme case of black spot when I got her. <Black spot... as in Velvet? Looks more neurological...>    About a month after her first brood (which are all healthy and 2 months old) she began looking unhealthy and a little bloated.  Mycobacteriosis kept entering my mind and I decided I would isolate her and try to treat her for whatever, when before I could, she was holding a 2nd time.  I decided to wait till after her hatch and lost her.  The first 2 photos were taken a month or so earlier when she wasn't pregnant.  The last 2 were taken recently (one while holding and the other right after).   She started swimming nonstop for 48 hours after moving her into an isolation tank, just 3 days before her eggs should have hatched.  The eve before her due date I saw 2" or so of something black hanging out her gill.  It fell off and appeared to be a black filamentous fungus (in hindsight, maybe it was gill filament).  More bits and pieces are shown on the white nylon bag covering the intake.  More trailed out shortly after and I spotted a dead baby fry in the tank.  She was manic and still making egg tumbling movements with her mouth, swimming in a frenzy and her gills were all swollen.  I realized something was wrong and either the eggs had fungused or she had dead fry in her mouth.  I placed her in a Methylene Blue dip and she spit dead fry.  She seemed better and her gill swelling went down.   The next two days she refused to eat and never rested completely.  Suddenly she darted like a missile across the tank into the walls twice and flipped upside down. I thought she was dead, but then noticed shallow breathing so I rushed her into another MB dip with aeration.  She was able to upright herself and swim.  I diluted the dip and kept her there for an  hour or so (making sure to keep the temperature constant).  I placed her back in her tank, added a few drops of MB and 1/2 dose of Furan 2.  She died several hours later.  I examined her gills and the filaments were completely gone and she had a gaping hole on each side under her operculum where you could see into her mouth and out her lips.   The gill areas were completely flesh colored with no evidence of anything black remaining. Cindy <The swelling, and raw areas could be bacterial in nature. I do wish Chuck Rambo wasn't incommunicado. If this were a breeding facility for Kaiserfishche/Aulonocaras, I'd treat all with a Furan Compound... Likely Nitrofuranace, after isolating all systems thus mal-affected. Bob Fenner> <<Is it safe for me to treat her 9 week old fry?>> >Yes, but I don't know that I actually would. Likely not infected to the >point of actual disease, perhaps some acquired immunity in fact as a matter >of exposure< <<The other female Aulonocara that was in the same tank  is mouthbrooding again.  She doesn't have any of the black markings like the other female had.  She hasn't been looking as healthy lately and does have some fraying of her fins.  Should I treat her tank now, or wait until after she spits her fry and I remove them?>> Cindy Bob,  off the record.. I got this Aulonocara from Cichlid Exchange in Portland.  My LFS orders from them (when they can't get stock from African Northwest in Seattle).  I'm furious after this Aulonocara and recently receiving a special order King Tiger Pleco from them last month with a severe case of sunken belly (take a look at the photo attached). >Did you bring this up with them?< My LFS told me they'd recently received a number of Plecos from them in this condition that died. >Not surprisingly... Not good to let Loricariids get this thin/debilitated<   The LFS didn't put two and two together until I explained to them that these aren't captive bred, they are wild caught. What kind of distributor operates this way? >Poor ones... though many exotic aquatics are still wild-collected< They must ship them out as soon as they receive them.  These Plecos don't have a fighting chance unless they get them eating again and fattened up. >Agreed< I spent 5 weeks trying to save this King Tiger's life because I knew if I returned him to my LFS he wouldn't have a fighting chance.  I fed him you name it 5-6 times a day, did daily water changes, and even ran out to the grocery store one night at 10:00 p.m. to get eggs (to paint egg white on rock and cover it with crushed peas, zucchini & yam), all in an attempt to try to save him.   I got him eating again with a healthy appetite, then he suddenly took a turn for the worse. He died yesterday, so sorry if I'm sounding a little bit angry right now. >No worries< I appreciate all you do with your website.  I love all creatures great and small.  I believe when I adopt something it is my responsibility to care for it as if it were my own and to not treat pets as disposables.  My cats have lived to ripe old ages, averaging 19 yrs, because I spend the money to feed them the best foods available and to get them the best veterinary care.  I try to do the same for my fish. >Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner<


Cichlids floating vertically - need your help!   6/2/06 Hello, Our office has 15 Cichlids in a 55 gallon tank. Two of the fish are floating vertically, with their head up and have been doing so for several days. However, when we feed them, they eat and swim normally. It does appear they are being picked on - they have chunks missing from their fins. <Sounds like submissive behavior... other fishes beating them up, their signaling that they "give"> The service that cleans the tank says they are probably dying and we might just want to flush them but we have trouble doing that when we don't even know what is wrong. It is sad to watch them "float" and we don't want them to suffer. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you! <I would move these servile fishes, but you need to carefully observe the others, remove the bully, bullies as well. Bob Fenner>


