View Full Version : I'm stumped

11-11-2006, 12:16 AM
I guess I should start off by saying hello. I've been thinking of joining a aquarium forum for a while and now I have been pushed into doing so because of my sister's tank. I've been searching and searching for what could be wrong and I am still completely clueless. Maybe someone here will be able to help me out. I was down at school this week so I missed most of the excitement, but here goes nothing...

The tank is a 46 gallon bowfront full of a dozen or so African cichlids, 2 festivum, one green severum, and a couple of plecos

What I've been told:
There were small red mobile parasites in the tank. They were localized on an artificial plant that was removed from the tank today.
In total 7 fish have died in the past two days, all Africans except a pleco

What I've seen:
I got home right after the plant was removed from the tank, and never saw any of the parasites.
We've cleaned the tank and done a partial water change.
The fish have no appetite, but show no other symptoms. Their fins are not clamped, they are not scraping against rocks, not even panting. Besides the loss of appetite they are acting perfectly normal; even chasing each other around as cichlids do.
The last strange thing that I find completely bizzare is that the filter sponge, which is 2 weeks old, is blood red. This is what happened to the last sponge as well which is why we replaced it.

Sorry for the long post, but I really have no idea what could be happening. Any advice would be appreciated. Hopefully it is something simple that I don't know, since I am a self proclaimed stupid newbie. :thumb:

Thank you in advance for any advice.

11-11-2006, 01:04 AM
wow i dont know

Lady Hobbs
11-11-2006, 01:52 AM
I haven't heard of that one yet but apparently it's been around for awhile if your filter was red with them the last time, as well. I'm assuming the filter is saturated with these things which is what is making it red? I would get a parasite medication immediately and treat that whole tank and the fish in it.
And vacuum that gravel to beat the band and also add aquarium salt and raise the temp for several days to 84-86 degrees.

I think this parasite has probably taken over the tank. It may have just been more noticable on that plastic plant or they were attracted to it for some reason. It may have been their breeding grounds. Parasites can lay millions of eggs that can reproduce and that's one of the reasons vaccuming is so important to the health of your tank and fish.

I would also remove any wood that may be in the tank and boil it or soak it in the hottest salt water you have. Sometimes parasites can hide in wood crevices and the medication can't get to them.

11-11-2006, 05:49 AM
Sounds like a plan. We've got some parasite medication in there now. I'll try adding some more salt and raising the temp tomorrow. So strange. Fortunately no more fish have been lost since removing the plant. I'm gonna have to buy some new foam for the filter too.


Lady Hobbs
11-11-2006, 02:13 PM
I sure hope it helps. I sure am no expert but tossed out my opinion only. When you have a mass die-out, you need to do something drastic. You may loose more fish yet since you say some have stopped eating so I can only guess they too may be ill. Sorry for all that loss but with the amount of fish you already have in that tank, it may be for the best. It sounds pretty crowded to me.