Illness, Health & Nutrition • N. multifasciatus flashing

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N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:47 pm

I have gotten a lot of mixed info on this, and I am looking for someone very experienced with multis to help me out.

I have had my multis for close to a month and continue to notice infrequent flashing against shells of all fish in the tank. If I watch for 10 or 20 minutes, chanced are I will witness flashing at some point. Sometimes they also flinch their head a few times like they are trying to shake off an irritant.

My water parameters are as impeccable as I can make them without resorting to RO/DI, cycle is well established, etc. Fish were bred in the same water I use, pH is 7.8, kH and gH are about 6. I thought about trying to alter the hardness in this tank but decided against it.

My immediate thought was parasites of course, but I have read that healthy multis may flash now and then. I also wonder if all the digging in sand could result in irritation temporarily.

I am very reluctant to dose the whole tank with anti-parasite meds if this is within the bounds of "normal" multi behavior.

Any help from experienced multi keepers is appreciated.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby cyclonecichlids » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:12 am

I haven't kept that specific fish, but some infrequent flashing is normal in cichlids. Flashing is sometimes used to claim space. If the head flinching is accompanied by their body shaking, that is also a sign of territorial dominance.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:28 am

Unfortunately yesterday they started eating poorly and the dominant male is displaying clamped fins. Still no visible signs of Ich. Perhaps flukes or some other parasite. I treated Prazipro last night to start.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby cyclonecichlids » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:42 am

Sorry to hear that. Did you try doing water changes and turning off the lights?
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:04 pm

I turned off the lights in case it's velvet but so far there are no visible symptoms on the skin or fins. They have been flashing for some time, maybe weeks, but it is worse recently. The only other symptom of note is they are hiding more than usual and seem maybe a bit less agile.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby cyclonecichlids » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:23 pm

They should stressed.

Is the water chemistry stables? Are you adding anything to the water? If so, how often?

How often are you going inside the tank and moving things around?

How long have you had this setup with this many fish in the tank?
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:55 am

Chemistry is stable since I do not alter the natural parameters of my tap water. I also test my water before each water change due to some horror stories I have seen elsewhere. Evaporation is very minimal due to the ambient temperature/humidity and use of a lid. My tap water is hard and alkaline enough, so no need to risk fluctuations in pH or hardness.

I haven't touched their shells in weeks because I was hoping they would pair up and breed. The tank was new and has been set up about a month with these fish. Prior to that it was unstocked for ~5 weeks during fishless cycling.

An update on my treatments - I decided to add a suite of medicines recommended in the academic literature and popular sources (e.g. Fishbase, Aquarium Co-op) to cover all common skin and gill infections. These include, Metronidazole, Praziquantel, Erythromycin, and FMC (solution of Formaldehyde, Malachite Green oxalate, and Methylene Blue).

I have been observing them as much as possible, and I will tentatively say that after a couple days I notice an improvement in their behavior. I have been busy with work but will try to observe them more this weekend to confirm whether the issue seems to be resolved.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:48 pm

Be sure none of the medications interact in a negative way. They say more fish are killed by medications than diseases.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:59 pm

There are some academic papers floating around with documentation of various combinations, but my primary source was Aquarium Co-op. I take Cory's word for it that these are safe, and testimonials appear to back up that claim. YMMV of course. Note that if the infection is ongoing and diagnosed he recommends using only the relevant medication according to the manufacturer's specification.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrRhfOYfXns
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby cyclonecichlids » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:27 am

Did they improve?
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:50 am

They improved, and then started to decline again. I wish I had a microscope to confirm, but it really seems like flukes. Vets who specializes in fish like koi say you need to treat prazi on four to five day intervals multiple times due to the fluke life cycle and difficulty associated with killing them. I am currently trying the method. We will see how it goes.
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Re: N. multifasciatus flashing

Postby shifty803 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:39 pm

I was reading some papers, apparently the problem with prazi is that in established tanks you cannot maintain a therapeutic concentration very well. They hypothesize that bacteria are breaking it down at accelerating rates, since sterile control tanks did not have this issue.

If this doesn't work, I am tempted to place them in a totally sterile setup and try again after a "rest". But then of course you're dealing with an uncycled tank and all the associated problems. Ugh.
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