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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two African Jewels. I am not sure if they are male or female.
Today, I noticed one of them hiding at the bottom of the tank - and the color is very pale. Not as vibrant as before. The other Jewel appears to be protecting the one that is staying at the bottom of the tank.

I am not sure if she/he is carrying eggs, or is sick.

She (or he) isn't moving.....just sitting with the fins completely up.
He/She seems fine - but I am alarmed because normally he/she has been very lively up to now.

what should i do? any suggestions are very welcomed.
 

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Breeding fish usually show more vibrant colors. If a jewel looks pale, I'd say that's a bad sign. Can you post photos? We also need some more info like tank size, stocking list, water parameters, and so on.
 

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fmueller said:
Breeding fish usually show more vibrant colors. If a jewel looks pale, I'd say that's a bad sign. Can you post photos? We also need some more info like tank size, stocking list, water parameters, and so on.
however i have noted with my jewels that the female gets very pale a day or two before laying eggs.... they are not mouth brooders... agreed photos would help.. but typically the male will fend off any one to give her time to lay eggs and then she will fend them off while he fertilizes them,,, after that they take turns and others will either learn fast to stay away or get killed .... (i got lucky and only lost one to the happy couple LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys for your suggestions.
no i dont have a photo
i was told that it is either bloat - or dropsy...

she/he seems to show the signs of both.
it is a 60 gal tank with several cichlids of all variety. (African cichlids)
 

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When somebody tells you your fish has 'bloat' or 'dropsy' it's basically like telling somebody in the middle ages they have 'the plague'. There is no widespread agreement on symptoms, let alone causes, everybody believes in a different cure, but it's also clear that the situation is pretty serious and the afflicted will probably die soon. For fish stores it is a great way to sell you a wide spectrum medication that is expensive, but very often does more harm than good.

Africa is a big continent with big rivers and big lakes. A lot of cichlid species will never meet and live in completely different water conditions. Some cichlid species are the natural prey of others. A few cichlid species will get very large and outgrow a 60G within a few months. Putting "several cichlids of all variety (African cichlids)" together in a 60G tank without any idea what they are is a recipe for disaster. The first thing you should do is find out what fish you actually have, and see if they can be kept together in the size of tank that you have. Sorry if all this sounds harsh, it's not intended to, but you are obviously new to the hobby, and have been ill advised. The sooner you correct any mistakes made so far, the more you will enjoy your fish in the long run :thumb:

A common sign of a fish being stressed, for example by being harassed by the others, is for the fish to hide at the bottom or in a corner, and to loose color. People think that excessive aggression will be obvious, because you will constantly see one fish chasing the other or attacking it openly, but very often that's not observed. You just see the victim hanging around listlessly in a corner. In your case I think that stress is at least as good a diagnosis as 'bloat' or 'dropsy'. Knowing what fish are in your tank would go along way to confirm or refute it.

As a side note, the stress diagnosis is one seldom made by the staff of chain pet stores, because it won't force you to buy medication, and it might even make you stop buying random fish.
 
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