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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help please identifying what caused the death of my Juvenile tropheus moori please :(
I have a 55 gallon tank with mostly all females consisting of an auratus, bumblebee, socolofi,yellow lab, 5 demasoni, polit, cynotilapia msobo, tiny babies, and then my poor moori :( So 5 days ago, I switched my substrate from rocks to play sand (rinsed good) So 3 days ago I noticed my moori was acting a tad different, he had sand on his body and on his eye, which was weird that he wasnt real bothered by it; the next day I noticed he was not eating, and was moving slower and just kinda hangin at the bottom of the tank. So that was Friday, decided to move him to a divided 10 gallon.
I assumed the sand was causing gill irritation; tried doing some research on that, but could not really find any info. He still was not eating, but was moving around more, plus he had no other visible signs of injury or sickness.
That Saturday we left early morning, went camping came back Sunday morning to find my poor moori dead. :( I am so bummed. I watch my fish pretty well, and cannot believe this happened. I guess what Im trying to say is that I never thought he looked like he was that sick or bothered to just die that quickly. I also know bloat is common in these mooris, but there was no other visible signs of any sickness.
All my other fish are acting normal,(I do 2 small water changes weekly) water parameters were 0 ammonia, 8 PH and nitrates were a little high at 40, so I am just wondering if somebody knows basicly if sand can irritate a fish enough to cause death;or are mooris that sensitive to higher nitrates, should i have removed my fish when adding the sand, or maybe if it was bloat, would a fish die with no visible signs. I am so stumped and so bummed, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Hi,

Sorry you lost the fish.

Sand would not cause the fish to die. Are you certain it was sand on him and not ick? Did the sand remain on him after you moved him to the ten gallon?

T. moorii are more sensitive to water conditions. High nitrate wouldn't kill him on its own but if the water conditions were poor for some time then this could have weakened him to such a point that he succombed to bloat or some other illness.

It's probably better to remove fish when you are changing substrates, especially if the substrate you are removing is deep or has been in the tank for a long time, or both. An-aerobic pockets of bacteria can develop in substrate over time as well just a build up of waste and the sudden release of either of these is not good for your fish.

Your other fish may have had something to do with the moorii's demise as you've got several that are known to be overly aggressive, the auratus being #1 on the list.

I wish I could tell you exactly what caused the death but unfortunately the symptoms you describe can be attributed to a number of different illnesses and conditions. If I had to guess I would say it was aggression just because of the known nature of your other fish.

I would keep an extra close watch on the rest of your fish. As a precaution I would do every other day partial water changes, (30-40%) for the next week using a good quality declorinator. Make sure that all fish are swimming normally, (nobody hanging at the top or bottom or hiding constantly), and that all fish are eating at every feeding.

Again, sorry you lost the fish.

Robin
 

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sweetsummerrose, I've never seen Tropheus do well long term in a Malawi tank. I think we've discussed this in the past.

I agree with Robin, it sounds like ich, possibly from the stress of the changes in the tank, but probably from the stress of being housed with the other fish you have.

If it was ich, I can't imagine other fish not showing symptoms. I would be prepared to treat the tank and do as Robin said and watch it closely for awhile. Water changes may help, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you ladies for your responses. Well we have had ich before and it was not ich, it was definitely sand, when I moved him to the ten gallon, it came off. This play sand was a finer sand, so thats why I assumed it was sand irritating his gills. I watch my fish quite often and always try and observe them, (past experiences with illnesses)so surprisingly all my fish in this tank were never bothered by my lil moori. The more research I do, now my guess would be the nitrates, I was quite surprised at how high they were, but within the past couple weeks all these little babies were in there causing more waste, so I probably should have been doing more water changes. Our python does not work on these tanks that are downstairs, we do not have a sink downstairs, so I have to do buckets, going up and down the stairs, so needless to say I probably have not been taking out as much water as I should be with my water changes due to the inconvenience. We use Prime as our dechlorinator. I since this has happened have learned how picky mooris are about water conditions, so I will be doing alot more water changes on this tank to get in check. I should know by now to test my parameters quite regularly, sad to say, I will be doing that alot more, and not just assume what the problem is. I feel so bummed, I had been watching this fish for months at a store, and did not want to pay the price for him, and obviously nobody else did either. So I bargained with the store, and was so happy when I got him, so just a little mad at myself. In almost 2 years I have only lost 2 fish due to death, and it has been the ones I paid the most for and wanted the most. Always learning. :(
 

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On the water changes: if it's easier you can do small, more frequent water changes. You want to remove 30-40% every week total but its fine to break that up into smaller, easier to carry water changes throughout the week. Depending on how high your nitrates are you may have to initially do larger, frequent water changes, (daily even), in order to get them down to less than 20ppm.

That's too bad about the T. Moorii--both that you lost him and how much you wanted him. They are truly irristable fish. But as Kim mentioned they really shouldn't be with mbuna so, resist you must! Unless you can find room for another tank. . . 8)

Robin
 

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The same thing happened to me once. There was a Tropheus duboisi alone in a tank at the LFS for months. I felt so sorry for him and finally broke down and bought him, placing him in a tank with more mellow mbuna. He did okay for a few months, but eventually he started looking stressed and within days, he was gone. I decided I really didn't do him any favours by taking him home, and scolded myself quite a bit because I really knew better.

Tropheus are super sensitive to water quality. I've kept them in large groups in the past, and had to be almost fanatical about the tank in order to keep them healthy. Weekly water changes of at least 40% were necessary, even with the best filtration possible on the tank. And you couldn't go over on them or put them off without seeing signs of it in the Tropheus.

They are amazing fish, but to enjoy them the most, best kept in a large colony of their own kind. You should try it some day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Kim and Robin for your responses and concern. I know I am so terribly mad at myself; I have a tendency to get attatched a little too easily. Out of all my fish, Why my moori!!!!!! Well, this will not happen again!!! The mooris and duboises have really grown on me, I am resisting to buy another mbuna, so someday I will have a tropheus tank. ( when they come down in price!! haha!!!!) Thank you very much again, always appreciated!
 

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If you really want a colony of Tropheus, try finding someone with a group of F1 juveniles. They will be alot more reasonably priced than any you'll find in the LFS.

That duboisi I "rescued" was an adult, at $30! I had a store credit or I probably wouldn't have done it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Kim, when the time comes I will definitely do that. I know the moori I bought was originally priced at $30, but the store had him for a couple months,(I went to the store at least once a week to check on him) I kept talking to the managers, and finally got him for half price. :thumb: (so I am a lil fish weirdo!!!)
 
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