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FAQs on Cichlid Disease 2

Related Articles: Cichlid FishesFreshwater Fish Diseases, Freshwater DiseasesIch/White Spot Disease, Freshwater Medications

Related FAQs: Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease 3, Cichlid Disease 4, African Cichlid Disease, Oscar Disease/Health, Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesIch/White Spot DiseaseCichlids in General, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Reproduction, Dwarf South American Cichlids, African Cichlids, Angelfishes, Discus, Chromides, Neotropical CichlidsOscars, Flowerhorns

Big Fish's Pop-eye Hi! I have an older Jack Dempsey cichlid, namely Big Fish, who has pop eye. I've read through the FAQs but didn't find quite what I was looking for. Big Fish is in a 55 gallon tank along with a female Jack Dempsey and a Plecostomus. How can I treat his condition without harming the others? He has had this eye for almost a year and it seems to be growing again. I've also attached a photo. Is he in pain, and is there anything I can do? Thank you, Maddie < Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Vacuum the gravel too while you are doing the water change. Then treat the tank with Metronidazole. This medication is very effective against anaerobic bacteria that are growing behind the back of your fish's eye. Big fish are very messy so it is important to keep the water clean and the nitrates down below 25 ppm.-Chuck> 

<Boo!>

Re: Oscar/cichlid disease Here are the photos you requested. Thanks for taking a look at her. I hope you know what the problem is and that it's not too late for me to treat her. She is so beautiful. Melinda Buck <Sorry to say that this looks like a tumorous growth... is not easily treated, or excised... but not to give up hope, there are instances/records of "spontaneous remission"... What the animal shows is "not catching", and it may cure of its own... I do hope so. Bob Fenner> <Also... this is not an Oscar but another species of new world cichlid. RMF>

Can you help with urgent Blood parrot fish info? Hey, I need some info/help if possible, I'm at a complete loss as to what I can do? I have 3 beautiful true blood parrots, a male and two females, they have lived together, very happily for four years in a 80(uk)gal tank.  As I've said, never a problem, they're very large, fit fish, maybe a little spoilt, if I'm completely honest!!  The problem is with my smallest female, who is probably the cheekiest and very sociable, I noticed a few weeks ago some small dark patches under her chin, right side, below her gills, DEFINITELY not stress marks, they looked almost like a blood blister under the skin and last week, the membrane at the edge of her gills, that flaps against the body had curled back on itself, not a huge amount, not all of it, a little in the centre, but not right.  But she was behaving as she normally would in every way, I've kept an eye on them and there has been no change, until, last week, she's been, very inactive and not interested in anything including food, she's hardly moved from the same spot for a week.  She was always the first to the front of the tank to see me. I sat for 2 hours with her last night, trying to get her out with some food and she did come out, I swear she knew I was upset!  She took a small piece and spat it straight out, she almost coughed, shook her head and again, had what looked like another good cough, she tried again, same reaction. She took herself back to her corner with a few more coughs and splutters.  I felt sick, my immediate thought was a tumor of some sort, I had a 12inch Oscar for 10 years who died from one in his gut, it stopped him from eating, 8 weeks before I lost him, it was awful. I know these are a 'man made' fish and are prone to various problems, I count myself lucky not to have had a problem, up until now. I may be way off the mark, but it does seem to be a problem with her throat or gill raker?  I can't and won't give up on her, PLEASE any advice/help you or your contacts could give would be hugely appreciated. Kate, UK London. < We have a few options depending on what you think the problem may be. If you think the throat and pharyngeal jaws have been damaged from moving coarse gravel or eating hard pellets then I would recommend soaking the food to soften it up prior to feeding. Treat with Nitrofuranace in case there are any secondary bacterial or fungal infections. If you think the problem is internal such as bloat or dropsy then you need to treat with Metronidazole as soon as possible.-Chuck>

