Lake Tanganyika Species • Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

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Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:25 am

Hello all,

I received 8 Paracyp. nigripinnis via overnight mail about 5 weeks ago. I lost one fish about 3 days after they arrived, it showed up pale and lethargic and spent most of it's time on the bottom. I don't think it shipped well, and didn't recover. The other 7 seemed fine and healthy, until last week, I noticed one appeared to be struggling near the surface, where it looked like it was floating up and then would have to swim back down again. It looked similar to a swim bladder issue, but that fish swam down into one of the rock caves and stopped the behavior later that day, and I haven't noticed the same behavior since. However, it has been under that rock every time I've looked at the tank since then, and I check it out multiple times a day. It doesn't come up to the surface like all the others looking for food when I walk by. I noticed yesterday that one more fish wasn't out and looking for food, and unfortunately I found one dead this morning, though I'm not sure if this was the one that has been under the rock for the last several days, as I found it on the other end of the tank and there is still a fish under that rock, but I'm not sure it's the same one. I haven't medicated yet, though I have a few different ones on hand for Ich, parasites, etc. I usually quarantine and observe as I haven't had to medicate often, and so it still makes me a bit nervous just treating everything as soon as it arrives, though I know that works well for some people.

These fish are currently in a 29 gallon that's 2/3rds full with a sponge filter, crushed coral substrate, lots of MTS to cleanup uneaten food, some rocks, and some floating hornwort and pennywort. Eventually, I'd like to add them to a 55 gallon with my multies and J. ornatus, but I want to get this issue addressed first. The multies are in their own 10g and breeding happily, and the 5 Ornatus are in a 20g high.

I had heard of Malawi bloat, but hadn't looked it up until recently, as I didn't know if it could be an issue for Tanganyikan fish. I'm wondering if that is the likely issue here? I'm mostly finding information about it in relation to herbivorous fish, so I don't really know. I have been feeding small amounts of crushed flake (Xtreme Aquatic Foods Krill Flakes) mostly, 3x a day, as well as some bbs or microworms, which are the only live foods I culture. The healthy fish show a strong feeding response to the crushed flake and to the live food. 5 are still showing very healthy appetites, one is still hiding in the cave under a rock.

I've been doing water changes once a week, about 25%, using tap water from my well that is only mildly hard, so I've been adding 1 tsp each baking soda and epsom salt in a 5 gallon bucket to increase hardness/Ph. I added 1 tsp Instant Ocean marine salt once, as it was listed in the buffer mix recipe, but have since read and heard that salt shouldn't be added, so I stopped. Current water parameters:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: ~10 ppm
Ph:8.2
dKH: 14
dGH: 18

Help?
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

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Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby noddy » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:39 am

I really have no idea why you have losses but male paracyps will hangout in caves all day.
How big are the fish?
noddy
 
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: toronto

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:15 am

Between 2"-2.5". All juveniles.
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby noddy » Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:40 am

They are well beyond the, "delicate" stage at that size.
I have been keeping Paracyps for around 20 years and in my experience they are pretty hardy once settled compared to lots of other Tangs.
I feed my Paracyps NLS grow when they are small, NLS cichlid formula and Northfin cichlid formula when they get bigger.
I also give them cyclops eze, which they love.
What was the seller feeding and did they have the same water chemistry?
noddy
 
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: toronto

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:22 pm

I'm not sure what they were feeding, I got them from Aquatic Arts. I can reach out to ask. I also don't know the water chemistry, I assumed that it would be within the range of normal for Tangs (never assume anything, I should know better!), but I did test the water they were shipped in. I was surprised that it had a near neutral ph (I think it was around 7.2?) and medium hardness (4-7 degree range), so I slowly acclimated them up to the low end of normal Tang parameters, (7.8 ph, slightly harder) and then raised it to the levels I keep my tang tanks at with water changes.

What brand of cyclops do you use, and is it freeze dried or liquid (that you freeze)? I don't think they still sell cyclop-eeze, though I see several companies sell either freeze dried or liquid cyclops products.
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:49 pm

From the seller:
We are feeding this cichlid mostly bloodworms.
They also get an occasional treat of daphnia.

Here are our tank parameters:

pH 7.8 - 8

GH 10-12

TDS 250

Temperature 75 degrees
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:51 pm

They were also nice enough to give me a partial credit on the one that died after 3 days, even though they only have a 24 hour DOA policy, and I didn't bring it up for 5 weeks! I was impressed by that.
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby ererer » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:19 am

Quick update: this morning and yesterday, I've seen the paracyp that was hiding in the cave out feeding with the others. All 6 were out bobbing at the surface looking for food this morning. This makes me think that the one that died wasn't the same as the one that was in the cave, so I don't know what happened there. I also noticed a second paracyp hiding under the rocks on the other side of the tank. Maybe another male? If I'm lucky, I'll end up with a nice m/f ratio, fingers crossed!
ererer
 
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby noddy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:03 pm

Hopefully you are over whatever was the issue now that they seem to be settled.3
I feed the argent brand of cyclop eeze. Both frozen and freeze dried. Also the zoo med stuff in a can that has to be kept in the fridge.
I haven't had to buy any for quite a while so not sure if it has been discontinued.
I also will drop some Northfin fry starter into the tank as well that they are able to pick out and seem to like.
noddy
 
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: toronto

Re: Need help - concerned about behavior of P. nigripinnis

Postby noddy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:10 pm

P.S, take a look at the tips of their tails. If there is any blue colouring at the tips (top and bottom) there's a good chance they are male.
Not saying it's 100% accurate but it's a good early indicator of gender.
noddy
 
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: toronto


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