Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
About a year and a half ago I set my eyes on my very first cichlid tank. It was a 55g in my friends house filled with an assortment of different color, shapes and sizes. I was in love! I went to every fish store in the south florida region to check local stocks get advice and "pre shop". I decided to do this the right way. I spent nearly an entire year researching, reading, and visiting shops. I found this web site and have been learning ever since! (ty guys btw). I bought a 29g to keep tropical fish as practice in the mean time. then in december (07) i finally felt I was ready to keep some malawis!!! I decided on demasoni as i fell in love with them when I was at a fish shop down in miami. I bought my first "big" aquarium, a 55g. I bought an xp3 and an ac110 and set them up as recommended by the vast majority of people on different forums. I got the black moon sand, holey rock, the works!!! (even bought dainichi food :p). I wanted to do this perfect. well its been 5 or so months that cichlids have been in the tank (the month prior to that it was 12 giant danios for cycle + bio sira). My amonia is at 0, my nitrites 0, my nitrates 10ppm. I do 30% weekly wc and a 50-60% once a month including full substrate cleaning and rearranging of decor. now my question is.... WTF am i doing wrong? my fish constantly seem to be flashing and chilling at the bottom of the tank moving slowly. but at the same time they chase each other, mate (i already have 15 fry in my hospital tank), and eat verociously. are they just resting on the bottom or are they sick? should they constantly be swimming? behavior is one thing you cant really read about. I have already done a 10 day metro+ doseing following some treads in the sick fish file. followed by 10 days of quick cure as they keep flashing. I just ordered a uv sterillizer and magnum hot. this is just very frustrating. maybe they are normal and i just think they are sick as i have never kept cichlids before.... but then again they wouldnt be dying if they werent sick (very sporadic and its always a week apart one of them will die :() not to mention i constantly battle white poo with my python >.<. only 3 have died in the 5 months *** owned them including my favorite the alfa male dem. to make things worse i asked my friend about his cichlids and he uses a magnum350 as his only filtration and NEVER cleans his tank only tops it off with water... yet his fish dont seem sick and are always swimming around. did i get a bad batch of fish? am i doing "too" much and should just leave the tank be? i have a 75g and a 40g long which i bought but dont want to set them up until i can manage 1 tank without any problems. please help all i want is to give my fish an awsome home and enjoy them while doing so!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Got a picture of your tank? Could be the Demasoni feel a bit uneasy for some reason (lighting, decor, noise/vibrations.)

You won't need the UV steriliser or Magnum HOB. You also don't really need to do a 50-60% WC every month or the "full substrate clean" just keep up with the weekly changes and a bit of crud vacuuming.

As far as a Mbuna tank goes, I personally think they're alot easier to manage than a planted tropical tank.

Also, might be being a bit pedantic here but it's ALOT easier on the eyes if you use paragraphs :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
paragraphs?? :-? lol i kid

actually... could it be a d. comp that is in the tank? he is like 2 inches long? he is really the one that gets chased more than doing the chasing. maybe they just think he is scary looking?

I'll take pictures once I go back home.

That or lighting are the only things that come to mind. I have 2 flourecent light strips (the ones that come with your basic 55g) and I leave them on for 10 hours a day.

no vibrations that I can think of. maybe some splashing from the ac110 but you can barely hear it unless you are right next to the tank.

I will remove the comp as soon as I get home although that means removing all the decor to net him.

stock list (i forgot to ad last post)
-20 demasoni
-2 bn plecos
-1 d. comp
-1 trawavase (think thats how its spelled) He minds his own and gets along great with the dems, even saw him trying to "shiver" next to one of the females but maybe he is just loanly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,935 Posts
One thing you haven't listed is the other water parameters. Ph, Gh and Kh. Fluctuations or improper levels can casue fish to flash and or sit on the bottom. Check the tank and your tap water and let us know the results. Also, what dechlorinator do you use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Along with the PH/KH, I am wondering if you have anything to buffer the water. What kind of rocks/substrate do you have?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
When I had (one) fish sitting on the bottom, it was suspected that it was having digestive troubles. Kim suggested adding epsom salts and after a few days the fish started acting normal again.

Your deaths and white stringy feces suggest that you're experiencing bloat. It can cause deaths that are very far between, which seems to be the case with you. Try adding epsom salts at the rate of 1 cup / 100 gallons, and start feeding the fish anti-parasite food. I found that if I fast mine a couple days(which also helps), they're pretty much willing to eat anything, including Jungle Anti-Parasite food. You may want to do the API general cure or Metro treatment.

