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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently set up a malawi fish tank (58gals), now with 16 fish. I noticed that most of them are scratching on the substrate. I added fine coral sand on ordinary aquarium gravel. I read that fine coral sand causes gill irritations on fish. Is that true? All the stats (ph, kh, gh, No2, No3, ammonia) looked ok. Fish seemed happy, anyway.
 

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Yeah most of the time it happens in new tank and after water changes, as they adjust to the water parameters. Do be sure to use a high quality dechlorinater. Are you adding anything to your water in terms of buffer recipes?
We refer to this action as "flashing" and it's natural behavior for African cichlids
 

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i would get rid of the gravel and have coral sand only,
it will make cleaning a whole lot easier. i have coral sand and no it does not cause gill irritations in fact mbuna love to sift, spit and dig pits in it.

the scratching is called flashing and they will do this from time to time on occasions after water changes or sudden changes in water parameters....however................
if they are doing a lot of it, like several times a minute (each) perhaps there could be another problem called ich.
this can be seen on fish as little grains like salt and can be remedied by checking out the library section i think it's under illness.

hope this helps

regards chromedome :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all your comments. It's a relief to know it's just "flashing". I'm definitely sure it's not ich as I have had a long history of death and diseases in my previous tank set-ups.
 
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