Problems adding first fish 5/28/06 Hi, <Hello> After cycling my new aquarium (38 gal) for about 3 weeks, the ammonia and nitrite levels were both 0 and nitrate was about 20 ppm. <OK>  I then changed 50% of the water, and yesterday I added some fish (3 yellow labs and 2 socolofi, all juveniles).  Well, this morning I woke up to find all of the labs and one of the socolofi dead.  I removed the dead fish and tested the water again.  Ammonia: 0 ppm, nitrite: 2 ppm.  I immediately did a huge water change (about 75%).  The other socolofi looks ok for now, but what happened?  What should I do now? Confused... <What happened was too many fish to fast.  The biological filtration couldn't keep up with the addition of 5 new fish.  The tank had a mini cycle as evidenced by the nitrite reading.  The last fish will probably be fine but give the new tank time to catch up.  Don't add anything for a couple of weeks, then it will be ok to add 1-2 new fish, after proper quarantining of course.> <Chris>


Lake Malawi Cichlid Mayhem   5/25/06 I'll lay out my question and then give some background details.    I have read your site extensively and am following the advice "it's  hard to give too much information".   Here's my question:  Why would a pair of Pseudotropheus yellowfins  suddenly both turn up with nasty wounds on their backs and mouths and  die in the same night when they had (seemingly) gotten along well with  all tankmates for months? I am a 6-month aquarist novice.  I have a 65 gallon cichlid tank  with a male and female (carrying fry) Pseudotropheus Kenyi, male and  female pseudo. albino red zebras, male Melanochromis johanni, male  melano. auratus, female yellow Labidochromis (just got done carrying  fry), a Pleco and a Synodontis multipunctatus.  The male yellow  lab got beat up and is in our 12 gallon hospital tank now.  There  are four pseudo. yellowfin fry growing up (they're about 1/2" long now)  in the adult tank.  Their parents are the source of my  question.     We used to have one male and two female pseudo. yellowfins (they're a  dark purple-gray color with bright yellow top and tail fins). < Sounds like Ps. aurora.> Six  weeks ago one female yellowfin disappeared and we never any sign of her  again.  Weeks of peace and harmony went by.  The remaining  pair of yellowfins did well, and their fry are scattered in safe  crevices of the main tank.  We resigned yourself to the notion that  when I had the tank lid open for several hours to catch the male yellow  lab on the sly and put him in the hospital tank, the female yellowfin  must have jumped out and gotten eaten by our dog or something (we were  at a loss for any other explanation of the instant and total  disappearance of a 2.5" long fish). < Could have easily died and been eaten by the Pleco.> Thinking all was now well, we  decided to buy the last fish we wanted:  a female johanni and  another female Kenyi.  My husband did the shopping ten days ago  and came home with a female Kenyi and a "female johanni".  The  moment I saw the "female johanni" my husband bought, I knew it was  actually a male Melanochromis of some other sort -- turns out it's an  auratus (good grief, if the cichlid expert is out for the day, don't  take the word of just anybody at the pet store!!). <Big difference between a yellow female johanni and a black and yellow auratus.> He's doing  great as the smallest non-fry fish in the tank, but the female Kenyi  died the night she got home from the pet store.  She had no  visible wounds upon her death.  Seven days went by without  incident, but two days ago I came home to find both our adult  yellowfins, one female and one male, with nasty wounds around their  mouths and what looked like one huge, circular wound right on top of  their back.  Both fish had the same kind of wound on the back  which spanned approximately 1/3 the length of their bodies and was  semicircular upon side view.  They both died that night.   When I (heartbroken) took their bodies to the "cichlid expert" at our  pet store, his opinion was that the male auratus, only a resident for  one week, was the primary suspect for such aggression.  The other  fish experts at the store offered two contradictory opinions:  one  said that since the male yellowfin normally shares a large synthetic  log with the Synodontis, perhaps the female yellowfin tried to move in  to spawn and the Synodontis aggressively kicked them both out.   The third theory was that we have some sort of bacterial infection  (this was espoused in part by the fact that the other fish hadn't been  as aggressive to feed that morning and the night before).  Ammonia  and nitrites are 0 and pH is 7.8.  (We'll be adding crushed coral  to the gravel during our next cleaning to help keep the pH a little  higher). Temp is 78 degrees F.  We bought the medication the store  recommended (PimaFix) but did not administer it yet because that  evening the fish ate voraciously again and we saw no other afflicted  fish.  The only other thing out of the ordinary now is one very  cloudy eye on the female albino zebra.  The male albino has been  excavating gravel, so perhaps she received a mating injury, but that's  just a guess.  Can you help me understand what might have so  suddenly killed my pair of parent yellowfins?  I'll admit I get  very emotional about our fish and this incident has made me question  whether I will be able to remain a cichlid keeper for long.  If  there's an eminent danger lurking in our tank, I want to know and  remedy it!! Sincerely, Kristy, Raleigh, NC < There are basically only a couple of things that really are a problem with Lake Malawi cichlids. One is aggression. Usually you see weaker fish being chased by more dominant fish and the tails of the loser are being slowly bitten off. These fish do have teeth and can do some damage but it is usually not overnight. It happens most often after a few days. Now a fish that is being aggressively chased can attempt to jump out of the tank and kill itself by striking the glass top and knocking itself out. This may explain the mouth damage that you observed. The second reason is internal infections. Your fish really need an all vegetarian diet. Fish that are fed too much protein have problems with internal blockages. These blockages feed the bacteria and protozoa in the gut and they start to fed on the food and not the fish. the microorganism grow and distend the belly area. The fish stops eating and usually hangs out in the corner until it dies. Other fish can eat the carcass of the dead fish and this can cause others to bloat up and die. The distressed fish is usually pretty well colored and is the prettiest , and easiest fish to catch at the store. This may explain the female Kenyi's death. The marks on the back are done by the Pleco eating the bodies of the dead fish.-Chuck>


