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Old 02-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #1
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Male Kenyi losing color

Iíve had my male Kenyi for about two months now. Recently heís started to lose his bright yellow color and is turning more purple. He was already matured when I got him so I know that thatís not why heís losing his color. Heís temporarily in a 35 gallon tank with a 1 inch electric lab (heís about 3 inches) until I can get a bigger tank. The other fish doesnít bother him at all so I donít think itís a dominance issue. The pH in the tank is at 8.2 but Iím not sure about the other levels right now. Could any of those effect his color? Iíve done plenty of research but nothing seems to match whatís happening.
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:10 AM   #2
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Interesting, Is the color still bright but just reverting to immature coloring or more just generally faded? I have read about the color change in this species on maturation but I donít know if a stress (like change in tank environment) could cause reversion.

I would check on water parameters ASAP to rule that out. Losing color is a common catch-all fish stress response so everything from ammonia poisoning to bullying to infection etc can all cause color loss so best to check the most common stresses to be sure.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:19 AM   #3
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It’s like he’s reverting to immature coloring. He isn’t getting bullied as the other fish rarely comes out from it’s hiding place and is only a third of the Kenyi’s size. I’m going to check the other levels in the tank and post them later today but if those are normal then I have no clue what could be going on. Other than the color change, he seems to be perfectly healthy. His appetite is fine, there’s no fraying fins, he’s not lethargic at all, and he’s not gasping for air at the surface.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:18 AM   #4
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pH: 8.2
Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:36 PM   #5
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Well the ammonia and lack of nitrates makes me think the tank isnít cycled. Is this a newly set up quarantine or something?

Losing color is a fairly standard fish response to stress. Doesnít tell you what is wrong only that something is. Perhaps in this species that color change is back to immature colors rather then general fading. Just a theory, I donít know this species well, but fish do have the tendency to try to make themselves less noticeable when theyíre ill. For most fish that means just generally becoming more pale and translucent but for a fish with a dramatic color change on maturation I wouldnít be surprised if color change back to become less conspicuous is something they could do.

First things first get rid of the ammonia with water changes and see if that makes him feed any better.
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:21 PM   #6
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He’s been in this tank for about a month and a half now. I moved him bc I wanted him to have more room to himself until I upgrade his tank. I do 50% water changes weekly. Do you think I should do it more often? The yellow lab has been moved to another tank to see if that’s what the issue was so I’ll see if that does anything by tomorrow but I doubt it. This fish was perfectly fine so I’m not sure that there’s an issue with the tank but then again that’s why I’m asking lol. They do change colors to make themselves appear as the opposite gender when threatened but there’s nothing threatening him that I can see.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:51 PM   #7
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Kenyi are very durable & resilient Mbuna, but like all fish, ammonia will kill them. Be a good idea to up the WC's until the tank cycles. They will color down if stressed. I keep a couple of male Kenyi in my 120. One of my favorites. As long as the Kenyi continues to eat & the water parameters are kept in check, he will likely color up pretty quick. Good luck.
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