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60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, long time lurker. Have had my new 55g up and running for a month now, fully cycled.
Ammo: 0
Nitrire : 0
Nitrate : 0.5
Gh: 180
Kh 160
Ph 7.7
Temp 79-82'
Stock: 6 maylandia greshakei 4f 2m
3 labidochromis caeruleus 1m 2f
3 albino zebras still small juvies 1m:?
1 elongstus chewere i think its female.(its male)
1 female hybrid from my old setup.
3 red zebra esterae 1m 2f
A single fry probably more..4 survived!
And my male williams ice blue red top.
So all fish interact, eat well, poop normally excpet my ice blue.
His poop is like a thread of fishing line. Almost like a grey hair. No suken belly of missing slime coat scales/gillls all look fine. He goes through the motions to eat but doesnt. Noticably not growing as much as the others.
My question is what do i aim to kill...
In all my cichlid keeping years this is the first fish *** seen with this...
Any help much appreicated.


Super Moderator
40,716 Posts
I would isolate the sick fish and treat with metronidazole for bloat. Plan to rehome this having 2 males may have caused the problem initially.

Prevention for next have several species of Metriaclima in the tank...chose one. Greshakei, estherae red zebra, albino zebra. This will help manage aggression and eliminate hybrids. In a 55G I would skip the greshakei...they are aggressive and better in a 75G or larger. I would skip the red zebras with the yellow labs...choose one.

Finally, add females to the remaining groups. Shoot for 1m:4f for the peaceful ones and 1m:7f for the elongatus and the albino zebra since they are hybrids and may be more aggressive.

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for reply. Not really having aggression issues, the two males live opposite ends. Its a 5ft 55g long. I decided to add aome epsom salt and sea salt. Not very much tho, definatly made all the fish seem happier but that may just be me..
He ate some cucumber which is good, a little bit algea flake too (jbl novo malawi) i noticed about half an hour after salt he was pooping and it seemed thicker and more "normal" still a little stringy. Im thinking this could be stress related due to him flashing to the girls and the chewere kept interfering thinking its a challange and chasing him off? I've shuffled the rocks a little an gave him a more of an out of line of sight cave. As i said i've kept cichlid mainly all maylandia for years, never had issues with aggression or parasites, The albinos were from the lfs, i know its niche but i like the colors of the adults. Peachy white with blue fins, beautiful!
Labs an reds get on fine. I know they get bigge and badass but yh they all get on for now. He ate tonight so Ill keep an eye on him before i go the chemical path. Its not bloat, dealt with that in the past.
I feel isolating him will worsen its moral..

Super Moderator
40,716 Posts
Stress/hassment is the most common reason for bloat. If he is eating and having food colored feces then he does not have bloat.

Why would he be feeling stressed if there is no harassment?

Hope all continues to improve.

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Despite this guy picking up and eating hes now stopped eating and found a little spot by the intake cage.
I really do think this is some paranoid anxiety (not me!) this fish is going through and thus stressed through the waterline...ehm..roof.

Im going to start a course of meds tomorrow.
Epsom and rock salt already in added, all other fish seem fine.
Will not feed an raise temp a little for 2 days...
Sound like a plan?

Yh the stress im diagnosing this on..this little guys gotten weak, thus the parasite taking hold.
Im obviously spelling this wrong but "metrozinadole" is that the right meds to grab?

So, i have a single male chewere in with a group of 5 m.greshakei. + others. i mention them because the chewere mainly shows the same "tone" almost like camo mode as the greshakei. You could mistake it for a female at times?!
If it gets annoyed for whatever reason, wow. The color shift still blows my old mind! Defo a male..
So i noticed when any male does the dance for a girl, chewere comes and interferes..but doesnt back off from the obviously angered male (no circling,liplocks) neither does it try to hybridize which i dont want...

My sick ice blue "was" dominant. Perhaps hes super depressed because the chewere IS tougher but hes too sick, so wont fight to retain his "pecker status"
Ill reserve some elongatus chewere in the shop tomo when i get the meds and set up a 59"14"23", dirty cycle it and get the chewere in a species only.
And i was looking forward to a relaxing day.....

9,100 Posts
Yes, try Metronidazole. If he is lethargic and won't eat, it probably is bloat. Treat the whole tank. This is basically a gastrointestinal problem, they can't eat and feel lousy. Eventually their belly fills up with fluid (bloated) before death.

Seems like you had full fish stock in the tank pretty quickly, may not be as cycled as you think. Poor water quality is the main problem, then when they get stressed from being moved around or pecking order issues they can get sick.

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
*** fed him something thatll make most mbuna folk kick the monitor or swear aloud...
Going to see how he gets on.
The salts gave definately improved things.
I think *** found a way to stop that skinny fish thing. 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅 馃槅
Yes he had some thread poop.
Yes, he stopped eating and shyed away..
Yes hes back in the group! showing color, sayin hello!
In like 15 minutes from feeding the yet to be disclosed forbidden food for mbuna, he perked up. Hes like a different fish.
Like im back baby kind of thing lol
Im gonna watch these guy VERY closely.
Thanks for support and wisdom guys

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will say what he ate like a breaching great white to a scrummy seal pup once i know hes 100%
Also will explain my thinking on deciding too
Im suprised genuinely!

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thought id chime in with an update.
The fish are all doing great.
As you know the sick guy(bloat,skinny,parasite) wasnt eating any of the foods the rest were savaging at dinner time.
As i said he was shying away not eating, hiding near the pipea.
i own a cat who has eaten her fair share of tuna over the years.
Here comes the fits of rage on you gurus!
His poop is normal, hes gaining weight and starting to "claim" a corner albeit near the top but trying none the less.
I gave him a little flake thing of tuna fish.
Tuna fish in brine in fact, drained.
I know long intestine, fibre, folk lore rules.
No i dont recommend feeding mbuna tuna.
I spooked the rest and dropped in the flake where he was hiding near the top. Ensuring it was only him that got the single piece.
He seriously wanted it, i know that much!
My thinking was if its not eaten there and then remove it, if it was refused then the fish didnt want anything from it, if its a bad stomache thing going on with the fish, what would is do in the wild?
Parrits eat clay, dogs eat grass etc..
Not all but most metriclima are omnivorus.
Perhaps naturally they would want a fry if it was lacking protiens and would go on a hunt?
Either was he has improved day by day since.
*** done extra water changes and keeping things 'tidy'
Ill be back!

89 Posts
I鈥檓 by no means a guru, but I definitely appreciate the amount of experience people on this forum bring to theses discussions.

Keep us posted though. Sounds interesting.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

60x18x24 1700gph argonite crushed mbuna
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes very clever people who are kind enough to help fellow fish owners, and yes im still suprised myself.
He ate with everyone today, hes kind of shrunk proportienatly like his fina seem huge, its quiet a cool look!
Happy he has pulled through so far :D
Ill put up a pic later.
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