Treating Electric Blue Cichlid for Bloat  - 05/10/2006 Thank you for the response. Now I would like to know if what I am feeding them is sufficient based on your response that it may be related to diet. I feed Spectrum large fish formula and AquaDine.  I feed lightly twice daily and alternate.  Once in a while I give them bloodworms only as a treat (once every 2 weeks).  I have a 54 corner with Juruparis (2) and was told to feed them the bloodworms once in a while, that's why I have them. <The Spectrum is fine for all fish and I have never had a problem with it. The AquaDine I believe is sold in bulk at fish stores and in general I feel that the food loses its vitamins when exposed to the air. Bloodworms are very meaty and usually cause problems for Lake Malawi rock cichlids referred to as Mbuna and Tropheus from Lake Tanganyika. They are probably fine for South American cichlids like Eartheaters. I would not recommend the bloodworms for the rift lake cichlids.> I am picking up the Metronidazole tonight, should I remove the carbon? < Yes.> Also should I put the meds with some blood worms and feed them to the fish right away? I have read on your sight to do that in some cases. Thanks again for your assistance and education in this matter. < If the fish are still eating I would mix the Metronidazole in a few teaspoons of water until it is all dissolved. Then pour it over some Spectrum pellets. Give it a few minutes to absorb the liquid then feed the fish.-Chuck>
Treating Electric Blue Cichlid for Bloat - II -
Electric Blue Did Not Make It   5/25/06 Hi Chuck, Thanks for working with me on this matter.  After much treatment and care the Hap has passed away. Its odd how attached one can become to a fish. I just wanted to say thanks and it sure is great to have a resource like yours available to help this hobby thrive. Thank you again! Michael Bukosky <Thanks for your kind words.-Chuck>
Re: Bloated Malawi Cichlids  5/14/06
Thanks again for the response.  I am now back from my trip and the Hap is still gasping for air.  It has been 4 days and no luck getting him to eat. Before I left on Tuesday I picked up some PraziPro and a tiny amount of Metronidazole.  I went to 3 different fish store and called 2 and no one sells it here.  The LFS I primarily use said that they are no longer able to sell the powder form of it and only sell some gel tabs that have PraziPro and Metronidazole in it.  They said it has something to do with a Wisconsin prescription law and human use of it. They gave me a small amount of their Metro to soak some food in and said to try PraziPro to treat the whole tank.  I used 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons before I left and retreated last night.  On Tuesday and today I soaked some pellets and feed the fish without him eating and even tried a small amount of Blackworms to see if that would spark some interest in him eating and it did not. The Hap Ali looks just fine and is swimming around but he is gasping for air and when fed he swims to the corner away from the food but then comes towards it as if he wants to eat but does not. Any advice as to what else to do? Is this PraziPro a good alternative to Metro? Thank you in advance for your help with this! < Im afraid no medication will help at this point. The store was correct in trying to get you fish to eat the food with the Metronidazole, but I knew it was not going to eat. The PraziPro is for internal worms and fluke and these are actually pretty rare in Malawi fish. You could try Clout in a hospital take or a double dose of Nitrofurazone too. All the medications I recommend are available online at DrsFosterSmith.com.-Chuck>


