Illness, Health & Nutrition • I am Desperate for Help

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I am Desperate for Help

Postby kjun12 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:34 am

Four months ago we set up a 110 gallon aquarium measuring 59 “ X 18” X 19”. Water quality is good in appearance. PH is 6.8. We have 31 fish and all are different kind of Malawi.
Many of the fish look excellent and eat very well. Actually voraciously. Problem is that almost every day one of the fish dies after going through twisting and turning gyrations for several hours. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is and really need some help. I have posted a video of the fish movements on YouTube and this is a link to where you can see it:

Any help and advice will be sincerely appreciated
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby ironspider » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:01 am

I have to start by saying, you have beautiful fish in there.

What are your water parameter?
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby ken31cay » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:06 am

Prior to dying, including the sick fish in the video, did you notice the affected fish hanging back and not eating during feeding times, or with white stringy poop? The fish in the video looks like it might be in the end stage of Bloat where they don't have the actual physical bloated body, which is fairly common. But If the fish have any exterior lesions, rotting or growths, etc., then that would point to a different sickness. Bloat is caused by stress and can be brought on by overfeeding, bullying, sub-par water conditions, basically anything that causes stress and weakens their immune system and causes an intestinal pathogen to take hold.

I notice at least two Green Terrors in there, which are SA cichlids. They prefer your current water pH but can adjust to higher pH. The africans you have prefer a much higher pH but can do well in at least 7.4 - 7.6 pH. I would gradually increase the water to at least 7.4 pH. There should be at least one buffer recipe here: My water is also acidic and my recipe includes 2 tablespoons baking soda per 20/gal, my tank water stays at 7.8 to 8.0 pH. But remember to do this change gradually like over 7 days or so.

What's your nitrate reading and how often do you do water changes? It's necessary to do minimun 50% weekly water changes. Get a Python water changer if you don't already have one. Water can look clear but still have high nitrates & and other dissolved organics which cause stress and eventually kill fish. Nitrate reading should be 20ppm or lower. Regular water changes are a must, but If you haven't been doing weekly water changes, then start with much smaller ones like 5% daily or 10% every other day for 7-10 days.

HTH and good luck.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby DJRansome » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:36 am

The twisting/turning does not happen with bloat. Most often this is a water toxin that suddenly appeared but it does not happen one fish/ would happen to several fish shortly after a water change when dechlor was forgotten or something like that.

I have no experience with this symptom. If there was no change to water, then we need to look at some of the more exotic diseases.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby TTUhouston » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:30 am

I have had this issue due to fish fighting. I see the jack dempseys and that is my bet; he got hit hard in the swim bladder and that caused this. He looked healthy other than the damage to the fish "air system" but once they go upwards like this they rarely come back.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby kjun12 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:17 pm

Thank you to those of you who have replied to my help request
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby judyok » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:26 pm

When you said the water quality looks "good in appearance" do you mean you've tested for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and the test results look good or do you mean the water itself looks clean & clear.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby kjun12 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:02 pm

Yes. I tested the water and there is no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates problem.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby Deeda » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:22 pm

Just to clarify water testing results, you should have zero ammonia and nitrite and some level of nitrate above zero and hopefully below 40PPM.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby Dooner » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:37 pm

I am learning as I go as well. One question is you state you have had the tank up and running for four months. How long did it take for your tank to cycle and at what point did you add your fish? Did you add them all pretty much at the same time? Reason I ask is your fish are definitely older than a couple of months old and if they were all adult or close to it you would likely have had an ammonia impact. Watch your ammonia closely, you don’t want any. You do want to see some nitrates and if it is zero, your tank is not or was not cycled.

Try an epsom salt bath for one or two of the sick ones to see if it is bloat. I almost lost one to the bloat and after three or four days of epsom baths, it is doing fine. What do the dead fish look like, Are there signs of bullying? For a while I was losing a fish a day, always at night until I moved some around and found the bully.
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Re: I am Desperate for Help

Postby kjun12 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:14 pm

Dooner, thank you for the advice.
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