Cichlids sitting at bottom of tank and breathing fast

jackkranjac17

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Ok so i got these cichlids a few days ago and they were in my 55 gallon tank and then that tank got ich so i took them out and put them in this 30 gallon but i didn’t even get the tank to cycle because this all happened to fast. so some of my cichlids have ich not a lot a few spots so i added salt increased the temp to 80 and started using some “ick clear” by jungle yesterday. i took the carbon out of this not so good filter for the ich treatment and i just changed 25% of the water today and it almost looks like they need oxygen which i don’t get because i have the air pump going as seen in the pictures. what could this be? ammonia? keep in mind since yesterday i haven’t had anything in the filter since i’ve been using this ich treatment. should i completely drain all the water and add new water and put them back in if it’s ammonia? please help.
 

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Deanasue

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Why didn’t you just leave them in the main tank and treat? Also, you want to keep your filter media in your filter. Just remove the carbon ( cut it out). I would do a 75% water change. Can cichlids handle heat? (Sorry, never raised them). If so, just slowly turn heat up to 86F and leave for 10 days. Vacuum your substrate every day. Add a bubbler. The heat will kill the ich without meds.
 
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jackkranjac17

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Why didn’t you just leave them in the main tank and treat? Also, you want to keep your filter media in your filter. Just remove the carbon ( cut it out). I would do a 75% water change. Can cichlids handle heat? (Sorry, never raised them). If so, just slowly turn heat up to 86F and leave for 10 days. Vacuum your substrate every day. Add a bubbler. The heat will kill the ich without meds.
oh yea i forgot to mention in my main tank i have 3 african clawed frogs and they are sensitive to treatments from what i’ve read so that’s why i moved them to treat them separately
 

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Were they breathing heavy before you added the meds?
 

Deanasue

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I just saw you’re using aquarium salt. That’s good as it helps improve gill function and reduces stress. Watch them closely since you have the meds already in the tank. If any further signs of stress then do the water change and add charcoal to clear out meds. Some fish can’t handle the meds. If that’s the case, then do the heat (86F) and salt treatment. Ich can get in the gills themselves so let’s pray that the meds start working and they breathe easier. Keep the bubbler going too. It often gets worse before it gets better so don’t panic. Keep us posted!
 

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i don’t beliver so but i also increased the temperature. is there not enough oxygen?
Don’t do both. In other words, don’t treat with meds AND turn up the heat. Choose which treatment you want to do, either the meds or the heat/salt treatment. Both heat and meds deplete oxygen so only do one method. Keep the bubbler going.
 

Deanasue

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Are meds still in tank right now? If so, go with that for now but watch them closely. Turn heat back down slowly. A couple of degrees an hour is all you want to do when increasing or decreasing temperature. If they seem to calm down and improve then stick with meds. If they worsen then do the 75% water change, add charcoal to get rid of the meds and then slowly increase the temp to the 86F along with dissolved aquarium salt for 10 days. Vacuum the substrate every couple of days. Keep bubbler going. Keep us posted.
 
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Colin_T

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African Rift Lake cichlids don't tolerate heat as well as South American cichlids. But they will be fine with 86F, which is where you need to get the temperature if you want to treat whitespot without chemicals.

You CANNOT keep Rift Lake cichlids with frogs. The Rift Lake cichlids come from hard alkaline water (GH above 300ppm, pH above 7.6). The frogs come from soft neutral - acid water (GH below 100ppm, pH below 7.0).

The African Rift Lake cichlids are very aggressive and will rip the frogs to pieces.

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Your fish are probably breathing heavily because you overdosed them. Check the water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Do a 90% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Then raise the temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks.

As Deanasue mentioned, don't use chemicals and raise the heat. Do one or the other. Heat is the safest method for you and the fish. Most fish chemicals are hazardous to people and fish.

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.

There is 3.785 litres in a US gallon, and 4.5 litres in a UK gallon.
 
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jackkranjac17

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African Rift Lake cichlids don't tolerate heat as well as South American cichlids. But they will be fine with 86F, which is where you need to get the temperature if you want to treat whitespot without chemicals.

You CANNOT keep Rift Lake cichlids with frogs. The Rift Lake cichlids come from hard alkaline water (GH above 300ppm, pH above 7.6). The frogs come from soft neutral - acid water (GH below 100ppm, pH below 7.0).

The African Rift Lake cichlids are very aggressive and will rip the frogs to pieces.

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Your fish are probably breathing heavily because you overdosed them. Check the water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Do a 90% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Then raise the temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks.

As Deanasue mentioned, don't use chemicals and raise the heat. Do one or the other. Heat is the safest method for you and the fish. Most fish chemicals are hazardous to people and fish.

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.

There is 3.785 litres in a US gallon, and 4.5 litres in a UK gallon.
unfortunately one of the cichlids has died. i will try without the meds and see how it goes.
 
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jackkranjac17

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Are meds still in tank right now? If so, go with that for now but watch them closely. Turn heat back down slowly. A couple of degrees an hour is all you want to do when increasing or decreasing temperature. If they seem to calm down and improve then stick with meds. If they worsen then do the 75% water change, add charcoal to get rid of the meds and then slowly increase the temp to the 86F along with dissolved aquarium salt for 10 days. Vacuum the substrate every couple of days. Keep bubbler going. Keep us posted.
i added the carbon back to the filter and a little bit more salt. temp is still at 82 and i will increase it tomorrow morning. i’m praying these fish will live. they weren’t cheap that’s for sure!
 

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Do a huge (90%) water change and gravel clean the substrate each day until you get the temperature up to 86F. The water change and gravel clean will reduce the number of parasites in the water and there will be fewer to infect the fish.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
 

Deanasue

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You did a major water change to get rid of meds, right? Charcoal alone will not be enough to remove it all .
 

Deanasue

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Do a huge (90%) water change and gravel clean the substrate each day until you get the temperature up to 86F. The water change and gravel clean will reduce the number of parasites in the water and there will be fewer to infect the fish.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
Also, salt doesn’t dissipate so after your initial dose of salt, only add back equal to water you remove. For example, if you initially add 1 tablespoon of dissolved aquarium salt for every 5 gallons, then the next time if you do a 90% water change, only add about 3/4 of a tablespoon of dissolved aquarium salt back in for every 5G. That way you won’t overdose on salt.
 
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