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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Just a question. I have about 12 Msuli Point Acei and 12 Yellow Labs in a 5ft 90g tank. Some of the acei are getting black spots on their lips and just under their chin.. Is this someone else has ever experienced?? Anyone know what it could be? They all seem well.. eat well... breed well..

Thanks
Phil
 

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Hi- Yeah I have alot of different species of Malawi cichlids and many of them have the same black spots that you describe. They are still perfectly healthy and spawn like crazy so Im not sure what it is or why they appear. Are yours wild? Because all of mine are so I have been wondering if it is some kind of fungis that came from lake malawi.
 

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what are the nitrate levels in your tank?

There is a condition that wild malawis are susceptable to called black chin and this is though to be related to an increase in nitrate. No necessarily high nitrate as such just higher then they are used to (for example it is rarely seen in conditions where the nitrate is below 25ppm).

Symptoms of black chin are small grey to black irregular spots or patches that appear at first on the lower jaw region but may spread along the belly, so that the whole lower head and belly may take on a mottled appearance.

This is not a very well researched condition and the long term effects are unknown but if you lower the nitrate levels to below 25ppm it should disappear in a few days.

If your nitrates are already low what are you feeding?
Are the fish wild caught?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Nads

Must say with Christmas and being away for work before and after. I haven't maintained the tanks as well as normal. I will check water conditions tonight.

Thanks
Phil
 

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Let me know the results as I have had this condition appear in my wild caught malawis but not in any tank bred fish. Think wilds are more suseptable due to the close to zero nitrate levels in the lake, and my nitrates usually hover between 20ppm (after water change) and 40ppm (just before water change).

Very intrigued to see if this is what it could be.
 

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I have the same spots on my acei - they are not wc - my nitrate levels are extremely low >7

I have read that this acn be due to high amounts of spurilina???
 

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Yes black spots can arise due to overfeeding spirulina. However these spots are like ink stains in appearance and can show anywhere on the fish as streaks, blobs or spots.

I find that my minos reef estherae are particularly prone to this. Will see if I can dig out a couple of pics of the spirulina type spots.

If your nitrates are very low then spirulina spots would be my first suspision.
 

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My male Lab gets like a beard when spawning, but it clears up once a female is holding. Not sure it is what you are describing bit thought it odd. Water is 5 to max 10 nItrate. Good luck
 

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Joea said:
Nads said:
Will see if I can dig out a couple of pics of the spirulina type spots.
I've seen pictures of the "spirulina type spots".

I meant pictures of philjo1's Ps. sp. "acei".
Lol - was responding to the post before yours so they could compare :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have tested my nitrate and it looks to be below 5ppm. So I don't think that is the cause. I will try to get a pic.. but battery is flat in camera. Will get some more and try later.

Thanks
Phil
 

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I too have discovered the black spots on some of my smaller acei "msuli"s. My nitrates are between 5 and 10 mg/L. I do feed a good amount of Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers (1 x a day, about 3 -4).

I have a 75 gallon (48" x 18" x 22"), filtered by two Penguin Biowheel 440. The temp is between 76-78 degrees F. I use a live sand substrate for buffering, keeps the pH right at 8.0. My nitrites measure less than .10 mg/L, nitrates between 5 to 10 mg/L, and no noticiable ammonia. The tank has 12 acei "msuli", 6 yellow labs, and 5 c. afra "cobue". I change 33% of the water twice a week.

I really believe the black spots seems to be a combination of breeding related stress and high nitrates. My acei's ave been going through the motions (they range from 2" to 3") of breeding, but I don't think anyone is holding yet. Some of the smaller fish (females I believe) show the black spots from head to tail -- looks like someone peppered them. But, no one is showing any bad health signs, so that's a good thing.
 

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My fish have had these spots before and they eventually went away. I just kept on doing the water changes and feeding that I had always done. I never found out what they were. I was sure my fish were diseased, but no flashing or any other symptoms. They are fine now. (1 yr later) and no spots.
 

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I have some fish with black spots or marks that look like ink too. 2 of my acei had it when I got them as juvies, one on it's top fin and the other on it's tail. The spots grew as the fish grew but now they are gone...maybe "outgrew" :lol:. I have a couple others with them now though. One has a short line, or mark of it, on it's side (also growing as the fish grows) and a another has a couple spots.

I really would like to it be studied. It doesn't seem to affect the fish or be very contagious. I only feed NLS and rarely some fresh veggies. I do fight high nitrates though.
 

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If they are just dots and not larger splotches, they might be Black Spot. It is a parasite that infects fish bred outdoors in warm climates like Florida.

The reason they eventually go away is that the parasite required the outdoor Florida-like pond to complete it's life cycle. It goes through a bunch of hosts, but included must be a bird like a heron and a snail...fish is only one stage. So since we don't have herons visiting our indoor tanks, the parasite eventually dies. Does take a long time though. I had a couple appear on my red zebra's fins shortly after purchase. Seemed like it took more than a year, but they are gone now (3 years later).

One treatment with PraziPro had no impact FYI.
 

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Most of the time it's not the disease black spot, it's more of a colour pigmant flush with the skin rather then the raised black lump that occurs with black spot. I think we are dealling with something else.
I have heard of fish dying from the disease black spot so important for fish owners to distinguish whether their fish is suffering from that disease or the more common colour pigmentation that some of us are witnessing.
The lack of flashing and the fact that fish seems to be unaware that it has these black spots can almost rule out parasitic infection especiallt considering the problem occurs on the skin
 

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On Sunday of this week, I added a powerhead to my 75 gallon that houses 16 acei, 6 yellow labs, and 5 cynotilapia afra "cobue". The powerhead has one of those air infusion attachments and blows bubbles like crazy into the tank. I believe the powerhead is a 400 gph penguin.

Anyway, I have noticed that since adding the powerhead that the acei's black blotches have dissappeared! I have not done a water change since Friday of last week. I am wondering if the higher oxygen content is doing something?
 
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