Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, but have years of prior experience with fish tanks and have never had a dilemma like my current one and I am hoping for some help. I would like to start by thanking you for taking the time to read and help! My ultimate priority is doing what is best for the fish and at the end of the day having a happy tank that thrives for years to come.

Some history:

I researched and visited all of my local fish stores and found a very reputable highly touted store. I recently cycled a 75 gallon tank with 6 Zebra Danios, Dr Tim's live bacteria, Stress Coat and Zyme. I have a crushed coral substrate and coral decoration. I'm running a Fluval FX6 canister filter. I also added the recommended amount of marine sea salt. After 15 days my numbers looked great (the tank never spiked). I even caught a baby danio while preforming a water test. Then I went back to the store and bought two rounds of peacocks and haps. On the second round the problems began... one of the fish caught a bad case of ich two days later.

I raised the tank's temp to 82/83. I removed all the chemical filtration. I treated it with Nox-ich following the directions on the label and cured the problem. However, I was still noticing flashing and what I believed to be hole in the head, fin rot and or flukes. I had taken a bunch of pictures and showed them to the owner of the pet store and he believed the problem to be flukes. So, I started treatment 20 days ago with Seachem Paraguard.

The entire time the levels in my tank remained perfect. The store has even tested to confirm. I have done bi-weekly 30% water changes (and once more before starting with Paraguard). I added new marine salt to replace what was going to waste. In addidtion, I have two air bubblers going with what appears to be good surface disturbance.

Right now I have 9 Peacocks and Haps along with 3 - 1" plecos as a cleaner crew.

Two electric blue - 2.5" and 3.5"
One 2.5" German red,
One 4" Ruby Red
One 1" Fairy Chiclid
One 3" Frontosa
One 1.5" Yellow Lab
One 2.5" I'm not sure (he is silver/white with a black prison bar looking pattern).
One 2.5" I think is a Sunshine Peacock 2.5" (he has turned white)

****Some of the remaining problems: I am attaching photos so you can see what's going on. ***

1) Power dynamic changes - the once dominant Ruby Peacock has been dethroned by an Electric Blue that is relentlessly chasing the rest of the fish. I had the intentions of filling the tank up as fast as possible to avoid aggression, but because of sickness, I could not. New wear and tear from the above power struggle is clear. One day fins look good. Another tiny shreds. But they all seem to bounce back quickly.

2) **** Flashing**** My main concern is the "flashing" or more turning and "glancing" off the crushed coral substrate. I have seen multiple fish flash. The same fish do not flash daily, but nonetheless I see at least two or three flash a day. That being said, I'm not watching every second, but sit right in front of the tank a good portion of the day. The Frontosa does flash every day and more than once a day. It's usually in the same two spots in the tank too. I have vacuumed the area thoroughly. I don't see any more physical signs of parasites.

3). Color loss- a few of the fish are experiencing extreme color loss. One has turned almost completely white, with only his vertical lines. Might be due to the meds or the continual power struggle/aggression.

What I'm looking to do:

I'm looking to stock the tank with as many Peacock's and Haps as the tank allows. Normally I would go to the pet store and get 5-6 fish at a time. I found a website that recommends stocking 30 - 35 fish in a 75 gallon to curb aggression. Also, buying the remaining 26 fish in either one or two shipments. On top of that, they think all of my issues are due to aggression and recommend treating with Melafix to speed the recovery of my current stock, however they dodge all of my questions regarding my number one concern which is seeing some fish "Flashing".

I'm wondering what you recommend regarding how to move forward. Is it safe to buy fish when I see my current fish flashing? Is it safe to order so many fish all at once? I would like to avoid multiple shipping fees but, want to see this tank happy and healthy.

Thank you for your time.


41,871 Posts
I like 12 males in a 75G that mature <= six inches to manage aggression in an all-male tank.

Post your test results for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for both your tap and your tank. Invest in the API master freshwater test kit with liquid reagents and test tubes. Is bi-weekly 2X per month or 2X per week?