Disease Problem In A Rift Lake Cichlid Tank   5/9/06 Greetings from Wisconsin! I would like to thank everyone at Wet Web for having such a great site dedicated to helping this hobby and for educating all of us! < Thank you for your kind words.> Now to my question, I have a 90 gallon freshwater set up with 1 red empress, 1 hap ali, and a breeding pair of brichardis with some pictus cats and Plecos. (hope my spelling was up to par). I am running a Eheim pro 2 with a Marineland TidePool wet/dry. My ammonia is 0mg/l, nitrite is < 0.3mg|\l, ph 8.5, and a general hardness of 7 dh. Yesterday my hap ali started gasping for air and was not eating.  He is swimming around the tank but hangs out in the corner mostly.  Then today I noticed my Red Empress flashing or scratching on the bottom.  My LFS recommended I treat with Clout so I added 9 tablet for the 90 gallon with the sump.  The package says to treat for 24 hours unless parasites are still visible.  Well, mine never were visible. Should I re-dose or let the tank be?  Am I treating with the correct meds. As of tonight my hap is still not feeding, I understand the meds need time though. I am leaving out of town Wednesday and leaving my tank in the hands of my wife who is not that knowledgeable with fish.  I would like to make sure I am taking the right steps before I leave so I do not come home to a disaster. Any advice would be appreciated. Best Regards, Michael Bukosky <Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Your ahli probably has an internal bacterial infection. Treat with Metronidazole. Use a tablespoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water for the external protozoa that are harassing your fish. The internal infection may be related to diet.-Chuck>

Lake Malawi Cichlid Problems - 05/06/2006 I have a red zebra, I think that's what he is, with other  assorted cichlids in a 55 gallon tank. He is usually chasing all the other fish  around being very dominant, and very active. Yesterday he was kind of "mellow"  for his standards, and today when I woke up he is hiding in a cave under two  rocks. He is very lethargic and I noticed he has red blotches, almost a line of  red, running along the base of his tail. Could you help me in identifying the  problem and how I can fix it?! < Sounds like he got into a fight and lost. The damaged tail fin may recover if the damage is only limited to the fin itself and not down to the caudal peduncle.> 2 of the other fish in the tank, also not sure of the names, they are   purple with about 8 vertical bars along the side, (Could be one of a dozen species.) at the fish store ,they  were labeled small African cichlids (mixed in with the electric yellows, red  zebras (I think), and other small cichlids. Anyway, I noticed them mouth   fighting pretty hard the other night. Both of their mouths are pretty torn up, one worse than the others, and they were hiding for a few days and not eating.  Today they finally came out, but are still kind of hiding an not eating. Will they eventually eat once their mouths are healed up? And should I do   anything to help the healing process. There is aquarium salt in the tank per instructions on the box. Thank you for any help you can give me! Dave < The damage to the mouths should heal if they do not fungus. Keep the water clean and well filtered. If you see fungus then treat with Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>


Electric Yellow Has Gone Belly Up - 05/06/2006 What an awesome website!  I have a light yellow cichlid (about 3" long) that has been lying on the bottom of his 29-gallon tank for about 1 1/2 weeks.  He used to be able to right himself enough to swim to the surface to eat and hang out.  Tonight, he's spending all his time on the bottom, upside down.  He shares his tank with 1 blue cichlid and 2 algae eaters.  Part of his back tail fin is jagged but the rest of him looks fine.  He's had some run-ins with the blue cichlid before and they've always worked it out and the yellow cichlid's fins have healed before.  Is this enough information for you to help me help him? Thank you. Debbie Harmon <The blue cichlid has probably damaged the electric yellow internally, or has stressed it to the point where it now has an internal bacterial infection. Isolate the fish in a hospital tank and treat it with Metronidazole.-Chuck>


