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Old 09-13-2003, 01:45 PM   #1
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very sick cichlid

Hi!

I am having a small problem with my cichlids (again). I have three red zebra cichlids and one Chisumulu Johanni in my 29 gallon tank. I've been having a problem for awhile with my Johanni where he thinks he owns the tank. I have tried rearranging stuff numerous times, but nothing works out. He'll chase the three zebras all around the tank until they hide all the way up at the top by the filter outlet, inlet, and heater. In my latest re-arrange (today), I took 6 small terra cotta pots and a terra cotta plate and made a small tower with it. 30 minutes later, it works a little bit, but the johanni is still chasing them around. I think I might go back and buy another terra cotta plate and three more pots so I can build it all the way to the top of the tank. Not very asthetic, but it gives the fish somewhere to hide.

My problem is with the red zebras. It seems like their fins are disappearing! I added some melafix to the tank and they have been on it for a week. Today I did a 50% water change, and added some carbon to the canister filter I have. However, one of the red zebras still looks extremely sick and he is a lot smaller than the others. I'm not sure if he has ich or not, but there's not white spots, but...hmmm...I don't know how to explain it. It looks like darker patches but yet the fish is a lot lighter than the other red zebras. If you look on his one side really closely, it looks like he has something coming out of his scale... I keep the temp up around 81-82 degrees F. My next step is to try some aquarium salt, but not sure if I should or not. I've tried to see some pics of ich on the web, but it doesn't look like it's as bad. I aked my girlfriend to descibe it, and she said that it does look like htere's tiny white spots on one of the zebras.

So, maybe it is ich. For now, I'll crank the heater up to about 85, but how hot can I make it for the cichlids? Should I also add some salt? Should I add something else? Also, I dont' have any live plants in the tank (just plastic ones). Thanks in advance...
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Old 09-14-2003, 02:17 AM   #2
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Hrmm. Sounds like theres an awful lot going on in that tank, and not necessarily in a good way *sigh*

If theres any small white dots (about the size of salt) then you have ich in the tank. If they are really tiny dots and the fish kinda look like they were dusted with talc or golddust, then it might be velvet. You also most likely have some sort of bacterial infection as evidenced by that really bad fin rot. And there may even be a THIRD prob; that thingie coming out of the zebra's side may be a diff parasite. My guess is the zebras are REALLY stressed by the johanni, and are coming down with everything as a result. You really may want to consider separating the zebras and the johanni; it does not seem to be a working combination.

There also another issue which complicates things. Higher temps (above 86f) is usually an effective treatment for ich (I use temps around 88f); thing is, you don't want to raise temps with a bacterial infection (understand this is NOT verified and is word of mouth; the thought behind it is it causes the infection to spread more quickly). Ugh. What a mess.

I would do a couple of things. Keep the temps where you normally keep them. Get a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat the infections. Quick Cure (and I think RidIch) will treat velvet and ich, but I'd be sure thats whats going on before using them. Take a peek here to see if anything matches: http://www.fishpalace.org/Disease.html . Do know your bacterial colonies will most likely keel over with any of the meds needed for treating; normally I'd say pull the obviously sick fish and QT them, but if the problem is ich or velvet you'll need to treat the entire tank.

Do check that website, confirm whats going on with your fish (obviously everything I have said are guesses once removed from what your actually experiencing) and keep us updated in case we can help.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:28 PM   #3
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I think if you take out the johanni from the tank will at least help the other to recover as i think the johanni cause lots of stress to other till they been infected.
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