I would sort out your stocking and rehome fish from other lakes and continents. The frontosa, the barred fish and the fairy cichlid.

I would remove duplicates and fish that look alike. One of the red peacocks, one of the electric blues (is this fryeri?)

The flashing does not sound excessive to me (my males flash as a way of showing off) but once all the meds are out of the water for a month their skin will probably be less irritated. Why do you need the marine salt?

You need a hospital tank and/or a quarantine tank to keep new fish for 3 weeks before adding to the main tank.

Yes it is safe to buy 5 males at a time, but quarantine them. Put the new fish in the quarantine tank and remove the 5 you are going to rehome after the 3 weeks is up so the bioload remains the same.

Or you could move the 5 males you are keeping into the quarantine tank and buy 8 to put in the main tank since it is cycled to support 9 fish. Then add back the 5 original males after the 3 week quarantine.

You can stock the entire tank at once if you cycle with ammonia because you add enough ammonia to simulate a full tank of fish. You chose a different method and it can work as well.

Selections for new fish? You have a red and yellow peacock. You need a blue one and if you can also get turkis...the light blue is different enough to work. Stick to stuartgranti species because the peacocks you have are timid. Some people find a red shoulder works with another blue, and I have had success with both a yellow like the sunshine as well as a usisya. That's four.

The fryeri is not a timid hap. He might or might not work with your peacocks. Fish can lose color due to dominance, it is not always sickness. Haps to consider? Placidochromis electra. Protomelas marginatus. Copadichromis azureus. Otopharynx tetrastigma if you decide to swap out the fryeri.

You have the yellow lab. You could do a breeding group of them or keep him as a single and get an acei.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your reply DJRansome!

I will look into rehousing the fish, however (whether anyone reading likes it or not) I have to consider Covid. I am a person with with a preexisting condition and I have another close family member that unfortunately is at risk with health issues, I am avoiding leaving my apartment at all costs, while LA figures itself out.

I have the API Master Freshwater Test Kit and have been using it- Daily at first and now every other day. I take water samples from the bottom part of my tank with the least water flow.
My Test results for the tank yesterday were are PH - 7.6, HRPH - 8.0, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 5.0.
Less than two hours after feeding today: Ph- 7.6, HRPH 8.0, Ammonia .25, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 10. (I don't usually test right after feeding, it was just the only time that worked and I forgot to test prior to feeding.
Tap is PH - 7.6. HRPH - 7.4, Ammonia .5 , Nitrite - 0, Nitrate slightly over 0.

I feed New Life Spectrum large pellets, New life Spectrum Optimum flakes, garlic infused green algae and as a treat frozen spirulina brine shrimp. (I just received my eggs to feed live brine shrimp, but have not had the time).

Bi- weekly is twice per month. My last water change was 10 days ago. I will have to monitor my Nitrate levels.

A hospital tank for the moment, is just not in the cards... I have a one bedroom and unfortunately various reasons why I can not set one up at the moment. Salt was mostly to help with the Ice and potential parasites.

I was planning on adding new fish on Friday. Any tips? I was thinking a small water change. Lowering my temp over the course of the next 3 days back down to 78 degrees and maybe rearangning my tank then setting it back up when the new fish arrive. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. :)

Traditionally, I try not to touch the tank much. The problems all started with the second round of fish and I had to call a few audibles.

Thanks so much!

41,871 Posts
Do not add fish. Allows you to skip the visit to the LFS for extra safety. I would divide the tank until you can get a hospital tank and do the rehoming. Put the more aggressive fryeri on one side and anyone else who is chasing.

Change the water every 7 up to 50% as a minimum regardless of the nitrates. Stop adding the marine salt. Lower temp to 78...yes. I would not rearrange the tank...that can be bad just as often as it is good.

Sounds like a lot of food. Skip the brine and just feed the pellets.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.