Red Zebra With Tail Problem    2/17/06 I have several African cichlids in a 30 gallon tank as well as 2 Bala sharks and 2 gouramis.  They all get along well and are still relatively small.  I am concerned because my cherry red cichlid is behaving like his tail is paralyzed.  He cannot seem to swim normally and is constantly vertical in the tank.  Do you have any suggestions on what may be wrong?  He does not have any unusual swelling or coloration and he is eating well; he just isn't moving his tail at all.  All of the others are fine. < When you fish was small he probably got bit by his mother while being released from her mouth. The trauma has probably damaged the backbone. He will probably not recover but will continue to grow.-Chuck>
Re: Red Zebra Cichlid Swimming Funny  2/18/06
I am not sure if that is the problem...we have had him for around 5 months and he just started exhibiting this behavior 2 or 3 days ago...Now, one of the other cichlids is also acting this way.  Could it be something wrong with the water? < There could be a protozoa infection that is paralyzing the muscles. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Add about one tablespoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of aquarium water. Treat with Rid-Ich+ by Kordon. Raise the temp to 82 F.-Chuck>
Re: Red Zebra Cichlid
 4/29/06 Okay, thanks. Nemo ate some flakes for me today, and is swimming around much more freely. He kinda wiggles his little bottom half when swimming, as if he's trying to compensate his loss of finnage. Gahh, sorry, I told you that I gave him  Maracyn, but I really gave him Tetracycline. < Not as effective in hard alkaline water.> I wasn't looking at the wrapper when I wrote those posts. The Melafix doesn't seem to be doing anything at all. Is that normal? < We get feed back from this stuff all the time. If a fish is injured the medication seems to inhibit infection if used right away. Some Gourami diseases respond well to it. If a fish is already infected then it will not cure the infection.> Oh, and The Tetracycline says to put one tablet in per 10 gallons of water per day for 5 days, and to do partial water changes and a new filter cartridge at the end. The water is getting really discolored, and I was wondering if I could do a like, 10% or maybe 20% water change to kinda clear it up. I'm sure the concentration of the medicine is getting pretty high. < The red wine colored water is pretty typical for this medication. If you dilute it now you may be reducing the effectiveness of the medication. You are already committed to the treatment, my as well see if it works.>   Oh, and I've received mixed messages about the eating habits of Rhino Plecos. Do they eat Algae wafers? I know the normal Plecos do...Thanks, Zhara < I have  had a rhino Pleco for quite awhile and found him to eat anything that falls to the bottom, including algae wafers.-Chuck>
Malawi Cichlid Growing Fins Back Re: Red Zebra Cichlid    5/2/06
Okay, the treatment is over now, and he's doing just great. Is there anything I can do to help his fins grow back? They will grow back, right? Oh, and how much salt does he need in his tank now? Thanks, Zhara < After looking at the photo it seems that the damage in the tail fin did not reach the caudal peduncle so the fins should grow back. I would ad a teaspoon per 5 gallons to inhibit a secondary fungus attack.-Chuck>


Malawi Tank Problems  - 04/10/2006 Great website and resource that you provide! I hope this email gets through....I tried sending one directly via the WetWeb website, but couldn't log in.  I was able to find the email address by clicking on the "properties" option of the "email the WWM crew a question" link. I've searched your databases and Googled, and my problem has numerous parts, thus I couldn't find something that solved it adequately.  This will be sort of long and drawn out, as there are several facets. If this problem has been addressed in the past on this website, I'm sorry for wasting your time. I've recently started keeping Malawi cichlids.  On approximately Feb. 20, I set up a 55 gallon aquarium with a hang-on the back filter and undergravel filters. We added our first batch of fish on Feb 26th, and the second batch on March 25th.  We currently have a total of 26 fish in the tank (including a bristle-nosed Pleco, and a small Senegal Bichir). I was aware that I would be introducing the fish before the nitrogen cycle had stabilized, but with frequent water changes (20% every day for several weeks in mid-Late March when Nitrite levels were high), and daily water testing, the fish did pretty well.  They did "flash" fairly often during this time (I assumed, due to the nitrite levels irritating the gills), but they always ate well and were very active. However, after the nitrogen cycle stabilized, the fish continued to flash very frequently and sometimes looked a little listless.  I kept a very close eye on things, assuming an illness would show up, but nothing did. Then, on April 6th, one of our Labidochromis textilis suddenly went south.  He was getting harassed, so I floated him at the top of the tank in a larger net to separate him from the others.  By that night, he was belly-up with a slightly bloated abdomen and eyes. The next morning, I noticed a smaller female Sciaenochromis fryeri (and only her) exhibiting the slightly "salted" appearance of Ich.  I assumed that due to the L. textilis' silvery appearance that I may have missed the "salt grains" on him.  I immediately began treatment with malachite green.  The second day of the malachite green treatment, I also noticed that she had slightly bulging eyes and a slight "pine coning" of the scales (neither of which seemed to be as bad as I've seen in pictures of dropsy).  Yesterday (during the third day of Malachite green treatment), she died. Tomorrow is the fifth and last day of malachite green treatment, but the other fish seem to be "flashing" almost as often as before.  None have exophthalmia yet, but I'm worried there may be a bacterial problem in the tank as well....although I'm not sure. My current plan is as follows:.....do a 50% water change after malachite green treatment has stopped.....then do a series of treatments with Melafix or Maracyn-two (i.e., things that won't damage biological filtration). My questions are: Does it seem likely that I have a bacterial infection in the tank (almost concurrently with Ich)...or is this maybe behavioral with cichlids? < Drop the water temp to the mid 70's. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Check the nitrates and keep them under 20 ppm with water changes. The scratching you are seeing can be related to poor water quality but may also be protozoa  infection too.> Is my current plan a good one (i.e., should I go ahead with MelaFix or maracyn-2)? <Don't use either and add about three cups of rock salt to the tank. This will increase the slime coat on the fish and may reduce the scratching.> Should I, instead, use something like Metronidazole or Nitrofurazone, or should I do nothing? < Definitely use metro for the bloat and change the diet to a Spirulina based food.> Again, I don't see any current signs of "pop-eye" or dropsy in the remaining fish (aside from the "flashing") but I'd also like to stymie any potential problems. Thanks for your time, Josh < Watch the fish for a change in appetite. When they quite eating it is usually too late to treat.-Chuck>


