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Old 05-10-2014, 05:41 AM   #1
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Twitching malawi sprengae.

Hi,

I had a weird situation and wanted to know if someone could help me please.

I have a 300litre Mbuna tank with 16 fish in it, males and females. One of my ice blue greshekei got a case of bloat, I removed it to the hospital tank but it was too late and it died. That evening I saw that 2 of my electric yellow females had it too so I decided to dose the whole tank with seachem polyguard cos I've only had bloat once before and it did the trick. The next morning the bloat was gone and they all looked healthy. That evening, however, my male sprengae was behaving very strangely. He was showing his colours like never before but was very calm and listless in a way. I was concerned but he was still moving around and fine. Some of the other fish, however, were twitching a bit which had me slightly concerned but all in all they looked fine. The next morning though the sprengae was much more listless and eventually did the twitch of death. Wasn't great, my favourite fish and all round major bummer.

Anyways, does anyone know what could've caused it, why are some of the other fish twitching a bit and what should I do moving forward?

Thanks for your help everyone.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:21 AM   #2
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Hi sadaas

We need to be able to rule out problems with the water first. For that you need a liquid test kit for ammonia nitrite and nitrate.

How long has the tank been up and running and was it cycled first?
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:04 AM   #3
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Hi caliban, thanks for your reply.

I have tested all the water, ammonia is at 0 and nitrite is pretty close. I don't have a nitrate test but the tank has been running for 6 months, haven't had any issues till now.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadaas View Post
Hi caliban, thanks for your reply.

I have tested all the water, ammonia is at 0 and nitrite is pretty close. I don't have a nitrate test but the tank has been running for 6 months, haven't had any issues till now.

No problem. That would be my next step, to by a liquid nitrate test kit such as the API master test kit for freshwater.
I've heard that the strip tests are usually inaccurate although I've never used them.

Nitrite should be 0 really. What is your ph?

High nitrates will cause irritation to the fish and definitely could be why you fish are twitching. With high nitrates the fish will be stressed. When a fish becomes stressed other problems will follow like diseases.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Okay, cool, I'll grab a nitrate test ASAP. My PH as of an hour ago was at 7.9, but usually hangs around 7.8. It comes out the tap at 7.8. Have been adding buffer to raise it. How important is it to be at the 8 mark?

I think you might be on to something with the nitrates though, how do I get rid of them? I got a tetra canister ex1200 filter.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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Ph is not really important as most fish are farm bred in water local to the farm.

It's best to keep your fish in the same ph as the water they have come from however, this is not always practical and most fish will adapt to the new water. This is why it is so important to acclimatise your fish correctly and slowly.

You get rid of nitrates by removing water from the tank and adding new water. That is the only practical way. I try to keep nitrates below 20ppm at all times.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #7
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Okay, thanks man. I generally do a 30% water change weekly but yeah, will grab a nitrate kit and take it from there.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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Ok if you're unsure just do back to back 50% water changes with a couple of hours in between and see how they react?
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
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What are you feeding them? Be detailed in everything you've fed them, even if it was just once and a little bot
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:44 PM   #10
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If everything such as water quality is correct twitch can be a form of submission when other fish are exerting dominance. My male clownfish commonly does this to my female whenever she is around.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:00 AM   #11
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I feed them new era rift lake green twice a day and then for once a week some deshelled green peas and also once a week some frozen malawi mix blocks.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:01 AM   #12
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I can believe the submission argument but the was my only male sprengae, was very dominant across the whole tank and he died eventually.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:11 AM   #13
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I would probably only feed them once a day. I only feed mine once a day. And generally the instructions on the packets of food are wayyy to much
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