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African Cichlid Sitting A The Bottom of The Tank

Kaykillin

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Hi All,

I have a relatively new tank ( about a month and a half or so old) and have had 3 casualty’s so far.

1 yellow lab ( about 1.5cm )had a patch on its stomach left side like it was bitten off. Never healed, he stopped eating and was sitting at the bottom of the tank breathing hard. I assumed it was an ulcer. I separated him before he died.

Johanni #1 (about 1.8cm ) started to sit at the bottom of the tank breathing fast, stopped eating and then died a day or so later.

Johanni #2 (about 1.5 cm) was fine until Demasoni’s we’re added, he sat at one side of the tank would eat but then go back to his side, he started breathing slitghtly heavy before he disappeared and then was found dead.

What’s going on now:

My tank:
60 gal
2 350 mariners did filters
Heated tank temp : 80

Ammonia tested at 0 - .25

PH: 7.8

Nitrite: was high color of liquid was dark purple.
I put micro lift 2 cup full to bring down yesterday.

Water change was done a week ago at 25% prime and bacteria was added.

I was feeding the fish once a day, which I was told was to much and to feed every 3 days since their small ( ranging from .7in - 1.5in)

Fish:
4 yellow labs (one pregnant) (1 recently added)
4 Demasoni
2 Johanni
2 kenyi ( 1 recently added )
4 molly


I have a 1.5 inch Demasoni sitting at the bottom of the tank in the right corner. If I tap the glass he doesn’t really move but a fish swimming near him will make him move a bit and then go back to the same spot. He wasn’t interested in food either. He looks healthy, clear black eyes, no patches, no bloating,

I have a 1.5 inch jhoanni who was the most dominant in the tank until the Demasoni came, he mostly hides in a rock and doesn’t seem interested in food either. I do have molly’s In the tank that were starter fish, they are getting attacked as their fins are missing maybe the jhoanni is eating them? He looks healthy, clear black eyes, I noticed he looked like he just ate today but I haven’t feed them. Might be bloated? No patches, good color.

Other than that all the other fish are fine swimming around with no issue. What do you think it could be?

Photos of Johanni and Demasoni

9E68296C-2751-4628-89EA-6EA8F9B89BD8.jpeg


43102968-63FB-4ED8-A7D2-CF1B1EACA3E0.jpeg
 

Colin_T

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Was the aquarium cycled to get the filters established before you added fish?
If no, the fish are probably suffering from ammonia and or nitrite poisoning.

The best thing to do if you ever have any ammonia or nitrite above 0ppm, or nitrate reading above 20ppm, is a 75% water change and complete gravel clean. The same thing if you ever lose a fish or the fish look off colour, do a 75% water change and gravel clean.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

------------------------
In a new tank where the filters are still establishing you should only feed a couple of times a week and do a big water change about 4-8 hours after feeding. Once the filters have established you should be feeding adult fish once a day and baby or young fish at least 3 times per day so they can grow. Make sure you remove uneaten food after feeding and monitor the ammonia & nitrite levels.

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The blue fish in the picture looks like it has cream coloured lips. Is that correct or is it the photo?
White/ cream lips can be poor water quality or a bacterial infection. Do a big 75% water change today and gravel clean the substrate and see how the fish looks a few hours later. If it is poor water quality the fish should improve after the water change.
 
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Kaykillin

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Update: I know it’s been a while, those fish died as well as every other fish I had in the tank at that point. I Haven’t had much luck as every batch of fish I place in the tank have died one by one. Right now my parameters read as follows:

Ammonia = 0 [yellow]
Nitrite= 0 [light blue]
Nitrate = 0 [bright yellow]
PH = 7.8
Temp was lowered to 78 degrees for aggression. I’m going to rise it back to 80 today.

Stock list :
1 bumblebee
3 Demasoni
1 johanni
2 yellow labs
1 molly

The issue I am having now is that all my fish except the molly are sitting at the bottom of the tank. I noticed the bumblebee scratching on the gravel and the Demasoni face looks bumpy or peeling?and they are sitting at the bottom of the tank. I am treating my tank for suspected ick or a parasite. I can upload pics when I get home. Any ideas what this could be?
 

Colin_T

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No mollies with cichlids. The cichlids will kill the molly when the cichlids mature.

