Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lowco1 03-10-2009 12:45 AM

spinning mbuna?
So my cichlids for some reason swim really fast in one direction and then spin in a circle like a barrel roll and then they dive head first into the sand and rub their sides on it then they swim off. Is this normal for mbuna cichlids what are they doing?

1077 03-10-2009 03:53 AM

I have followed your posts and from them,,, It is clear that you have problems in the Mbuna tank. Too many fish added too soon after cycling might lead to ammonia and or nitrite spikes which could stress the fish making them more suceptible to disease and parasites. You will need to post exact readings for ammonia, nitrites,and nitrates for others to be of any help. How often are you performing water changes? how much water do you change? what conditioner are you using in new water at water changes. What other products are you adding to the tank if any? What is the Ph? It is good to add cichlids in numbers to help keep aggression to a minimum but you need to closely monitor the water through testing, to ensure that you are changing enough water to keep ammonia, and nitrites as well as as nitrates under control. The actions that you describe might be an indication that the water in the tank is uncomfortable .

lowco1 03-10-2009 12:20 PM

I have a ph of 8.2, nitrates are 20, ammonia is 0, nitrites are 1.0, gh and kh are 15, and I do a water change once a week with 25 percent of the water right now to try and lower the nitrites and nitrates because I know that they are a little high. I also use top fin ammonia remover to remove ammonia, chloramine and chlorine when I do the water changes and right now I am useing an A.P.I. nitra-zorb thing that goes into the filter to try and neutralize the nitrites and nitrates.

1077 03-11-2009 02:36 AM

You may wish to consider performing water changes twice a week to help get nitrites under control as well as nitrates. You may also wish to vaccum the substrate or gravel once a week. a small area , say one third ,and a different area each week. I might also were it me, reduce the amount of food offered to once every other day for a while. If you consider these suggestions you may find that you have no need for ammonia reducing,or phosphate reducing products. These suggestions should also help the fish, who might be struggling with elevated nitrites.NitrAtes you posted aren't bad but by reducing the amount of food and the frequency of feedings along with water changes and vaccuming the gravel as described.. they are easily controlled. Nothing benefits the fish more than proper tank maintenence and once you get a routine down ,then fish keeping becomes much more enjoyable. I believe your tank 's good bacteria is trying to catch up with the number of fish you have which is considerably more than the six danios you used for cycling. Check your water daily for a while and perform water changes as needed to help reduce nitrites and nitrAtes and the fish should respond favorably. The products you are using are in my view,, fine for temporary use but , Water changes, along with not overfeeding or over stocking, will yield the same results much faster,and much cheaper. These products must be replaced when their ability to perform expires and folks at the fish stores are more than happy to sell you more tonics and potions and as stated,, The same results can be produced much easier and more cheaply , and that leaves more money in your pocket for more fish. I nearly forgot...:roll: Maintaining your filter is also very important for the health of your fish. Rinse the filter material frequently in old aquarium water that you take out during water changes each week and then you can reuse it. Never clean the material with tap water, and when it begins to deteriorate (fall apart) then replace it. I hope some of this proves helpful.

lowco1 03-11-2009 12:07 PM

how do you vacume the substrate I have a gravel vacume that I use for my 2 other tanks and it works great it is the one that hooks up directly to the sink but this tank has sand in it so I am worried that the vacume will suck out the sand?

1077 03-11-2009 12:45 PM

I have sand in one of my tanks as well. If you hold the end of the siphon just above the surface of the sand and then begin swirling it in a clock wise motion,, it will create a little swirling effect with the debri and suck it right up. If you get too close to the surface of the sand you'll get sand but otherwise you'll get debri with very little sand. I might also ,were it me (and it ain't) take a plastic fork and stir the sand gently . It is said by many that this will help keep any toxic gases that might build up under the surface of the sand from suddenly being released into the tank. I am thinking with cichlids,that they would do a fair amount of rooting about in the sand and sifting it as well but it couldn't hurt to do it just to be safe. I might also see that the filters uptake or where water is sucked up into the filter,, isn't too close to the bottom of the tank so that sand could easily be sucked up along with the water and thereby clogging or damaging your filter. I might also consider adding another filter to the tank so that there is plenty of filtration. Cichlids might appreciate it but ,perhaps you already have plenty of filtration. I tend to over filter my tanks. I have two emperor 400's for example on a 75 gal and also two sponge filters running inside the tank as well. Rarely can you have too much filtration in my view.;-)

lowco1 03-11-2009 10:25 PM

My tank is a 55 gal tank but the filter I am using is rated for a 75 gal tank is that not enough?

lowco1 03-14-2009 01:05 PM

Latest up date on the cichlids they are really happy now the tank is at 80.0F, ph 8.4, nitrates of 10, ammonia of 0, nitrites of 0, gh of 3, and kh of 15. Do you think that the nitrates is still to high and what about the gh should it be higher?

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