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Old 08-27-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
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Cichlids not eating much

Hey all. I have a 65 gal tank with 6 cichlids in it. I've only had the tank a couple weeks and I sadly learned about tank cycling a little late. My pH is 8.3, my "free" ammonia is about .5ppm, my total ammonia is about a 2ppm, and nitrites and nitrates are good. I did about 4 water changes this past week each at about 50% change to keep up with the ammonia. I was wondering if the stress of the water changes is causing them to not eat as much? They seem skiddish around me now. I wanted to do another water change, but I thought letting them be might be smarter. Thoughts?


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Old 08-27-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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Well I guess you'll be doing a fish in cycle. Don't put more food than they can eat, don't feed too many times a day and keep doing partial water changes. When you clean your filter make sure you rinse the floss or sponge very lightly and use it again, don't replace it with a new one, you need the bacteria in it that you worked so hard for to build, this is what cycling is, in a few weeks your bacteria in the filter will convert your ammonia into a less harmful nitrate.
You'll need patience, it won't happen overnight.


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Old 08-27-2014, 10:23 PM   #3
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Lol ya a fish in cycle is an understatement. I started out with an over-stocked cichlid and over-stocked goldfish tanks. Thanks to a couple new tanks, we now have the over-stocking under control, but I started my cycle in a bad way.

I also had already rinsed the filter media last week before I realized that this would "restart" my cycle. I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. At least I know now and I'm working on it. I'm just worried about the water changes stressing the fish out even more. Delicate balance and patience I suppose...neither things am I good at....

I don't have a lot of hiding places in the tank either, so I thought I might add some caves/pots in the next water change. Hope that will de-stress them a tad.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:25 PM   #4
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What kind of cichlids are they? How big are they? What are you feeding them? When are you feeding them in relation to your water changes?
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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I think they're all African Cichlids, but I'm not exactly sure as my boyfriend picked them out and then left me with his tank for 5 weeks. I know there's one Livingstoni, 2 Yellow Tail Acei, 1 electric blue johanni, 1 all yellow one, and 1 yellow/black one. The Livingstoni is about 2 inches, the others are all about 1 inch (estimates). I'm feeding them TetraCichlid flakes and occasionally have algae wafers in there. I feed them twice a day. Once in the AM before work and once after work. I use pretty small pinches of flakes to try to keep to the eat in 1-3 minutes thing. I was doing almost every other day water changes 25-50% probably 1-2 hours after feeding them "dinner".
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:39 PM   #6
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I should also state that I'm feeding what my boyfriend bought and said to feed....I kinda doubt he knew what he was doing. However, I haven't gotten any other feeding suggestions. They were eating it up like fiends in the beginning. They still seem to eat it eventually because I'm not seeing a lot of food anywhere, but it's like they're picking at it rather than really eating it.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:22 AM   #7
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Sounds like you're willing to do things right, doesn't take take much. The fish you have are pretty tough I'm sure they'll make it through the cycle. Try not cleaning the filter for a while, let it build up bacteria and when you do, a light rinse in aquarium water. Change the water frequently while cycling, the fish will love you for it. And again, do not over feed, those guys always look hungry, don't fall for it, it's said a fish stomach is the size of its eye, uneaten food and lots of poop will mess your tank up real fast. I think your feeding regimen is good. Another very good food for them is New Life Spectrum very small pellets.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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when you are doing water changes are you adding a dechlorinater? If not go to your LFS and get something called Prime. I add just a bit with every water change. They may be stressed and this will help a bit. when your tank is cycled and you do less water changes they will get back to normal.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice and I have been using Prime with each cycle. I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing until my tank is cycled.


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