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View Full Version : African Cichlid That won't eat!!!???



joshuaisblink182
02-15-2003, 09:09 PM
Please someone help. I have a colbalt blue African cihlid he is about a year old and one day he just stopped eating his spirulina flake food. He would eat brim shrip though, but eventually he even stopped eating his once a week brim shrimp treat. There is no appreance of any diseases. The only thing is that he seems to swim a little upward in an angle. it has been about 7 days that he has not eaten. I went to my local pet store and they said try some different food and I did. I tried guppys, blood worm, and brim shrimp all live but he doesn't want to eat. Please someone help me!

Thanks Joshua.

WorldNation
02-15-2003, 09:15 PM
eek, guppys and bloodworms have a tendency to cause bloat.

hmm, no other fish are showing his symptoms either?... how are your nitrate/ite, ammonia, PH, GH levels? He might be getting stressed out if those are off balance.

have any other fish showed an increase of aggresion towards him? that an also cause him to stress out like that.

WorldNation
02-15-2003, 09:16 PM
oh, also. hes a cobalt blue, duuuhh. lol, try adding a slice of Lettuce and some zucchini to the tank. Mbuna love them veggies.

joshuaisblink182
02-15-2003, 10:44 PM
He was the dominate male in the tank, but now the other fish attack him ever sine he stopped eating. The he doesn't have bloat I know that. My ph is at 7.4, Ammonia is at 0, nitrite is at 0, and nitrate is at 40. I know its a little high. My temperature is 78F.

WorldNation
02-15-2003, 10:51 PM
He was the dominate male in the tank, but now the other fish attack him ever sine he stopped eating. The he doesn't have bloat I know that. My ph is at 7.4, Ammonia is at 0, nitrite is at 0, and nitrate is at 40. I know its a little high. My temperature is 78F.



Theres you're main problem! 7.4 is way way waaaayy to low for any Mbuna, raise youre ph to at least 8.2, minimum. asap. I work at petsmart, i know i know, but i can't tell you how many ppl we have come back with dead africans cause their ph was around 7.0 its very deadly to them.

also, if you can try to seperate him for a little while in a seperate tank, if u can't do that, you can buy one of those floating baby cages, and put him in there.

The nitrate is also a big problem. how old is the tank? if it's already established, are you doing 25% water changes once a week? if so, try a little higher, like 30-40%. Also test youre tap water, before conditioning for Nitrates, sometimes the tap will have them in there already. if thats the case in youre tap, wich i doubt, thats pretty rare. u can go to any LFS and buy a product called Nitra-Zorb. its a bag of ionized rocks, supposed to take out nitraite/ates out of the water, its good for one month.

right now, the thing i would do, asap, is add aquarium salt to youre tank. if u already have the prescribed amount in your tank, double it or even triple it. it'll be fine. u can go up to 3 tblspoon per 10 gallons. the salt replenishes their slim coat and will protect them from the high nitrate levels.

WorldNation
02-15-2003, 11:01 PM
also, to raise you're ph and gh fairly easily. go to LFS,a nd buy some crushed coral, put it in an old stocking or a filter bag. and either add it to your filter as media or hide it behind something in your tank. If your tank isn't that big, you cna evne jsut buy enough crushed coral, and change youre substrate to that. but using it in youre filter is a lot easier.

Mbuniac
02-15-2003, 11:08 PM
Sounds like raising the pH is a definite possibility, or the low pH has weakened him and made him susceptible to another problem. In his weakened condition I would not raise the pH too fast. You'll lose him for sure if you go straight from 7.4 to 8.2+. I'd try to raise it over a period of 3-4 days. IMHO
LOL, Sam

joshuaisblink182
02-15-2003, 11:43 PM
I have started to rais the ph with proper ph 8.2. I put a little powder in today. I was wondering if the ph was the problem I have 6 other Africans Cichlids in there with the colbalt blue and they are all fine. Just asking if you are sure it is the ph?


Thanks for the info!!!
Joshua

joshuaisblink182
02-15-2003, 11:50 PM
I also forgot to tell you that he seems to be breathing a little bit harder than the other cichlids. I also was wonder if there is a faster and safer way to raise the PH? I am using proper PH and I know you have to do that a little at a time.

Thanks Joshua

WorldNation
02-15-2003, 11:57 PM
I have started to rais the ph with proper ph 8.2. I put a little powder in today. I was wondering if the ph was the problem I have 6 other Africans Cichlids in there with the colbalt blue and they are all fine. Just asking if you are sure it is the ph?


Thanks for the info!!!
Joshua

excellent. 80% Chance that it is the ph. or it is related to it. meaning the low ph caused that particular fish discomfort, and others in hte tnak took advantage of it. and lead to further stress,a nd thats why it could have stopped eating. I'll bet my money on that it is the PH and nitrate levels.

