Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am not sure what to do...

3 of my fish have dark mouths which are flaky. one of them has now retreated to the top of the tank by the heater and has stopped eating. i also just noticed it has started to breath on the surface.

i originally thought it was due to fighting, but now not sure.

i have done a 30% water change and checked the nitrate levels which are normal.

Please help, i fear the one at the top may die!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
Sorry, before I can advice I need more information

Directly after the water change did the one who was at the surface seem to improve at all?
What sort of dechlorinator are you using?
How long have you had these fish and how long have they been showing symptom?
How long has the tank been up and running with fish in it consistently?
What species of fish and how many fish in the tank?

Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Robin

the tank is 180 l and i have had the original fish since March so 11 months. (with no previous fatalities). i originally bought 10 fish who have no breed to a total of 20. the one who is sick is one of the originals.

the original 8 fish are:
3 x lombardoi (1 whom is sick and the 1 who is the tank bully)
3 x demasoni
1 x caeruleus
1 x sperengerae

(i think)

the 3 who fight have been acting strange and showing 'symptoms' for about 4 days. since i originally posted the one who i think is really sick, has come down from behind the heater to feed, but always goes back there and does look really frail.

any suggestions on how i can help them, would be greatly appreciated!

Adele
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
Hi Adele,

the symptoms you describe: hanging up by the heater but coming down to eat, the shabby, frail appearance and the flakiness around the mouth are all symptoms of aggression.

The fish who are hanging up at the top are doing so because one of your other fish is not allowing them to swim freely. You often have to watch the tank very closely and for some time AND without the fish knowing you're there to see how this is accomplished because quite often it is done without any kind of physical violence at all, although that may in fact be taking place at other times hence the shabby, frail appearance.
The fish at the top will start to come down and then you'll see one of your other fish, the aggressor, turn ever so slightly in his direction and that's all it takes to keep the fish cowering at the top.
Lip-lock fighting is likely causing the problem with their mouths.

This is not a situation that you should allow to continue. Injuries may become infected endangering all of your fish and it's just not a happy tank to be in or to look at when you've got fish that can't swim.

This is an 180 L tank, correct--? So that would be about 45 gallons which is considered small for mbuna, especially for the species you are keeping. I'm afraid you will continue to have aggression problems until you either change the stocking of your tank or get a much larger tank. First of all most mbuna need to be kept harem-style with 1 male to 3-4 females. In that size tank you need to choose one, maybe two species of mbuna.

So my advice to you is to decide which of the fish you now have that you'd like to 'build' your tank around.
Lombardoi: this is considered a High Aggressive fish. If you want to keep this one it should be the only species in the tank and you need to get the male/female ratio correct
Sprengerue--(Rusty). This is considered a 'Peaceful' mbuna. You could have a group of these with either the dems or caeruleus--
demasoni: these like to be in a large group--not sure how many you should have in your tank but someone else will hopefully comment
Caeruleus, (yellow lab) these are also considered peaceful. A breeding group of 1 male and 3-4 females would be great in your tank.

I think this is one of the hardest aspects of keeping these fish: the day they stop getting along and you have to decide who stays and who goes.

Please post back with any additional questions.

Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,315 Posts
If it is indeed a 45 gallon, the Lombardoi will likely have to go. General consensus is that they should be housed in nothing smaller than a 75 gallon.
The Demasoni, if getting along will be fine. Generally, they're kept in numbers of either 1 or 12+, the reason being is that they are highly aggressive to one another and larger numbers help spread out that aggression.
As for the rest of the fish, it depends on the dimensions of the tank. Is it a 48" long or 36"?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,517 Posts
Right, I would want to know the dimensions of the 45G tank. A dozen Demasoni as a species tank would work in a 36" tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for your comments, they are very helpful.

the tank is 45g and 40" wide.

i think you are right and i need to remove the tank bully. i have actually attempted to get him into the hospital tank before i take him back to the shop next week. thing is i am finding it near impossible to catch him!! any trips?

hopefully once he has been removed, the injured one should get better and peace restored... i will keep you posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,315 Posts
Adele said:
hopefully once he has been removed, the injured one should get better and peace restored... i will keep you posted!
It would be great if that were the case, unfortunately, the next in line would become the tank bully. 45g simply isn't large enough for Lombardoi, even for one, he'll find someone else to pick on and eventually kill.
You're left with either upgrading your tank to something larger and adding more females if you want to keep them, or selling/trading/giving them away.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,517 Posts
When removing fish, after five years I still end up removing most/all the rocks no matter what tips I try. If you resign yourself to it up front, it isn't as bad. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
DJRansome said:
When removing fish, after five years I still end up removing most/all the rocks no matter what tips I try. If you resign yourself to it up front, it isn't as bad. :thumb:
That is so true! But I do remember getting soaked in my own living room many times before I learned that.

Adele: GTZ is right. :? Please post back and we'll be able to help you figure it out. Most of us have been through the same thing.

Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
taking on board your advise, i decided to remove 2 of the lombardoi, leaving the one remaining injured one to recover.

by the next day he was out and about and back to his normal self! i am now watching them all very closely to see how they settle in and establish their new hierarchies. i have to say the other fish seem much happier, active and brighter already!

thanks for all the help, ill keep you posted on how it goes in the coming weeks! :fish:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top