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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Exclamation Acei Cichlid hyperventilating

    0 Not allowed!
    Greetings! Okay a couple weeks ago I started this new 20 gallon tank. Yes, the set up was done knowledgeably...and I put 3 little (like an inch or so each) African cichlids in of them this Acei.

    And everything has been fine. All fish have been active, eating and happy.

    ....until today. Didnt see the Acei earlier. Eventually found him hiding in dark corner by a rock....hyperventilating.

    At first he would hide for a while and then stir about. Now he's trying to stay hidden and also...listing to the side some...and hyperventilating like crazy. Meaning he's getting

    I mean...he was fine yesterday...and I know its not the PH. So then...what. I'm thinking if I don't do something fast...he's not going to make it to morning. Any ideas on causes and cures?


  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    sounds like stress to me. what are the other tank mates?

  3. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Jacksonville, FL

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    0 Not allowed!
    Ammo, nitrite and nitrate levels would help. Are the gills red? Any signs from other fish?

    If the above is fine then I can see the Acei being the weak of the 3 and being bullied

  4. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Your tank is much too small for Africans. They need to be stocked with a male to female ratio or there will be fighting and death.

    I do believe you need to do those water tests but if you have not gotten a test kit yet, do a large water change on the assumption you have ammonia levels........altho I would expect them to be at the top of the tank, not on the bottom hiding. This is also why lots of hiding caves like rocks are needed for these fish but they will kill one another in that tank. Sorry.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi All....and thanks for the replies....but the little guy didnt make it through the night. Now another one is acting up. He's been hovering up at the surface, in a corner all day. He wasnt doing it yesterday. The other fish arent paying any attention to him so I dont think its bullying. If you tap on the glass near by he'll swim away like he's fine...but then in a couple minutes he'll go back up to the same spot. He'll also swim away to go eat at feeding time...and then return again. Not sure why the fish are tripping..but I'm off to the fish store to get a water test kit just to rule that out.

  6. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Technically speaking if you do proper PWC's often enough then you wont even need to test water. As mentioned, though, this tank is too small for africans. I assume you have a dominant fish that killed the acei first and is now killing the second fish because it is defending its already inadequate territory. I would suggest returning both of the other fish and doibg something other than africans in a tank this size. The minimum tank size for african cichlids is 40 long (48")
    Coastie-to-be... hopefully.

  7. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Not only do you have the wrong fish in this tank, I bet you never cycled it. Return the fish that are still living, cycle the tank and then stock this 20 gallon with fish that belong in a 20 gallon.

    Cycling links below. Good luck.

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