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FAQs on Red Devil Cichlids: Foods, Feeding, Nutrition   

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Related FAQs: Red Devils 1Red Devils 2, & Red Devils Identification, Red Devils Behavior, Red Devils Compatibility, Red Devils Selection, Red Devils Systems, Red Devils Health, Red Devils Reproduction,  & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

red devil not eating   1/15/12
Hi i have currently had My red devil fish (Chester)  for nearly a year now.
I'm not actually sure whether its a he or a she, Chester was a baby when i bought him from the pet shop. He is around 4-5 inches long. He has always been in a tank
<How large, filtered?>
by himself and since we got to know each other he has been quite happy in his tank, and interacting with me when i came close to the glass. I have never fed him fish, just cichlid pellets and blood worms daily.
<Do cut down on the last... sewage fly larvae have been implicated in metabolic disease in recent times>
 He has Always had a healthy appetite and came to the top of the tank to get his food from me. i clean his tank out around every month and a half.
<... Better by far to do partial water changes, w/ gravel vacuuming weekly... and filter maintenance at these times>

 i recently cleaned his tank and filter and got him a new heater due to the old one starting to die and not keep the right temperature. after the tank clean his water was at 7.5 PH
<What re ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?>

and temperature was 25-26 degrees Celsius. But he has not eaten since the water change and has been hiding all day in his little cave. He is getting very pale as well. its been about 10days since he has eaten anything and is not interested in any food which is not like him at all. he refuses to come out of his cave. i took the cave out to see how if that would change anything but he just hides near his filter and behind his fake plants. he still spits his rocks around like always but not when anyone is watching.
When i go close to the glass he will swim away and hide which also is not like him. Other than being more pale than usual his appearance hasn't changed. no cloudy eyes or spots anywhere. Please help i am getting very worried about him not eating. what else can i do?
<Please answer the questions above and read here:
and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Red Devil not eating    1/5/12
Hi Guys, I have a red devil that is about 2.5 years old. I had her in her own 39 gal tank for over 2 years and only had 1 decoration that she could hide behind. At that time she will only eat the Cichlid Gold pellets. She would go crazy over them and eat about 5 or 6 pellets every day. I've tried peas, lettuce and Shrimp pellets but she would eat one and then spit it out. She won't eat anything that doesn't float either. Nov 9th or so I bought a 75 Gal fish tank that had 3 fire mouths and a really big Pleco in it. I brought it to my house set it all up and added in those fish. About 2 days later I added in 2 small convict Cichlid and a small Pleco. I also added in lots of smaller decorations for the fish to hide. I added my red Devil, Chi, about 11 days later.
<I do hope it gets along w/ the other Cichlids... Red devils, well, can become "devils" toward their tankmates>
I added a very large pipe for her to hide in but hasn't taken to it yet. She is acting fine swimming around and actually not bother the other fish too much. My problem is that I haven't seen her eat yet. She doesn't do crazy over pellets like she used to. I feed the other fish flakes and smaller pellets. Once she sees that the other fish are eating she sill go over and swim around but not eat any of the food. She is still moving rocks around, still following my fingers along the glass, seams to have gotten bigger and her teeth are still brown, but its been about a month and I still haven't seen her eat. Is there anything I can do?
<Mmm, yes... I'd switch to a food w/ higher palatability. Do look for "Spectrum" brand.>
I haven't had the water tested and the heaters I have I don't know if they always work as the water temp seams <seems> cold and then the next way warm and I have them set to be about 82 degrees.
<This should be fine; I might lower to the high 70's F>
The pictures are of Chi and how my tank is set up. Please help.
<Do try to be patient as well... Your Chi won't starve even if it doesn't eat for several days. Often fishes go "off feed" when moved to new circumstances, new livestock is added. I urge patience and the switching to Spectrum pelleted food as a staple. Oh, do read here:
 Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Gizmo our Red Devil... health... env., nutr.   12/28/09
I have a 8 Year old red devil that has not had no trouble at all during his life in the last couple of months we have noticed him slightly losing appetite and sinking to the bottom of the tank and laying sideways.
<May be getting old, though this species should live a little longer without problems.>
PH is 7 Tank temp is 30 degrees Celsius, tank size is 270 Litres.
<The pH is too low, and the temperature a bit too high. Indeed, if it's been at 30 C all its life, it may well be "old" before its time. These fish do need hard, basic water -- you're aiming for 10+ degrees dH, and pH 7.5. I mention these specifically because tanks that rely on coral sand and Tufa rock for hardness may be fine for a long time, but eventually algae and bacteria so encrust the sand and rock that the buffering ability drops to zero. Replacing some/all of this material will help. Otherwise, simply add something like a Rift Valley salt mix at 50-100% dosage to provide the conditions required.