Re: Can you help with urgent blood parrot fish info? Thanks Chuck, Not the food and she's on sand, always has been, going to luck into the other areas, cover all options before I throw the towel in. If all else fails do you know of a quick humane way to put her down? As I said in my last mail, when I lost my Oscar it was one of the worst things I've had to watch, can't do that again. Thanks again, I'll let you know how she gets on.  Kate. < In the US we have a cold remedy referred to as Alka-seltzer. You put a couple tablets into a glass and it dissolves into the water releasing CO2. The CO2 will put her to sleep. Then she can be frozen or you can just add additional tablets and she will go to sleep and asphyxiate from lack of oxygen.-Chuck>

Eartheater cichlid My Eartheater cichlid has developed a cloudy patch over only one eye. I can't tell if the eye is injured or if it is some type of disease. I've used Aquari-Sol the last couple of days to see if that would help, but it just has gotten worse. I was going to try some aquarium salt, but I didn't want to add the salt if it was not going to help. Thanks for your help. < Eartheaters sometimes damage their eyes while digging through the sand. Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Treat the tank with erythromycin and It should be better in a day or two.-Chuck>

Blind "Heros Amphilophus" Help! <That's what we're here for :)> I've been searching for info to help my fish, but haven't found the exact problem my fish is having. <I'll try to lead you in the right direction> I have a Heros Amphilophus (just one really big and aggressive female, I think) in a 50 gallon tank. <By "Heros Amphilophus," I would assume that you are referring to a parrot Cichlid, which is a hybridization between the Severum (Heros severus) and the Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellum). I think this is the case, as the genus Heros does not contain any fish with the species name Amphilophus. As a side note, Amphilophus is a genus name referring to a different group of Cichlids. The correct way of writing the scientific name of your fish would be Heros severus x Amphilophus citrinellum. But let's not dwell on details.> Yesterday, she didn't eat anything and I noticed that she wasn't moving much and kept bumping into the tank walls. One of her eyes is cloudy, but both seem move like she's looking around. I see one small red spot near her tail, on the opposite side of the cloudy eye. She seems a bit swollen, but not much. <The symptoms you are describing are all indicative of a bacterial infection. However, I am unable to pinpoint exactly what ails your fish from the description provided. Please visit the following link to help you identify what disease your fish has: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/disFAQsMar.htm > Today, I changed the water by 40% and added Rid-ich, just to be on the safe side. <Adding medicine "just to be on the safe side" is never a good idea. You should always identify the disease before you go dumping all sorts of concoctions into the water. However, a water change is always a good thing when your fish look worse for the wear, and can only help.> She perked up and has been aimlessly swimming around the tank for the past 3 hours since I treated the water. She's leaving her mouth half open, like she's gulping down the water. I tried waving a piece of dried krill in front of her and she didn't go for it.  I removed the artificial plants from the tank so she won't poke herself. The water temp is just below 80. Any advice? <Yes, I would advise you to determine what exactly ails your fish and to use the wonderful internet to locate potential cures (you may not have to look any further than WetWebMedia for a treatment).> Thanks! <Glad I could be of assistance. Good luck! Mike G>

Re: Heros that can't see Thanks Mike G <You're welcome> You're probably correct about the exact species of my fish. I got the name from a picture in a cichlid book (very professional, eh?) <Scientific names are a topic of much controversy> I thoroughly read through WetWebMedia's disease postings...no luck. My fish does not seem to have any of the symptoms posted. There are no signs of white fuzz or spots or holes or redness or swelling. Just one cloudy eye, one normal looking eye, heavy "breathing", aimless swimming and bumping into everything, and no eating. This has been going on for three days.  <I would bet money on the pathogen being bacteria.> I've been changing out 30-40% of water and cleaning the gravel every day. What do you recommend? <Personally, I would keep doing what you are doing now, as well as dosing a broad-spectrum antibiotic. I would recommend MelaFix from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. It is a non-specific antibiotic that I have used with a great degree of success. If you were able to pinpoint the disease, we would be able to get a more powerful, specific antibiotic. However, diseases are often hard to identify with 100% accuracy (or any accuracy at all). Good luck, and do keep me updated. Mike G> ~Jill~

