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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have lost every acei I have bought - 5! - from 3 different sources. After two months, I think I am about to lose the 5th.

The one I have now is getting thinner and thinner and has never looked great. He eats at every
feeding. He/she is not harassed too much - no tattered fins or signs of stress. Now his stomach is actually dented upwards (inward).
:?

Other Fish
The rest of my fish are well colored, active, eat well, grow like mad, and look very healthy.

Tank
He/she is in a 55 gallon tank that finished cycling 8 months ago. My ph is 8, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and I try to keep nitrates under 10. Water changes are 25%, twice a week (50% total weekly). I have never used medication in the tank. My tank is well filtered. There are plenty of hideouts.

Food
I feed Omega cichlid pellets, dried seaweed, frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, and frozen emerald trays. Feedings are small, several times a day.
 

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I wouldn't be feeding blood worms to a mbuna tank! Not a good idea at all, and considered to be one of the leading contributors to bloat!

What you are describing sounds like internal parasites, or bloat. (They become emaciated more often than they become bloated...) Other fish in the tank may have the parasites, they just might not be showing symptoms yet.

Any white stringy feces? Reclusive behaviour? Spitting or refusing food? Did you notice any of these symptoms in the acei you lost?

In general, acei are very piggy eaters. They may have gotten more than their fair share of the bloodworms, and that may be why you're seeing the problems in them first.

Bloat can spread very slowly through a tank, and some fish may not have any problems with it at all, so it's hard to judge what's going on and relate one death to another.

You may need to go ahead and treat the tank. You can either remove the acei that is sick and treat the water column of a hospital tank and feed the main tank medicated antiparasitic food, or you can treat the water column of the main tank and feed medicated food.

There are two bloat treatments listed below my signature.

Kim
 

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I'm in WV so not that far away and maybe we got fish that originally came from the same place. I have 3 acei that I got from a LFS in a mixed africans tank. They did well and I wanted 3 more so there would be more of a school sp? of them. I went back to the same LFS and got 3 more. Either they got a new batch in or they didn't feed them because they were alot smaller than the ones I had got a month or so before. I didn't get a real good look at them until I got home and added them to my tank. They looked real skinny with stomachs that curved upwards too. Next morning one was dead and another was getting picked on by my orginal acei (I think they knew something was wrong with these fish and were trying to "take them out"). That one died that day too so I took the last one out and put it in a hospital tank to fatten it up but it was dead by the following morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not feed bloodworms as a staple diet, more of an occassional treat. The list is pretty much in order of freqency, moving the emerald entrees in front of the brine shrimp. If I should avoid them entirely I will.

I have had _no_ deaths aside from acei in months. The rest of my fish are active, not reclusive, colorful, growing quickly, eating well, etc. I have had two recent spawns.

He does spit food lately, but keeps trying to eat it. He poops, so he is keeping some of it down. No stringy white feces.

Dewdrop, that sounds just like my experience! I wanted a school of acei, but I have about given up.

He is now alone in a 29 gallon tank to give him a chance to survive. I am treating with the Jungle Remedy parasite treatment in case that is it. Most of my aceis have died within a day or two, but this one has lingered for weeks now. :-?
 

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I have found acei to have very sensative stomachs. Every once in a while I would give the mbuna a little bit of brine shrimp or a blood worm when I fed the cranivores their meat treats, and I started to notice the acei seemed a bit off then few days. All the others (some strict herbavores) never batted an eyelash. The one time I did have internal parasite/bloat it was the acei that were hit the hardest (except for the little lab who brought them in) and I lost half of them. So nothing but NLS and the occassional algae waifer for the mbuna tank and all tummies are happy.
 

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I think the acei may seem more delicate when it comes to being fed different foods because they are such gluttons by nature.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the help. I won't buy any more bloodworms and I will be very sparing with the brine shrimp. In the two days he has been isolated he is already looking better. Do you think it would help to feed him the inside of peas for a bit?

For fish that are grouped into "assorted" tanks, mbuna seem to vary widely from species to species. All of the other fish look so... healthy. He is obviously somewhat stunted at this point.

On a side note, the tank he is in I am preparing for shelldwellers. I dropped in the shells last night and he is having a blast moving them around. I thought acei like open water?
:wink:
 

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Sakura said:
Do you think it would help to feed him the inside of peas for a bit?
I think its very beneficial to give mbuna (especial the herbivorous ones) a good roughage suppliment once in a while. Mine love peas. They can be a bit messy, so I just do it the day before water changes.

For fish that are grouped into "assorted" tanks, mbuna seem to vary widely from species to species. All of the other fish look so... healthy. He is obviously somewhat stunted at this point.
You should check out this thread: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=171119&highlight=

On a side note, the tank he is in I am preparing for shelldwellers. I dropped in the shells last night and he is having a blast moving them around. I thought acei like open water?
:wink:
They are generally a more open water mbuna, but they still like to play. New toys have to be tried out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They go absolutely nuts when I feed them dried seaweed, leaping out of the water and splashing it out of the tank.

The store I bought these from is fairly reputable. That said, I know some of the fish I have bought from there were definitely hormoned. I hadn't even thought of that causing the issues with this fish.

Thanks for your help. I'll post again in a week on how he's coming along.
 
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