General African Cichlid Discussion • Sick OB?

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Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:22 pm

My old tank boss, an OB peacock, changed his behavior about a month ago. For a little background, He is about 2 years old, 5" long and lives in an all male peacock 4' long tank. He quit swimming among the other fish and stays inside his cave at the bottom of the tank, but he use to be all over the tank just a couple months ago. Now he only comes out once a day to feed in the morning. He doesn't eat during the second feeding in the evening, but he use to be one of the most aggressive eaters. His color isn't as bright anymore either. The water levels are good for nitrates, nitrites, ect… No new fish have been introduced lately. I'm trying to figure out if this is just behavioral or an illness. A couple months ago I did notice an odd behavior a few times where it looked liked my rainbow shark was cleaning the OB. The shark is smaller and stays out of the Cichlids way generally so if the OB didn't want him doing it, the OB could have chased him off. Could this be a sign of a possible parasite? No physical symptoms have shown besides his color being worse. Any thoughts? Would it hurt to treat the whole tank with salt just in case?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby Kipnlilo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:54 am

You say, “your old tank boss”. Does this mean another fish has taken the role? If so, that is why he has colored down and probably hiding from the new tank boss. I doubt the rainbow shark has anything to do with it. How many fish and what other fish do you have in the 48” ? I don’t medicate unless there is an obvious problem. He’s still eating. What does his poop look like?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:27 pm

I've got a larger blood parrot who the other fish steer clear of but that's been the case since I started the tank a year ago.
The OB has always been the one to chase the other ACs. There really isn't a boss now that he stays hidden. When he's out no one messes with him. I've got about 10 cichlids all together- blue dolphin, yellow lab, a parrot and 7 peacocks... all male. As for the waste, i don't ever see it.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby Kipnlilo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:56 am

This is just my opinion, but if your Blood Parrot is larger (can get to 10”) than the 5” OB, it should be in a 48” tank by itself or maybe another more compatible fish with it. Are all of the other fish around 5”? Aggression will be higher and they may be outgrowing the 48” tank. I assume they were smaller when you started the tank. As far as the OB though, you need to watch his poop. To me, poop type is the fish version of humans taking temperature for first signs of illness. It should be firm/uniform and food colored. When your feeding and he comes out, watch for it. Also, is it getting a sunken belly? One more thing, does the OB still come out and chase any fish away, that comes near his cave?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby Kipnlilo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:58 am

DJ can tell you more than I can, I’m sure he will chime in.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:26 pm

It's odd that he is hiding as among peacocks I would expect him to be dominant (he is a hybrid...part mbuna and part peacock).

I also don't know how you can have 7 peacocks that look nothing alike...what are the species?

I would not recommend a blood parrot with Africans, but I would expect him to be the victim, not the aggressor.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:00 am

Ya the peacocks are all 4 to 5 inches. They've all been in the tank together since the tank was established except for the lab. Aggression has never been a problem in the tank at all. The OB still pops his head out when a fish gets to close to his cave to chase it out. It looks like the OB is starting to have respiratory problems. Opening and closing his mouth in a bit of an exaggerated way. Maybe he has gill disease?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:27 am

DJ, idk the names of all the species. There are a couple that look somewhat similar but the whole tank gets along really well. Yellow Lab,Blue Dolphin,Parrot (my profile pic) Red Eurika, ruby red(looks nothing like the eurika), yellow jack, bi color, dragon blood (orage color), a red shoulder hibrid (all dark purple), and a common breed that is all red and blue vertical stripes. I put all the Africans in the tank at the same time over a year ago except the lab. I can't oversell how peaceful the tank is. 30-40% water change every week. All levels in the test kit are good for hardness, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, ph. It's a 60 gallon tank and I use the large Sunsun 525 gph canister for filtration. No cloudy water or algae issues. This problem with the OB is the first issue I've had with the tank.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby Deeda » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am

Can you post the actual values of your water test results?

Do you have another cycled tank you can move him to where he would be alone so you can take pics or possibly treat him IF he is actually ill?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:43 pm

Ya I've got a 10 gallon established that I'm going to move him into.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby Kipnlilo » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:29 am

Did you ever get a chance to see it’s poop yet? If not, when you isolate it in the smaller tank you should be able to. I feel for you though, none of us like sick fish and glad you are here trying to figure it out.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:31 am

I'm pretty sure now it is bloat. The move to the hospital tank put a lot of stress on the OB and the condition got worse. It's floating around vertically now. Not much left to do at this point.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:46 am

Upside down or vertical? Is he eating? He was eating June 1...when did he stop eating?
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby 01722 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:28 pm

It was vertical. He died after his first day in the hospital tank. The appetite had decreased couple weeks ago to where he only ate in the morning and not at night most of the time. He didn't eat the last 2 days before he died... I feed the his tankmates a combination of NLS sinking pellets and Omega One floating pellets twice daily. I think I'm going to start feeing them the boils peas a couple times a week in case their system is getting bound up. Any ideas on any other preventative measures? The water quality is good.
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Re: Sick OB?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:24 pm

Epsom salts if your pH is not already too high. You can keep it in your tank all the time. I'd skip the peas...too messy and you risk your water quality.

I can't oversell the number of times this type of thing is due to aggression...and the fishkeepers rarely observe it. Even if the fish is feeling stressed in spite of no one chasing him.
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