Black convicts with fry, one has parasite I am pretty sure my male black convict has a parasite that is about to burst out of his skin!!! It looks like a white zit right on the side of his cheek. I want to remove him out of the tank and treat him. But him and his wife have a large group of fry right now, I also have two other females in the tank as well. If I remove the male (the protector), do you think the female will handle things okay? I am also going to raise the temp. in the tank and add some aquarium salt to the tank as well. It doesn't seem like my other convicts have been affected by this parasite. I don't know what kind it is, but every once in a while you can see a dangling piece of very thin thread hanging on the white spot. I assume it is an anchor worm maybe? Other than the male having this problem, he is very lively, never rubs against the rocks and healthy. Any other suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thank you.  Shannon < Convicts, (Archocentrus nigrofasciatum) are pretty tough fish. It mat be a would from heavy courtship during the spawning process. I would keep the tank clean by doing water changes and changing the filter. After the fry are free swimming the should be removed to their own tank. The adults could then be treated. It is a worm the use Fluke-Tabs. For a bacterial infection like a boil or pimple then I would use either Nitrofuranace or erythromycin.-Chuck>

Sick cichlid, insufficient data Hi I have a fish that a couple weeks ago started to not eat very much and then has a white film on most of his body. He seems fine other then the fact that he is not eating. The film seems to be getting worse can you tell me what to put in the tank to make it go away? Thanks Jodi <May be that only your water chemistry is off... need to know more about your system... how and when it was set-up... the species of cichlid involved... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/cichliddisfaqs.htm  and the linked files above (in blue). Bob Fenner>

Not quite pop-eye in a Cyrtocara moorii? Hi WWM Crew, We have a 500 litre (132 gal US) tank with many African (mostly Malawi) cichlids. We do regular fortnightly 40% water changes, though lately this has slipped a little to every three weeks. I will confess to no longer monitoring water chemistry as we never observed any significant shifts in the levels when we were monitoring, despite the fact we like to keep our fish VERY well fed. <I too have African cichlid tanks... change water weekly, only fifteen percent or so... and never measure for water quality... our source water is very hard and alkaline...> We believe our water quality is not a problem, as many of our fish are breeding and we do not suffer any disease outbreaks. Our oldest (~5 years) and largest (both about 18cm or 7 inches) fish are a pair of male Cyrtocara moorii that have fought with each other as long as we have had them. They have only ever done minor damage to each other, despite some fairly aggressive mouth-hold-wrestling. <Typical, to be expected> We have never seen either of them go for the eyes, as they are fighting for domination, not to kill/hunt.  One of them has developed are rather awful looking condition on his eyes - a swollen red lump has appeared on the top of its socket, pushing the eye out so that he's pretty much looking straight down. Both eyes are affected, but one is much worse than the other. I've attached a picture of the worst side (sorry about the quality - taken in a hurry). We have read through many websites and pop-eye is the closest match we can find to what we are seeing, but I am not convinced that is the condition. If it is pop-eye, I apologize for the re-post but maybe the picture we help others diagnose their fish ... Thanks, Damien <Is a condition, exophthalmia... but what to the cause, effecting a cure? Likely directly the result of a physical trauma... a bump... from running into something in the tank, or tussling with its cohort... perhaps linked to a degree with the effects of delayed water change... But how to cure this? Perhaps the use of antibiotic, added to food or directly to the water... I would look into Mardel Lab's twin punch of Maracyn I and II first here... they are relatively safe and effective... AND I would add some sea salt... if you have a hydrometer... an increase of 2-3 ppt... or approximately a level teaspoon per gallon... over several days... with some Epsom (about a fifth) being the salt. This may take some time "to bring down the swelling", but the sooner you start the better. I want to be clear that such predicaments, if ignored, can become permanent, even lead to eye loss and death. Bob Fenner>

