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  1. #1

    Question Urgent help... my firemouth is suffering

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi I am new to this site and new to the hobby.. I made an account in case any questions came up along the journey. I thought it would be better to ask real fish people instead of the idiots on yahoo answers

    Well here's a situation....I could really use some advice.

    I added a firemouth cichlid to my tank last night. He seemed to be doing fine, but this morning I found him laying in a plant getting nipped at by my tank's aggressor (who is the smallest cichlid, but also the meanest). I thought he was dead because he wasn't moving, but looking closer I realized he was still alive. He isn't upside down, but he can't swim. All his fins are nipped down, and he just laid at the bottom of the tank getting nipped at, unable to move.

    firemouth_cichlid (1).jpg

    I moved him to a bowl filled with water from the tank, and he is just sitting at the bottom trying to swim. I dropped some sinking food pellets into the bowl, but he doesn't seem interested. Unfortunately I don't have another filter or heater, and the bowl is probably 1 gallon (he's about 3"). According to some google searches, he can stay there for 24 hours. It also says the fins will grow back.. Is this true? And could someone help me with a step-by-step to get him better? I'm guessing I should keep him separated from the others until he is bigger/stronger.

    Please help me out before it's too late for him
    (The firemouth in the photo is not him)



  2. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    What are the other cichlids? What size tank? Firemouths aren't particularly aggressive by cichlid standards and he just may not be a good addition. Of concern to me is it sounds like he doesn't have a safe place to get away from the aggressor.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    The others are african, relatively small. I know I shouldn't mix africans with south americans but the guy at my fish specialty store said he would be fine because he was big enough to hold his own. But yeah you are probably right...I ordered some new decor to provide more hiding spaces when I put him back in (or IF i put him back in)

  4. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    You could purchase a tank divider fromt Petco or Petsmart, and keep the FM in the main tank. If the wounds are not extensive, it should heal in time with clean water. What your FM experienced is not unusual occurence when adding a new cichlid to a tank with an existing cichlid.

    What size tank do your have?

    What are the other fish in the tank?

    Post a picture of the fish using photobucket.

    If you cant get a tank divider, I would use a 10-15 gallon cooler if you have one or purchase a new 5 gallon bucket and lid from Home Depot to house the fish in. Rinse the bucket first with dechlorinated water.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    it's a 55gal with
    -a large jack dempsey
    -2 medium cichlids about 4" (I'm not sure what kind, one is dark electric blue with some yellow, the other is light blue with dark blue stripes)
    -an albino pleco about 4"
    -a blood parrot fish about 4"
    -a jewel cichlid about 3"
    -and lastly, the culprit: a small cichlid only about 2" orange with black spots

    they are all relatively peaceful except for the orange cichlid.. he even bullies the large dempsey.

    But here's a pic of the FM in the bowl:

    fm sick.jpg

  6. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    uploadfromtaptalk1433294397350.png does the orange one look like this? If so its a fuelleborni. Only thing I can think of. I wouldn't mix mbuna and FM in a 55. However with mbuna the best way to reduce aggression is to add more fish within reason.
    I have kept cichlids of various types for close to 30 years and have almost never had one get picked on to that level. It isn't normal or good for a fish to be that bullied.
    Last edited by dwarfguy; 06-03-2015 at 01:28 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    southeast texas

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    Thx for the nomination - pRED right back at cha :o) - fishmommie T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 T.G.I.F. - showmebutterfly You are a superman for hanging in there with this tank. - fishmommie 
    Good to see you back and thanx for all the thumbs up ;-) - steeler58 Here's one for the weekend ;-) - steeler58 Have a Candy cane ;-) Merry Christmas - steeler58 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! - Plecos Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7 


    0 Not allowed!
    If you have a local fish store near by go see if they have a breeder net or enclosure you could put in your tank. That would keep them separated. And allow the firemouth to recover. In the separate tank daily water changes are needed to keep ammonia low and help the finns heal.
    Fishes go "pook pook"
    my spell check went on vaction.
    my Mts storie:

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Your tank is over-stocked and the africans should go.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    If you wish to try separating them I would put the aggressor in the breeding net or whatever. Add more hiding places and hope the other fish aren't as bad. The goal is to destress the firemouth and a small bare area isn't much of a home. Also don't add food if he isn't eating to that little container.

  10. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    a 1 gallon tank is not sufficient to house the FM for more than a few hours, especially one that is in recovery

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