2/8 cichlids are paralyzed and hyperventilating!

marginoferror

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Two of my 8 cichlids have gone belly-up and are hyperventilating. Tank is cycled and has been up for 2 months. There seem to be no issues with the water tests. The water is hard and slightly acidic though. I did a 75% water change yesterday, and then today I did a 50% water change and sucked the gravel (for the 3rd time since I started). The two fish have retreated to the same corner, though that could have been due to filter flow that they ended up there.

The first one started to only swim left today, one day after the first water change. At first, it became distressed and started lying sideways on the bottom of the tank. Minutes later, it swam only to the left (while looking like it had rigour mortis) and rolled over in order and swam left to turn to the right. About an hour later of mostly panting, it started to float belly-up on the bottom. I did a water change immediately thinking I might have caused an ammonia spike, then around 30 minutes later, another one of my cichlids (different species) went through the same stages, but 10x faster. I should note that all the other fish swam to the top and remained there for about 3 hours after the second water change. Also, there are three small crayfish living in the tank that all seem to have "fur"-like protrusions between their claws, below their tails, and protruding from their eye/antenna area.

I immediately took a magnifying glass to look to see if there was any sign of the problem when the first one started lying on its side beside the other fish, but then it panicked and then it (like a dog chasing its tail) circled vigorously for about 7 seconds and then stopped (it was entirely immobilized, except for fast-moving gill flaps). They are both still in the same position. Any idea what it could be or what I should do?
 

itiwhetu

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
4,852
Reaction score
3,273
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
Did you use dechlorinator when doing your water change. Why did you do such a large water change?. What are the Cichlids in the tank?
 
OP
M

marginoferror

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Did you use dechlorinator when doing your water change. Why did you do such a large water change?. What are the Cichlids in the tank?
Yes, I did. Because it had been a while since the last. I've also seen many sources recommending an 80% change be done weekly so I presumed it was prudent. The cichlids in my tank: one blue dolphin, three electric yellows, two electric blues, and two fuelleborne cichlids. The two cichlids that have been affected so far are one electric yellow and one fuelleborne.
 

itiwhetu

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
4,852
Reaction score
3,273
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
How do maintain the hardness for these guys. I have always used lime chip as a base medium and have only done 25% water changes weekly. I have always been careful not to alter the water parameters to much with water changing.
 
OP
M

marginoferror

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
How do maintain the hardness for these guys. I have always used lime chip as a base medium and have only done 25% water changes weekly. I have always been careful not to alter the water parameters to much with water changing.
Do you have a solution you can lend me?
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
14,853
Reaction score
10,476
Location
Teesside, UK
Because it had been a while since the last.
How often do you usually do water changes, and how much?

Most of us do water changes every week. When water changes are done infrequently the chemistry of the water changes slowly, then if a big water change is done, the chemistry is altered significantly which affects the fish. This is one reason for doing weekly water changes - the chemistry does not change very much between water changes.
 

Byron

Fish Guru
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
16,250
Reaction score
7,774
Location
CA
Concur with @Essjay , we need to know more data. Also, do you have numbers for the GH and pH? And temperature? And if you can test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, what are the results?

The reaction following a water change is a sign that something is in the water, or the water chemistry has significantly altered.
 

Jan Cavalieri

Fish Addict
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
899
Reaction score
299
Location
Topeka, KS
Twice I've lost about half the fish in the tank following a water change - they just all started dropping dead. Water parameters were fine so my assistant must have forgot to add water conditioner - and some fish could handle it and some could not. Another possibility is that she forgot to add the PH neutralizer we add to the water before it goes into the tank. Our city's tap water PH is 9.4, the neutralizer brings it down to exactly 7.0 which is what my fish requires. If she poured a bucket of PH 9.4 water on the heads of some of the fish - I can see they would die instantly. But neither of these describe your problem since your fish haven't died. Cichlids require a Ph of 8.0 or so I believe - so I would do a PH test on the water and find out how "off" the water is for your Cichlids. As I've found some species are tough and can handle a bad PH - others are far more sensitive. So to me it sounds like either you forgot the water conditioner or the PH is off.

As far as 80% water changes that is a little high - although we've done several 100% water changes when we had a white algae disease (didn't help). My assistant weekly does 70% water changes on our tanks. If you have 100% dirty water the pathetic 25% water changes isn't going to fix much. Right now I've got a number of baby glass fish that are very hard to see so we've started removing them and all our Gourami - only leaving the super tough Pleco's in the tank because you may find if you didn't vacuum the substrate really well, by the time you have removed 70% of the water you have 30% of seriously nasty water left in the tank with the fish. By removing the sensitive fish before the tank gets that low we've saved a lot of fish. So I highly recommend extreme water changes done weekly. (oh, if you have seriously nasty water with fish in the tank, add back about 10 gallons of clean conditioned water and re-suction, making sure to get as much gunk as possible) then add the rest of the clean water.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top