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Old 04-12-2006, 07:43 AM   #1
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Well sadly my male Kenyi Cichlid died yesterday.

2 weeks ago my female was broodign eggs for the first time and I was very excited. Looks liek she failed to carry them thru cause it was her first time. Or maybe they were not properly fertilized by the male or something. Either way it was fun to watch.

Then last week I noticed the male had changed his location in my tank. Instead of hiding behind a log I have he was in the front corner of the tank in the ope nall the time. I thought it was strange but figured it may have something to do with mating.

I also noticed a while back he had this white spot on the mottom of his mouth/jaw. But he had it for a long time (not sure if it figures itno this)
Other than him being in a new spot nothign seem abnormal but now that I think back he did nto seem to be eatign as much.

Well I spent one night at my girlfriends place and I come home to find him swiming vertically at the top of the tank. I take a look and he has these white bloches on his body, mouth and fins. I also notice that he has it over one if his eyes and it makes his eye look all clouded up like he had a cateract.

I was not sure what it was but all I had was soem Ick cure so I added soem to the tank. Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that it was most likley a fungus type infection. So I went to the store and purchased soem fungus medication and a tetracllicline tablet pack. I changed out 10 gallons of water on the 29gallon tank. I then treated the tank. I pulled the male out of the tank and put him in the 5 gallon bucke that I had. I dosed that tank for fungus and put some antibiotic in it. I hooked up an air stone and a heater. I wanted to let him stay in it overnight to get the medication really in his system. Plan was to move him back to the main tank in the morning. But when I went to do it this morning he was dead.

Not sure if he died from what he had, and it was inevitable. Or maybe being the bucket with too many chemicals did him in. All I knew was that he was in bad shape and I say the other fish picking at his fins in the 29gallon tank so I figured it was nto nessassaraly a good place to leave him.


It really sucks cause I have had in for a long time and he was my only male. HE was finally full grown and was mating. It jsut sucks to lose your main fish - especialyl when you really don't know why.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:09 AM   #2
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Sounds like the female may have beat the crap out of him. Wouldn't surprise me in a 29 gallon with only two or three cichlids. Many Africans cichlids need a group to swim among or live by themselves. As the saying goes...the more the merrier. This disperses their aggressive behavior instead of narrowing their aggressions to a single individual.

I would guess a combination of stress from possible fighting and over medication would have done him in. Never use a medicine to treat something it is not intended to treat. Like using ich meds on a fish without ich. Also, if you use more than one medication at the same time...divide the doses to where collectively they'll equal one dose. Like when I use a mix of methyline blue and malachite green, I use half a dose of each.

If that ever happens again, isolate the fish as you did, but no meds. Simple first aid...Stress Coat and half a dose of Melafix to start.

I must say, almost everyone who responded to your posts have overlooked the fact, your tank is only 29 gallons. I apologize for that. I would have said something sooner. Anyway...if you're really into breeding the Kenyis, then get a larger tank...60 gallon or bigger and set that up as the main tank. Use the 29 as a fry tank.

Use a separate 10 gallon as a QT...bare bottom with heater, thermometer, air pump driven sponge filter and a hide out for the fish (preferrably non porous). Qts don't have to be elaborate or expensive.

A fry tank would be a miniature of the main tank, but you'd put the holding females in the fry tank to spit the babies out. A lot less stressful on the fish than stripping, which I find needlessly cruel unless the health of the mother is an issue. It's stressful for the fish to be chased down, caught, pinned and forced to give up her brood. It also opens risks of injury during the procedure. Just let 'em spit them out on their own. I have placed more than one female in a fry tank without one eating the other's babies or beating each other up, so it's seems OK to have the moms together. Once each fish spits out their fry, they can go back into the main tank.

Sorry for your loss, but see it as a lesson well taught. Take what you've learned and apply it to the next.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:01 PM   #3
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Thanks.

But the fact is the female did not beat the crap out of this fish. These fish all grew up togehter and there were not aggression issues. I have had this discussion with others many times and everybopdy always insists that the 29gallon is too small. In terms of the rules of fishkeepign they are right. But my setup worked for me and my fish when it came to aggression and how they got along. In fact the male was the dominant fish in the tank. He was not beaten up- what he was was sick.

Somehting got a hold of him and killed him. I am guessign it is a fungus. After he got sick and it got to a poitn where he was too ill to properly swim and defend himself - well then yes the otehr fish took advantage. But it was nto their aggression that got him. The time between him looking normal and bing very sick was abotu 24 hours. So it happened fast. Too fast for me to really help him the way he needed to be helped.

I wish it had not happened as I had not lost a fish from that tank in over a year. But what can I do at this point. I am hopign the younger kenyi will not turn color into a male. He may be a male and could hae been subduing his color because the tank already had a dominant male. We will wait and see what happens.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:12 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear the loss of your main fish. Any time a white blotch (or any color blotch) shows up, it's time to take action--first by finding the cause. There is a thread in the sick fish forum with links to diagnostic charts that will help in the future.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:42 PM   #5
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You seem to have a misconception about the aggressive behavior of African cichlids. They turn on each other all the time whether they live together peacefully or not. It's part of spawning. Unless your nitrates are high, I've never seen fungus take hold of anything that quickly...at least a fish and fungal infections are commonly secondary to some sort of injury/wounds.

I've had many African cichlids and all go after each other to some degree at some point in time...especially during spawning. It's very typical. For example: I had a pair of mbuna zebras quite a few years back in a tank with other Africans. Dominate male...all living very nicely with each other for many months. Out of the blue, and I mean over night, the male was beaten to near nothing and she became the dominate fish in the tank. So don't let their seemingly friendly behavior toward one another fool you. The tables can turn rather quickly.