We had our filter not running efficiently by the time we realised the water quality wasn't very good over the last 2 weeks
<Well, that's one possible cause of problems.>
I have done a 2 x 50% water changes, cleaned the filters re leveled out his Ph level and put some live fish in their for him.
<Why have you added live fish? Let's be clear here: one of the silliest things any aquarist can do is use cheap, store-bought feeder fish. Goldfish and minnows contain too much thiaminase and fat, and over time will cause chronic vitamin deficiency and degeneration of the internal organs.
Cheap feeder fish can also internal parasites, some of which can infect predators that eat them. The information about thiaminase is increasingly widely known now, but the problems with fat and parasites have been known for years, which is why no aquarium book advises aquarists to use live feeder fish.>
We went away for 4 days came back and he had no colour at all but he would come out and say hello then go hide in his log again. When he swims it sometimes is sidewards then when he stops he hits the bottom fairly hard.
What can I do to help him?
<See above. Optimise water chemistry, check water quality, use a proper diet. Amphilophus labiatus evolved to eat small invertebrates from the mud; that's what its thick lips are all about. It also eats things like algae and organic detritus. I mention these because aquarists often assume feeding their cichlids feeder fish is good for them. Almost all cichlids are omnivores that feed primarily on algae, organic detritus, invertebrates, and plants. Very few are "predators" in the sense of eating smaller fish, though to be fair, Amphilophus labiatus does occasionally eat small fish. So once you have water chemistry and quality optimised, concentrate on things like cooked peas, earthworms, wet-frozen krill, insect larvae, etc. Good quality cichlid pellets are extremely useful, perhaps augmented with things like Spirulina flake and Sushi Nori. Small portions of thiaminase-free fish fillet (e.g., tilapia) can be added, perhaps once a week.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Frelling Red Devil! Hi!  I was wondering if you could help me with an issue that I am having with my Red Devil. He is an adult male, and approximately 10 inches in length. About a week ago I put him in a new 60 gallon aquarium and now he has not eaten in a week. The pH is set proper and so is the temp. I have tried all the foods he normally eats and then some. He still won't eat. I thought that it may be because he is still getting acquainted with his new surroundings but I don't feel like it should take this long. What do you think and do you have any answers that may help me save my fish? He is active and still moves his gravel around. How long can he go without eating?  < Cichlids in general are territorial and seem to be more shaken up by a change in surroundings then most other fish. A couple of things come to mind. If the tank is in a new location then additional foot traffic may make him more reluctant to come out. Brighter colored gravel may make him more obvious and once again more reluctant to come out. Try some washed earthworms to get him going. If the temperature is around 80 then he can probably go a couple of weeks without too much suffering.-Chuck>  Ron Sankary

Red Devil Cichlid Hello once again Bob, My name is Courtney and I have a RED DEVIL CICHLID and, well, it doesn't seem to eat anything that we put in the tank. What would you recommend as we have two other little cichlids about 2" in length and out RED DEVIL is 7-8". What should I do, I mean, maybe he eats when we are not around but it always seems to be the little ones that eat and not him. What could be wrong and what could I possibly do?  Thank you once again.  I hope that you are able to answer my questions. Courtney <Mmm, what had this fish been eating? Is it new to your tank? What were the people feeding it before...? It may be conditioned to eating a particular food/format... like pellets, or specialized food sticks... I would not worry much re... as these cichlids will eventually come around, eat most any/everything... I am concerned re your other fishes... as the Red Devil... can be a devil! Please read here re Cichlids: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Devil Hello again Bob, <Courtney> Well the Red Devil is new to our tank. Same with our other little cichlids. Now the Red Devil used to eat pellets, and sticks when the pet store had him. Our other cichlids eat fine, but the Red Devil seems to not eat, now, whether he eats when we are not looking is the other question. The rest of the fish in the tank never and I mean never get picked on by the Red Devil. They are getting along fine. The ones that do the picking are the little ones and they pick on each other. But they have not hurt one another. It's like they are both saying to each other, NA NA Boo Boo. It's rather funny. But the Red Devil watches them, but never goes after them. Now, we had a ship in there for him to go behind and well my boyfriend took it out of the tank and now he swims around more and we are maybe thinking that's the problem. Now that he is out in the open we think he well start eating, but we still left rocks in the tank for the little ones to him under. Thank you for your time. Courtney <This fish will eat eventually, no worries... and it is VERY likely to be trouble with these smaller fishes. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/reddevils.htm  and the linked files above.  Bob Fenner>

