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Cichlids sitting at bottom of tank and breathing fast

Byron

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i went the the fish store and showed the guy the videos and he recommended ich x so i got that but i don’t know if i should use it? should i? my fish don’t show any signs of ich but they are at the surface breathing fast. he thinks it’s in the early stage.
This is most likely not the case. Flashing is the first sign of ich, because the parasite first attacks fish in the gills where we cannot see it, and they flash to dislodge it. After that, you will begin to see spots. The life cycle takes a good week, so two weeks of heat (with or without salt) is advisable. Surface respiration is a very different thing.

Please, do not follow the advice of the store, and please do not use Ich X or any other chemical concoction. They are not safe. Several members here with considerable experience have said raising the temperature will kill the ich, and if it is really stubborn (this does sometimes happen, one or two manage to get through the heat) then salt is safer.

just got the water tested and everything was perfect. no ammonia and got everything else tested. nitrate, nitrate, and everything else. it’s all good. and no chlorine. so why are they like this????? i’m completely out of ideas of what to do.
1. There might be something else in the water, now we know it is a well. A simple conditioner would be advisable, because they detoxify heavy metals and that could be relevant. Not saying it is, just it certainly could be. API's Tap Water Conditioner is the best there is given your circumstances. And on this, what is the GH (general hardness) of your water? And the pH? Colin mentioned previously that these rift lake cichlids must have hard water and a basic (above 7) pH. If either the GH or pH is not up there, it too weakens the fish.

2. The former "medication" likely affected the fish and this can be permanent. Every substance you add to the water gets inside the fish, into their bloodstream and internal organs. This can cause stress at the least (which further causes ich) but it may go beyond that.

I know it is a temptation when you see something clearly amiss to want to add something to treat whatever it is. This is a reaction you must train yourself to ignore. When there is a real issue, it has to be properly identified and then the appropriate treatment can be considered, if such is necessary. Guessing like the store is doing and adding different chemicals will not help, believe me.
 
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jackkranjac17

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This is most likely not the case. Flashing is the first sign of ich, because the parasite first attacks fish in the gills where we cannot see it, and they flash to dislodge it. After that, you will begin to see spots. The life cycle takes a good week, so two weeks of heat (with or without salt) is advisable. Surface respiration is a very different thing.

Please, do not follow the advice of the store, and please do not use Ich X or any other chemical concoction. They are not safe. Several members here with considerable experience have said raising the temperature will kill the ich, and if it is really stubborn (this does sometimes happen, one or two manage to get through the heat) then salt is safer.



1. There might be something else in the water, now we know it is a well. A simple conditioner would be advisable, because they detoxify heavy metals and that could be relevant. Not saying it is, just it certainly could be. API's Tap Water Conditioner is the best there is given your circumstances. And on this, what is the GH (general hardness) of your water? And the pH? Colin mentioned previously that these rift lake cichlids must have hard water and a basic (above 7) pH. If either the GH or pH is not up there, it too weakens the fish.

2. The former "medication" likely affected the fish and this can be permanent. Every substance you add to the water gets inside the fish, into their bloodstream and internal organs. This can cause stress at the least (which further causes ich) but it may go beyond that.

I know it is a temptation when you see something clearly amiss to want to add somet6hing to treat whatever it is. This is a reaction you must train yourself to ignore. When there is a real issue, it has to be properly identified and then the appropriate treatment can be considered, if such is necessary. Guessing like the store is dooing and adding different chemicals will not help, believe me.
i believe you are correct. i didn’t add the ich x and just let it be with temp at 82 and salt and they seem to be doing better except they are trying to scratch them self against the ground so they definitely have ich. should i continue to increase heat? they do seem to be breathing a little fast too. not as bad as before tho. i’ll look into a conditioner. my one blue one still likes to be at the surface. sorry i completely forgot what all these are called. how do i add a video on here?
 

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i believe you are correct. i didn’t add the ich x and just let it be with temp at 82 and salt and they seem to be doing better except they are trying to scratch them self against the ground so they definitely have ich. should i continue to increase heat? they do seem to be breathing a little fast too. not as bad as before tho. i’ll look into a conditioner. my one blue one still likes to be at the surface. sorry i completely forgot what all these are called. how do i add a video on here?
Temp needs to get to 86F to destroy the ich life cycle. Continue to raise it a couple of degrees an hour until you get to 86F and hold it there for 10 days.
 
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Temp needs to get to 86F to destroy the ich life cycle. Continue to raise it a couple of degrees an hour until you get to 86F and hold it there for 10 days.
woke up this morning and for the first time they are all still alive lol. they look more active and aren’t at the surface anymore. they chase eachother in circles sometimes which is weird.
 

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The most likely cause of the gasping is low oxygen levels/ high carbon dioxide levels in the well water. You need to put the well water into buckets and aerate it for 24 hours before using it.

Chasing each other is territorial, which is common in Rift Lake cichlids. The dominant male usually kills other males and takes control of the tank and any females in it.
 

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ok and they aren’t breathing fast anymore so that is good.
If they do, another significant water change will help. Bacterial blooms can be helped or (more often) made worse, but that is not a risk at this time.

You have not responded with the numbers for GH (general hardness) or pH. This is important to know as these fish have specific requirements and this also weakens them which makes the other issues worse still. Everything in an aquarium is related.
 
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If they do, another significant water change will help. Bacterial blooms can be helped or (more often) made worse, but that is not a risk at this time.

You have not responded with the numbers for GH (general hardness) or pH. This is important to know as these fish have specific requirements and this also weakens them which makes the other issues worse still. Everything in an aquarium is related.
oh yea that’s right. how do i check that???
 

Byron

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oh yea that’s right. how do i check that???
You are on private well water, so you will have to test the water. You can get a GH test (you should get a pH test, this is an important parameter to periodically test in any aquarium) or you can take a water sample to a reliable fish store. If you do, make sure you write down the number, as terms like "moderate" or similar tell us nothing. For GH there will be a number and their unit of measure (ppm, degreesG, mg/l, or whatever) and we need both together.

The pH you should as I say have a test kit for, as a change in pH in an established aquarium can be an alert to trouble, depending. The GH does not change much once you know what it is for the source water.
 
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jackkranjac17

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You are on private well water, so you will have to test the water. You can get a GH test (you should get a pH test, this is an important parameter to periodically test in any aquarium) or you can take a water sample to a reliable fish store. If you do, make sure you write down the number, as terms like "moderate" or similar tell us nothing. For GH there will be a number and their unit of measure (ppm, degreesG, mg/l, or whatever) and we need both together.

The pH you should as I say have a test kit for, as a change in pH in an established aquarium can be an alert to trouble, depending. The GH does not change much once you know what it is for the source water.
 

essjay

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You need to buy a pH tester. You can either buy a GH tester or get a sample of tap water tested by a reliable fish store.

pH can change in the tank which is why you need your own tester. When you get it, test freshly run tap water and a sample that has been allowed to stand overnight as well as tank water.
GH doesn't usually in the tank unless you do something to make it change. You won't need to use your own tester very much, if ever, after the first time, which is why it is cheaper to get it tested at a fish store.
 
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You need to buy a pH tester. You can either buy a GH tester or get a sample of tap water tested by a reliable fish store.

pH can change in the tank which is why you need your own tester. When you get it, test freshly run tap water and a sample that has been allowed to stand overnight as well as tank water.
GH doesn't usually in the tank unless you do something to make it change. You won't need to use your own tester very much, if ever, after the first time, which is why it is cheaper to get it tested at a fish store.
ok i will do that tomorrow then. it’s closed now.
 
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