It never hurts to look for other possibilities, but do keep in mind the reality of an African cichlid tank.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:51 PM   #6
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I'm so sorry for your loss. The stickies do provide helpful information in diagnosis of illnesses, hopefully they will help if you should ever need them. I truly hope you will never need them.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear.

I tried to keep a group of mbuna, yellow labs, in a 30 gallon, and everything was peachy for about 8 months. Then something changed, I'm not quite sure what, and there was carnage. I finally gave away all the survivors but the biggest, who has been in solitary confinement in a 10 gallon for about two years or so. I would recommend keeping an eye on the survivors (if there's more than one) for the next few weeks. If you notice, when they fight, they will face off and sometimes lock mouths. What you may have seen was an open wound on the fish.

On a different note, I'm quite happy with my single fish tank.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:08 AM   #8
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I appreciate the advic3e but some of you are missign the point.

As I stated before there were no real aggression issues. They had typoical behavior and they had their areas defined and they would play chase if somebody got itno the wrong area. I had two female and one male. The one female is still abotu an inch smaller than the other.

What took hold on this fish was some type of desease. Maybe it was not fungus but it sure seems liek it was. It almost appeared to be a cotton fungus. I have to check the forum pages for illness to see it it could help me. I was nto aware they were there.

I realize that fish can turn mean and all that stuff. But in this case I don't think that is what happened. It was illnes that lead to the death not fighting.

I will keep an eyoe on the otehr fish in the tank but I havea really odd mix. I now have the 2 keni females, 1 cory cat, 1 pleco, 1 algae eater, 1 zig-zag eel, 1 rosey barb. The rosey barb has now been chasing the adult female kenyi cichlid aroind the tank and nipping at her tail. That rosey barb is my oldest fish and the toughest barb I have ever seen. I get a kick out of it actually.
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
there were no real aggression issues.
They were breeding. That alone is an aggressive issue. In fact, a cichlid's aggressions are primarily due to breeding...holding territory, enticing females, and protecting young and ferociously doing so. They can get rough with each other.

Quote:
It was illnes that lead to the death not fighting.
But fighting can lead to illness which can lead to death.

No one has yet to debate whether a fungal infection occured or not. In fact, cotton like growth is a good sign of a fungal infection. The origin of that infection however is most likely due to aggressive behavior that led to wounds which became infected. It's so 'story book' like with them.

The bite wounds from many African cichlids including the Kenyis are different than that of fish with actual teeth that tear into flesh. Many are natural algae scrapers. Their dental work is that of a few rows of short nibs for teeth. They are not sharp for piercing, but rather made for scraping. Kenyis, Mbunas and other relative species are all algae eaters and their mouths are designed specifically for scraping algae off of rocks. This dental design is going to leave the blotchiness you described instead of cuts or torn flesh. The blotchiness can indicate where protective slime is absent and scales are damaged from the scraping teeth of the attacking fish. The cottony look is the fungus infecting the wounds.

A friend of mine has a 125 and a 75 gallon...both African cichlid tanks and he's gotten away with critters you wouldn't believe would be able to live with them. He too has cory cats, loaches, and plecos, but also has rubber eels living in the 125 and Dwarf African Frogs living in the 75. He's had them together for years and they don't bother the rubber eels or the frogs. The species he has in with thefrogs are mostly Julios, Bichardis, and Leleupis. Also a Buesheri (spell) and a young frontosa. When they start getting big and able to hold their own against the big guys, they go in the 125 and he gets more fish for the 75. He's also got a whiptail catfish in with them and a Ctenopoma. The rubber eels in the 125 live with the big bad fish...the Kenyis, the Mbunas, electric blues, yellow labs, red tops, the Buesheri is in there now, Cylindracus, Tetracanthus, more Leleupis, Tropheus and a larger Frontosa as well as large plecos and huge yoyo loaches. Though they did murder a red devil.

Your rosey barb is not in breeding competition with the cichlids and since he's your oldest fish I'm guessing he was in there prior to the cichlids? It would make sense to why he hasn't been killed yet.

BTW...I've had rainbows in with Africans (mostly Tanganyika), but the rainbows were in there first. They're pretty fast and also not in any breeding competition with the cichlids. Same for Giant danios, larger species of gouramis, tin foil barbs, even Bala sharks. It's not impossible, but you do need to be selective and in good introduction order (lesser aggressives in first).
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #10
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Well we could debate this for years. I think my fish got an infection of some sort got sick and then eventually got to the poitn where it was beyond help and died. In the process other fish probably did pick on him and bite him but I feel the sickness came frist.

YOu think the aggession and biting and fighting came first and led to the sickness. In reality either of us could be right. I never saw the fhis fighting nor did I see a change in agression. however I did not watch the tank for 24 hours a day.

At this point who cares. My fish is dead. I am not goign to add anymore fich to the tank. I will leave it be and see what happens. I need to do some wter tests to see if anyhting else funny is goign on in the tank. Recently I have had a hughe population boom of small snails. Not sure why but I will try to figure it all out.

I am jsut sad that my fish died and wish it had not happend.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:17 AM   #11
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The snails usually come in on live plants and it only takes one to have thoudsands!! LOL. No kidding. Skunk botias , IMO, make the best snail eaters and they only get 4". I used a group of five in a 120 plant tank and within days the snails were gone
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:58 AM   #12
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A puffer would clean a tank up pretty quick too. But then when they are all gone the puffer has no food and they are hard to feed other items to.
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