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Old 05-30-2016, 05:18 PM   #1
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17-18 year old African Cichlid keeps trying to jump out of tank

My Electric Blue African Cichlid keeps trying to jump out of his tank and is hurting himself doing so. His color is fading too. Once he actually did so, but luckily i was in the room and noticed.

So what happened was his 55 gallon tank started leaking a month ago, so we bought a smaller temporary tank, 40 gallons i think. We moved him and the others to the tank once we got it setup. I knew he was going to be unhappy about it, but he stopped eating and started constantly trying to jump out of the tank. this is when he actually did jump out, after my mom topped off the water bringing the water level to the top(i was trying to avoid that). and he jumped out and landed in the fish net in a bucket. well he hurt himself, i think his eyes as well as where he cut his side. After awhile he caved and started eating again although not like normal.

Well I got his original tank resealed and we moved them back to it but he's still doing the same thing, new cuts pop up where he's hitting the cover glass and his color continues to fade. He's been in his original tank for 2 weeks now. The tank is in a new spot from when it was leaking, now theres a window behind it. (it has blinds that are always closed, and i have thick fabric on the back of the tank) The water condition it the same as it's always been.

In the tank with him is a gaint danio, a peppered cory and a large pleco. And please don't go on about those fish dont go together, i know thier not supposed to but the do when the cichlid was alone for 15+ years, he's completely passive and their water needs are the same. and i know the cory needs a crew but they were sick when i but them so his crew didnt make it, so another time please.

Jackie blue(the cichlid) has his own rock cave that i made for him, and the pleco has one that we bought, so that shouldnt be the problem. I did put sand on the plecos side of the tank when i set it back up because i read its actually better for him(i didnt put it in before it started leaking because i wasnt sure it was ok for plecos).

So guys and gals, can anybody help me help Jackie Blue?
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:49 AM   #2
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A couple thoughts...

You could make a frame maybe out of thin pvc or something and brace it inside the tank and lower the water level a little and cover the frame with a couple layers of smallish hole cotton net, so it would be too small to get through the holes alternatively you could use tulle from the fabric store so he doesn't smack up against the lid of the tank.

Maybe his eye sight is poor and / or the other fish are startling him and stressing him. If he has been alone for a lone time other fish could be bothering him.

Are all the other fish doing well?

Maybe he is sensitive to the caulk or just plain getting a different enviroment to be in and is not familiar. Is it or can it be set up similar to the way it was before?

Are you sure you aren't going through any mini cycle since the change around, maybe a secondary factor.

I would think it is the other fish stressing him if all you water parameters are safe.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:31 PM   #3
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I don't believe it's the other fish, they've been in there for 2 years now and he actually perked up when i first added them. The Danio doesn't mess with him at all he just swims back and forth at the top of the tank like always. The Pleco is a little bit different but it hasn't changed since i got him. I'll have to watch more but i don't think he picks on him or anything, actually Jackie sometimes goes to mess with him for no apparent reason. and i think he hurt his eye when he jumped out, thats when i saw it atleast.
The Danio and Pleco are doing fine as far as i can tell. they seem to be really healthy.
And i don't think its a mini cycle, i'll check to make sure though. Both times when i moved them i kept the filter and gravel and kept them wet.

It's probably him not liking the change, but i tried keeping it as similar as possible besides adding sand to one side. Before i noticed the tank was leaking the only other difference was a large rock in the middle-ish. But i don't want to put it back in because i'm worried it might start leaking again.
And when he was in the temporary tank, it was really almost the same, just smaller.

Could he just be POed that he was relocated? I know he hasnt been moved or inside a net most of his life, atleast since he was a juvenile.

I read that gravel makes a plecos month raw and tender and they really like sand in general, but i don't know how true that is? i can't really move him out.
Thanks for replying, and i'll see what i can do with the pvc pipe and cotton net.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:54 AM   #4
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Ah if they have been together a long time then probably not an issue of the fish.

There is a real possibility he is mad about being moved around.

But not really an explanation of why the jumping. He could still be going blind even before he injured his eye. Or not...

Exact parameters would be nice to know before a pwc.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
My Electric Blue African Cichlid keeps trying to jump out of his tank and is hurting himself doing so. His color is fading too. Once he actually did so, but luckily i was in the room and noticed.

Almost sounds like a yellow lab I had a few years back one day he seemed fine , than he started swimming laps around the tank , than he started swimming up and down gaining power with each pass next thing he jumped , unfortunately for him I had a glass top he hit the top so hard he actually cracked the glass died on impact , 2 days later another started doing the same thing . than I found a faulty heater putting out stray power into the water . something to check you could have accidentally damaged the heater mine had a hairline crack almost impossible to see , stray electric current really does affect the fish
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:58 PM   #6
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Are you sure about the age of the fish?
17 years is an awfully long lifespan for a cichlid, especially in captivity. 7-10 years is considered a good long life in captivity.
If it is 17+ years old, Congratulations!!!
but if it is that old, could be old age.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:42 PM   #7
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I'll go get the water parameters and I'll let you know.
and I'll check the heater.

And he really is that old my mom had him since i was in diapers, and I'm 19 now. He's the last of her breeder fish. And it could be old age, but i don't think it's that alone, because it started immediately after the first move.

I'll try to get some pictures and a video of his behavior too, but no promises because of my phone
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:30 PM   #8
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okay, the results are in:
Ph 7.2, it's normally 7.6, but the city water changes..
nitrate 10
nitrite 0
ammonia 0.25

before i started testing the water i unplugged the heater.. and he quit! he went and hid behind the pleco and his cave. the danio also quit swimming radically, now it's a slower pace not at the very top of the water.
unfortunately i dont have a back up heater for them, but im going to use a smaller one that i used in the 40 gall. tank and continue to watch to make sure thats it. im going to look and see if it has cracks on it too.
No pictures right now because he's hiding but i'll get some soon enough.

and im not really sure if he's going blind, it seemed like it but he does navigate pretty well, i'll have to watch for that too. Any thing i should look for specifically?
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:58 AM   #9
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Wow 17 year old African cichlid!!!
Any moisture or water beads inside the heater?
I once fried a couple of valuable fish with a bad heater.

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