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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an 80 gallon tank that used to be my mbuna tank, and has been converted for Tropheus.

I got a colony of 20 duboisi maswa from a breeder, good quality fish, all about 1.25" or so.

Here's my tank setup:
1 Fluval FX5
1 Rena XP4
Hydor Koralia 4 powerhead (moving water towards the filter intake)
Tons of rocks, sand and caves, a few aquatic plants.

I've had mbuna in the tank for over a year so it's well established. The fish in the tank are:
6 Pseudotropheus demasoni (mbuna that love to spawn, kept a small colony, unknown male to female ratio)
2 Garra Garra algae eaters
3 Bushynose Plecos
20 Tropheus duboisi maswa

I watched very closely to make sure there were no hostility issues, and for the first 3 weeks, I noticed none. The demasoni leave the tropheus alone, and vice versa. There are no hostility issues outside of normal mbuna on mbuna and tropheus on tropheus action.

Water temp is around 77 degrees F.

What happened was that after about three weeks, I noticed I had a dead tropheus. Then another. Then two more. They wouldn't be bloated, they wouldn't have white feces hanging out of them, so I don't think it was that. I feed only New Life Spectrum cichlid formula (with the occasional spirulina flake) about twice a day.

The fish that I was finding were white (scales eaten off after death by the Garra Garra or plecos) but had their eyes and just died.

When I took the rocks out I found a few more skeletons, and now, two weeks later, I'm down to 3 Tropheus left. These three seem very healthy, about 2.5" now, one is starting to change colors. They are playful and everyone seems okay.

I haven't done a water test yet, but I will. Both filters are established and the tank is significantly overfiltered.

A friend said he thought I had too much flow, the water was too turbulent, and that the fish were dying from stress or exhaustion. Does this make sense? Should I take the powerhead out?

Please help - I love Tropheus but I can't afford to keep buying colonies if they keep dying on me!
 

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Tropheus were born to deal with high water flow. They typically will find the calm areas in a tank and go to them when they are a little tuckered out.

Were these fish shipped to you or did you pick them up? What were the fish eating when the breeder had them? Did you continue with that food or just switch them over to NLS? How big are your feedings of NLS? Was it the 1mm formula or grow formula?

Demasoni are beautiful but nasty fish. Unless there were some kind of water quality issue, I'd look to them. Often times aggression is played out when the lights are off and they only have ambient room light and we're not there to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fish were bought from Jim at Mainly Cichlids, which is a great cichlid fish shop here in town. His fish are almost always healthy and he gets them from Old World down in Florida I think.

They were eating spirulina flake every other day at his shop, but were only there a week or so before I bought them. I have alternated feedings of Spirulina flake and NLS every other day for the first couple of weeks then switched to NLS. I feed a pinch or two, enough that it's gone within 2 minutes or so.

it's the standard 1mm cichlid formula, not grow.

I really don't think the Demasoni are the cause, but I could be wrong. It's tough to tell.

I checked water quality last night, everything looks normal for being 10 days from the last water change. (I usually do 30% every two weeks, due for another one on Saturday).
 

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Very hard to diagnose.

I'm not reading anything in your post to suggest it's your tank or water quality and the kicker is that typically 1.5" tropheus are rather hardy.

Just FYI, but the most risky time for tropheus is during and just after shipping. If they had been starved for a few days prior to shipping, and then were stressed out due to the shipping, their empty guts would have been the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. The weakest fish pass away first with the strongest fish lasting longer before finally losing the battle. Tropheus fry are not usually prone to this problem though.

I can't help but look to the demasoni, knowing how aggressive they are with themselves and tank mates. Even enough aggression to simply stress the tropheus out could have been the cause.

Were they eating in your tank consistently up to the point of dying? Or were there tropheus who had stopped eating and were acting listless and isolating themselves from the rest of the tropheus?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah they did seem to be acting listless and isolating themselves, as well as losing their color a bit.

But they were still eating if I remember right.
 

