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sometimes my kenyi shows her bars and is a lighter blue, other times shes a dark blue barely showing her bars at all. Ph is 8.0, ammonia a little less than .25, nitrite is still up and down between .25 and 4.0. I know the ammonia and nitrite are supposed to be zero but my tank is still cycling. I thought it was done when i added the fish but i was wrong! im doing water changes everyday to keep the ammonia and nitrite low and adding beneficial bacteria to help speed up th process. It should be done within the next week or two. in fact it has gotten alot better my acei had black spots and i had posted a topic two weeks ago and was told it had chemical burn probably from the ammonia beinhigh. almost all of the black spots are gone now and all the fish seem to be doing alot better. Theres really no aggression in the tank except between my red zebra and cobalt but it has died down big time since about two days after adding the cobalt. Sorry for the long talk but just wanted to explain everything first. Pretty much what im askin if a cichlid is showing more of its color is it stressed or is this normal?
 

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they do change with mood, but tank size and stocking can affect how likely they are to be coloured up more or less of the time. Until your cycle is done, don't expect too much.
 

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Fish usually become paler or show stress coloration (bars and beard for yellow labs) when water parameters are bad.
 
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