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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed after feeding NLS xtra tiny pellets they are searching/sifting through the gravel (picking up gravel, spit it out) an hour later. Does that mean I did not feed enough (about a teaspoon) for 2 lg. male 7 females and 3 baby Perlmutt labs.

They are fed once every 2 days, is this sufficient? If not how many teaspoon (use as approx. measurement) would be sufficient to feed them? The pellets are the tiniest ones available for cichlids.

Also, is it normal for med. size Perl. Lab (3x) or male Peacock (1x) to nick their bellies on the gravel with a slight twisting motion - no sign of this behaviour today so hopefully no parasites. Did not notice this with dominant males or females. The med. Pearl was removed today.

Thanks.
 

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The motion of the fish rubbing against the substrate or a rock is called "flashing", and it is natural behaviour. As long as it is not a constant thing and only happens every now and then, such as in your case then you have nothing to worry about. If it is happening constantly then it may be parasitic.
Sand sifting is also natural, especially for peacocks. They will be finding all sought of nutrients in the sand so thats cool.
I feed my fish for 1 minute each day with NLS and Sera Flora making sure that barely any of it hits the floor.
 

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IMO, a teaspoon would be way too much to feed that amount of fish, even at every other day.

Why are you feeding on the odd day schedule?

I would try feeding once a day, no more than they can consume in 1 minute. (Peacocks are going to sift sand, that's what they do...Doesn't mean they are still hungry!)

If they are flashing alot, you could have some problems.

If it's just occasionally, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Gibbs & Cichlidaholic.

Quote: CICHLIDAHOLIC: Why are you feeding on the odd day schedule?
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I am feeding them on an every other day schedule to to ensure I keep (ammonia, nitrates) down and I due to my schedule I am out of town every 2nd day. I can get them fed each day, just thought every 2nd day would keep the water parameters where they should be.

I change 25% of the water every 2nd day is this ok. Will this affect the bio in the filter if I change that often?

I have NLS sinking pellets and Tetra Fin Sticks - should I only feed them once a day or twice a day? If only 1x a day, do I alternate between each the pellets and the sticks?

Appreciate any replies from others.
 

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You probably don't have to do a water change that often...Try monitoring your nitrates for awhile to determine when you actually need a water change. I like keeping mine at 20 or below, but I don't get worried until they creep close to 40 if I can't get to a water change.

It's fine to feed every other day, just wondered if you thought you had to! :wink:

Once is fine, although it seems mine go through stages where their appetite is better than others. I just have a general rule of feeding no more than they can consume in 1 minute if I feed once a day, no more than they can consume in 30 seconds if I feed twice a day.

You can feed both foods at once, or you can alternate. If they like both, they won't care! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cichidaholic or other members,

Re: Flashing Eureka Peacocks (side of mouth + bellies) and Perlmutts (bellies)

-40% WC today - used Prime (dbl. dose), last wc 6 days ago 25 - 30% - Used Stress Zyme only
-dropped water level to get surface movement (water flow) and lots of oxygen
-rinsed 1 bio max (rock) in filter in some of the (new) water I removed after wc, it caused filter material (debris to disperse in water. 2nd filter untouched. Hope I didn't disrupt filtration!
-History: New fish from breeder added 6 days ago - not sure if they carried parasite (no Q tank). New tank - had 1st set of fish 2 weeks ago, 2 different times from LFS - wc every 3 days before new additions

I did a WC today, about 40%, the gravel got stirred up quite a bit (gravel not cleaned since set up).
For the past couple of hours a few of the fishes are flashing several times in less than 10 secs and then go back to usual activity, then the odd one will a few times again..

I know a WC can affect them from what I've read, so I will do a water test today and post the results. I do the usual Ammonia & nitrATE test every 2nd day.

1. Do I still need to do a nitrITE test - if so how often?

2. Do I need to test PH, Gh & KH everyday? What are the ideal levels for these test. My GH (general hardness is usually 7.2 and up. I only test after wc.

***3. In regards to the flashing - what test results (#'s) would confirm it is due to wc that increase flashing before I can assume that it is a parasite?

4. How often (flashing) per hour roughly constitutes normal behavior? This is so I can keep my stress level increasing :lol:

5. If water levels are fine, should I go ahead and purchase the Quick Cure meds you refer to - 1 drop per 5G for 2 weeks or Metafix - how much of this per gallon?
As you are in Ontario, Big Al's or Pet Smart as you know is the option for LFS - what brand meds should I purchase if neccessary.

6. As my temp is @ 75 degrees and I am concerned placing back the heater in tank (room temp) is warm, therefore I don't trust trying to raise temp. Should I add 1 tbsp NON IODINE TABLE SALT per 5G - mixed into water being added and add to tank over a couple hours? If so should I do another wc (just did one 7 hours ago)?

7. When would you suggest to change (2 Aquaclear 50 and + the next size below 50) sponge, carbon & bio max? Sponge ok to use indefinately, just rinse? I think it would be best to change each item over time (not all @ once) to avoid losing bacteria in filter - what do you think?

Appreciate any reply to any questions even if wc may have contributed to the increase of flashing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fogot to Add:

I did add 1 cap of African Cichlid Conditioner (for GH) w/o testing what the GH was first.

Do I need this product as my GH is usually about 7.6

Directions: add 1 cap per 20 gallon. Each dose provides mg/L (ppm) as CaC03.
 

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How long has this tank been set up, BA?

For the first month of a tank (or until I have zero readings steadily for a few days on both ammonia and nitrite) I test for all 3. Once my tank is well established and I've started my water change routine, I don't test unless I suspect something is wrong. If my ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph are in order, I don't see any need for any other tests.

