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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 46 gal bowfront cichlid setup. The setup has moon rock and eco-complete gravel. I have about 15 african cichlids(mostly Malawi). They hardley ever fight and they always eat. Recently I switched over to a Rena canister filter. I'm not sure if my incident is tied to that. I noticed the other day that about half of the fish maybe more are moving their gills/mouths rapidly. They sometimes scrape against objects in the tank. The scraping is inconsistent. They still eat. They still have great color and swim around like normal. I'm not sure if maybe I just never noticed it before or if its new behavior. Input anyone......Please

Thanks in advance

Greg
 

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What was your previous filter & did you leave it on the tank when you added the Rena filter?

How long has this tank been setup?

What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? pH, gH and kH?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the previous filter was aBio wheel 350. No i did not leave it in. All the redings are great.
Amonia-0
PH-8.1
Nitrate-0
nitrite-50ppg
I might have mixed up the nitrate and nitrite one I can never remember which one is which.
 

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I still need to know how long this tank has been set up? You really should have left the old filter on there for a few weeks unless you put the used media in your new Rena canister.

If the nitrIte is 50PPM, your tank is still cycling, do a 25% water change. If the nitrAte is 50PPM, you need to do at least a 25% water change ASAP. Don't forget to add Prime or your preferred conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the tank has been set up for about six months....its not cycling. last time i tested the water the nitrate was right where it was supposed to be. I test the water religiously. All the levels are fine. Since i got confused the nitrate test was red the lighter shade of the two. lol i cant remember the #. Could it be parasitic?
 

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I would verify the nitrate/nitrite readings ASAP. Either way, a water change is in order.

What is your normal tank maintenance routine?

How often are they flashing?

Is it focused more on the gill area?

Any fin deterioration?

Visible outward signs of parasites?

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
they are not flashing often, but enough to make me worry. The water is changed religiously every two to three weeks. Stress zyme and a PH buffer are added as well. The media in the filter is changed separately once every month or month and a half. There are no visible signs of parasites at all. No fungus or mucous near the gills or mouth. I need to buy a new test kit. My LFS told me the ammonia was high and the nitrates were high as well due to the filter change. I changed half the water today and put in ammonia neutralizer and TLC bacteria and all the other standard water change chemicals. Now they are acting sluggish and appear to be worse. A couple of them are just laying on the bottom or tucked themselves off to the side. UGGHHHHH getting nervous!
 

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Here is my two cents. Find out what the pH of your tapwater is. If it's above 7.5, I would stop adding the pH buffer.

Get rid of the Stresszyme & use Prime as your dechlorinator. Ammonia neutralizer & "other standard water change chemicals" shouldn't be necessary & are just a waste of $$$ in my opinion.

Do a 25% water change at least once a week.

Stop changing the filter media. Only rinse out the hard media in used fish tank water. If the media pad is slightly dirty, rinse it out in used fish tank water.

I looked at your tank photo & description of your fish. I'm not familiar personally with the fish you have but I think you will have problems with the mix. I'm just basing this on what I've seen other posters recommend.
 

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It sounds to me like you need to clean the tank up, ASAP. I would do several 25% water changes over the next couple of days, and pick up that new test kit.

That's a pretty good sized fish load for this size tank, and once you get the water under control, I would recommend at least a 30-40% water change weekly, not every 2-3 weeks.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks guys for all the input. After doing the water change and everything the fish are back to normal. it took a day or two but everything is fine. I appreciate the info and will do a water change once a week rather than every two weeks.
 
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