need help please...all out of options!!!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-27-2009, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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need help please...all out of options!!!!!

hi everyone. i wrote about this once before. im having serious problems with my african cichlids scratching and itching flashing whatever you want to call it. i have treated the tank for multiple diseases. this has been going on for months!!!!! i treated with malacite green for 3 weeks, treated with jungle products lifeguard all in one treatment, ick clear, paracite clear, fungus clear, and api product general cure all for the reccomended doses. I do regular water changes through this whole thing unless otherwise specified by the disease treatment.

i check my water parameters all the time. ph is 8.0, ammona 0, nitrite 0, nitrate is never higher then 40. not really sure why it is that high sometimes though even right after a water change. i just started checking into hardness and i was low so i used epsolm salt to raise it at the dose of 1 tbs for every 5 gallons. this is the info i got off the net.

i have some bad videos i want to try to post. it shows what the fish are doing just a little bit. there are times it is so conmstant that it is easy to see. i get so mad watching it i break things. however, ofcourse when its time to get it on camera it is hard to see.

they flicker their fins on their backa and underneeth their bodies very quickly like spasms then flash on the stuff in the tank. so frustrated dont know what to do anymore. i think im going to do a huge water change and see if that helps.

first vid shows how their fins spasm. usually its faster. the second shows how they scratch. usually they do this more times in a row.

ive read everything there is to read on flashing and still i cant stop it. not sure why they do this. at times its better then others but i cant tell what the difference is. its irratates me so bad that i just want to get rid of them somtimes. however if they have some disease i dont want to contaminate others if i give them away. that means id have to kill them. i dont want to do that either but my blood pressure is rising everytime i look in the tank. i just had enough of this.

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<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="">
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-27-2009, 11:54 AM
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I did not see anything that would give me reason to be alarmed. Were it me,(and it ain't) I would stop all medications. I would continue with weekly water changes using only water conditioner such as PRIME if your not already. I might lower the temp to 78degrees if it is much above that. I would dim the lighting,place a dark back ground on the back of the tank,and maybe consider a darker substrate. A tank full of cichlids is a busy tank and I have seen the same behaivor with my Discus. Like you,I first became alarmed, but upon close inspection of fish ,and careful monitoring of water quality, I held off on medicating. Fish still do it on occasion but I don't sweat it. I have seen many fish exhibit this type of behaivor in tanks where they were stressed or agitated due to new surroundings or where they maybe felt insecure,.hence the possibilty that reducing lighting ,dark background,and as last resort,dark substrate. Just an opinion.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-27-2009, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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thanks so much for the advice. i have stopped all medicating. im going to stop messing with water parameters for a while. they have very clean fresh water which i believe matches all the correct parameters for these fish. i dont know if the water is harder then 300ppm it would cause these kind of problems. i also dont know how hard exactly the water is but i know it registers as very hard on all the tests. if hardness that is too hard wouldnt cause this behavior then water parameters are out.

i thought gill flukes as i do not see anything on the fish. i treated for that but the flashing is back as soon as i stopped the meds and cleaned the tank. worse now then ever.

what you said makes some sence to me in the way of i cant seem to do anything more. i did change the decor recently when i cleaned the tank and stopped meds. also they do seem to be worse when the light is on and some are exibiting clamped fins recently sign of stress. i will keep the light out until they get use to the new enviornment.

ill see what happens.....keep the ideas comming please!

thank you
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-28-2009, 02:26 AM
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Please correct me If I am wrong. These fish are a mix of cichlids , they were in 55gal and now have been moved to a larger tank? I ask this cause photos from previous posts show much different substrate. If not,, did you swap substrates in the 55gal? This may have led to ammonia spike If all substrate was removed and replaced with current substrate. If these fish were moved from 55 gal to larger tank, was the larger tank cycled ,or allowed to mature (bacteria) by adding fish slowly ? If not,, fish could have suffered through an ammonia, and or nitrite spike which possibly burned their gills and would no doubt cause discomfort which may be evident by flashing occasionally or frequently ,depending on how severe their exposure was to toxic levels of ammonia or nitrites. This damage I would think would be permanent.
I do not know if this may have happened,, Just offering something for you to consider. In any event, I would monitor the water closely, and perform maybe twice weekly water changes for a while while reducing the amount and frequency of feedings . I would also run carbon in filter for a while to remove all residual medications. Use a good dechlorinator such as PRIME .

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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