My Texas has red spots..... Does Yours? Hello, I have a 75 gallon tank I received free. It is 4 feet long 18" deep and 22" high. When I got the tank it was in such bad shape I had to completely clean everything and start it over, unfortunately there was a rather large Texas, a rather large Dempsey, medium firemouth, and a medium convict, along with a few goldfish, kissing gouramis, and 2 large Plecostomus. I didn't want to waste these beautiful fish and being new ay the aquarium game I wasn't sure what to do.  They seemed fine at first, then the Texas had gotten small red bumps all over the fins behind it's gills and became very sluggish and eating very little. He seemed to be the only one affected. I asked the best fish store in town and they said probably fin rot, because of high ammonia possibly when starting over the tank. they also said do not vacuum or change the filter bags in either of my Whisper- 3 filters due to these are going to generate the necessary bacteria for the tank. Recently the firemouth has died of no apparent reason out of nowhere.  This all occurred in about a 3 week period. Again I talked to the fish store and they recommended a heater which the tank didn't come with to bring up the temp from about 68deg. F. to 80deg F to build bacteria faster and a healthier temp(erature) for the fish, the also recommended a packet of Bio-Spira live bacteria culture to help the process along faster. while at the store I purchased a good water testing kit as I live in a small Wisconsin town that pumps up well water and treats it for the town. the levels are becoming more stable everyday and my Texas in just over night after adding the bacteria culture has become very active again chasing the Dempsey all the time, (they don't attack just chase, this is very exciting to watch.) although the Texas is very active the spots are still there, they look as if he had rubbed his fins raw and the spots swelled some, the spots are close to his body and not near the ends of his fins. Would you have any idea what this would be and how to get rid of it?  Although he is a beautiful fish I want to trade him in along with the Dempsey and the convict and start over with a larger amount of smaller cichlids. I would like to get this fish healthy so that maybe someone else can enjoy his beauty, he has bright vivid blue shades through his small spots from head to tail and I want to keep him that way, any info you could give would be very appreciated. Thank You for your time and Knowledge, John < Your Texas Cichlid has developed a bacterial infection from the stress of being moved around. The fish store has given you some very good advice and I recommend that you continue to patronize them. If the red spots stopped growing and are beginning to heal then I would just keep the water clean and let him heal on his own. If the spots continue to grow then you might consider treating him in a quarantine tank with Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>

Parrot Fish Fungus Hi, My question is about Parrot Fish Fungus.  I have an orange parrot fish, with a rosy pink body tone, and orange spots on his tail.  He is about 3 inches long, and didn't have the fungus when I added him to the tank approximately 3 weeks ago.  I have a 55 gal tank that is filtered well at 400 gallons per hour, plastic plants, and do regular water tests, changes, and filter cleanings. All conditions are ideal, any suggestions for removing the fungus? Thanks <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwdis3setsfactors.htm and the Related FAQs, particularly on infectious disease (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>Black Ghost Hey MacL thanks for such a prompt reply. Sorry I didn't realize that I hadn't given you enough info. Its a black ghost knife (Apteronotus albifrons) fish. <Lovely fish, just lovely.> I've got him in a 200L tank at the moment and he is about 11 inches long but I really really want him to get BIG. Please let me know what the best thing I could do to increase his size. <Good food, clean water. And some time should do the trick for you. I think you are on the right path.> Thanks again Guru

