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plow
02-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Does anyone here use or recommend or not recommend API aquarium salt for mbunas?

Some of my mbunas I got today have raggy fins and I thought a little salt might help clear up any bacteria..

advice?

sailor
02-19-2008, 09:26 PM
If I notice that I have 1 of my mbunas with tattered fins for more than a waterchange or two I put in aquarium salt at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons. Usually good water quality will take care of it, but a bit of salt won't hurt.

Fishguy2727
02-19-2008, 09:39 PM
Water quality is most important. There are special cichlid lake salts for cichlids from the great rift lakes. The dosing for Lake Malawi for Seachem's Cichlid Lake Salt is one tablespoon per 40 gallons. So you can see how the generic doses are well above this concentration, and Lake Malawi is one of the saltiest bodies of freshwater in the world.

If there are tattered fins on mbunas most likely it will be an issue until they are killed or removed. This is why overstocking by about 50% in the beginning of a mbuna tank is vital, you will still have a full load after removing individuals that are too laid back or too aggressive.

plow
02-19-2008, 09:49 PM
If there are tattered fins on mbunas most likely it will be an issue until they are killed or removed. This is why overstocking by about 50% in the beginning of a mbuna tank is vital, you will still have a full load after removing individuals that are too laid back or too aggressive.

just as a note, the fish with tattered fins I just received form the neighbour.. they have been in poor water quality (no water changes for 6 months) and I have recieved them today..

They look ok, but colours are washed out, fins raggy and were probably harrassed by the demasoni which I also have inherited.

Do you not think these raggy fins will clear up? I have 15 mbunas in a 55 gal, about 4 are adult including the demasoni and rest are juvis.... it looks plenty stocked enough, demasoni is a real bully but other than that everyone looks happy.

oh yeah, water values.. 0,0,20 max (am, no2,no3) pH 8.0

weekly water changes 50%.. we have good water here and I have a good hose system which makes it easy, done in 15 mins.

Fishguy2727
02-19-2008, 10:10 PM
They may just need a break. If this is the case using egg crate (a light diffuser found in hardware stores that is made to fit over drop ceiling fluorescent lighting and is a plastic grid of squares) can be cut to make a divider. Most likely it was more than just poor water quality that caused the fin damage. Hopefully it will not be an issue. Melafix is probably the best thing to use for repairing damage.

todaie12
02-19-2008, 11:43 PM
You may want to use a little more water conditioner. I use stress coat. I know there is better stuff on the market,but When I get new fish or if one getting picked on. I put a little extra in their water and it seems to help.

RainMan
02-20-2008, 04:27 AM
Water quality is most important. There are special cichlid lake salts for cichlids from the great rift lakes. The dosing for Lake Malawi for Seachem's Cichlid Lake Salt is one tablespoon per 40 gallons. So you can see how the generic doses are well above this concentration, and Lake Malawi is one of the saltiest bodies of freshwater in the world.

If there are tattered fins on mbunas most likely it will be an issue until they are killed or removed. This is why overstocking by about 50% in the beginning of a mbuna tank is vital, you will still have a full load after removing individuals that are too laid back or too aggressive.

But, how do the concentrations of salt compare to the lake salt? I always wondered that... That's why I never use regular aquarium salt. A friend of mine uses regular aquarium salt and makes his own buffer. But, the Seachems salt and buffer lasts for a long time... it's not like I'm going broke using it... so, i figure better safe than sorry. But, the people that use it will totally dissagree. Ultimately, it's whatever you feel comfortable with.

I also think you will have a hard time getting the fins back in shape. But, you can definitely help their appearance. Stress is the #1 cause for ragged fish... however, it can be bacteria, parasites, or infection. I use melafix from time to time. I think it makes a difference... but, the improvemnt could be the extra water changes and attention I spend on my tank after I notice these issues. probably the later.

To use the Melafix... you have to remove the carbon from your filter. but, you just started your tank... so, i'm not sure it is wise to remove the carbon on a newly cycled tank.... But, I'm not sure about that???

Like every animal... rest is important for healing. If you can isolate the sick fish... that is going to help.

