Lake Malawi Species • First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:48 pm

Don't add fish until ammonia and nitrites are both zero for several days. If that is the case you can add them all at once. What is your nitrate test result?

You are not ending up with much blue?

The catfish should be Synodontis lucipinnis or multipunctatus...others might not work with the Africans or in groups of five.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:01 pm

I didn’t see your post since it went to the next page, sorry!

It turns out I’ve been battling ich since day 1. I believe the fish came with ich and since this was my initial stocking I didnt have a second tank to isolate them.

I started with using ParaGuard for about 10-14 days or so but lost two catfish in the process. I then switched to Meteoplex in the food (not in water), along with temperature of 86-87F plus gradual increase in aquarium salt to 2TBSP per 5 gallons. The metroplex is coming up three weeks, which is when I should stop using it according to directions. The temp/salt has been in place for 12 days or so.

The ich seemed under control for a few days aside from catfish occasional flashing but nothing visible on any of the fish. But now I think I see some white spots on a yellow lab. I definitely see flashing, mostly with catfish but also some of the cichlids. All fish are acting normal and eating. Water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20.

Should I keep increasing the temp to 90, add more salt, all of the above or none of the above? Given that I have catfish, is there a particular medicine that is better tolerated by them and more effective than ParaGuard? I am not saying I lost the catfish to ParaGuard, maybe it was ich that killed them, but it also didn’t cure ich obviously.

Any help is appreciated, as always!
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:20 pm

I would exclude the metroplex and just keep going with the salt and heat...no higher. It takes 3 weeks so you have done 12 days. See how things are after 3 weeks.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:11 am

Thanks DJRansome for the suggestions. My concern is that it appears fish are getting reinfected (spots on fish that didn’t have them before), which tells me that I am not actually killing the parasite?

I only have a few days left of the three week salt/raised temp treatment and some of the fish clearly still have ich. If it doesn’t miraculously go away and stay away by this weekend, I need a different approach. To complicate things, we are going on vacation a week from this Friday and I would really like to get this under control before we leave. We’ll be gone for 9 days. We have a reliable pet sitter, but he’s not a fish keeper himself.

Any thoughts on other treatments to consider in the week or so that I will have left before going on vacation?

Thanks!
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:28 pm

I would keep up the salt/heat since one week is not enough time to do anything else effective.

It is no effort for a pet sitter because you add the salt and turn up the hear before you leave and it just stays the same while you are gone.

Then when you return you can decide if you want to remove the salt and turn down the heat and try a medication.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:16 pm

Well guess what? One of my yellow labs is holding! This is really exciting for me and I’d love to see the process of her spitting fry! I am also surprised because I’ve only had the fish for a month and a half and they are juveniles. I guess despite the stress of ich and various treatments the fish are still finding it acceptable :) I am religious about water changes, so maybe that helped.

But I do have the ich problem still. It’s not super obvious but I see some white spots on the tails of a few yellow labs although I am starting to think that it’s their coloring changing maybe? There maybe some spots on the sides of one of the fish but given their color and sheen it’s really hard to tell! They are every fast and I can’t take any photos! I do see occasional flashing but maybe a few times a day whereas before it was constant. It’s been over a month of various treatments and I am wondering if I should wait it out or try a different treatment? Especially given the holding female. Would fry be able to survive the salt (or any other) treatment? Finally, my 10 gallon is not available as I have a badly ich infected albino BN Pleco that’s not doing very well so he’s in there and I’m trying to nurse him back to health. So I only have the main tank available for the holding female and fry. Can I buy a breeder thingy that you stick on the inside of the tank to isolate her in there?

Thanks again for the much appreciated advice so far!
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:20 pm

I should also add that I have no idea how long she’s been holding as I didn’t quite realize what was going on. I noticed one of the fish looking a little different a few weeks back but didn’t think much of it. Ow I’m thinking that it’s the same one. I know she’s holding because she swims up to the food very eagerly and then doesn’t eat anything. And her mouth is definitely bigger than the other fish. I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a photo
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:25 pm

Female yellow lab holding
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6C76B941-7D5A-4AAC-A06A-D5EE49C27C7A.jpeg
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:39 pm

Congrats on the fry!

There are instructions on posting pics in the sticky at the beginning of every forum.

The white spots of ich are raised, like tiny grains of salt. If it is not ich...injuries like missing scales and nipped fins can look white. I have never seen spots when fish change color.

For examination or close pictures, you can examine the fish in a net or put the fish in a small, clear container like the ones they use in fish stores when catching fish for sale.

You will need a 20G cycled tank to raise the fry, so better to set up a new fry tank than to put the mom or the fry in a breeder box, especially if it would have to be in the main tank.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:03 pm

So 10g is not enough? I don’t have the space for the third tank. I can possibly use the 10g in the future but for now it would have to be either a breeder in the main tank or let the nature take its course :(

Back to the ich question - does flashing indicate that it’s ich? I will do my best to post a photo of the spots but for now let’s just assume it is ich. What other treatment options can I try?
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:08 am

Mbuna average clutch is 20 fry. When they are 2" (at the you can rehome them or put them in the main tank) they will be too big for 20 fish in a 10G.

I would let nature take it's course this time, and maybe the next time your 10G will be free. Even better swap out the 10G for a 20G which is only six inches longer. Adults in the main tank will eat fry in the breeder net right through the net. If you search on CF you will find many examples where this has happened to people.

I am thinking it is not ich else the treatments would have worked. Some flashing is normal. Flashing is not necessarily an indicator of ich...it means something is irritating the fish's skin...which salt and other meds can do.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:22 pm

So I decided to try to strip the female and put the fry in the 10 gallon for now. I don’t think I have ich in either tank now that I looked at the fish more closely so I figured that’s their best bet for surviving at least until I can get another tank. Anyway, how the heck do I catch this fish?? I just spent nearly an hour trying!! And didn’t even get close. I tried lowering the water to 50% (during water change to reduce the salinity). Should I try catching her when the lights are out? I am pretty sure I saw movement in her mouth, she’s constantly hiding and seems to be “chewing” all the time which makes me think she is ready?
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby DJRansome » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:39 pm

Lower the water, remove all décor and 2 large nets.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby willyg1631 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:03 am

I sit here maintaining social separation as I am older and diabetic, I find this forum one of my sources of entertainment. No sports is a major thing and I'm having withdrawal issues. I want to complement DJ on his amazing patience with us newbies and his expertise he willingly shares. DJ your thoughtful considered responses are very much appreciated. Thanks DJ
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Re: First cichlid tank stocking - 75 gallon

Postby jasminaj » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:21 am

I couldn’t agree more! DJ has been awesome and I learned a ton.

Btw after catching her and attempting to strip her once I chickened out and put her back in the tank :)
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