Sick cichlids and water cloudy Hi, I have had a 110 gallon tank for about 15 months and recently have run into some problems that I can't fix. This is my first tank, and I keep getting different answers to my questions. I have 2 penguin filters that are supposed to filter up to 70 gallons apiece.  I have about 6 African cichlids, about 5 inches apiece( sorry do not know what kind) , 1 goldfish( 8 inches), 4 catfish (4 inches) , 2 parrot fish ( 5 inches). 1 African catfish (6 inches), I worm( 8 inches), 2 algae eaters (8 inches),1  giant giranmi(4 inches). and about 15  filler fish that I have had since I first got the tank that have never died ( 1-3 inches) .Is this too many fish? < If you are having problems with the tank then it may be too many fish. The filters should be filtering at least 500 gallons per hour all the time. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero and the nitrates should be less than 25 ppm. If you still have an ammonia and nitrite problem then you need more filtration. If the nitrates are too high then you need to change more water, or change more frequently of get rid of some fish.> Despite all the different species they all get along with each other , other than the fighting amongst the cichlids with each other. About 3 months ago my water started to cloud up, I started to increase my water change cycle amounts to every 2 weeks and 40%. It would seem to clear up but go right back cloudy again. It seems impossible for the water to stay dirty with that sort of water change cycle. About the same time the water started to fog up I did add a log and some more fake plants. I did since remove those items since the intense cloudiness, thinking that they where the cause.( to no avail) I also have some rocks as well, (should I remove the rocks as well)? < Many rocks are not suitable for an aquarium because they dissolve in water. Check the rocks with some Muriatic acid or vinegar. If they foam when a weak acid is applied then they will dissolve in the aquarium and cloud it up too until the minerals in the water settle out.> Now I am noticing that the skin on my cichlids is looking rough, I think they are getting sick. My ph level is fine, I haven't checked for nitrates in about 2 months , but last time I checked the local fish store said they where fine. I have not lost a fish yet but I think it is coming. I don't know what else to do - please advise < Next time you do a water change vacuum the gravel too to get rid of any crud that has accumulated in the gravel.-Chuck> Thanks, Phil

Sick black convict Hi, I was searching through your web site hoping to find an answer to my question of my ill fish. I have a black convict , she is about 9 years old and has never had a health problem before.. Her problem is, she was fine and it seemed over night I notice a huge lump from one side of her belly to the other. It is causing her to just stay still in the tank head down. She is eating a bit and I cant really tell if she is in pain at all, she is my baby and I am really worried about what it is and how to get rid of it. I hope you can give me some insight about what it might be. Thank you for your time.. < Wow! Your convict has been around for a very long time. It sounds like the old girl has come down with an internal bacterial infection that needs to be treated. Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. Quick treatment is the key for a complete recovery. The disease is probably brought on by old age.-Chuck. Teri

Re: sick black convict thank you for letting me know...I was really worried about her she seemed to get worse while I tried to find who carried it. I went to a couple of fish stores but no one carried it...I didn't know if I had time to order online .. one place told me to use tetracycline for her problem...I am wondering if that will be ok... < Tetracycline is usually effective in clean acidic water. I think it would do more harm to your tank than help your fish. It turns the water red and may affect the good bacteria needed to break down the fish waste to less toxic substances. Unfortunately I too have found this medication difficult to find but it is truly the only one that seems to have an affect. Many years ago we had some success with heavy doses of Furanace. Place the fish in a quarantine tank and treat with up to three doses of Furanace. Do  50% water change every other day and remedicate on the days you don't change water. Good luck.-Chuck> Thank you again Teri

Re: sick black convict wow, this just seems to going from bad to worse and I am afraid I will lose her before I find something to treat her with. I have called to see who carries the Furanace and no luck there either, I live in Las Vegas, you would think in such a large city it would be available. I was told to try something called CLOUT. Will that help her ? thank you so much for all of your help... Teri < Wow. No Furanace either! Clout may have some affect buy we are getting way down the list of effective medications. Try again for furan-2, or  Nitrofuranace. I know the stores there cater to the saltwater tanks at the casinos but you would think that at least one store would have it. Look at the packages for active ingredients it may be in there under a trade name.-Chuck>