If your test kits are less than 6 months OPEN and are liquid reagent rather than the strip type, once you're getting zero ammonia and nitrite readings and know that your ph isn't fluctuating, you can assume the flashing isn't due to the water change. (I would expect an increase in flashing due to a water change for only a few hours after the water change.) So, basically you're just looking for normal readings on your test kits...

Quick Cure would be my med of choice if you do suspect gill flukes or some type of external parasite. However, they pulled it off the market here in Ontario for a few months, and I'm not sure of the availability of it now. I did see it back on the shelves in one LFS here a few months ago, and picked up my own supply of it, but I haven't looked for it in a while. Formalin and malachite green are a good combo for treating external parasites.

If you can't visibly see anything on their bodies, it really sounds like it might be gill flukes. I would be hesitant to treat them with salt and heat, anyway, because they can be so hard to eradicate, and I don't think the fish would tolerate the elevated temps that long.

You'll find alot of meds that claim to work for gill flukes. I would steer away from the antibiotics and go with a good med for parasites, if you can't find Quick Cure. (Quick Cure willl also stain your silicone and tubing in your tank, but it fades over time.)

It's hard to give you an exact number of normal "flashes". If I saw the same fish flashing more than 5-6 times an hour, I'd be concerned.

Did you mean your ph was 7.6 rather than your gh?

If so, 7.6 is fine for Malawi cichlids. A steady lower ph than they get in the wild is better than a ph that is jumping all over the place from buffers being added, and keep in mind that most tank raised fish in your area are raised in pretty much the same ph that you have!

HTH
 

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Edit: Hah, cichlidaholic posted same time as me. Let's see how I did.

I'm not sure I followed 100% all your facts and questions, but I'll give it a shot. First two comments: rinse filters in tank water in a bucket so debris cannot disperse in water. You have to remove and rinse the filter too because if you just remove the cartridge, the flow of water through the filter will flush all the bad stuff into your tank. Second, clean gravel with every water change so when it is disturbed there is no derbis to release. These two occurrances could cause fish gill irritation and flashing.

1-Test nitrite daily until reading is zero for one week. Then only test monthly or if you get an ammonia reading for some reason.

2-Test for pH KH and DH after every water change if you are adjusting them. Otherwise an occasional check is fine. I test mine every couple months, but I have well water and don't adjust anything.

3-If you have fish in your tank, your readings should always be ammonia=0 and nitrite=0. Flashing caused by a water change may be something different about the new water that does not show up in a test. If your parameters are good and they are flashing, wait 24 hours and see if they stop.

4-The level of flashing you describe sounds pretty normal to me...
For the past couple of hours a few of the fishes are flashing several times in less than 10 secs and then go back to usual activity, then the odd one will a few times again..
My fish do it to show off and one may do it repeatedly 6 times in a row, but then he is off to chase someone and does not do it again for a long while. I have 40-50 fish in my tank. In any given hour, I'd say one of them will flash. That works out to each fish flashing once every 48 hours. I'll have to try a video to see how close I am, LOL!

5-Someone else will have to answer, I use salt-heat to treat ich and only felt I needed to do that once.

6-I'd keep the temp at 78 and use heaters for daily parameters. For treatment of ich, I'd use heat-salt OR medications but not both.

7-I'd rinse in tank water monthly and replace when they are too discolored, worn, or clogged. If you have 2 cartridges, you could be sure you replace only one at a time. Or you could remove the old cartridge, rinse it, place the old one inside the tank and a new one in the filter. Keep the used cartridge in the tank for two weeks so the bacteria can populate the new cartridge, then discard.

PS A GH of 7.6 is fine, I would not treat for that, especially since you are worried about fish being irritated by additives. My GH = 7.
 

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DJRansome said:
Edit: Hah, cichlidaholic posted same time as me. Let's see how I did.
I was still on my first cup of coffee, DJR! Your answer is much more thorough! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cichlidaholic said:
How long has this tank been set up, BA?

Quick Cure would be my med of choice if you do suspect gill flukes or some type of external parasite.

If you can't visibly see anything on their bodies, it really sounds like it might be gill flukes.

Did you mean your ph was 7.6 rather than your gh?

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Cichlidaholic,

Thanks very much for the tips and the breakdown - very helpful :thumb:

Fishless Cycle for 3-4 weeks. Tank has fishes 2 weeks exactly today. Additional fishes added exactly 1 week ago.

Will research gill flukes and watch the crew.
Question: The dominant male is nixing the part of skin just underside the corner part of the part closer to the front of his mouth/lips. Would this area constitute part of the gill area re: gill flukes?

Note: flashing subsided yesterday and today, not more than 5x/hr, lol!, and Perlmuts are not flashing just the male Peacocks. Seems I will have to buy new liquid test kit today (can't trust the old ones or the test strips has been open for more than 6 months) to rule out problem with PH.

Yes!, PH vs GH - You are correct, my mistake :oops:

-Never tested the GH. What is your opinion on using the Brand: African Cichlid conditioner by Hagen to boost hardness? Info is listed in my last reply.
Do I need this or would I have to test GH to know if water is not hard enough first? Suspect it was a waste of my $20 - LFS recommended before I found this wonderful site :dancing:

Got a 1/2 bottle of Quick Cure from a friend. Will watch and administer if things change.

Thanks again for the thorough insight :thumb:
 

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If your ph is 7.6, don't worry about buffering your water. (And if you just want to buffer the water, check out the homemade buffer recipe in the Chemistry section of the library here...Much cheaper and works just as well!)
 

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Aulonocara and Mbuna Cichlids do normally flash after water changes do to a change in the hardness of the water. That is completely normal. With you changing your water that frequent that could be the cause. As long as the flashing is not often as stated above. Try waiting a week before doing a water change and see if it continues. Good luck

Bruce
Kutztown Cichlids
 
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