African Cichlid Problem  - 03/25/2006 Hi I have a 55 gal tank with 5 African cichlids for about 4 months. Everything has been fine, but in the last week they stopped eating hung out in the plant at the bottom of the tank, they then seemed very spazzy like slamming themselves all over the tank then floating, then kind of snapping out of it, then a couple days later spaz again then suddenly die, this was stressful to watch, I tested the water & everything was good, someone said they might be lacking oxygen, but how do you test that? so we added an air pump, that didn't work obviously, well their all dead except for one smaller one that seems to be starting the same symptoms, what could this be?  I am using the filtration that cam with the tank, we lowered the water level a bit that didn't help either.  any suggestions? One thing I've learned from this is cichlids get sick easily, seem sensitive...... Thanks you, Sue < Wrong food. African cichlids come from the rift lakes. Most of the more inexpensive and colorful ones come from Lake Malawi. Malawian cichlids eat algae, plankton and or other fish. I suspect that you are feeding food that is very high in protein. This blocks up the intestinal track and then they stop eating and bloat up and die. Switch to Spirulina algae flakes. Feed once a day and then only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. Keep them at 75 F, in hard alkaline water. Cichlids are actually quite hardy under the right conditions.-Chuck>


Fish scratching not Ich  - 02/20/06   Hi    I have over a dozen Mbuna cichlids. About three or four weeks ago I noticed a P. demasoni flashing [scratching itself on the gravel]. I could find no sign of parasites on it or any of the other fish. I did a water change and treated the tank with Jungle Parasite Guard. <I encourage you to be conservative re the use of such "medicines"... almost all have their dire downsides... they're toxic to degrees> The fish still scratched itself. <Some such scratching is "normal", to be expected> The tank was treated again with Jungle Parasite Guard after a 50% water change. Still no change. Then I noticed another fish start to flash. I did a another 50% water change after treatment and waited several days. <... do you have water quality test kits? What are they telling you?> The two fish still scratched themselves on the gravel. I then treated the tank with Maracide as per instructions and after no change did it again to no avail. During this time I searched the internet for possible ideas. I thought they might have Ich on their gills and it was not showing up on their bodies, <No, not likely> I also thought of gill flukes. Now several of the fish scratch themselves. All fish eat normally and their colours are normal. They all look healthy but scratch. <... do this>    Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated. The fish are now in a 125 gallon tank with about 300 pounds or rock and plants so trying to catch them would be nearly impossible so the tank would have to be treated. The temperature is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. By the way I did put some antibiotics in in case it was a bacterial problem but the next day put the fish into the 125 gallon tank. Ammonia is zero and nitrite is less than .1. Thank you for any help.   Brian <Nitrite should be zero, undetectable... Nitrates should be under twenty... I suspect if anything is "off" here it is a lack of complete ready biological cycling... I would add more bio-filtration. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish scratching not Ich  - 02/20/06
Hi again    Sorry I forgot to mention in my last email that as I have a Synodontis catfish in the tank with about 160 dollars worth of plants I believe I cannot use Clout or CopperSafe. <Great to find you can keep plants with your Africans... and you don't want to become or remain a user of such "med.s"> I may be mistaken though. Also I put Cycle in the tank and Filstar 3 filter all the time. <Need more than this filter> A 25% water change is done while vacuuming the gravel every week. <I would only vacuum half the tanks bottom any given week... alternate left/right> Fresh water from our Sandpoint is replaced at the same temperature. Should I try erythamacin [sp?] <No> again but leave it in the tank for the required amount of time? I worry about the catfish whenever I use medication even though I read the instructions. Also i did not want to use any medication that will harm the plants or stain the silicone in the tank. Again thanks so much.   Brian <... Read my friend... and don't be so ready to treat your fishes, or yourself by "buying" things. Bob Fenner>