Do not raise the temperature, 78F is fine.

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It's either water quality, soft water or a disease.

I assume you drained the tank and refilled it a couple of days before adding the new fish, and you used a dechlorinator to remove chlorine/ chloramine from the water?

Did you gravel clean the substrate when you did this?

Did you wash the filter out under tap water when you did this?

What is the general hardness (GH) of the water?

Is there aeration in the tank?

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If you are having problems with fish dying, do not add new fish or only add 1 cheap fish to see if the tank is good. If you add a lot of fish and they die you have wasted a lot of money. If you add 1 and it dies that is not as expensive.

Do you have buckets specifically for the fish tank or do you use any bucket in the house?

Make sure your hands are clean and free of creams, oils, grease, perfumes, or any other type of chemical before you work on the tank or feed the fish. This includes perfumes from soap, use a perfume free soap.

Make sure there are no air fresheners, hair spray, perfume, deodorant, cigarette smoke, paint fumes or anything else in the room that produces gases or odours.

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Do not overdose with medications.

To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

If there are lots of big rocks in the tank, remove them when you measure the height and then put them back in the tank. Lots of rocks can displace the water.

There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working.

Wipe the inside of the glass down, do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean. And clean the filter before treating.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Post pictures when you get home :)
 
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Kaykillin

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No mollies with cichlids. The cichlids will kill the molly when the cichlids mature.

Do not raise the temperature, 78F is fine.

------------------------
It's either water quality, soft water or a disease.

I assume you drained the tank and refilled it a couple of days before adding the new fish, and you used a dechlorinator to remove chlorine/ chloramine from the water?

Did you gravel clean the substrate when you did this?

Did you wash the filter out under tap water when you did this?

What is the general hardness (GH) of the water?

Is there aeration in the tank?

------------------------
If you are having problems with fish dying, do not add new fish or only add 1 cheap fish to see if the tank is good. If you add a lot of fish and they die you have wasted a lot of money. If you add 1 and it dies that is not as expensive.

Do you have buckets specifically for the fish tank or do you use any bucket in the house?

Make sure your hands are clean and free of creams, oils, grease, perfumes, or any other type of chemical before you work on the tank or feed the fish. This includes perfumes from soap, use a perfume free soap.

Make sure there are no air fresheners, hair spray, perfume, deodorant, cigarette smoke, paint fumes or anything else in the room that produces gases or odours.

------------------------
Do not overdose with medications.

To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

If there are lots of big rocks in the tank, remove them when you measure the height and then put them back in the tank. Lots of rocks can displace the water.

There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working.

Wipe the inside of the glass down, do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean. And clean the filter before treating.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Post pictures when you get home :)
—————————

2 Demasoni died today ☹.
Johanni is sitting at the bottom of tank gasping for air.
The remaining Demasoni is bloated, I know he will die soon.

Since my fish died 1 by 1 the tank was never empty I kind of just kept adding fish in.
I did not drain the tank and refill a couple days before adding the new fish. I do add prime when I add water to the tank from evaporation. I didn’t clean the gravel when adding new fish either. I did wash the filter with tank water. I do not know the hardness of my water. There is aeration in the tank. I do have a bucket specifically for my tank. I shy away from water changes because my tap water a high in ammonia so I have to let the water age with bateria in it to eat the ammonia before adding it to the tank. I took the rocks out on the pic a couple days a ago to clean the gravel and found a dead yellow lab inside the rock that had to have been there for a while.

The issue is that I have a cheap fish in my tank that has survived this whole time but my cichlids are always the ones to go. The yellow labs seem to do better than the Demasoni and Johanni.
 
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Sarah73

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Nitrites and ammonia doesn't go away within a few hours like that... they likely suffered from ammonia poisoning.
 

Colin_T

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If there is any ammonia in the water and the pH is alkaline (above 7.0) the ammonia will be very toxic and kill fish. Even if a fish dies in the tank it will release ammonia within minutes of dying and that will kill the other fish. The longer the dead fish is in the tank the higher the ammonia level will get.

If there is a high nitrite reading it will also kill fish.

--------------------
You need to check the water quality for ammonia and nitrite and do a massive water change every day until the ammonia and nitrite levels are 0.