Loui, the Red Devil... not feeding   11/14/06 Hi: <<Hi, Daniella. Tom here.>> I'm wondering if you can help me.   <<I'll give it my best effort.>> Loui Lucifer is our red deviled cichlid. <<Red Devil Cichlid. Just a little help. :) >>>> He is a 10' male in 47 gallon tank. <<10' (inch), not 10' (feet). My apologies, again.>> He used to have a lot of energy and was very temperamental. (I couldn't keep anything in my tank or else he would kill and eat it).   <<Definitely a Red Devil Cichlid! Not unusual for this fish at all.>> Within the last week he has changed.  He does not eat and he stays in one corner in the side of his tank.  He hasn't touched his feeder fish.   <<Too many feeder fish isn't recommended. They're not a good part of a Cichlid's diet. They're not nutritious and can introduce disease(s) into the tank. Yes, Cichlids do feed on fish in their natural habitat but these aren't the same fish we buy at the store.>> I can't notice anything unusual about his appearance except he has turned a much brighter range in comparison to before. He's much paler.  We have tried feeding him blood worms thinking that he might need a change in diet. <<A variation in diet is excellent  but I don't think this is the problem.>> He hardly swims and appears extremely depressed.  We have done a 25% water change.  The pH level is about 8 and I'm not sure what the nitrites are but am taking a sample in.   <<Very good! Ask them to check ALL of the parameters including ammonia, nitrite and, particularly, nitrate levels. Cichlids are not very tolerant of nitrate levels over 20 ppm (parts per million). We, in the hobby, think of levels up to 40 ppm as being 'safe' but this isn't necessarily true for Cichlids. The lower the levels are, the better.>> The feeder fish we bought 2 weeks ago are still alive and had appeared to have ich on them. Would this have an effect on Lou and why he is not eating?   <<Hopefully, Lou will not eat a fish infested with Ich. (I wouldn't!) Unfortunately, the fact that the 'feeders' have Ich means that Lou is liable to get it, especially in the state that he's in. Please, research our site regarding the use of aquarium salt for treating Ich. Much as it bothers me to say this, your Cichlid comes first. Treat your tank with Lou in mind and forget the feeders.>> Could he have an internal infection from these fish?   <<Again, Daniella, this is entirely possible. Without more information, it's very hard to say what might be wrong with him. There are many good foods available for your fish. Stay away from 'feeder fish' for the time being. There are just too many problems associated with them.>> Help. We are really worried and don't feel he's going to make it. <<Keep doing regular water changes to reduce possible high nitrate levels. Use aquarium salt and heat to get rid of the Ich problem. Make sure that you vacuum the bottom of the tank, or substrate, during water changes. This will help in ridding the tank of Ich and nitrates. It sounds like Lou is big and, otherwise, healthy. Hopefully, what I've suggested will bring him back to his 'usual' self. Good luck, Tom>>

