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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been losing fish recently. I am suspecting either fish TB, or deaths caused by aggression and stress... because every fish I have lost has died from what appears to be a combination between wasting disease symptoms and fin rot. Additionally, all of the fish in my aquarium go through spells of mild to moderate fin rot that eventually cures itself. The fact that sees symptoms come and go lead me to believe stress related illness related to aggression, but the combination of symptoms and the deaths make me worry about possible fish TB. So far I have lost 5 fish to this, and have refused to restock until I can diagnose an issue. Any response is appreciated.

Helpful information:

- I have lost: 1 strawberry peacock, 1 Venustus hap, 2 demasoni Cichlid, 1 Kennyi Cichlid.
- I currently have 4 fish remaining: 1 venustus hap, 2 red zebra, and 1 strawberry peacock
-75 gallon aquarium (4' width, 18" depth, 20" height)
-Fluval FX4, 750 gph, + 45 gallon sponge filter
-water change once weekly 50%, treat water with Prime conditioner
- immediately after water change, PH = 8.2, Ammonia = 0.25ppm, Nitrate = 15ppm

I have noticed moderate aggression in the aquarium on many occasions and I believe this to be the issue. If aggression is the issue, should I rehome my cichlids and if so how can I do this? If aggression does not appear to be the issue, then do any of my parameters look bad?
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

Are they eating the day before they die?

It does sound like aggression...the sunken bellies are caused by intestine blockage by the organism that is multiplying out of control due to a lowered immune system, and the tattered fins are caused by fin nipping during aggression.

And when stocking haps and peacocks with aggressive mbuna like demasoni, kenyi and red zebra this result is not unexpected.

Since your tank is not 72" long then the venustus is not ideal, so I would rehome the venustus and the peacock.

In a 48x18 the red zebras will work with 1m:4f of those another 2 or 3 species of mbuna that are not overly aggressive like kenyi and not Metriaclima genus. I would skip the demasoni on restock until you have more experience with aggression management as they are susceptible to bloat and not always the easiest mbuna to keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Are they eating the day before they die?"

Yes, they are. I only had one instance of a fish acting lethargic and not eating before death, and that one was the venustus. The venustus became incredibly emaciated, and had horrific fin rot for about 3 days prior to death. The venustus death was also the most recent one, and was the one that made me suspect possible fish TB because of how horrific the death was. The rest, however, were very unexpected and only had occasional spells of fin rot that would go away. Especially unexpected was the death of my mentioned Kenyi cichlid. She was full grown and I had owned her for 4 years old at the time, she was the third fish to die. She was abosolutely fine one day, totally happy and in fact she did not even show any fin rot or emaciation prior. Then the next morning, unexpectedly dead in the corner. The 2 demasoni were acting very scared prior to their deaths but were eating when food made their way. The demasoni also had fin rot from time to time that healed itself.

Is it possible my aquarium reading .25 ppm ammonia is playing a role?

I will have to look into rehoming the venusus and peacock for sure. I may in fact just rehome all of my fish and do a fresh clean and cycle, to ensure no pathogens in my aquarium. Thank you for your response
 

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I don't think ammonia is the cause. I also don't think a fresh cycle will help because the pathogen that can cause this is believed to be present in the fish gut at all times...just multiply out of control when the fish is stressed.

What do the feces look like?
 
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