South American Cichlids • Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

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Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Dan1984 » Mon May 17, 2021 1:48 pm

Hi everyone, I currently have 6 juvenile Keyholes in a 80l tank, hoping that 2 will pair up and the rest will go back to the LFS. The problem I’m having is that one of them just shuffles around on its belly leaving a track in the sand, all of the others are swimming fine above the substrate but this one seems to be struggling, he get knocked off balance sometimes too but rights himself easily enough so I don’t think he’s incredibly weak or anything. Other than shuffling around on his belly he seems to be absolutely fine! Any suggestions or thoughts?

Thanks
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Dan1984 » Mon May 17, 2021 2:55 pm

Update on this, all 6 are now looking a very pronounced black and white colouring and a couple are lay motionless struggling to breathe! Help!
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby fishybuisness » Mon May 17, 2021 7:16 pm

that sounds quite abnormal,
firstly have you noticed any aggression directed at the struggling fish?

secondly what are your parameters?

and finally did they exhibit any signs of distress or sickness when you got them, and when did you get them?
hopefully with aa bit more information we can determine the cause if this :thumb:
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Auballagh » Mon May 17, 2021 7:52 pm

Well.
That went downhill fast. :(
-
Your Keyholes are exhibiting maximum stress. And, there are not many things I know of that could cause this much stress for all six occupants of an aquarium, except for a cycling aquarium.
80 liters is a pretty small water volume. Ammonia (or Nitrite) spiking in a tank that small could become lethal, very fast.
Is this a newly set up aquarium?
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And - you need to do a water change NOW to dilute the Ammonia or Nitrite out of the water that is stressing your Keyholes! :o
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby fishybuisness » Mon May 17, 2021 8:13 pm

i agree the dark colouration is not a great sign, it most likely means is that either you didn't cycle your tank or the water parameters are poor
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Dan1984 » Tue May 18, 2021 4:06 am

Hi all, the tank was cycled using seeded media from my main tank and has been running for around a month now, I checked the parameters before I posted sorry I should have put that in the post, they were 0,0,40 but I did a 60% water change anyway and they seemed to perk up a bit.
I agree that 80l is probably small for them but I wasn’t planning on them being in there too long just until one I got a pair, although that seems unlikely when they’re so stressed. I had added some anti parasite medicine earlier in the evening, Esha I think it was, the one with parziquantal in. Could they have reacted badly to that?
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Auballagh » Tue May 18, 2021 6:55 am

A month is not a very long running time when initially setting up an aquarium. And by 'seeded', do you mean that you transferred the filtration media from an existing/running aquarium over to yours? Or, did you expose your filtration media to the other media (rub them both together vigorously = 'inoculation').
And, was the other aquarium you obtained the media from, fully established/completely cycled itself?
The fact you noted that the water change seemed to perk up your stressed Keyholes, indicates that there was almost certainly something bad going on with their water. And yes, I suppose it's possible that the parasite medicine you treated the tank with could have been the problem. But, its more likely that it just contributed to the problem of a cycling tank.
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And no, your smaller tank is not the problem. An 80L aquarium will work just fine for growing out 6, baby-sized Keyhole Cichlids. Most likely, it is new filtration media in your still-cycling tank, that is causing the problem and seriously stressing your fish.
- Get some of the media from an established aquarium (again?) and either add it to your filtration media, or vigorously expose your media to it for inoculation. The best way to do inoculate aquarium filtration media, is to get a bucket partially filled with tank water, then place both new and old filtration media in it. Rub them both together vigorously to spread the beneficial filtration bacteria onto your new media. Foam type filtration media is preferred for this.
- Test your aquarium water daily. If it has ANY detectable Ammonia or Nitrite readings, then it is possible the tank could unexpectedly experience an Ammonia or Nitrite 'spike' (sudden surge in measured levels) at any time, which could mean some seriously bad news for the fish kept in that tank. If you are still detecting Ammonia and Nitrite readings in the water of this aquarium, continue to do those daily water changes until the tank is fully cycled.
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
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- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Dan1984 » Tue May 18, 2021 7:47 am

Thanks again for the reply, I transferred a sponge filter over to the 80L from my 240L that has been running for almost a year. I tested again this morning and still had no ammonia or nitrites, or not that I could discern in the colour of the liquid test anyway. I agree with you though I probably broke the cycle somehow by doing something with brain not fully engaged.
I have now transferred all of the keyholes into the 240L and deceived to keep them all. Their colour is much better now but I still have one that wriggles along on his belly like a snake and doesn’t seem to be able to get off the substrate. Any thoughts?
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Auballagh » Tue May 18, 2021 10:24 am

Nice work transferring your Keyhole babies over to the larger/cycled aquarium. Hopefully, happy and stress-free informs their new lifestyle?
And no, there may be no sure way to determine why the 80L got bad like that, so quick. But, these things happen. :)
-
So well, about that now vacant 80L? You now have a pretty decent quarantine tank. Yep. And in this case your sick, Keyhole Cichlid has a chance to get specialty treatment, without affecting the other (healthy?) fish in the group.
So, treating for swim bladder problems....
Unfortunately, I don't personally have news for you in this case that is going to be instantly good. Maybe someone else can chime in with something that has proven to be successful in treating conditions like this. My own record for treating Cichlid, swim bladder problems is definitely mixed....
- Transfer the sick fish into the quarantine/treatment tank.
- Slowly raise the temperature of the treatment tank to 82 - 83 degrees (Approx. 27 - 28 degrees Celsius).
- Add non-iodized aquarium salt. Build it up slowly - the full strength treatment 'recipe' will be with 7 tablespoons of salt for your 80L aquarium.
- Try feeding non-protein based food. A peeled pea is good. You can offer plain (unsalted) Nori (the green seaweed stuff they wrap sushi in). Spirulina-based flake or pellet food prepared for herbivorous Cichlids is okay.
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You're basically providing a supportive regimen for the sick fish to hopefully recover on it's own. So then, after establishing the basics of the quarantine water environment, you can try adding treatment with Metronidazole soaked food products or other things to see if your sick Keyhole will respond favorably. Water changes for the quarantine tank are high percentage and conducted often (80 percent plus, three times weekly is a good start).
And, as you can see - these are considered to be 'heroic' measures used to treat a valuable fish or sentimental favorite. Favorable treatment outcomes for suspected fish bladder problems in my own personal experience, have unfortunately been less than 50 percent successful... :(
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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Auballagh
 
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Re: Keyhole Cichlid wriggling on its belly

Postby Dan1984 » Tue May 18, 2021 10:30 am

That’s fair enough, thanks for all the advice! I hadn’t noticed he was still belly wriggling until I put him in the 240 with the others so no idea how I’m going to get him back out of there! Really appreciate all the tips thank you, I’m very new to cichlids in general
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