Red Devils natural diet? And fat lips? Chuck's Take - 02/11/2007 I have a 7' Red Devil cichlid, his name is Marmalade. He currently is the only fish in his 55 gallon aquarium. <And likely to be the only fish tolerated...> The tank is filtered by two <Good> AquaClear 500s, with weekly 25 to 50 percent water changes. <Also> Water parameters: pH-8.2, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-always under 10ppm, and temperature 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Marmalade's tank will be upgrading to a 150 gallon in May. He deserves more tank space to destroy. <Heeeee!>   I am wondering if anyone can tell me what would make up the majority of their natural diet. <Mmm, you can take a look on fishbase.org: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4786 here for the most commonly named Red Devil Cichlid (there are a few other species so-named). See the notes under "Biology"...> I can find gut analyses for many Amphilophus cichlids citrinellus, xiloaensis, Amarillo, '¦ but not labiatus. < http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=28238&genusname=Amphilophus&speciesname=labiatus> I want to raise live foods for treats. I currently raise cherry red shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis), snails, and swordtails (Xiphophorus Sp). In the summer I also raise red worm. <All accepted greedily> I also need to know if anyone has suggestions on fattening up Marmalade's lips. The only info I can find about their fat lips says it is callus buildup from their feeding practices in the wild. I want to replicate Marmalade's natural environment as well as possible. My plan is decorating the 150 with 100+ pounds of honeycomb limestone. My hope is that he will excavate the rock for his live treats and fatten up his lips. Any other suggestions? <Mmm, really just time going by... May "fatten up" or no...> I guess I need to mention that I don't know Marmalade is 100% red devil. I purchased him from a pet store, not an importer. I think he shows mostly labiatus characteristics. His nuchal hump is relatively small. When viewed from overhead his jaws come to a point, not rounded like Amphilophus citrinellus. <Am going to place this note in our resident Cichlid expert's in box as well... Chuck Rambo will likely have much more input here. Bob Fenner> <(Chuck's Take). In the wild these guys feed on all kinds of invertebrates like snails, crustaceans, insects as well as small fishes. These prey items are found in between the cracks of the rocks in their natural environment. The large lips on these cichlids are used like a gasket over the openings so they can suck out the prey out between the cracks. When these fish are brought into the aquarium they stop doing this technique and the lips soon go back to a normal size.  There are many Lake Malawi cichlids that have the same large lips in the wild. So far there has been no documentation of any captive cichlids developing these massive lip structures.-Chuck>

