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Old 01-16-2006, 02:53 AM   #1
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Fish Colors Fading

Lately ive noticed that two of my fish have become very dull in color. My melonchromis johanni and peacock (not sure what kind) have becoem more grayish in color. Especially my electric blue.

My water parameters are:
ph = 8.2
Ammonia = 0.25
Nitrate = 5.0
Nitrite = 0.25
PO4 = i dont know maybe the problem ???

I have done a partial water change (25%) and replaced my ammo-chips in the back of my filter. After I tested the water. The fish appear to have no signs of illness and are looking healthy as all get-up. I use t-5 lighting and have a moonlight strip on at night. I feed my fish cichlid omni formula from ocean nutrition once a day. I have no build up in algae other then a few specs of brown algae. i just got over a bad case of it. i put bio-spiral whatever its called in my water.

but otherwise then the fish losing color there appears to be no problem with the general health of my fish thy are all eating fine and swimming and active. I hope someone can help me out on how to get my fish's beautiful colors back!
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:59 AM   #2
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Post below is far more helpful.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:37 AM   #3
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Looking at your sig there I noticed what is going to happen if that's the tank you are posting about. Watch for signs of aggression. There's a ton of fish in there and fish that should not be housed together. You are bound for murder sprees as they get bigger and mature. A 29 gallon is not big enough for those fish at all. You are headed for a disaster.

I don't mean to sound mean. I'm just being honest. African cichlids, with few exceptions of small dwarf species and shell dwellers, should never be housed with South American fish and need at least a 75 gallon tank.

How long has the tank been up and running with fish in it?

The bio looks like it's in the beginning stages of establishing a nitrogen cycle. Whether it is or not....with that many fish in there...the bio is headed for a breakdown unless you do some serious changes...not just water either, but the tank overall...it's population.

I suggest you start doing 10% water changes up to two times a week. Suppliment bacteria with Cycle or Nitromax. I have my doubts about the safety of Bio Spira in certain situations such as yours. Bio Spira should, IMO, be used as a cycling agent and not as a remedy for bio distruptions. Get some zeolite and put it in the filter to help with the ammonia and use Prime or Amquel Plus water conditioners to help protect the fish from nitrite and nitrate poisoning.

Clean the filter but rinse bio material in used tank water (not tap). Change how you feed. Space feeds apart instead of one big feed in a day. Offer about three to four minutes worth of food divided into two or more feeds. Plan a day or two to give only half their original amount until water quality improves.

As for the South American fish, they are not compatible with either water requirements or aggression with African Cichlids. The hard water can hurt them in the long run. South American fish need soft water. pH between 6.5 and 7.0. Once in a while I'll come across a tank with plecos doing ok in an African tank, but this is far and few between and only with the more hardier aggressive species like the common pleco (aka trinidad). Gold Nuggets are not one of them. They are sensitive.

For those of you reading and want to know why I have my doubts about Bio Spira being used as a remedy....here's my explanation....

Bio Spira is live bacteria. When used as a remedy it is exposed to immediate ammonia levels. This can cause enough to die and create a higher ammonia spike. Even as a cycling agent, it can still produce ammonia due to the nature of the bacteria if not dosed correctly for the immediate population of the tank it's suppose to cycle overnight for...especially if overdosed.

When nitrifying bacteria populate in an environment, they will over populate themselves and start to die, producing ammonia until a balance is met between waste in the system they need to feed on and the population of the bacteria.

So what are you gonna do??? New tank in the very near future???....

Again, sorry, but why find yourself disappointed after things go haywire??? Might as well be warned now. Good luck...and I really mean that.
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:17 AM   #4
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I completly agree with TCT. A 29 gal tank is definately not an appropriate size tank for any of the fish that are in the signature. A 100 gal tank is actually what they should be housed in (if you choose to keep the stock that you have). The Nimbo itself will need a min of 100 gal due to its size and activity. Even when they are all juvis Africans need alot of swimming space. The Auratus is bad news for any tank. They are considered the most aggressive specie in Malawi. They are known to murder fish twice their size very easily. Throw in the Johanni, Kenyi, and Compressiceps and it's just a cocktail for a VERY bad situation. I also don't want to come off as sounding harsh, but it is WAY too many fish for the tank that they are in. The fish are going to lose coloration due to the un-cycled tank plus the aggression issues and the small tank size. Eventually they will probably all die, including the Pictus Cats, unless something is done to remedy the situation. 25% water changes at least twice a week, return most (if not all) of the fish or purchase an appropriate sized tank, and reconsider the Auratus, Kenyi, Johanni, and Compressiceps.

And no, PO4 will not cuase fish to lose coloration. Phosphates will effect the algae growth.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:11 AM   #5
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A friend told me when when fish feel more thretened/stressed they start to blend more with their surroundings. Example my jack dempsys in the tank with lighter color rocks look more like a dull grey. While my other jack dempsy is in another tank with darkblue/black rocks and his color is much more blackish.

Just my 2 cents hehe
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Tank is definitely overstocked with fish too large to be housed in a 29gal when they are adults.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #7
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When Africans feel stresed they will lose their coloration. It's not healthy when they do because when they are stressed they lose their slime coat and it can cause an outbreak of disease.
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Old 01-16-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
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Yeah i am going to move 10 of my fish into the tank that has been cycling. Hopefully removing some of the new fish will help my problem. The tank has been running for almost a year now.

I am looking to find a bigger tank at the moment for my fish. Until then i am splitting then into two 29 gal. The compressiceps and one red zebra have found some new homes.

Is it possible to keep the 2 auratus'? I really love those fish. Im gonan thin my fish out hardcore... i dont wanna but i am gonna have to part with my venustus due to the lack of space.
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Old 01-16-2006, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Is it possible to keep the 2 auratus'?
Only if they will be the only fish in the tank. They are THE most aggressive Mbuna.

Quote:
i dont wanna but i am gonna have to part with my venustus due to the lack of space.
Good call.
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Old 01-16-2006, 06:26 PM   #10
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ok well the auratus im gonna wait and sell back to the lancaster fish store later on in the week cause none of my friends will actually take the fish. So it might be a day or two. Along with the kenyi.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #11
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any i never got to say by the way thanks for the advice!!!

or well ominous warning! its appreciated!
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