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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, please help!
I got a 30gal aquarium with a male convict Cichlid from my friend 2 days ago, he is approximately 8 years old and I will be his 5th and final home. My friend rescued him 6 months ago from being flushed. When my friend first got him, he seemed happy, swimming all around the tank, digging in the gravel and eating normally. The water conditions in the tank got bad the last couple weeks before I got him, as my friend was moving. He laid on his side in the corner of the tank a lot, often still, sometimes moving his fins. That's when we decided to bring him to my place... we kept a bit less than 1/4 of the original water in the tank (had to make it light enough to carry) and I filled with filtered drinking water and 10ml water prime my friend gave me to use. After about 1.5hrs of being out of the tank, I put the Cichlid back in (was an hour after the water prime, the water temp was 78). Initially, he laid on his side at the bottom for 1 minute before getting up and swimming to his regular corner spot. He stays in his spot, sometimes turning around or swimming a few inches to his cave. There is no lighting in the tank.
The next day, I noticed the heater was for 20gal and heats to 78F, so I replaced it with a 30gal adjustable temperature heater. The tank has been at 80-81F yesterday and today. His regular food is APR floating Cichlid pellets. Since I haven't seen him eat those, I got Fluval slow sinking Cichlid bug bites granules but I haven't seen him eat that. He is very shy and will turn away and move his fins like crazy when he sees you or light. He is laying on his side a lot less than before I got him, but still too much for comfort.
I've been researching Cichlid illnesses and diseases but I'm just so lost. I thought I saw a white spot on his upper back, and I'm wondering if his fins look like they're coated with something?
The only other fish in the tank is an algae eater, they've been together for 5 months and get along.
Type: convict Cichlid, 8years, male
Water temp: 80-81F
Size: 30gal
pH: 7.4
Ammonia: less than 0.02ppm
The water looks clear.
I've had him since Monday, February 1, 2021, been reading like crazy to try and find what's wrong.. any help is greatly appreciated, I feel so bad for this poor Cichlid!
I couldn't add videos, here's a link to them: https://photos.app.goo.gl/AVngVyWBXAxPLsk1A
 

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Sounds like this poor fish has not been well cared for. He may be feeling the effects of long term exposure to poor water quality. You may have lost cycle with the move. Clear water doesn't mean clean water. Do you have readings of nitrite and nitrate? When in doubt, the first step is always to provide clean water. Water change, 50% every 2-3 days. Then 75% same timeframe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I don't have nitrite/ nitrate readings yet, I'm either taking some water to a pet store for testing or going to order a kit. Ammonia is less than 0.02ppm though. Will post the readings when I get them!
I ordered cichlid sand substrate and I'm planning on switching most of the gravel to sand tomorrow when it's delivered. The cichlid (Hombré) just came out of his corner and swam to the other side of the tank! He's still swimming very close to the ground but he's on his side less and less... do you think I should wait and do the water change tmrw, the same time I add to the substrate? I think he may finally be calming down, don't want to stress him out 2 days in a row but if you think a water change would help him now I'll do it now.
Thanks so much, I really appreciate the advice!!!!
 

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Cichlid sand... I'm wondering if you mean aragonite sand?
 

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I wouldn't want to use that. It may raise ph, add more stress to am already weak and old fish. Your current 7.4 ph is just right for him. Water change with a good gravel vac. Remove some gravel if it's more than a half in thick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would regular aquarium sand be alright? I wanted sand on the bottom so it's softer for him... since he spends all his time down there. Water change and a good gravel vac I will do, thanks!
 

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While popular with a lot of folks, I am not a sand fan. Can make for cloudy water, and can quickly ruin filter impellers. Convict don't care, he is quite comfy laying on gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thankyou, I greatly appreciate all the advice!!
I tested my water, everything looks alright, the water hardness/ calcium hardness/ ph could be higher but I'll deal with that once Hombre gets a bit better... I just treated the tank with API General Cure, my friend (and previous owner) talked today and concluded he is sick with something... I'll be dosing twice, 48 hours apart followed by a 25% water change. The treatment is 750mg metronidazole and 225mg praziquantel. Hope it works.
I will be putting the sand in once the treatment is done:)
Water chemistry:
GH- 30ppm
KH- 20ppm
pH- 7
NO2- 0ppm
NO3- 20ppm
 

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Well..... alrighty then.
*NODS* to associate. - - 'Oscar6'.
And, here we go.
First - Purchase REAL Pool Filtration Sand. By that, I mean purchase this from a reputable pool supply retailer. It WILL make a difference! Then, rinse the bejeesus outta that sand. NO Cloudiness!!!! And, I suspect all of this, will be important. Be successful !!!
 
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