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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I hope I am doing this correctly, but I'm in a little bit of a rush because im worried about my fish.

I started with 18 African Cichlids, in a 125ltr Tank.
Recently I'm seeing erratic swimming from one, I mean like somersaults floating backward, sinking and then speeding off to the surface, strange stuff,
One other is fish rubbing itself on the sand floor, another sitting near the bottom a lot looking very depressed.

This all started about 24 hrs ago, prior to that everything was fine apart from one poor tank boss scaring the rest of them into huddling at the end of the tank.
He attacked another fish to the extent his eye popped out, and sadly he died shortly after, so to save any other injuries I quarantined him, only to come back from work to find him dead also!!

Can anyone please suggest what I'm doing wrong?

Tank is about 3 weeks old, has perfect monitored heat source, I've cheched the ph and it's fine, I waited for the bacteria and water conditioner to selttle for two weeks prior to introducing fish.

So i have 16 now, and 2 more look like they aren't long for this world.

Please help if you can.
 

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Depending on the species, 18 cichlids may be too many for a 33G tank. What are the species and genders?

Two weeks does not sound like enough time for a good cycle, even with bottled bacteria.

Get an API Master Freshwater test kit with test tubes and regeants and post your results for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Usually IME eyes pop out because of illness or water quality as opposed to an attack.

For immediate improvement, even if not a complete solution, change 25% of the water tonight and 30% in the morning.
 

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If you've only added bottled bacteria and water conditioner, that is not the way to cycle a tank and your ammonia is probably off the charts with the amount of fish you have. You fish are dying from ammonia poisoning.

Find a tutorial about fish-in cycling and follow it. Also do major water changes as DJRansome said.
 

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There is an article about how to do it in the Cichlid-forum Library. Let's get the test results first...maybe it is early enough for a couple of water changes to turn things around.

WiseOwl, welcome to Cichlid-forum by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello everyone and thank you for the warm welcome to the forum I really hope you are able to help and save some fishy lives.

I had lost another fish this morning and tested my nitrate nitrite and and ammonia levels which for some reason are all through the roof.

I had been advised not to change the water in the first 6 weeks but but it looks like I'm going to have to,.

Ok so so following a quick trip to to B&Q to get a larger bucket for changing a larger percentage of the water another 3 fish have died.

So I currently have 12 cichlids left.

I have changed 40% of the water but there are still one or two of them fairly stagnant near the bottom of the tank
 

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I would do 50% daily water changes for weeks until ammonia, nitrite read 0, and nitrate reading increases. I used to do fish-in cycles by doing this and it took 4-5 weeks of large daily water changes until the cycle was established. It may be too late for some fish who the ammonia has already damaged too much.
 

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ken31cay said:
I would do 50% daily water changes for weeks until ammonia, nitrite read 0, and nitrate reading increases. I used to do fish-in cycles by doing this and it took 4-5 weeks of large daily water changes until the cycle was established. It may be too late for some fish who the ammonia has already damaged too much.
Plus one. Or even 2X daily, morning and night.

Get a Python water changer, it makes changes much easier and water changes are the #1 best thing you can do for the fish.
 

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DJRansome said:
Or even 2X daily, morning and night.
Get a Python water changer, it makes changes much easier and water changes are the #1 best thing you can do for the fish.
Agreed, because of the currently high toxins I would do this for 4-5 days, then move to once daily. Python will be an immense help.
 

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Don't forget to provide the dimensions of your tank as well as the species, gender and number of each for after your tank is cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok strange development, one by one they are swimming erratically, upside-down, barrel rolls and dying. Only got 9 left, absolutely no idea whats causing this.
 

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There is no mystery, this is being caused by nitrate nitrite and and ammonia levels being through the roof. If you know what it is, you can fix it. As mentioned, some fish may be too damaged to recover. The ones that were not already swimming erratically may improve over the next couple of days. After your 40% water change this morning, what are your test results?

Change 50% tonight. As mentioned, some fish may be too damaged to recover. The ones that were not already swimming erratically may improve over the next couple of days, but it is not instantaneous.

For the future, this is a 30" tank and not big enough for most Lake Malawi. I would choose different fish, or put them in a different tank. Depending on the species, you might be able to get away with a 55G tank that is 48" long and 12" deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Almost 70% water changed now i would say. New water treated a d bacteria added too.

Thank you for the quick response, very much appreciated
 

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So you did 40% this morning and 30% tonight?

What are the test results?
 

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I would change more water tonight if you can. When you did the 30% you could have done 50% and you desperately need the reduction in toxins. Even ammonia1ppm is toxic, but anything higher than that is not very survivable.

Another 50% tonight will get your ammonia to 2.5ppm.

Another 50% tomorrow morning will get your ammonia down closer to 1ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok another 50% done, water treated again before siphoning back into tank, used a kettle to get the new water closer to right temp first too.


New test results incoming shortly.
 

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:popcorn:
 
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