View Full Version : Sick Cichlid - Any Ideas

11-06-2006, 11:02 PM
Maybe somebody can pinpoint what is wrong with one of my cichlids.
First, my tank cycled on 11/01/06.
I did a filter cleaning on 11/4/06 and I was sure not to remove all the media at once.
I did a 20% water change on 11/5 and everything was fine.
This afternoon I noticed one of the Albino Socolofi had red gills and was flashing along the bottom, and sometimes just staying alone at the top of the tank. He is eating OK but something is stressing him.
My water is perfect.
Nitrates=5 which is acceptable
GH/KH is 75-100.
All perfect for Cichlids.
What could be wrong? No fish have any spots so Ich is not a possibility??
Any ideas???
I always keep salt in my tank at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water, and the temp is 80.

11-07-2006, 01:50 AM
Look up gill flukes and see if that sounds right.

11-07-2006, 02:02 AM
Look up gill flukes and see if that sounds right.

I checked it out and I guess it could be gill flukes.
It came on so sudden...Only one fish...

Anyway, it says to add salt which I already have in there, and to raise the temp 4 degrees...

I will try to push the temp to 84 for a week and see what happens.
I don't suppose that would hurt the others.
Thanks. I don't mean to be a pest. I should have read more on Cichlids BEFORE I stocked the tank!

11-07-2006, 03:10 AM
They will sometimes scratch their gills. It may not be because something is wrong. If it's gill flukes, the scratching would be constant. Fish get itches too. As far as filter cleaning, you can rinse your filter media with no problems. When you rinse it all you do is get rid of the loose crud. The bacteria adheres to the filter media surface and will be just fine. At times I rinse all my filter media during a tank cleaning. No need to use salt either with your water conditions.

11-07-2006, 09:39 AM
I usually do clean out the filter gently, I just don't change all the media at one time, and since I use ceramic rings, I never change them at all.

As far as fish scrathing normally, that could very well be the case.
It came on real sudden.

I don't think raising the temp up 4 degrees would harm the tank. If it is gill flukes, the salt and higher temp would help. whatcha think?

11-07-2006, 12:51 PM
The salt and higher temp will not hurt the fish and may help the cause, so why not. Do you mean lake salt or general aquarium salt.

11-07-2006, 01:01 PM
The salt and higher temp will not hurt the fish and may help the cause, so why not. Do you mean lake salt or general aquarium salt.

The salt that is in there is aquarium salt.
I posted before that I cannot find Cichlid salt, all they have is Malawi/Victoria buffer at the moment.
Is there an actual Malawi salt, or is it Cichlid salt?
Either way, I have to re-order from a different on line store.
I can't get it here.

11-07-2006, 07:35 PM
The more I do things right, the worse it gets.
From one fish flashing, now there are 3 or 4.
No spots, just scratching at bottom.
It seems to have started the day after the water change.
I have well water but still use stress coat.
I have raised the temp to 84 in case it is gill flukes, but I am really getting ready to quit.
How long should I keep the temp up?

What else can I do besides medicate. I don't want to use medications for various reasons.

Lady Hobbs
11-07-2006, 09:15 PM
No one wants to use medications if it can be avoided but sometimes it can't and it's the only course of action one can take. I was reading today that skin flukes can be very hard to get rid of so it may be what you have to do.

11-07-2006, 10:15 PM
Seachem only has a general lake salt for all the lakes because the formula is the same, its the concentrations that change.

11-07-2006, 11:09 PM
Seachem only has a general lake salt for all the lakes because the formula is the same, its the concentrations that change.

I'll use medication if I have to but I need to find one that doesn't stain the tank...

The gills look a bit red on some of the fish, but they are not all flashing.
Then again, I am no expert, so what really is red??
Even the other one that looked bad looks better,
It seems the longer the light is on the more stressed they get.
I really don't know what this could be.

Red gills, flashing..I did an Internet search and I am not coming up with much.
Most articles say if there is no sign of spots or cottony growths, it could be poor water quality, but my water is perfect.
Other toxins can enter the tank through dirty hands, etc., but I am careful with that too.

What do you think folks?
How long should I keep the temp up?
Should I increase salt?
Should I get a parasite treatment?

11-08-2006, 03:30 AM
I have found that in general the use of medications is not harmful. I do not avoid them. Considering how unscientific we actually are with diagnositcs and how sure we are of the problem, we might as well use meds if it looks like they will help. I have also found that it is better to use multiple meds rather than wait until the fish is even worse to realize we need to switch to a different med. As long as the meds have different active ingredients you will not overdose or cause other problems, so it is safe to mix them. I mix meds all the time in order to hit the problem hard and I cannot recall a single incident where it seemed like the meds had any adverse effects on the fish. Barron's has a good book on aquarium fish diseases that may help you. After readign that you may see why in general we don't know what we're doing with diseases. Considering their natural ingredients and mild nature, Melafix and Pimafix are great to use at the first sign of anything, even just a scratch in the case of Melafix. In general the stress of any disease can lead to the onset to other diseases and infections, so the use of Pimafix (mainly a fungicide) and Melafix (a bactericide and general healing aid) is beneficial anytime there is a disease present.

11-08-2006, 03:47 AM
After reading your great response, I guess I will head into town and pick up something to help my fish.
I made note of the 2 products you mentioned.

Thanks again.
You really have been a great help to me.

When I get in town I am going to get some books on Cichlids, diseases, and anything else I can find.