Tropheus Troubles and bad link: [IMG] http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c116/Poohbie/IMG_4044.jpg[/IMG]   2/13/06 This is my two inch Tropheus Mpulungu. It is part of a colony in my   90 gallon.  I noticed this protrusion yesterday.  Fish is acting   normal.  Does this look like a prolapsed anus or an ovipositor to   you?  Thanks for any insight. < Your photo did not come up but I have seen enough of these dietary issues with Tropheus to know what is going on. Tropheus are algae eaters from Lake Tanganyika. Algae has very little nutritional value so they eat all day long to survive and grow. In the aquarium we feed our fish once or twice a day with foods that are much more nutritious that algae. Sometimes these ingredients contain animal proteins that the Tropheus have  no bacteria in their intestines to break down. The Tropheus start to bloat, get constipated or have difficult bowel movements that can cause trauma to the area. The stress from the larger more aggressive Tropheus usually adds to the problem and the smaller weaker fish are the ones most affected. At this size the Tropheus are becoming more aggressive as they mature. One by one your colony will shrink until you only have one left. I recommend that you have at least a dozen fish in  your colony. If not, add some smaller Mbuna from Lake Malawi as dither fish. Change 50% of the water, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Feed only vegetable flakes. Many small feedings are better than one large one. Tropheus come from relatively shallow hard, alkaline water that is pretty warm 80+ F. Rearrange all the rocks so that new territories will become established. If you fish stop eating then treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck>
Re" Tropheus Feeding Recommendations   2/13/06
Thanks for the quick reply.  Luckily this morning, that Tropheus protrusion had disappeared. Behavior has been normal.   I feed the colony twice a day.  I feed a variety of foods including NLS  cichlid pellets (daily), some NLS freshwater flake (daily), freshwater Mysis shrimp (maybe once a week, if that), frozen Spirulina enriched brine shrimp (about four times a week) .  I feed the frozen foods because I had a couple of the Tropheus that didn't want to eat dry food for a couple of months when I first got them, but now they all take the NLS flakes. I think I will feed less at each feeding now to prevent problems in the future.  I do have 20 Tropheus in my colony, so there isn't an undue amount of aggression. As far as veggie flake goes, I've noticed that NLS cichlid pellets have 5% fiber which is more fiber than almost all veggie flakes I've seen.   Is there any veggie flake brand that you would  highly recommend? < You are feeding some of the best stuff out there. I agree with you that maybe feeding a little less is the way to go.-Chuck>


Cichlid With Mouth Obstruction  - 2/4/2006 My Cichlid has a very large mouth tumor or cyst that makes it nearly impossible to feed.  I see where you recommend examining the fishes mouth for foreign objects by removing him from the tank using a flash light.  I don think I would be able to see past the mass or growth due to its size.  Can I remove the mass with some type of surgical procedure( Exacto knife?) or who could I call to perform this service? I have called around Jackson, MS without luck trying to find someone to help.  Will a veterinarian be able to help?  Will treatment with Nitrofuranace cause this to go away or will I have to intervene? Thanks so much, Jon < Treat the fish with Nitrofuranace in a hospital tank and see if it is an infection and the swelling will go down. If it does subside then you could then look down the throat and look for an obstruction. Increase the aeration and lower the water temp to the mid 70s to help you cichlid breath easier. If the obstruction is the same after three days then I would remove the fish and surgically remove as much of the tumor as I could practically do with an Exacto knife.-Chuck>


Cichlids With Hole In The Head  1/16/06 I have a problem with four of my Cichlids and I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on it for me. The fish involved are 1 Aurora (3-4 inches), 1 Daktari (3-4 inches), 1 Hajomaylandi (3-4 inches), and 1 Venustus (6-7 inches). All four have developed a kind of indentation on their back, between the eye and beginning of the dorsal fin. It is apparent on both sides of the fish. They are all still eating well but do seem to be swimming somewhat slower. This has appeared since new years day when, unfortunately, we lost eight fish to a temperature spike. The other fish, eight surviving originals and four new ones (purchased after the loss) all seem to be fine. I have searched for an answer but haven't found one as yet, when I found your site I thought you might be able to help. Kind Regards, Michelle. :) < When cichlids get stressed from bad water , aggression or temperature extremes they sometimes will get a symptom or disease often referred to as Hole-In-The-Head. It is often seen in discus and many larger South American species but actually quite rare in African cichlids. Keep the water around 75-77 F. Make sure that the pH is up around 7.5. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Get a fish food with Spirulina algae in it. I would try to treat the tank with Metronidazole. If you can. Try and find a medicated fish food with Metronidazole in it.-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>


