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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a mbuna today at the store, in the store it was moving a lot. When i put it in the aquarium it was fast at first then slowly went to the floor. It is not dead but is heavily breathing on gravel. PLEASE HELP, i dont want it to die.
 

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Whoa... :eek:
This sounds like water chemistry shock. That happens when the water in your tank is too different in water chemistry from the tank that the fish was transferred from. Best way to avoid this problem is to initially dump your new fish into a 5-gallon bucket with it's water from the bag it came in, and very slowly add water from your aquarium to the 5-gallon bucket. This can done simply with dipping and pouring cups of water. Or, can be as technical as using a length of weighted airline hose and dripping water from your tank down into the bucket with the new fish. Over time with this, your tank water will dilute the original aquarium's water until the fish is in almost pure water from your aquarium.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do now for your shocked fish now except hope. But, Mbuna are pretty tough and can sometimes survive these things better than other more sensitive cichlids will.
 

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In case you haven't already, ensure that your tank is cycled (introducing a fish mid-cycle would induce the symptoms you've described).
 

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And verify you used dechlorinator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used the dechlorinator before i got the fish but didn't think i cycled.
Did i do something wrong?
Please tell me what i need to do
 

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If you recently filled the tank with fresh water and used dechlorinator, then as Auballagh said, wait and see. When the fish store opens, get a test kit (API Master Freshwater is a good one) and use the test tubes and reagents to test your water for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Post the results here.

Do you have other fish? Was the tank set up in the last few days? Are you able to return the fish to the fish store until you are able to cycle the tank?

To cycle the tank, remove the fish if possible and allow six weeks. Follow the directions in the fishless cycling article in the Cichlid-forum Library. The fact that your tank is not cycled will not impact your fish today or tomorrow if you just filled it, but it will be a problem very soon. https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... _cycle.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had two fish in the tank, one big and one small, the smaller one died this morrning when i woke upo but the bigger one is still alive but still breathing hard. My fish store is closed today so i will get a test kit a different day.
 

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No the fish grab and spit out the food and grab it again as a normal part of eating.

When you get the test kit is when you can find out if there is something going on with your water that you can fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I called my fish store and asked if they can open for me to get a test kit, unfortunately they didn't have the master one but had api strips that tests all of the ph and other things. Should i get this? They said i can pick it up at 6pm today.
 

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Sorry to see that you are having these problems. :(
But, hopefully we can get you set up so you're better prepared to get things working better with your new aquarium. Cichlid-forum is an outstanding place to learn the basics on how to successfully set up and run aquariums!
As 'DJRansome' said earlier, you definitely need to get a clear picture of what the water in your aquarium is doing. Purchasing the right test kit either online or at the pet store will be a good start.
Here's what may help now.
- Perform a water change. Siphon out at least 50 percent of the water now in the aquarium, then refill the aquarium with heated/dechloramined water. The fingers on your hand will be very accurate in determining how close in temperature the new water is to the old water in your aquarium. Immediately diluting/removing from the water whatever is bothering the fish remaining in your aquarium, will help it breathe better almost instantly.
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After you get the water test kit - verify if you have Ammonia or Nitrite in the water. If you do? The filtration in your tank is doing what is called 'cycling', and that is a very dangerous condition for any fish to live in. Don't add any more fish!
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So, if you are able to save your fish in there now? You will need to keep a careful watch and test for Ammonia buildup in the water. When it becomes detectable/unsafe - you will have to perform another water change to dilute that stuff out so your fish will be able to breathe again normally in there.
But, if the remaining fish ultimately dies? The best thing to do, would be to get the aquarium ready for later occupants by doing what is called, 'Fishless Cycling'.

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... _cycle.php

Follow that article and you will be able to put more fish in the tank without going through this problem again. Here are some questions you can answer that will help us to get you started on the right track,
- How big is the aquarium?
- When did you set it up initially? What day?
- What make and model filter is running on it now?
- What are you using to siphon old water out of the aquarium and add new water back in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The aquarium is the 34 gallon tank, i set it up about two weeks ago. It is a top fin Pf 70 filter with a h200 top fin heater. I am use a gravel pump device to remove water and clean gravel. This morning the fish started to breath less heavily and swims around time to time. When i am adding new water, do i dechlorinate separately or in the aquarium? I will pick up the testing device 5 - 6pm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also, question, how does a fish breathe? With air, with water. The person at the fish store recommended me getting an air pump. What does an air pump do?
 

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Are you adding water to the aquarium by pouring it in with buckets? That works, yes.... and ALL of us here have dome that. But, you may want to consider getting something kind of nice called a 'Python Aquarium Cleaner'. This thing is 25 feet or more of vinyl hose and nice fittings that will adapt to all sorts of sink, tub shower or whatever tap water fittings in your home. It's a life saver.
So, if you are using buckets for the add water, put the dechloramine in the bucket and then dump the water into the tank. If you are filling the tank with a hose or something, it works best to just add the dechloramine treatment directly to the tank while filling it. (You'll stay busy making adjustments to the heat in getting the temperature just right...).
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Fish breathe oxygen pretty much just like you and I do. The difference is that they can process the oxygen out of the water through their gills, (we air breathers have lungs). Water contains oxygen. Which at air temperature, contains roughly the same percentage amount of O2 as the oxygen we breathe in our lungs (usually around 21 percent or so at sea level). Cooling water down will enable it to hold more oxygen. Heating up water will reduce it's capacity to hold onto the oxygen as well. An air stone (driven by an air pump) is something your fish do not need, but will not hurt them either. The bubbles in the water will promote a bit better oxygenation, but the real benefit is when the bubbles reach the surface. They create the most oxygen in the water there and will definitely help in clearing up a filmy buildup layer on the water surface called 'bio-film' that can (slightly) impede water oxygenation. Some people just like the way air stones look in an aquarium with the curtain of bubbles. :)
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Unfortunately, your Top Fin filter is not one of the best. Outfitted with one of those 'removable cartridge' things, they don't work as well as other brands will. There are some articles here, esp. 'Optimizing Power Filters' that may help to get better filtration performance out of your Top Fin Filter.

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... p_list.php

But, I would also strongly recommend the purchase of an Aquaclear 70 filter for the tank. Both of these power filters are called 'Hang On Back' or HOB types on Cichlid-forum. Purchase an additional foam filter block for it (go with two inside) and I would just add the new Aquaclear onto the aquarium with your Top Fin PF 70. Run both! Your cichlids, esp. Mbuna will appreciate the extra water current (more oxygenation of the water that way as well).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
question, i have floating food and my is fish going to the top. I am not sure if it is eating food or just staying there. is this normal for them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have food at the top of the tank and the fish is swimming up. I am not sure if it is eating or just staying up there, is this normal for them?
 

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Floating food is good, because you can net it out easily if the fish don't eat any/all of it. Uneaten food, (esp. pellets) will degrade the water quality in your aquarium pretty fast. If your fish is swimming up to the surface to eat that food, everything is normal.
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Trick: If you want floating pellets to sink? Just place them in a little bowl with a bit of aquarium water, and let them soak for a few minutes. Then, gently squash the pre-softened pellets with your fingers, and drop them into the tank. The squished pellets should sink just fine. :wink:
 

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He's just curious and checking things out to see what's going on up there in his house. 8)
Try dropping a single pellet down to him, after squishing it. Might make a difference, (and be sure to net out as much uneaten food from the aquarium as possible, after dropping it in).
 
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