Utlimately.... only time will tell. They could get better from just being in some good water conditions.

RainMan
02-20-2008, 04:30 AM
Oh... and post a pic of them. That may tell us alot. I can at least tell you if I have seen worse. ??

plow
02-20-2008, 11:16 AM
I dont actually use carbon.. I dont see the need, I also reckon it probably removes naturally occurring trace elements that are beneficial to fish.

I'll try the salt for a start, keep water changes going, and chuck in some melafix or similar if I dont see any improvement after a few weeks. This one particular fish is pretty ratty and pretty shy, he's hanging out by the powerhead, clearly trying to avoid conflict. However, when its feeding time hes out in a flash, eating like the rest of them so as long as he is eating he must have all the basics in place for a future healthy life.

I'll try and get him better. atleast he is in a good environment now, the previous tank had horrible water, nitrates must have been out of control without a water change in 6 months....

I'll try and get a photo of him tonight.. if I can.

plow
02-20-2008, 11:18 AM
You may want to use a little more water conditioner. I use stress coat. I know there is better stuff on the market,but When I get new fish or if one getting picked on. I put a little extra in their water and it seems to help.

thanks I might try that a bit later on. I'll give the salt and water change method a go first, see if that helps.

Fishguy2727
02-20-2008, 06:29 PM
Most salt recommendations are one tablespoon per 5 gallons. Lake Malawi gets one tablespoon per 40 gallons. That means people that are always using the usual salt dose are providing eight times the concentration as Lake Malawi. This is why it can cause problems long term. Many people use salt all the time, even in community tanks. These fish just are not adapted to dealing with that much salt.

RainMan
02-20-2008, 10:32 PM
Most salt recommendations are one tablespoon per 5 gallons. Lake Malawi gets one tablespoon per 40 gallons. That means people that are always using the usual salt dose are providing eight times the concentration as Lake Malawi. This is why it can cause problems long term. Many people use salt all the time, even in community tanks. These fish just are not adapted to dealing with that much salt.

I have some generic Lake Salt and it says 1 tbsp. for 5g. Is the manufacturer recommendations way off? I figured it was just cheap and less concentrated.

Anyways... I'm always worried about putting too much salt in or building up too much over time. Is there anyway to tell when you oversalted? Other than your tank turning into a salt lick. LOL

Sorry to hijack your thread plow!

Fishguy2727
02-21-2008, 01:39 AM
There are salt test kits that will test for these lower concentrations. I base the tablespoon per 40 gallons on Seachem's label. They have different doses per lake, showing they are trying to help the keeper best simulate the natural lake. Other companies may base the tablespoon per 5 gallons dose on what people are already expecting to see, since per 5 gallons is the most common dose out there. The salt itself will not be 'diluted' except that it may have more of certain elements and therefore not be in the proper proportions, another reason I would go with Seachem's Cichlid Lake Salt. It has a graph right on the bottle showing the salt's composition compared to that of Lake Tanganyika, and the lakes are very similar to eachother.

RainMan
02-21-2008, 03:39 PM
Once again... I agree with fishguy... Seachem's is the way to go. Good quality stuff from people who know their stuff. The buffer is by far the best. and both products have been very stable for me and extremely easy to disolve in water. It takes a half hour to disovle some of these other salts.

I'll have to pick up a test kit someday. It's something that I always wanted to know. Its worth it just to cure my curiosity. I'll be interested to find out how off I am.

Fishguy2727
02-21-2008, 04:16 PM
They are usually for ponds since that is the most commonly salted freshwater setup. They are liquid tests just like pH, nitrate, etc. API makes one.

RainMan
02-21-2008, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the tip... I was having a hard time finding it. You're correct, it is with the pond stuff... even home and garden stores sell the kits. LOL

plow
02-21-2008, 07:30 PM
Sorry to hijack your thread plow!

no worries this quote below was well worth it.. LOL.. (I pictured our cows back in NZ licking a 20 kg salt block outside the cowshed so it was pretty funny...


Is there anyway to tell when you oversalted? Other than your tank turning into a salt lick. LOL

Sorry to hijack your thread plow!