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Prized Cichlid May Be Sick !?!?!

2005 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  drummerguydw
Ok, so I just started my mbuna tank, and I got it cycled and everything. Then after it was done with that, I decided to add some mbuna

current list

2 yellow labs
4 cobalt blues
4 red zebras
2 rusty cichlids
1 johanni
1 Metriaclima zebra

*** been testing the water and everything looks really good, I did a 40% water change when adding these new guys in. I am running a wet/dry sump doing about 650 gallons per hour in a 55 gallon tank. I use seachem malawi buffer and almquel+ for the dechlorinater. I am feeding hikari cichlid staple pellets with spirulina flakes 2 times a day, about as much as they can eat in 45 seconds per feeding.

When I brought home the big metriaclima mentioned, he looked very normal, nothing wrong, a little aggressive. But very healthy, its been about 4-5 days now and he looks kinda bloated now. He doesnt seem to want to eat nearly as much, and his agression has gone down a little. He is very active still, still shows he is the boss of the tank, and is swimming normally.

My question is, I personally think he might have bloat because he looks considerably fatter/declines eating, plus I saw some strands of white/clear feces in the tank today. Nobody else seems to think theres anything wrong, they think it may be on the verge of laying eggs to brood them (doubtful), or it just ate too much and is cutting back now.

What are your opinions, I have a hospital tank up and running now just in case I should take him out and start treating.
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It's impossible to say at this point.

You may be overfeeding them, so I would fast them for a couple of days, and add epsom salt to the tank at 1 cup per 100G - it serves as a laxative and may solve your problem.

This is going to remain a high stress tank with all those zebra variants, they are all going to see each other as competition, and it's not that large of a tank. You may have continued health problems because of the stress!

If you fast them for a couple of days and he's not slimming down or starts to refuse food completely, post back. The epsom salt should also help, so don't forget that.

Should you see any white stringy feces accompanied by refusing food or reclusive behaviour, you might be dealing with bloat and would need to treat. But since he is still eating some, I wouldn't medicate a new tank unless I had no other choice.

This is a fairly new fish, so he's adjusting to your foods and feeding amounts. I'm always hesitant to offer new fish pellets, since you can pretty much bet on them being fed flake in the LFS. Dietary changes and overfeeding can cause the problems you are having now.

It's hard not to jump to conclusions, especially when we hear so much about bloat with these fish. The truth of the matter is that if we reduce the stressors in our tanks, we can almost completely eliminate problems like that, so it's always good to be aware of what is going on in your tank. You mentioned aggression in your first post, and this is a highly aggressive mix of fish.

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No, no hidden agenda with the digging. Welcome to the world of mbuna! :lol:

They eat, they dig, they poop, they fight. Then they dig some more. They drive me crazy and I drive them crazy, leveling the sand back out so they can start all over again...

After you fast them for a couple of days, try cutting back to one feeding a day, no more than they can consume in 1 minute. For people who tend to overfeed (like my husband) that seems to work better for them, and the fish!

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