Popeye fish I have a king Kong parrot fish is has one Popeye I used Maracyn-two  for  5 days change water 50% percent then put 2 tablespoon Epson salts in  is not as big it is red on top is their anything else I can do  I don't want  to lose him   < Internal bacterial infections behind the eye are difficult to treat. Keep the water clean and treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package.-Chuck> thank john

FW disease question Hello again. I have a jewel cichlid that appears to have fungus on his top fin. it is a puffy white ball. I have quarantined him and treated with jungle fungus medication for four days, but had no success. I then switched to Maracyn and it has been three days with that and no difference. Could it be something else? Can this just be cut off with scissors? There now seems to be another fish in the main tank with the same problem, which I'll be moving to QT, so I'd like to know what to treat them with. Also, would a UV light prevent things like this in the future? Thanks, as always, for the help and advice, < Fungus usually attacks diseased or damaged tissues. With the rough and tough jewelfish this isn't that uncommon. Remove the fish from the water and take some cotton balls and wipe as much as the fungus away as you can and treat  the tank with Nitrofuranace. Make sure you do a 30% water change and clean the filter before you medicate and follow the directions on the package.-Chuck> jim g

New to cichlids I just recently got cichlids, I don't know much about them. I've been having a few problems with them, & one died a few days ago. The one that died was smaller, being picked on, & eventually stopped eating. He started to hang out on the bottom of the tank & died about 2 days later. Just before he died one of the fish started to almost convulse so I looked it up on the internet, & found out it was shimmy. We've done 2 water changes (30%) in the past week, & more of them have started to develop the same symptoms as the 1st one. When I feed them its almost as if they don't want to eat, & one has started to hang out beside a rock at the bottom of the tank, not eating. I've tried speaking to the local pet stores about different medications, but they say they have never heard of shimmy,& say it sounds like a very rare thing. Any suggestions on how to save my cichlids would be great. Thank-you  hope to here from you soon < Any type of shimmy is caused by external parasites attacking the skin of the fish as well as the gills. Treat with Rid-ich or Formalin from Kordon. Make sure the pH is up at least 7.5 and the water temp is around 78 degrees F. Do a 30% water change and make sure that the filter is clean before treating. If you don't see any improvement after 4 or 5 days then try treating with clout-Chuck>

New to cichlids Two I just recently got cichlids, I don't know much about them. I've been having a few problems with them, & one died a few days ago. The one that died was smaller, being picked on, & eventually stopped eating. He started to hang out on the bottom of the tank & died about 2 days later. Just before he died one of the fish started to almost convulse so I looked it up on the internet, & found out it was shimmy. We've done 2 water changes (30%) in the past week, & more of them have started to developed the same symptoms as the 1st one. When I feed them its almost as if they don't want to eat, & one has started to hang out beside a rock at the bottom of the tank, not eating. I've tried speaking to the local pet stores about different medications, but they say they have never heard of shimmy,& say it sounds like a very rare thing. Any suggestions on how to save my cichlids would be great. Thank-you  hope to here from you soon <This all depends on what kind of cichlids you have. Most come from Africa, South and Central America. So what kind you have makes a difference on how you are going to treat them. In general any type of parasite attracting the skin of the fish can be treated with Rid-Ich by Kordon or Formalin. Make sure the water is clean and the filters have been surfaced. These medications may affect the good bacteria that you are trying to establish so follow the directions carefully and watch for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>

