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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi. *** got a new set up with cichlids. great 1st few days and now got a weird problem. the fish all gather very low in the tank, normally under the filter or rocks and dont come out untill being fed. ?? they are looking as if breathing very heavy. ph is about 7.2, added amonia remover to rule tha 1 out. got an air stone in the tank to provide O2. any advice would be great on perfect water conditions and anything. tank has a sand substrate , many rocks, 1 plastic plant and just the filter and heater. thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hi, what do you mean cycled? im not up with all the terms at mo. tank is 90 ltrs. i have 9 fish and 1 plec. tested using tetra test 5 in 1 stick. showed 7.2 for ph, n03 is between 10 and 25. n02 is 1. gh? is >10, kh 6. fish are african cichlids. thanks for reply
 

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You ask what cycling means. Whenever a new tank is set up, it may take from 4 to 6 weeks to establish a colony of "good" bacteria that feed on organic waste materials and break them down into non-toxic forms; unless steps are taken to accelerate the process. This period is referred to as cycling a tank. The condition where a new tank is overpopulated before the needed colony is established is referred to as "new tank syndrome". High nitrites and nitrates are sympt0ms of this condition.

These bacteriia colonize on hard surfaces such as glass, rocks, filter media with high oxygen availability, and gravel. Making these materials with established colonies available in a new tank will shorten the cycle. You can also use commercially available products such as Stability which, when used as directed, allow you to stock a tank with fish while cycling it.

Your fish seem to be stressed by the polutiion in your tank. You might be able to save them by initiating the Stability process (or similar product). I have never used it this way as an anectdote though so maybe soneone else should comment on this approach.

But whatever, you have to take some action fast. And don't be discouraged. A lot of us have learned this lesson the hard way at some time or another.
 

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Make sure you do water water changes (20-30%) on a weekly basis especially if you tank has not cycled and any time your fish look or act stressed the first thing you should do is a partial water change. It will help reduce the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
 

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Also keep the temperature steady. When you take water out make sure the water you put back in feels similar. Personally I think it's safer to go a tad warmer than cold if your in doubt. Reason for this water cools down much quicker than it warms up and it's less of a shock on the fish. Simply don't put in cold or hot water. Also make sure to not overfeed. It takes a while to get a good routine. I still find myself unsure if I'm over feeding. Overfeeding will sicken your fish as well as pollute the water. That's where most odor comes from fish tanks. make sure to vacuum the gravel while doing your weekly water change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your great advice on the subject. its very much appriciated. have done a 20% water change today and raised the ph a bit nd they seam slightly more active and less panting. but still stay at the bottom of tank. water temp is at 26 c constantly and use a seperate heater to raise new water before adding. cheers again. :thumb:
 
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