South American Cichlids • Sick Electric Blue Acara

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Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Lawson204 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:06 pm

NEED HELP - SICK ELECTRIC BLUE ACARA. Not sure what is going on, I have a mated pair of Acaras in a planted 55 gallon tank. Water parameters are fine, tested at 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, and between 10 - 20 ppm Nitrates. Fish are still eating but have started to loose scales around the mouth, almost looks like someone took a grater to the skin but with no red patches, does not look like fungas, looks more like physical damage. Fish have been a mated pair for almost a year and have had some minor liplocking in the past, but nothing that would do this. Any help would be appreiciated. Currently treating the tank with Seachem Polyguard and Melafix. Located in Canada so cannot purchase any additional fish meds.
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Lawson204
 
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Auballagh » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:38 am

Whew.... Seachem Polyguard is one of 'Big Guns' of treatment medications. As a rule of thumb, using it with the API Melafix may not be a good idea.
Questions:
- Are these the so-called Electric Blue Acara, or Andinocara pulcher?
- How long ago/when did you first notice the symptoms on these Acaras?
- Did both fish exhibit symptoms at the same time - same rate and speed?
- Are there any other fish in the tank with both of the Blue Acara? Any symptoms on them as well?
- When did you initiate TX with the Polyguard and Melafix?
-
This is kind of tough, but something is definitely having a go at your fish. It visually looks a lot like the fungus we would treat on WC Cribroheros robertsoni collected in Honduras. A week of treatment with Maracyn, and they would recover beautifully. In this case though, the only thing I can think of besides your treatment regimen, would be to try and figure out would could have caused this. What was changed, added or done differently recently that could have caused this reaction in your fish. Identifying that cause, could help you a lot in finding something to cure this - or, at least prevent it form happening again. :(
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
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- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Lawson204 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:53 pm

- Are these the so-called Electric Blue Acara, or Andinocara pulcher?
Yes they are.
- How long ago/when did you first notice the symptoms on these Acaras?
Approximately 2 weeks ago, fish are still eating normally and exhibiting mating behaviour, the Acara shimmy
- Did both fish exhibit symptoms at the same time - same rate and speed?
No, the female was the first to show symptoms and is the one in the pictues. The male has lost some scales on one side of his mouth.
- Are there any other fish in the tank with both of the Blue Acara? Any symptoms on them as well?
4 Hillstream loaches and a snowball pleco and none have symptoms. They have been tankmates for over a year. Nothing new introduced into the system, not even plants.
- When did you initiate TX with the Polyguard and Melafix? Started using the polyguard a little over a week ago, I've only used the melafix once, per directions from my local FS. I was concerned about using both meds together they told me it would be fine.

I live in Canada were fish antibiotics have been banned, we only have access to natural treatments, like Garlic, Malachite Green, Pimafix etc. I had purchased the Polyguard prior to the ban so it was the only med I had access to which has not expired. Thank you for your response, I am at my wits end with this. Aquarium is clean, I do regular water changes, vacuum substrate, do not overfeed and remove any uneaten food. Not sure if I should quit the meds and just try aquarium salt. Have been hesitant to try too many things as these 2 are my favorite fish, they have tons of personality and my grandkids love them.
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Auballagh » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:06 pm

Okay then....
You are basically doing everything I would be at this point. I would continue with a full treatment regimen of the Polyguard/Melafix for the maximum of two weeks.
Note: If you do decide to go with salt treatment, you will need to quarantine those sick EBA separately from everyone else. Those Hillstream Loaches will not be able to tolerate salt treatment of the water very well.
- Your aquarium isn't using any Activated Carbon or Ammonia absorbing filtration products is it? Either of those will absorb medication products out of the water, severely limiting their effectiveness.
-
Really sorry you are dealing with this. And, based off of what your situation is in purchasing limitations for medication... unless someone else has some other ideas, that is pretty much all I can offer in advice or recommendations. :(
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Lawson204 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:06 pm

No I don't use activated carbon in my tanks as they are all planted. Only time I would use would be to absorb meds when I stop dosing.

Really appreciate the advice as it lets me know I am on the right track. Did a smaller water change today (30%) and again the EBAs are exhibiting mating behaviour - the shimmy and cleaning of their flat rock where they usually lay eggs. I will continue with the meds for another week and if no improvement remove the EBAs to a quarantine tank to try salt. Thanks again for the response and taking the time to follow up. Hope you are having a great Easter!!
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Auballagh » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:23 am

There's just possibly one other thing, that may be causing this.
Fighting.
Everything you describe, with the photos of the damage on the female, including the onset and behaviors exhibited that you can see... just suggest to me that the male is possibly beating the daylights outta that poor female in there with him.
I can't tell from the photo, but has the female also shown any split, or tattered fins?
Sometimes the worst of the fighting in Cichlids, esp. New World types, happens at night after lights out. Have you noticed that they look worse in the morning than at night when things (supposedly) shut down in there?
More questions!
- Has your pair ever spawned before? Successfully raised out eggs to a cloud of fry?
- How did you get this pair of EBAs? Did you go the 'tried & true' approach of letting the pair bond form naturally from a six or so member school of baby fish?
-
In a four foot long tank, it is a bit odd that you have such fighting (possibly) happening in what is normally a (fairly) peaceful species. Yes, conspecific aggression is there in the Blue Acara, but they don't usually take it to extremes like this.... however, the Electric Blue Acara in this case may be different from the 'regular model' Blue Acara, and have some aggression unpredictability because of the hybrid nature of their creation. And, if you don't have a compatible pair bond with these two? These two Cichlids may never be able to co-exist peacefully together, without the male ultimately killing the female in there.
For now,
- I would continue to treat the tank with the medication. You may have a badly thrashed female, and the medications will prevent bacterial or fungal infections from starting opportunistically in there.
- If they are indeed fighting, and you have to pull the female out for quarantine treatment? You will not be able to return the female directly back into the tank without the male attacking her again. The only way you be able to keep them both together in the aquarium will be with a tank divider. :(
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Haplochromine guy » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:11 am

If this is an Electric Blu acara, I'm worried about what the other fish is in my tank that looks very much like a Blue Dragon Blood Peacock. He was sold as an African Electric Blue Acara. Is there a difference?
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Re: Sick Electric Blue Acara

Postby Haplochromine guy » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:13 am

Probaby is... :oops:
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