Parasites on Oscar-help needed I recently- as in a week ago- purchased a huge Oscar.  say, the size of a good panfish. anyways, he had some spots on him in the pet store; they looked like scars, since he/she was kept in a ten gallon aquarium, I assumed it was from hitting the glass. I was SO wrong!!! today (the 18th) a friend was looking at her and said "are these parasites?"  sure enough, she has little parasites.  they look like water fleas of some sort.  clear, many legged, tails.  almost microscopic. They stay next to their particular 'hole' in her skin, and don't scrape off.  Its scary, but I did try to scrape one off of her with my fingers (and a big glove... she's a little testy). I have a saltwater tank, and did try a very short saltwater dip.  I don't know if that will hurt her long term, so it was either too short to do anything, or I didn't have high enough salinity.   So, can you think of anything?  the other fish in the tank is a violet goby (I know, supposed to be brackish) couple goldfish (feeders and one big one) and guppies.  THEY WERE ON HER  when I got her, I just didn't see them.  I'm looking for name and treatment of these suckers. < You probably have fish lice. Clean the filters and do a 30% water change. Treat with fluke tabs or parasite clear. Follow the directions on the package regardless of which one you choose.-Chuck> TIA!!! Disease Symptom - A Pimple? Dear WWM Crew, Four days ago I introduced a 3" Texas Cichlid (I'm pretty sure it's a H. carpinte) into my 75 gallon community tank. It immediately developed 2 small reddish pink pimples, approx 1/8" in diameter, along the underside of it's body in line with it's pectoral fins. They grew out from the body around 1/8", and became slightly pointed, but have been receding over the last day.  I've been trying to find out what these symptoms could indicate, but on the net I've found conflicting information. Sorry I can't get a pic to help you. I don't want to take action unless I can properly identify the cause, and I was hoping you could tell we what this might be. There is no quarrelling with the other tank-mates, and it's appetite is normal. I believe that it is no longer under stress, so I was hoping that any treatment, if necessary, would prove successful. I weekly change out 50% of the tank water, have zero amm/nitrites and about 15-20 ppm nitrates. As a first measure I did an unscheduled 50% change and added 1 tbsp salt for every 5 gallons. Thanks in advance for your advice! I can supply any more info if needed. The other cichlid tank-mates are 2 Severums and a blood parrot, which are all slightly larger. I will soon have a 180 gallon tank, so I should have enough room for everyone when they get closer to their adult size. < Keeping the water clean is a major plus. When fish are introduced to a new tank there is a certain amount of stress and their protective slime becomes thin and the fish become vulnerable to disease. Hardy fish like most cichlids are able to recoup very quickly and fend off most diseases on their own. I think you had a bacterial infection and the fish regained its protective slime and probably won't need any treatment. Just in case I would add some salt at about a teaspoon per gallon. If the pimples reappear then treat with Nitrofuranace.-Chuck> Corey Cormier

Sick blood parrot Hi, I am a new aquarist with a 26g freshwater tank that I've had for almost a month now. I initially stocked it with a 3" blood parrot, two 2" angel fish (one died a week ago), and a 3" gold gourami after I had it running for 2 days. Everyone was fine until a week later when I added a Bala shark and a common pleco without quarantining them (a big mistake, I know -- I now have a 10g tank in which I'm nursing the parrot, gourami, and the remaining angel fish.) The pH started to rise up to about 7.4 while the tank was still going through it's first cycle, but everyone seemed to be doing fine and I did 25% water changes twice weekly. The only oddity was the Bala shark who never seemed at ease and was always rubbing his nose (flashing?) against the glass. He hadn't eaten anything since the first night I got him. He died after a week in the tank followed by the first angel fish the next day. Soon afterwards I noticed my pleco had many white spots, which I learned was ick. I started with Quick Cure and a water change but the next day I noticed my parrot was not his usual self. He remained at the bottom under the leaves of a plastic plant and was not eating. The next day I went out and got the 10g and transferred just him with fresh water and more ick drops and he seemed better and started eating. Now he's back to not eating and even though I put his buddy, the gourami, in with him he's not socializing and likes to stay by the bubble stone and heater. Or I'll see him at the surface swimming against the bubble stream. I heard that the ick medication can affect fish so I did a partial water change and did not add any more medication for a day and I started noticing a grey patch on his nose. I switched to the Jungle brand fizzing ick tablets the next day. The grey patch is now much darker and most recently there are dark streaks in the edge of the tail fin and the lateral (sorry, still new) one's too, and his eyes now seem to be all black. He's still not eating and I'm not sure if he can see. I'd really appreciate any advice you could give me as both I and my wife have grown very attached to him/her. Thank you. The water in the 10g tank is at 80F, ammonia is up to 0.5 ppm, no nitrites or nitrates yet, GH is 5 degrees, and pH is 7.3. I have a Tetra Whisper outboard filter with carbon removed as well as an air stone and heater. < Ich medication can affect the good bacteria you have tried so hard to get going as well as weaken very sick fish. You have a couple of things going on. Use rid-ich by Kordon or another formalin-malachite green medication for getting rid of the ich. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees. Treat with Nitrofuranace for the bacterial infections that have also attacked your fish. This will pretty much wipe out any good bacteria so do not feed and try and keep the water as clean as possible. This will mean that the filter needs to be cleaned often and the gravel needs to be vacuumed from all the crude that has accumulated there. Keep the ammonia levels as low as possible by feeding sparingly every other day until you see them cured. After the medication has done its job add carbon to remove the last of the medication and add Biospira by Marineland to get the good bacteria reestablished.-Chuck> Sudesh