Red Devil Has Not Eaten in 1 Week! 07/07/08 Red Devil On Hunger Strike Hi! and Help! I recently acquired a Red Devil (? He has no nuchal hump) in a tank purported to be 75 gallons but only 48. Charlie is 10 inches long. I placed him by a sliding glass door by the dining table. He can see people in the kitchen. He can see people and critters at the dining table. He can see people and critters in both the front and back living rooms. He can see out the window when I draw the blinds and he can see out the back porch onto the back yard a bit also. He did very little typical behaviors his first 3 weeks here, seemed to smile a lot and was not shy with us. Then I finally got around to cleaning his tank. Prior to this I only had a small goldfish tank and still only have that antiquated siphon method. Charlie's' tank was quite dirty as I did receive it dirty as well. (Most of the water was removed for the move and I had to fill it with a hose while he was in another tank). My way of cleaning the tank means that I have to wait for the dirty water to settle down and then pour water from the top of the buckets back into the tank. (I only just learned that they need a 50% water change every week so I was doing the 25% goldfish rule.) So the cleaning occurred all day on Friday the 25th of June. As of Friday July 4th he has still eaten nothing. Since the cleaning he acts as if he has been violated. He no longer wants anything to do with us and he cleaned a spot to the mirrored floor of his tank and spends days just looking at his own image. He often ignores us when we talk to him and try to visit. We have tried to feed him and he has let the food rot. Last night I cooked chicken for the soft-shell turtles and gave Charlie a piece because I had read that they like it. This morning I fished it out untouched. Today I tested his water which was all fine except for slightly high nitrates - I put some chemical in and gave him a Rosie red minnow. He came a little alive and the poor tortured thing was eventually murdered but he did not eat it. The carcass is laying on the floor of the tank right where we can all see it and Charlie has eaten nothing. How long can this go on? This fish is starting to torture me because I feel so guilty for him and I am soon to purchase a more efficient cleaning machine to avoid this in the future. I have read that a fish cannot go more than 5 days without food. This has been 7. If Charlie refuses to eat something how soon should I remove it from the aquarium? What am I to do to make him happy again? I am not skilled with cichlid disease. Is there a disease that I should be looking for? < Start by checking the water temperature. It should be between 75 and 80 F. Get a thermometer and get a heater if needed. Next check the water chemistry. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero. The nitrates should be under 20 ppm. Big cichlids can be pretty messy so you should have a power filter that turns the water over at least 200 gph. An outside power filter would be best. Assuming everything else is fine then offer him a few high quality cichlids pellets once ech day at the same time. After five minutes remove any uneaten food. Repeat every day until he eats. If he doesn't eat after a week then try some washed earthworms. Feeder fish are notorious for contaminating big cichlid tanks with diseases.-Chuck> Re: Red Devil Has Not Eaten In A Week II -- 07/08/08 Yes there is a lot more but I went to a store called "Ocean Floor" in central Phoenix and got some better bacteria than these chain stores sell. < Many stores sell bacterial additives that claim to add the beneficial bacteria to a tank so you can put fish in right away. The one I recommended for years was Bio-Spira by Marineland. The item is no longer available. A new product by Dr Tim called "The One and Only" is working very well for a friend on mine who has a aquarium maintenance business and sets up tanks all the time. This product is available from DrsFosterSmith.com.> I also bought a new Fluval 450 and a bunch of other stuff. Placing him in the window was a mistake and the heat is spiking the ammonia and nitrates. < Heat by itself won't increase the ammonia and nitrates. Elevated water temperatures may have increased the breakdown of the fish waste.> Plus all the water changes were misadvised. We put a huge board outside the window for now because the store guy thinks he is too fragile to move the tank right now. So both my tanks are blooming right now with the good bacteria and the fish are starting to do a bit better. The company that makes these products is right here in Phoenix. It is called Tropical Science and the bacteria have to be kept in the fridge. These chain stores have inferior product and they think they have bacteria and the products even say so on the label but absolutely nothing happens. I was stuck in a position that I did not have time to cycle tanks properly. (What happens when you buy used tanks with fish in them.) I do need to learn how to do it properly since I need to get larger tanks for the cichlid and the spiny softshells. I had a product with live bacteria for many years. The bottle did not need refrigeration. Whenever my tank was in trouble I would throw a couple of drops in and get instant results. I have always kept my goldfish in windows and done great. When I finished the bottle I remember thinking to myself that I ought to save the empty bottle so I would know what to ask for. I threw it out. None of the stores have it anymore. It was fantastic stuff. I didn't even mention about Charlie being in the hot window when I first wrote because I did not know it was a problem. The city tap water is too high in nitrates and ammonia already. I had read to find another water source but had always learned that purified drinking water would kill the fish. The guy at the store said I could use purified drinking water but I am still leery. We get OPremium water and I don't know if I could use that or not. I need more feedback on alternate water sources. I would really appreciate if one of you could look at this OPremium water site and tell me if the water is safe for the fish. My first instinct is no - but maybe I am wrong. Please advise: http://www.owaters.com/10-step-purification.html Or do you have suggestions for other water sources? Thanks for asking Bob. <<Welcome. B>> And thanks for your initial response Chuck. < If your water is too high in nitrates you could always use R/O or distilled water. This water by itself is not good for fish because it is too clean and has no buffers in it. You have to add some buffers to keep the pH from going all over the place and stressing your fish. The R/o will reduce most of the nitrates. You could by an r/o unit for a couple hundred bucks and could filter water up to 50 gallons per day.-Chuck>