You could also be feeding too much which is causing intestinal blockage(which the epsom salt will help alleviate) and that could be contributing to bloat. How often do you feed, and how long does it take for the fish to eat all of the food that they're fed?

I'd be curious about the exact numbers of KH, GH, pH, and Nitrate in your tank vs your tap water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
pH=8.3 (i test this one almost daily that and nitrates im ocd with those 2)
I use prime to dechlorinate water (1 cap per 50g).
I will check gh and kh tomorrow as i have to buy those.
I feed them 1 time a day all they can eat in 45 seconds which is about 2-3 pinches. of food or like 80-90 1mm pelets.

I will try the jungle labs life guard as a preventative measure.
d.comp is in hospital tank awaiting return to the store.
What are good gh and kh levels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Whatever you can keep steady. Soft water that doesn't fluctuate is better than harder water fluctuating to soft when you do water changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,935 Posts
quiksilver said:
id say to many large water changes
50% weekly is water change is rather average, so the OP's 30% weekly with one 50% chnage added each month is actually a little less than average .

If anything, frequent large water changes should make the happier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
I can't speak to your larger problem, but try turning your lights off. There really is no reason to have them on unless you're viewing. The fishies don't need them and you don't indicate you have a planted tank. Frankly, I leave the lights off even when I'm in the room as I can see them swimming around just fine and it seems more natural and relaxed. (When I turn the lights on they think they're getting fed, so they are now trained fish!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
I would recommend using Jungle Parasite Clear rather than Life Guard. If you're dealing with internal parasites, and it sounds like you are, this would be your best bet.

You may require more than one round of treatment. Each round consists of 3 treatments, spaced 48 hours apart, with a 25% water change prior to each treatment.

Another thing you might try is feeding them an antiparasitic food, Jungle makes one of these, but you'll need to soak it in tank water for 20 minutes or so before feeding, and don't offer anything else. IMO, it's always best if you can get them to ingest the meds.

While you've got the problems going on, I would cut down on the lights, as well. Less stress...

I would also keep a close eye on that lone trewavasae...Male trewavasaes have been one of the most brutal fish I've ever kept, and aggression can be hard to see at times.

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright I'm going to keep lights off for a while. my fry tank i keep lights off all the time and they seem to like it.

As for the male trewavasaes he is one of my favorite fish :( and the only fish I have ever seen him chase/harass was the d.comp. light shimmering purple with bright orange fins... he is a beaut. What could I do to lower his aggression?

Everyone says p. demasoni are vicious but they seem more like lambs to me than wolves :-? the sub doms seem to be establishing a new pecking order and circling alot but i figure that since the alfa male died thats normal (new alfa already established). should i add more females?

I am going to fast my fish for 3 days then give them some anti parasitic food.

water hardness is most likely my biggest issue. I have about 100lbs of holey rock so maybe I shouldnt add any buffers to my water changes and let the rocks do the buffering??

My local fish shop told me to cut down on water changes and only do them once a month and that is why my fish are stressed.... i nodded and walked away to go look at more fish as my mind processed the bs i had just heard >.<

One thing I dont think I mentioned is water temp. I cant seem to get it below 80 and most of the time its sitting at 82. I have the spray bar pointing at the surface to aggitate water, my ac110 and my ac30 power head both aggitate the surface as well (along with an airstone) so im pretty sure there is enough O2 in water. 2 hydor power heads move water along the bottom of tank towards intakes.

Anyways ty so much for helping out guys and gals!! :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,306 Posts
dirky1 said:
As for the male trewavasaes he is one of my favorite fish :( and the only fish I have ever seen him chase/harass was the d.comp. light shimmering purple with bright orange fins... he is a beaut. What could I do to lower his aggression?
Double your tank size and fill it with females??? :lol: That's about all you can do. That's just the nature of the fish, and as he matures, it will become worse. And, he may interfere with other spawning in the tank, being a lone male of a species.

How large are your demasoni? Females will usually start breeding at 1.5 inches, sometimes smaller. Males are usually fully mature sexually at 2 - 2.5 inches. The aggression can become pretty intense as they mature, unless you have a ton of females to balance out the males.

Kim
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top