Frontosa Not Moving Much   1/14/06 Hi there, I saw your website when I Googled it, and wanted to ask a question about my husband's frontosa. He was an active fish, now it just sits on the bottom of the tank under a rock and is very lethargic, he has bubbles on his scales. Can you give me some advice? Shan from Australia < Frontosas are from Lake Tanganyika. They require warm, hard alkaline water. They are fish eaters in the wild. Bubbles on the scales is an unusual symptom. Bubbles usually indicate some form of bacterial activity. I would recommend a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Check the water chemistry for zero ammonia and nitrites. Nitrates should be under 20 ppm. The pH should be around 8.0 at 84 F. If things don't improve in a couple of days then you may need to use an antibiotic, like Erythromycin or Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>


Peacock Cichlid Turns Mean  1/1/06 Hey All and Happy New Year!!!  I Hope! < Thanks.> We have a 35-gallon tank (for the time being) that has quite an array of Cichlids. Angels, Kribs, Red and Blue Peacocks, a Discus (yeah, I know) and an Electric Yellow. Two days ago I gave them their nighttime feeding and everything was AOK. The next morning when I went to check on them, the Electric Yellow wasn't around. Instead, he was cowering in a corner behind some plants with a mustache and beard, ribs were dark and there were white-ish patches around the back of his dorsal and tail fin. We knew that the Red Peacock had been harassing him a little but something like this to happen overnight didn't make sense. I put him in a hospital tank for the day until my wife recommended we place him back in the big tank. Immediately, the Red Peacock started slamming him like a wrestling match. Nothing like I've seen before except for a Killer Whale taking on a Shark. We immediately pulled the Peacock out and the Yellow became a little more mellow but still skittish. Today, the Yellow was improving somewhat and no other fish were bothering him. They even left the food that drifted by him alone and even seemed to be offering protection. Sounds strange but... Anyways, I put the Peacock in another aquarium but when we got home the Yellow's tail is almost gone and the white-ish patches are starting to look "fleshy". None of the other fish seem to be doing anything except leaving him alone. Here are a couple of pics of him just before he lost his tail. He was completely perfect the night before. Thanks, Joe < Sorry, the pic's didn't come through. Sometimes it's hit or miss with my computer at home with photos. If the damage is past the fin all the way up to the caudal peduncle then it probably will not regrow. Peacocks from Lake Malawi aren't usually this aggressive. If the wounds get fussy then this is a fungal infection. Treat with Nitrofuranace if the wounds become infected and try and keep the water very clean.-Chuck>


Cichlid Still With Problem  12/16/05 Hi. I asked a question about 4 days ago. I got a lot of feedback about my tank but not so much about my cichlids problem. I have a lot of fish in the 33gallon tank(18fish). My b/f kept buying more until I told him to stop. < He is trying to get on your good side.> None of my cichlids are overly aggressive with the other fish. They do the usual chasing around and don't really attack other fish. So far my tank mates have been ok and I change water biweekly(20%) and do water test biweekly between the water changes. Anyways, my one blue cichlid has what I found to be a prolapsed anus. It's been 4 days since we moved him to his own tank and the p/a still hasn't reduced or gotten better. It did kinda change color from the orangy red to a pale pinkish red. (infected?) < The real danger with these is that they get infected and start to fungus. The infection usually turns bright red and the fungus is a cottony looking growth. Treat with Nitrofurazone as a preventative and keep the tank clean.> How long until it goes back inside or he dies? < This condition usually isn't fatal unless it gets infected. > I have been adding aquarium salt to the tank for him and feeding small amounts of food maybe twice a day. any ideas? Let him go a few days without eating. You should start to see some improvement then.> I want to let others know that guppies are not so hard to keep, or maybe I got lucky. I bought my first tank about mid October. I  bought some guppies to go with it and my female gave birth to 9 babies. I had the day off work so was able to move the babies as they appeared in the breeder net. My other female has been holding on for some time now and just let go of three babies. She has been pregnant for close to 45 days now and I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to help her along beside turning up the heat. I don't want to damage any of the other fish in my tank. < I would recommend waiting.-Chuck>


African cichlid... disease, mis-mixed livestock  12/13/05 Hi. I have a 33gal.Tank. In it i <I> have 2 plecos,2 yellow labs,2 albino cichlids (store tag), 2 African zebra cichlids store tagging again:( <Too crowded> they are blue/grey with black stripes) and 2 African cichlids that are blue with pale stripes. also 5 Bala sharks and 5 tiger barbs. <Way too crowded... and with fishes that "like" different water quality...> All fish are ok. no overly aggressive fish noticed. anyways we feed 2 main feedings (morning and night) and small feeding at noon. do regular water changes and monitor all levels of nitrates/ph/ammonia. etc.. <Good> My one blue African has developed a reddish discharge from anus and it hasn't fallen off the body. asked local fish store what it could be but they didn't know. tried to get picture as small as possible. only way i could get pic was to gently hold fish.  is my fish ok? or does he/she need treatment? <I would read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/afcichdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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