Red Devils Have Not Eaten IN One Week III 7/10/08 < First off. Stop injecting additional questions/comments within the text of formally answered questions. The crew usually injects their comments in response to multipart questions to try and not confuse the readers. When you add the additional comments it makes it very difficult to sort out if the questions have been answered or not. In the future please ask questions that you need help with.> OK. I do not know what R/O is so hopefully can Google. < Go to the WWM and Google R/O. This has been asked many times before.> This is getting insanely expensive and I don't think my husband will go for an R/O unit at this point. Also I don't know what "buffers" are. < Once again Google the WWM website for buffers.> I saw some pH stabilizing product somewhere - not sure if Dr Foster Smith or Austin's Turtle Page. < DrsFosterSmith definitely have buffers for R/PO units.> I am super frustrated right now because these Ocean Floor employees don't really know either and the guy we bought from is off work till Thursday and there is a lot of stuff he didn't tell us. < Unfortunately the retail tropical fish store employee typically doesn't have much more experience than the customers they are trying to help. The job usually doesn't pay that well so turn over is very high.> The Tropical Science product (Aqua Chargers) has no directions on the label - just lists of other product. So my idea is that they think they have designed the most fantastic surface for bacteria but it is the liquid in the container that has the bacteria? (The employees cannot even answer that - probably because they do not want to admit that I was stupid enough to pay $160 for a bottle of plastic doo-dads.) < In the past I have not been impressed with this brand of products.> Because I saw other plastic thingies on Dr Smith Foster for a hell of a lot less money. < Online retail stores are definitely very competitive with traditional retail stores.> My two tanks are acting very different with it and I told the employee about the water change and chemical soup added over the weekend with the AP products and this Tropical Science has been added on top of it. It does not seem to me to be very scientific when everything is so nebulous and proper written directions are not given. I called back the store and asked why one tank is super cloudy and the other one is clear. The employee told me to do a 25% water change. I said "WHAT!?!?! I just spent $160 (plus tax) on this stuff (never mind the hundreds of dollars of other product I purchased along with) and 24 hours later you are telling me to pour it down the drain?!?!?!?!" I called and asked to talk to the manager and she put a guy on who speaks hardly any English and he could not tell me anything concrete either or even speculate with knowledge - he told me not to feed any of my fish for 3 or 4 days till it clears up. I haven't even tested my water because I am getting too emotional about this now. All I can say is my 10 inch Red Devil is miserable in his cloudy tank and my 10 inch goldfish is miserable in his alternately cloudy and clear tank. I tried to ask about the life cycle of this bacteria I have added and of course no-one knows a thing. The rapid changes of cloudy and clear repeatedly over the course of the day means something and I would like to know what. But Charlie's tank is just deathly cloudy. Interesting to me is that the other fish in the goldfish tank are OK for the most part. I have small feeder goldfish, Rosie minnows and of course plecostomus. When the 2nd Fluval started up in their tank it emitted a huge white cloud - I assume from the aqua chargers that had been sitting in there while I was doing battle with the hoses. It was frightening to watch that cloud go into the tank and the little fish got all jerky for hours afterwards. They moved a lot but very jerky also. What does that mean? The Ocean Floor employees cannot tell me. Sorry for this long run-on line - I am very low-tech and do not know why this happens once in a blue moon. Thank you for the continued correspondence. I had been told years ago never to use distilled so I would need to know a lot more about what buffers are and how to use. Where can I learn? < Once again buffers and R/O water is well covered on the website. I would recommend trying to contact the manufacturers by either email or by trying to call them directly. Search for a web for a contact info.-Chuck>

Red devil Not Eating IV -- 07/11/08 Thanks Chuck. I did speak with a Steve Wilson at the Tropical Science and he answered some questions in his way and told me that the 25 % water change was correct. I did it and the fish stopped stressing as much. Then the retail guy at the store came back to work and told me he thought that I understood not to put all the liquid into the two Fluvals with the media. No I did not understand because there was nothing written to tell me that. So basically I OD'd each tank on too much bacteria and the bacteria ate all the fishes' oxygen. Plus the bacteria being too much were dying off rapidly. Also turns out the cichlid tank gravel and decor rocks are calcifying. He says it is a dangerous time to change the gravel right now but should be done once tank is cycled. So I had a feeling the gravel was wrong - it is rough like when they are trying to make their lips thick and also probably the gravel for African cichlids not American. The guy at the store has different ideas than anyone else but since he can explain his logic more rationally than almost anyone else (except you all) I have a tendency to want to believe him. He says no more water changes - to use the Liquid Gravel Vacuum product. I had read on AustinsTurtlePage that he cycles the tank quicker by combining the Tropical Science Nutramax with Biozyme but the guy at the store says the Biozyme is the exact same thing as the Liquid Gravel Vacuum. Yes the company says their products are gentler and take more time but it is doing it right. I am not smart enough to know but I am learning. I added the Nutramax to the turtle tank and they have been sleeping a lot more than normal so I asked the store guy if the bacteria was eating up the turtle's oxygen too. He said no but I am not so sure. They are usually very active and so the only other variable that I could think is maybe if they are weather sensitive - we just got a huge storm and maybe they felt that coming and went into hibernation mode. I sure miss that bottle of bacteria I had for years. It was great for a working person with kids who can't always take the time to do the right thing in a tank. Just a couple of drops and the fish were great. OK and thank you. I will go back to the site and read up on it. Been cramped for time - so I will do it when not so tired. I am really trying and got up at 2 a.m. to change the water. I promised my fish they would live long enough to have babies. Plus tonight I got the proper liquid testing material that you probably use instead of the dip strips. The Steve Wilson from Tropical Science pointed out that my testing material was inferior and could be giving me false readings also. When you are in crisis it is hard to wait to order on-line. < I understand your dilemma and wish you and your fish well.-Chuck>

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