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Help!!!!! Weird disease-killed 6 fish

1210 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Robin
Hi, I have a 55 gallon mbuna tank. I origanally started off with too little fish and some died due to an aggression problem, I recently added ALOT of new fish to counter the problem (20 some new fish added to the original 7) I got them from a friend at the University of Maryland. some of the species were very exotic like the Metraclima Mustardi, any how, after about a week a fish would become reclusive and die the next day or maybe two days after. this happed about every week for some time (Like 5 weeks) I passed it off as "survival of the fittest" but now it's starting to scare me as my Mustardi is sick :( I realize im probably going to loose him :( but he was deffinately one of the more dominant males in the tank. Yesterday I found him sitting in a cave at feeding time (very unusual for him) and today I found him upside down on the bottom of the tank with almost no color. :( he is still alive. I thought it was bloat, but i didn't notice any stringy feces or bloated stomach, he just looks well, dead :( hes not even breathing fast. My water quality is exelent with a little bit of nitrate, the water is crystal clear, NO JOKE!!! im dumfouned any help would be appreciated. I also ruled out parysite because his stomach isn't shrunken either.

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im serious when i say i finished writing what i said above and i turned around to look at my tank and he was dead :( his color came back fully when he died :-? i dont know if this is normal

Sorry you've been losing fish.

Unfortunately adding more fish won't solve aggression problem(s) if you've got fish that arn't compatible with each other and also if you've got one or more of the highly aggressive mbuna. When it comes to solving aggression problems there's a list of things you can try--none of them are garunteed and you have to just keep trying different things on the list to hopefully find one that will work for your particular tank set up.

I don't know for certain that you're dealing with an aggression problem. There are a number of problems that will cause the sort of one by one deaths that you describe. The two most likely are aggression and bloat. With aggression what you'll normally see is a fish will go from eating and swimming normally to death or just about dead literally overnight. There are no symptoms leading up to the death and its usually just one fish at a time. Quite often you won't see the fight and the fish may not have any external injuries but you've probably noticed some chasing and perhaps some fish 'choosing' to hang out at the top behind the filter return and coming down only to eat.

Bloat usually takes about a week for the symptoms to play out. Fish starts by spitting out its food, then it stops eating, becomes lethargic or hides, it may gasp and you may or may not notice long stringy white or clear feces. Towards the end the fish may become bloated.

Please post back with additional information so we can try to narrow down what the problem is in your tank. In the meantime do a 30% partial water change with a good quality declorinator and siphon the gravel.

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