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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The back story:

This tank is set up in the office of the company I work for. The building was vacant for almost 10 years so the pipes are full of sediment.
This is why I have the pre-filter on the hose filling the tubs. I can only do this on Wednesday or Friday as the water is cleaner. I can not fill the tubs on a Monday because even with the filter the water still gets an orange hue.

About one month ago I noticed a few fish heavy breathing and then within a week they die.
I'm up to about 10-12 dead and some happen almost over night.

Just recently, one of the main water pipes broke and needed replacement so I'm not sure if this is part of the problem.

Here are my parameters.
125 gallon been running since Feb. 2018
Running two fx6's and one AC110 and Aqueon 950 pump for surface agitation.
I clean each filter every six weeks.
Water temp is 79 degrees.
I do 50% water changes every water changes every Monday and Thursday doing a gravel vac at the same time.
I pretreat two 30 gallon tubs with prime and bring the temp to match the tank. When filling the tubs I use a filter on the hose to remove as much sediment as possible.
I test 2x a month.
Ph: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrates: 20-40 since May. Prior to this mostly 40-80. Cut feeding and changed from pellets to flakes.

Stock: All Mbuna. Around 40.
Feeding schedule:
Mon.- Fri. OMEGA One Veggie Kelp 1x a day
Sat: North Fin 2mm Veggie pellets. 1x
Sun: No feeding

41,516 Posts
Too many fish for a 125G, what are the species and genders?

Did the pipe break before the deaths? Water providers often flush the system with extra chlorine when the system is opened.

Are all the fish eating every time you feed? Anyone lurking beneath the surface or behind heaters and intakes?

Are the feces thick and food colored or thready and white or clear?

28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The pipe did break before the deaths.
All the fish would eat except for the few that would hide behind the intakes or the surface.
They would all be heavy breathing.
Feces is this and food colored. No thready white or clear.

I'm thinking it might be columnaris

Stock: Amazing thing is they all get along pretty well.
Williamsi Makonde Blue Lips
Yellow Tail Acei
Electric Yellow Labidochromis Cichlid
Orange Blotched zebras
Cynotilapia afra (Jalo Reef)
Cobalt blue zebra maylandia callainos
Labeotropheus trewavasae (Chilumba) Ochre
Albino Pseudotropheus socolofi
Cynotilapia Hara "Gallireya reef"

41,516 Posts
Usually aggression problems begin after a for you maybe it is 1.75 years.

Columnaris is large fuzzy white patches on the sides of the fish. You did not mention anything like that.

The ones that are lurking are being harassed. Once one of these dies, you can end up with an illness like bloat that takes fish periodically over time.

Are there any lurking/not eating now? Net those and isolate in a hospital tank. Se if you can observe the thready white feces.

Another thing to try is test for chlorine. When they fix pipes they treat with chlorine then flush. Then test for a safe level for humans.

Problem is the safe level for humans is not the safe level for fish.

In a house the danger would be gone in a week or so.

In a building maybe the larger water tanks for hot water or whatever continue to give you chlorine and chloramines too high for your dechlorinator to handle.

Once you are past the current crisis I would make some stocking changes. Too many zebras to start. For 125G I would lose about 3 species and make sure you have 4 females (or more for maingano and labeotropheus) for every male.
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