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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening everyone!
I think I have an issue in my tank but am unsure what it is or what to do about it.
I picked up 6 large Mbuna about a month ago and they have been eating with gusto since. However, 4 of them seem to be getting progressively skinnier. What do you think is the issue.
Additionally, I had one of my original cichlids die unexpectedly 2 days ago. It wasn’t skinny and after inspecting the fish, seemed to me to be a completely happy healthy fish(apart from the fact it was dead). My water is perfect.

Are the two things linked?
What do I do about the skinny fish?
Water Fin Organism Fish supply Fish
 

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Did they have somewhat sunken bellies when you bought them or didn't you notice it? Are the feces food colored and normal size OR are they thin, thready and whitish in color?

It is doubtful the death of one of your original fish is related unless the new fish have parasites which I'm not saying is true at this point.

If you test your tank water, post the parameters for nitrate as I will assume the tank is cycled barring any issues. What is your normal water change routine for both frequency and amount of water changed.

Do you know if the fish you bought were pond raised and did you get them locally or online? Just curious if locally the store is having the same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. They did have sunken bellies when I bought them. I assumed that they weren’t being fed enough. The tank has been set up for a year now. I know that nitrate won’t be an issue. I do 40% water changes every fortnight. I test my water weekly for any issues and it is always pretty good. As far as I know, at this point they still have solid poo. Is any of this an issue I need to take care of?

Also, I got them from a guy online. He was advertising them as a healthy breeding colony but I think I may have been scammed a little bit.
 

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Is this your 50G tank with other species or are they in a separate tank?

If they are eating well but still losing weight, it's always possible they have internal parasites. Unfortunately I've never dealt with them so hopefully someone else may have some suggestions for what medication to use.

What brand and type food are you feeding them? How often are you feeding and do you see the ones with sunken bellies actually get enough food?

A 40% water change every two weeks may not be sufficient depending on the stocking level in the tank. Is there any reason why you didn't post your test results, we often ask for the specific numbers if using a liquid test kit or a pic if using test strips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pH: 8.4
Kh:12
Gh:10
Ammonia:0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate:10
The reason I didn’t post the results is because I couldn’t be bothered to write them out. I am happy with them as they are what I always shoot for.
Separate tank. It’s my breeding colony of electric yellows. 12 fish. 10 females, 2 males. 55 gallon.
I feed them twice daily. Small(ish) amounts. I give several different kinds of food. Fluval vege flakes, Fluval cichlid formula, dainichi ultima krill and new life spectrum probiotix. No specific order to any of them… just kinda feed whichever whenever.

Do you have any idea how long I have to get on top of the issue if it is an internal parasite?
 

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I have never had skinny fish that were still eating. When you quarantined them for 3 weeks before adding to the general population...did they get skinnier during that period as well, or did they gain a little?

I might try isolating them to eliminate competition as a cause. Then I might try prazi pro which has never done anything for me...but possibly because I have never had true parasites. Then I might try metronidazole, which I have used with success for bloat, but never when fish were eating and had normal feces.

I think it will take a while to fatten them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They got slightly worse since the beginning of quarantine but not enough to worry me. They have since worsened. Unfortunately where I am in Australia, metronidazole is quite hard to get. I have some general cure on hand… is it worth giving that a try?
 

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I'd put them back in quarantine...at least the one. General cure is better than nothing because it contains some metronidazole.
 

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I had an mbuna that kept losing weight. Medicating him for worms didn't work, and he seemed to be eating well. I put some floating fish pellets for my goldfish in there to see if that helped him eat. It was a short term experiment that worked. After a couple of days of that, then he was eating his regular food very well and put weight on quickly. I figured he just wasn't aggressive enough. The other fish weren't going for the floating pellets, so he got them to himself. I was able to find out that he was actually struggling to eat food, would spit it out, then be able to eat it. I figure that he was spitting out the sinking food, and the other mbunas would grab it before he could the 2nd time. Because of this, he actually looked like he was eating but was only getting a tiny amount... He has since learned how to eat and is doing great on the sinking pellets.

It's more likely parasites though with your fish as it is more than one of them.
 
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