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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:fish: , I'm having a slight concern for my tank. I have a 30 Gallon, newly set-up tank. I allowed it to cycle for 4 weeks, and parameters are perfect aside from my water being slighty soft. We purchased 2 Melanochromis Auratus, 1 "electric Yellow Labido", 1 Blue Johanni, and 1 pictus catfish. The first day of them being added to the tank, The catfish broke out with Ick. No other fish were sick, and I did treat and cure the disease, but in three days later my catfish became lethargic, and his his barbels were lost. Personally I caught my 2 "Auratus" attacking the barbels and I'm thinking they ate them off. Strangely enough, I feed these fish 3 times a day, and they seem always hungry. I'm not familar with Cichlids, I'm learning as I go. Since The catfish died, my other fish seem to be "itchy", Rubbing on the decor in the tank, and doing a little spazzy fin dance. LOL. No one seems stressed, and there are no spots anywhere on any fish.. What could this be? Marking of the teritory? I do Have a bully already, He's the boss, and the others know it. LOL. Could this be fish lice or some other disease? Please help??
 

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Well, you have a need to be concerned.

This tank isn't large enough for two of the species you are trying to keep...The auratus and the johanni both need much larger tanks to keep their aggression in check.

So, whether the fish appear to be stressed or not, odds are that they are stressed.

Mbuna also are not pairing fish, and should not be housed as such. They are harem breeders. A male auratus can easily require 5-6 females...Having two will eventually result in only having one. Auratus are one of the most notoriously aggressive of the mbuna family, and I wouldn't try housing them in less than a 75G tank.

How did you cycle the tank?

What are the current water parameters on the tank?

The catfish probably developed ich from the stress of being picked on. The fact that your other fish are flashing more than normal indicates either an external parasite of some sort, or poor water quality.

We really need a lot more information.

Did you do anything to treat the ich with the catfish? (As you've found out, pictus cats aren't always a good mix with mbuna...)

I would focus on taking care of the current health issues in the tank and then I would remove the auratus and johanni and replace with more appropriate fish for your tank size. What is the footprint (dimensions) of the tank?

Are you doing any tank maintenance? What is your schedule?

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Well, I'm bummed now. We don't have much for aquariums around our area and we purchased our fish from a near by Petco. I assumed that the two species of fish would be fine housed in the 30 gallon for now given that they were both in the same tank at Petco. Petco, didn't really tell us anything about the species, and I didn't do much research before we bought them, I was under the assumption that any fish from Lake Malawi would do fine together. We live in a tiny apartment and have room for just the 30 gallon, plus the tank was free to begin with.
Now when you say "mbuna" what do you mean? Which species are the harem breeders? I thought they were all mouth breeders?
As for the "bully" in my tank, he/she is the bigger of the 2 Auratus. He is larger than the other in the tanks, I'd say the johanni, and the auratus, are an inch, to an inch and a half, and my yellow lab, is maybe 3/4 of an inch.. he's very small. He definately knows that he's the boss, and doesn't care to show it.
I cycled my tank by setting up the decor, rocks, etc. Adding water and letting it run. I also added some Stress Zyme to help the good bacteria grow. Made sure I always checked my levels, and made sure the water temp was good. Right now, I'm using the 5 in 1 test strips. my nitrates, are at 0, my nitrites are at 0, my hardness is between 25-75 ppm,my alkalinity is between 120-180 ppm, my ph is at 7.4-7.8. I know they like it higher and I'm working on that.
I was doing research last weekend, on how to harden my water and help raise the ph levels, and most websites said to used crushed coral in the tank. So I went and bought some but I have not added it to the tank, because the bag said it was mean't for salt water. Should I add some ??
I'm not sure of the "footprints of the tank, How should I measure it by? All I know is my friend who gave me the tank said it was a 30 gallon, and she had issues with her tank due to her water conditions.
I am using a water conditioner when I do partials, and with the intitial set-up, I'm using tetra AquaSafe..I also have another, same stuff except it has nitroband in it..
Now when I treated my tank for ick, I used this stuff called "quick cure" and it told me to take out my filters when being treated. I did exactly what the bottle said, and two days later my catfish had little to no spots. He was odd to begin with when we brought him home, so i thought his behavior was normal.
I have only had the fish for a week, so far I feed them 3 times a day, little at a time. They devor all flakes with nothing left over. I did a partial last night maybe 25% just to remove some treated water, but not enough to stress them out. The filters have been in for a few days, and my water still has some cloudyness to it, but not much.. i planned on doing another partial sunday or monday.. Would this be a good idea?
How should I take a pic of our tank? This way you can see what I've done, good or bad?
 

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ToBeFrink said:


I cycled my tank by setting up the decor, rocks, etc. Adding water and letting it run. I also added some Stress Zyme to help the good bacteria grow. Made sure I always checked my levels, and made sure the water temp was good. Right now, I'm using the 5 in 1 test strips. my nitrates, are at 0, my nitrites are at 0, my hardness is between 25-75 ppm,my alkalinity is between 120-180 ppm, my ph is at 7.4-7.8. I know they like it higher and I'm working on that.
I was doing research last weekend, on how to harden my water and help raise the ph levels, and most websites said to used crushed coral in the tank. So I went and bought some but I have not added it to the tank, because the bag said it was mean't for salt water. Should I add some ??
It sounds like your tank hasn't cycled yet @ all. you should get an ammonia spike, followed by a nitrite spike, then your nitrates should never read 0.

here's a link. http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cycling.php

Add the crushed coral. just rinse it good first as you would any substrate.
 

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You aren't the first person to make these mistakes, and you won't be the last.

With Malawi cichlids, (all cichlids, actually) it's all about territories. The footprint (dimensions) of a 30G tank won't have enough "territory" to go around for the more aggressive species.

With Malawi cichlids, there are mbuna (what you have), haps and peacocks. All are mouthbrooders...Mbuna are the more aggressive of the 3. Each male requires several females in an effort to keep him from killing just one female. You already have too many species in that size tank to even begin to fulfill that requirement, plus the Melanochromis species (auratus and johanni) are of the more aggressive ones, so that's stacked against you as well. They are young now, but you already see that you have one trying to take charge. As they mature, it will result in stress, illness and death.

It does sound as if the tank wasn't cycled, and is going through that now. Those dipstick test kits are as unreliable as can be. Using meds in a tank this early likely hasn't helped the situation any.

You're going to need to some test kits to pull this off, the liquid reagent ones are best. And, you're probably going to have to do alot of water changes...

Read through the article provided on cycling a tank above...

Kim
 
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