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I'm filling this out for my dad...

For the past several months his fish have been flashing quite a bit but it looks like they're all scratching more towards the front of their bodies, and even shaking their heads sometimes. So far he's treated with:

-melafix antibacterial
-pimafix antifungal
-jungle parasite fizz tablets (1x week/3 weeks)
-jungle fungus fizz tablets

In the midst of all of this there was a fish with ich, and that cleared up no problem.

The tank has been up and running for years, and it's been primarily cichlids for over a year (all mbuna).

180-240 hardness
7.4 pH
0 ammonia

He adds aquarium salt/epsom salt, too.

Recently he lost two (newer) aceis a day apart, and isn't sure if it's related or not.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, he's going nuts trying to figure out what the problem is.

Thanks,
Bob (c/o Jaclyn)
 

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Flashing is normal unless the fish are doing it constantly in which case you may notice areas on thier skin that they have rubbed off.

It may be that his fish are flashing more because they are looking to spawn.

A few questions for your dad:
Do the fish tend to hang out pointed into the filter return current?
Are there any marks or sores on their bodies? White, patchy areas?
Do the fish tend to flash more after a water change?

On the aceis that died:
What symptoms did they show prior to dieing? Were they eating and swimming normally the day before? How long had they been in the tank?

How often do you do partial water changes and how much water do you remove?
What do you use for a declorinator?
How big is the tank, what species and how many fish?

Robin
 

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First of all.. Jungle products never work and should be taken off the market. Melafix & Pimafix are great.. but they aren't for the type of problem you are having.

Secondly..
Robin said:
Flashing is normal unless the fish are doing it constantly in which case you may notice areas on thier skin that they have rubbed off.
I've never known flashing to be a normal fish behavior. I've always known it to be the first sign there is a parasite problem.

Third.. have there been any changes made to the system?.. i.e. new fish, new filter, new food..

The questions that Robin asked need to be answered before an actual treatment can be determined.

I'd suggest doing a 25% water change.. and adding some of API's stress coat to start (about half the recommended dosage). The stress coat will help sooth their skin and adds a beneficial slime coat.
 

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Oneeyedgeckz said:
First of all.. Jungle products never work and should be taken off the market. Melafix & Pimafix are great.. but they aren't for the type of problem you are having.
You don't seem to have much faith in any of the medications available to treat fish with, many which have been used for years by hobbyist with great results. :(

It seems you feel the same way about Mardel products. :-?

Flashing IS normal behaviour, as long as it's not excessive.

bobcad, the only problem I see with the administration of the JPC is that it should have been used every 48 hours for 3 total treatments, with a 25% water change prior to the 2nd and 3rd treatment. It's also not unusual to have to go further with the treatment, for a full 6 rounds, especially if you're dealing with something like gill flukes, which I suspect due to you saying the flashing is concentrated towards the gill area.

Let's get the answers to the questions Robin asked and we'll see if we can help.

It may be that you just need to do the JPC treatment properly.

The aceis (being new) may be totally unrelated to what you have going on in the tank, however, they may have introduced a secondary ailment.

Kim
 

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Hmmm.. makes me wonder about my fish. I just noticed them flashing yesterday. Not trememndously, but more than one fish rubbed against a rock once or twice.

Of note, I added two new synodontis three days ago and I switched from Stress Coat to Prime. My water parameters are all perfect, except my KH is high (>240 ppm.)

Any thoughts or suggestions??

Secondly I noticed that Robin questioned if any fish were swimming against the current. I have one fish that does this occasionally and another who does it even less often. I thought it was more a playful kind of action. Is it something I should be concerned about? What does it mean?

Thanks.....
 

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If it's only occasionally, it's nothing to worry about. Sometimes when fish have severe external irritants, they will stay in the current all the time looking for relief.

You're always going to notice more flashing right after a water change, and usually around spawning time when the males and females are trying to show off.

Kim
 

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With the addition of new fish, I am rather worried about parasites.. should I use something like Paraguard? Does it work and does it stress the fish? Also, how often and for how long should i use it?
 

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You should be quarantining your new fish in a tank so that you can observe them and make sure they are okay before they ever enter your main tank.

The only fish I medicate while in QT are my incoming wild caughts.

Kim
 

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I added some Stress Coat last night, and this morning they seemed totally fine. I did not notice any flashing. I will continue to watch them.
 
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