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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, am new to this Forum.
I am looking for help in resolving a long standing problem with my Malawi Cichlid setup. I have been keeping Malawi Cichlids for approximately 4 years. Over the last 4 months or so I seem to have a parasite or contaminate that is stressing the fish. The symptoms of the problem are all the fish at are flicking/scratching against rocks or the gravel at the point around there gills. There is no obvious sign of a disease, no spots/blemishes on any of the fish, and I have not had any fish deaths. All my water parameters are OK according to the test charts I am using. At different times I have done numerous amounts of water changes before/after using different medications, but none of them have seemed to cure the problem. In every way over than the flicking/scratching the fish seem OK. They are feeding normally and there are currently 4 female Red Zebra’s and Yellow Labs holding, I regularly get a batch of fry from these fish. I have looked up on the internet to find what I believe the problem is and the symptoms seem to point towards gill flukes or a similar parasite. I have tried using the Water Life Sterazine and JBL Punktol combined with Ektol products but they do not seem to help cure the problem.
I have even removed my ocean rock from the tank and replaced with new rock in case it was the rock that was leaching a toxin into the water, but this did not make any difference.
Other that this being a very suborn parasite to remove, the only other thing I can think of that could be causing the problem is my aquarium background. I bought this from a aquarium background supplier who said the foam material used does not change water parameters, and the background is being sold be an aquatic store. It has been in my aquarium for around 2.5 years.
Has anyone experienced this kind of problem before?

I will attempt to attach a video of the aquarium and the fish showing the symptoms.

http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb3 ... rchhammer/

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. If the fish are genuinely stressed than I want to sort out the problem as soon as possible one way or another, but it is also getting expensive buying all the different medications to try and sort out the problem.

Thank you very much.
Best regards.
Hornchurch Hammer
 

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Hi and welcome to Cichlid-forum!
On to the questions...
How long has this been going on? What is your regular water change schedule and how much do you change? Do you buffer the water (salts, baking soda, etc)?
Please post water parameters from the tank including pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, GH and KH hardness. Also GH and KH from your tap.
Are any of the fish showing any signs of injury from scratching against the substrate or rocks?
What you're witnessing is called flashing and is fairly normal, to a certain degree, when it becomes frequent or starts causing abbrasions, it is a cause for concern, otherwise, it tends to happen due to a change in water quality, most often associated with a change in water hardness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks for your response.

I have just performed some aquarium water tests, here are the readings.
Nitrite 0.0 ppm
Nitrate 60 ppm
PH 8.2
Ammonia 0.0
My tap water PH was also 8.2 ppm

I am not familiar with checking GH and KH readings.

Kind regards,
Hornchurch Hammer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry, I should of said the problem/symptoms have been going on for around 4 months.
The fish were flashing before this, but they seem to be scratching frequently to the point that it seem to be irritating them.
Kind regards,
Hornchurch Hammer
 
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