Malawi Bloat - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Malawi Bloat


I have a tank with african cichlids and a pleco. I feed the cichlids Omega One pellets as well as tetra cichlid flakes and occasionally frozen brine shrimp. I feed my pleco algae wafers but the cichlids tend to get to the wafer before the pleco.

I have been noticing bloat in my two acei cichlids. Could this be from the algae wafer? What else could bloat be caused from?
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 03:02 PM
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Could be the brine srimp its normaly caused by protien. The wafers wouldnt have any protien in them.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 11:14 AM
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What is the nitrate level? It is now known that high nitrates will cause this condition. All cichlids are susceptible to nitrates.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 12:53 PM
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Food's with amimal protein's at more than 35 % fed too often to African's who are unable to digest it properly, often causes bloat.
African's would do better with food's such as New life Spectrum or Hikari Cichlid pellet's designed for these fish.
African's love the meaty food's but as mentioned,,they can't really processs it the way other larger cichlid's such as south american's do.
African's need a fair amount of herbivorous food's like algae based, or spirulina based, with only occasional meaty food's like fish,shrimp,salmon,krill,as treat maybe once a week.
Also help's to feed maybe once a day, as opposed to three or four times a day. IME

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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So are the foods that I listed high protein foods (mostly meat)?
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 07:22 PM
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As others have mentioned, it is likely feeding them the wrong type of food or feeding too much.

Cichlids will always appear hungry when in fact they are not which is dangerous as we tend to overfeed them. Their diet would be mainly good quality cichlid pellets, New Life Spectrum, supplemented with Brine shrimp, lettuce, peas (de-shelled), carrots (lightly cooked to soften them) and zucchini (they love and it is good for them).

You need to keep a very close eye on the fish if it is Bloat, full blown Bloat is 99% fatal to most cichlids unless it is treated very quickly. Give them a bit of Spirulina and feed them carrots, it will help.

You sometimes have to remove the bloated fish to a separate tank to fully treat them.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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