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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, :fish: :fish:

Over the last couple of weeks, some of my fish have developed red discolouration at the base of their appendages e.g. gills, fins, tails and seem to be breathing quite rapidly. They're still eating fine and seem to be swimming around normally.

The tank is a 125 gallon, currently stocked with around 25 African peacock cichlids ranging from juveniles to young adults, all males. It has been cycled for years now, and I do 50% water changes every 2 weeks. I just checked water parameters and they are: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 40ppm nitrates (I'm working on reducing the nitrates with more water changes). Temperature hovering around 27C/80F.

If anyone has any idea what this could potentially be, that would be greatly appreciated. Happy new year!

[apologies, photos were too large to embed]
 

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Are your test kits up to date?

I would increase your water change to weekly if you can or at least 50% now to drop your nitrate lower. I will assume your tap water has no nitrate correct?

I would lower the temperature to 76F or 78F as their is no real need to keep it at 80F.

I usually associate red gill and body parts that are in your pics with elevated nitrate levels.

Have you cleaned out your filters lately? What are you using for filtration, canister, sump, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Deeda. Yeah, The test kit is up to date. At the moment, it's summer here in Australia, so the water has been a bit warmer but hopefully it should come down over the next few weeks. I'll do more frequent water changes and see how that goes. I'm using a sump filtration at the moment, and the filters haven't been cleaned out in a while. How often would you recommend changing the filter floss, or is it highly variable depending on stocking and feeding?
 

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Filter cleaning can be variable due to stocking and feeding so everyone is a bit different.

I have never used a sump but it would make sense that at least some particulates will get by the first or second medias used to catch debris. Do a visual inspection of your sump and try to vacuum out any debris that you see as well as floss, sponges, etc.

If your tap water does NOT contain any nitrate or it's lower than your tank levels, look to the sump as the problem.
 
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