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Author Topic: African cichlids are flashing  (Read 2068 times)
samericancichlidgirl
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« on: May 17, 2016, 08:50:28 PM »

I acquired a used tank a few weeks ago and set it up.  I ended up with a 75 gallon housing various male haps, peacocks and mbuna.  The water parameters are ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrates around 20 ph is 8.0. Testing with api master test kit.

Now the fish are flashing. At first it was just a couple, now almost all are doing it. I've had ich before when I kept south Americans but the trouble is that I see no signs whatsoever of ich. Which leaves me hesitant to treat without knowing what's going on. Temp is at 82 in the tank, my instinct is to bring it up a bit more and add salt.

Thoughts? I see lots of conflicting info, including that africans often flash as a dominance behavior or that the filter could be shocking them?! Wouldn't I feel that though?
They are also shaking their heads before or after flashing.
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russ
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 09:57:28 PM »

Hi there. Long time no see............

Hmmm. On one hand I can perceive a sort of male dominance behavior, mainly because of the mix of Africans you have housed together. Personally, I would never mix Haps with Peacocks or Mbunas with Peacocks.

On the other hand, you may just have an early ich outbreak and not see any visible symptoms due to the ich attaching to a point of the fish that offers the least defensive point on the fish - gills. While relatively higher pH values are generally required for most Africans (except maybe the riverines), higher temperatures will not be appreciated by them. Or, it may be a different type of parasite besides ich.

Just a few questions to see if we can get to the bottom of this......

1. Is the tank planted or just rockwork?

2. Is there algae in the tank. If so, is it growing on the rocks?

3. Are the Mbunas exibiting flashing more often than the others, or are all the fish displaying about the same amount of flashing?

4. What species of Haps, Mbuna and Peacocks are housed together?

5. Stray electrical currents would not necessarily cause fish to flash, however, could appear like flashing (we won't rule that out)

6. What type of foods are you feeding your fish?

7. What type and brand water conditioner are you using?

8. Is there anything else added to the water that is commonly available and marketed for African cichlids?


* No color image.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 151 times.)
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samericancichlidgirl
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 10:47:19 PM »

Hi russ! Okay. Only additive to the water is a water conditioner by aqueon.

The tank came with several fish, I am not opposed to rehoming some if they're not going to live well together. I am seeing very low levels of aggression though.

Fish in tank are 2 yellow labs, 2 red zebras, one bumblebee, one yellow tail acei, I believe. One midnight peacock, one thick skin victorian hap,  and a red empress. All males except one lab and one zebra.

Tank is Rockwork and some fake plants. No algae growing and Water is clear.

I'm feeding african cichlid floating pellets and flake both by tetra.  I will upload pics. Fish look healthy and beautiful.  I'm stumped.
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samericancichlidgirl
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 11:07:37 PM »

http://s193.photobucket.com/user/samericancichlidgirl/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20160517_214855.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

Hopefully this works. Here's some pics. I just did a partial water change in case we decide I need to add some meds or salt.
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samericancichlidgirl
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 11:58:32 AM »

I added salt last night as per dans instructions in His ich write up. I left the temp at 82 for now. This morning there is still flashing, though it seems to be a bit less already, so I'm hopeful that was the right thing to do. Seems like the bigger fish are flashing quite a bit more than the juvies.

They are all still eating very well. Do you think this could be a kh issue? It's the only water parameter I don't have a test for. Does salt help buffer the kh?
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 12:16:13 PM »

It's interesting to me how more than one person raises an issue at the same time.  Smiley    The same thing is going on with a new member.  Here is a link to his thread     http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=35952.msg368273#msg368273
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samericancichlidgirl
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 12:46:18 PM »

It does sound very similar. There have never been any visible signs of ich in this tank, though I have only had it for a few weeks so I can't speak to what was happening in there before. When I Google it, there are lots of people saying pretty much the same thing as I am. Which makes me wonder if it isn't a dominance behavior and not a disease outbreak in my tank. Particularly because most of the fish in my tank are males and because it seems to me that it's mostly the big ones doing the flashing.

I am going to pick up a kh test at my lfs if they have one. We don't have a lot of options in boise for lfs. Only one besides the big chains that does freshwater.
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russ
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 09:09:16 PM »

"Does salt help buffer the kh? "

Nope.
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rasaqua
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 09:52:17 PM »

Water chemistry changes in a short period of time can also cause fish to flash and rub against things. You need to figure what your baseline GH, KH and pH are, then adjust slowly from there. Yes, I think that additional test kit would be a good purchase.
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 11:39:56 AM »

@samericancichlidgirl you can buy anything you need online and get it fast if necessary. Here are just a few decent sites:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/default.cfm
http://www.kensfish.com/
http://www.petsolutions.com/
http://www.thatpetplace.com/

I have sites where I find specialized stuff as well- meds, foods, specialty filters etc. plants etc. and a those where I buy fish I have shipped to me.
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samericancichlidgirl
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 09:50:05 PM »

The heat and treat seems to be having some benefit. Less flashing today definitely. But I also did a large water change the night of my initial post so don't really know whether to attribute the improvement to that or the heat and treat. I also called my lfs on my lunch break today and they have a kh test so I am picking that up tomorrow.

 My understanding of the whole kh thing is this: when you do a water change the kh may be higher from the tap than it is a few days after water change because some of that value falls out as the water sits. Is that accurate?

 So to get a true baseline reading for the kh do I need to do another large water change first?  Or test now and test again next time I do one?
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russ
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 03:47:39 PM »

Test now, then test right before you do your next water change. You will want to observe the amount of stable or loss between water changes. May take several water change periods and tests.

"My understanding of the whole kh thing is this: when you do a water change the kh may be higher from the tap than it is a few days after water change because some of that value falls out as the water sits. Is that accurate?"


It may be higher from your tap. That would depend on the value of the water from the tap. Test your tap after you get your KH test kit. I don't about water just sitting, but KH gets depleted in the aquarium and GH increases.


* No color image.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 98 times.)
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"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
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samericancichlidgirl
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Fish are a pet for life. Thrive, not just survive!


« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 07:12:24 PM »

Okay, thanks. I wasn't far off. Tests tell me that right now tank sits at kh 11, gh 10, ph  8.0. What are your thoughts on these readings? The low end of the proper range for africans, correct?  I will test again in a few days before water change and again directly after.
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