If you have ammonia in the tap water, you will have to filter that in a holding tub/ bucket before using it. You can use an established filter to remove the ammonia from the tap water or buy a substance called Ammogon or Zeolite. They are put in a filter and that goes in the container of tap water, and the Ammogon or Zeolite absorb the ammonia out of the water.

If you get a large plastic storage container you can fill it with tap water, add dechlorinator and then add the Zeolite. Allow the filter to run until the ammonia is gone and then use that water to do water changes. Make up new water as soon as you have used the clean stuff and it should hopefully be ready to use the next day.
 
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Kaykillin

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Nitrites and ammonia doesn't go away within a few hours like that... they likely suffered from ammonia poisoning.

My ammonia was high back in July. My current readings have been good since late August.

Ammonia 0 ( yellow)
Nitrate ( light blue )
Nitrite ( yellow )
 
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Kaykillin

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If there is any ammonia in the water and the pH is alkaline (above 7.0) the ammonia will be very toxic and kill fish. Even if a fish dies in the tank it will release ammonia within minutes of dying and that will kill the other fish. The longer the dead fish is in the tank the higher the ammonia level will get.

If there is a high nitrite reading it will also kill fish.

--------------------
You need to check the water quality for ammonia and nitrite and do a massive water change every day until the ammonia and nitrite levels are 0.

If you have ammonia in the tap water, you will have to filter that in a holding tub/ bucket before using it. You can use an established filter to remove the ammonia from the tap water or buy a substance called Ammogon or Zeolite. They are put in a filter and that goes in the container of tap water, and the Ammogon or Zeolite absorb the ammonia out of the water.

If you get a large plastic storage container you can fill it with tap water, add dechlorinator and then add the Zeolite. Allow the filter to run until the ammonia is gone and then use that water to do water changes. Make up new water as soon as you have used the clean stuff and it should hopefully be ready to use the next day.


The ammonia levels are 0 I use the liquid test
Nitrite is 0 nitrate is zero as well
 

Colin_T

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I can't see any diseases on the fish and I still think there is something in the water. It might be contaminated by something and that is causing the problem. I would try to do a couple of big (75%) water changes and gravel clean the substrate. I know you have ammonia in the water but if there is something in the water that is poisoning the fish, the easiest way to fix it is with big water changes.

The other option is to add some Activate or Highly Activated carbon to the filter and replace it after a couple of days. If there are chemicals poisoning the fish, the carbon will absorb them. However, the carbon will also absorb any medications you are using so keep treating for a bit and don't add carbon yet.

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What is the medication you are currently using, and what are the ingredients?

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Turn the tank light off and then shine a torch on the fish. See if any of them have a gold sheen to their body. If they do then they have Velvet (Oodinium).

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If you contact your water supply company or check their website, they should be able to tell you how hard your water is. You should also inform them that there is ammonia in the water, and it shouldn't be there.
If you can't find the information on their website, take a glass full of tap water to the local petshop and ask them to test the general hardness (GH) for you. Write the numbers down when they do the test, then post the results here.
 
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Kaykillin

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Sorry for the late reply. Apparently I have to call the city to get the parameters of the tap water. I’ll do that and post the results. I did a 35% water change and cleaned half of the gravel. Was pressed for time. I will clean the other half of the gravel today and do like a 50% water change. I only have 2 yellow labs left and 1 molly. The yellow labs are sitting at the bottom of the tank. I’ll up load more pictures of them. I haven’t added any meds to the tank for 2 days and I’ll place a new carbon filter in the tank to cycle any meds left.
 

Sarah73

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If I remember correctly, mollies need hard water and cichlids need even higher pH.
 
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Kaykillin

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I did a 50% water change, cleaned the sand as well as I could, and cleaned everything else in the tank. Now one of the yellow labs is swimming gracefully in the middle of the tank I think the other yellow lab may be to far to save but hopefully this continues to improve.

I read somewhere that I’d you don’t change the carbon filter pads, it pushes the chemicals back into the tank? I put new ones in and kept my bio wheel and pad the same. After the water change my water parameters are as follows.

5EDDF8A0-CF40-47B0-AEB8-CE4C1EA4A66D.jpeg


Ammonia is high but a water change www just done and my tap has ammonia in it. Prime was add to the new water before placing in tank.
 
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