Sick Fish ( HELP) Hello,  Where to start?   I have two 55gallon aquariums stacked on one another, with a bio filter and pump system underneath , its a freshwater setup that's been in place for the past 5 years . I've had aquariums for about 15 years are so.  My problem is I purchased new fish and made the mistake of not quarantining them first, Stupid I Know!   I had to go out of town on business and left someone to take care of my fish while I was gone, when I returned 4 days later not only do I have ick on my 8" Severums which I have raised from nickel size, but also have a ex-large Solid Black angel that appears to have cotton fungus.   All the sick looking fish seemed to be in the lower tank, which I realize the temp to be a little cooler, a degree or two but still at 76-78.  Note I had just did a water change prior to addition of new fish.  Water checks out fine!   I purchased Wardley's Watercare Ick Away ,   added to both tanks top and bottom as recommended , water turned blue for a short period of time then cleared up I'm guessing maybe cause of the Bio system?   The second day a repeated the dosage according to instructions.  On the third day I noticed a real serious problem on all fish in the lower tank . (Fin rot ). Side fins , and tails.   I  have now did a 25% water change and added  MelaFix to try and help the fins. I've since lost a half dozen smaller fish in the top tank, probably from meds I NO.  I'm really trying to save my fish can you help?  The Severums are still eating well but lying a lot on the bottom of the tank, still showing signs of ick, but not as bad as it seems to be cycling out . Is it possible that the ingredients in Wardley Ick Away caused damage to the fins of the fish?          Do you think an overdose would have caused this ? What do you recommend ?       The Ex-large Angel doesn't eat, closed fins ,   The Severums both Green and Gold , still have signs of ick, plus now have serious damage to there fins but or still eating well.     Thanks for your time, hope to here from you SOON. < A couple of things are going on. First of all you need to do a 30% water change on the systems by vacuuming the gravel in each tank. This will remove the crud in the gravel and help reduce the nitrates. Clean the filter. This will also help reduce the nitrates. Remove any carbon and treat the system with Kordon's rid-ich to get rid of the ich and Nitrofuranace to get rid of the bacterial infections. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees F to help get rid of the ich. Do not feed the fish for a few days. I suspect that when you went away your well meaning friend overfed your fish tipping the aquariums sensitive balance over the edge. The ammonia levels went through the roof and your fish got stressed and sick. Treating a dirty tank is an up hill battle. Organics in the water absorbs much of the medication so a clean tank is much more effective. When you treated the tank for ich the medication may have killed or at least affected the good bacteria in your filter system so watch and test for ammonia and nitrite spikes while treating this time. I would do daily water changes until the fish show signs of getting better.-Chuck>                                   Robert

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