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You're describing symptoms of blockage or bloat.

I know hindsight is 20/20 but medication would have been warranted after losing the first couple of fish if those symptoms were evident. Those are the most critical things to watch for with a group of tropheus while feeding them.

To be honest, I would also stay away from 1mm sized pellets with new tropheus at that size. I use the grow/smallfish formula very sparingly initially and then until they're about 2". Just my two cents though. ;)
 

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Sounds like bloat due to stress...

Sudden change of diet can cause bloat...I know Jim feeds his fish a special flake that you can't get anywhere (besides from him or online) locally.

The trophs tank mates could lead to stress too. Trophs don't handle stress well, you would have been better off introducing your new trophs into their own tank.

That sucks...
 

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Prob with mixing Mbuna with Tropheus (and quite a few other fish inc gobie cichlids I think) is not always down to agression. I think it is often down to the gut bugs Mbuna (or other fish) have and are used to but the new stressed (any fish just shipped is still stressed) and has not got its normal gut flora) tropheus seem especialy suseptable to.

Dunno but when mixing Mbuna and Troph I like to keep both separate for at least 6 weeks in my tanks before mixing them.

Sorry for your problems, I can not say for sure it is the stuff many regular Malawi mbuna often carry and survive infecting your Troph but it would be my guess.

(same reason I never buy Tropheus from a shop or dealer that keeps em in the same water as Mbuna)

All the best James
 

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Tang24 said:
Hello it seems that I have the same problem as well. I want to cry
Been there, done that. Lost two colonies this way before my current one was established.

Not fun. I had luck with a regimen of Metronidazole. Follow directions but go the full 3 dosage cycles, with the water changes between them. My approach was to treat the entire tank, rather than trying to soak food.
 

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I just read through this whole thread and was so happy that Northshore was back with us.

For bloat with Tropheus. Treat with metro 1/4tsp per 40g every 8 hours for one week.
 

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noddy said:
I just read through this whole thread and was so happy that Northshore was back with us.
You realize this was a thread from 2010?
 

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I've got an 80 gallon tank that used to be my mbuna tank, and has been converted for Tropheus.

I got a colony of 20 duboisi maswa from a breeder, good quality fish, all about 1.25" or so.

Here's my tank setup:
1 Fluval FX5
1 Rena XP4
Hydor Koralia 4 powerhead (moving water towards the filter intake)
Tons of rocks, sand and caves, a few aquatic plants.

I've had mbuna in the tank for over a year so it's well established. The fish in the tank are:
6 Pseudotropheus demasoni (mbuna that love to spawn, kept a small colony, unknown male to female ratio)
2 Garra Garra algae eaters
3 Bushynose Plecos
20 Tropheus duboisi maswa

I watched very closely to make sure there were no hostility issues, and for the first 3 weeks, I noticed none. The demasoni leave the tropheus alone, and vice versa. There are no hostility issues outside of normal mbuna on mbuna and tropheus on tropheus action.

Water temp is around 77 degrees F.

What happened was that after about three weeks, I noticed I had a dead tropheus. Then another. Then two more. They wouldn't be bloated, they wouldn't have white feces hanging out of them, so I don't think it was that. I feed only New Life Spectrum cichlid formula (with the occasional spirulina flake) about twice a day.

The fish that I was finding were white (scales eaten off after death by the Garra Garra or plecos) but had their eyes and just died.

When I took the rocks out I found a few more skeletons, and now, two weeks later, I'm down to 3 Tropheus left. These three seem very healthy, about 2.5" now, one is starting to change colors. They are playful and everyone seems okay.

I haven't done a water test yet, but I will. Both filters are established and the tank is significantly overfiltered.

A friend said he thought I had too much flow, the water was too turbulent, and that the fish were dying from stress or exhaustion. Does this make sense? Should I take the powerhead out?

Please help - I love Tropheus but I can't afford to keep buying colonies if they keep dying on me!
Hi... I had the same issue... heart broken!
 
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