The ph might not effect those fish...welll....for the simple reason that they're not the cobalt blue. not all fish are the same. i don't think ppl grasp the concept of fish being different. not all fish are the same, like not all ppl are the same. it seriously depends on that one fish. the assumptions posted in books, forums, LFS, are made for the GENERAL care of that species. and they're always acceptions. ive heard ppl talking that venustus can be the meanest nastiest fish on the planet...minme are lil sweethearts. same for butterkufrei. i have a friend whos 8 inch butter is the sweetest thing in his tank. it really depends on the single fish is what i'm trying to say here.

back to the point. tell us if the ph 8.2 helps out. it might take up to a week to see any effect.

angelhf13
02-16-2003, 12:25 AM
Just a thought...probably not the case but I had a clown loach that stopped eating and was breathing heavier than normal. No other fish showing any signs of anything, and my water was fine. Someone suggested to me that in could be bacterial even though the other fish weren't showing any signs of sickness, and never did. Stress can make them more suseptable to bacteria I'm sure. I treated the tank with antibiotics just in case because that particular fish died. I wouldnt go that far now with your fish at this point, but its just a thought in case the raise in the ph doesnt help. I realize a cobalt blue and a clown loach are a lot different and loaches seem to be pretty suseptable to bacteria, but like I said, Its just a thought!

Also, on the ph subject....how high is too high for mbuna? The ph comes out of my tap off the scales! So far the fish seem to thrive in it, but I was wondering if a persistant high ph can eventually have a bad effect on the fish.

merlyn2221
02-16-2003, 02:10 AM
I've just been through this with my N. venustus female. She stopped eating one day, out of the blue, and was breating heavily. Everybody else was ok. My water conditions were all good (pH is 8.2).

After you determine if the pH was the problem, check on some other things. The high nitrates, over time, will cause weakness in a fish's immune system. Are you over feeding? This could be a major issue.
As far as I know, based on what I have read and heard, brine shrimp, blood worms, tubifex worms, and the like are a serious no-no. This is too much protein for intestines used to digesting plant material! Even though the fish does not show signs of bloat, it may be suffering because of the excess protein. If that is not the problem, then the fish could have developed some type of internal parasitic ifestation or internal bacterial infection.

First thing I would do is isolate the cobalt, especially if he is getting picked on by the others. Next I would try Hex-A-Mit incase he has internal parasites. After the course of 5 days, use a broad spectrum antibiotic like Ampicillex. Make sure you do the proper water changes as per manufacturer's directions. Once he starts to eat you can mix his food with some Pipzine for a week or so to make sure any internal parasites (if he had them) are gone.

In isolation you should raise the temperature to about 82-84 degrees and just as a precaution, I would add some aquarium salt. It is a general tonic and stress reducer if the fish is sick.

I hope he will be ok. My venustus is finally eating, so this worked for me.

jonah
02-16-2003, 08:42 AM
First thing I would do is isolate the cobalt, especially if he is getting picked on by the others. Next I would try Hex-A-Mit incase he has internal parasites. After the course of 5 days, use a broad spectrum antibiotic like Ampicillex. Make sure you do the proper water changes as per manufacturer's directions. Once he starts to eat you can mix his food with some Pipzine for a week or so to make sure any internal parasites (if he had them) are gone.

In isolation you should raise the temperature to about 82-84 degrees and just as a precaution, I would add some aquarium salt. It is a general tonic and stress reducer if the fish is sick.

This is where I'd start. Hexamita is really pretty common in mbuna and it can go without symptoms for quite some time until stress causes it to show up. The problem is getting the fish to eat the meds. You definately want to keep it in a hospital tank while your treating the fish.

joshuaisblink182
02-16-2003, 04:13 PM
Hey thanks for the advice. I went out and bought some malawi buffer to bring up the PH. The directions say that you should use it when you start up the tank or when you do a water chang to maintain your PH. I didn't do a water chang so I don't need to maintain the PH I need to buffer it up. Does any one think that it is okay to do it without a water chang? Also how much should I use a day to bring up the PH? It says to use a level teaspoon for each ten gallon. How much should I use?

Thanks
Joshua

matt1066
02-16-2003, 06:25 PM
Unfortunetly I'm with Merlyn on this, been through it. At this point if you dont have a hospital tank you will need to treat the whole tank, meaning there goes your Bio-filtration.

I would add the salt, raise the temp to 84F, do a water change first, get to at least 8.0 on the PH. If this does'nt work I would let nature take its course.

I know you don't want to hear that, but if he's been down for a week your chance IMHO would be that he's a gonner.

If you do have access to a hospital tank go for the Meds.

Good luck, I know loosing a fish #####, but thats the way it goes, and I don't say that blithley. But you can learn a lot from the experience.

Let us know what happens :(

Matt

joshuaisblink182
02-16-2003, 09:08 PM
I'm going to just see if the PH will work. I'm going to go get a hospital tsnk for future use, but I need help, I never had one before. Do you setup it when it need to be used or do you cycle it and keep it up? if you do need it keep it up I'm going to take 10 gallons from my 45 gallon tank to help speed up the hospital tanks cycle is that okay? If I need to keep it up what kind of fish will I need to use for the cycle in a 10 gallon tank for african cichlids with a high PH? What kind of fish will I permanatly use to keep the tanks cycle keep going. Please someone let me knoe every thing I need to do for a hospital tank. Please include every thing I should by like filter, heater, and lighting....etc.

Thanks
Joshua

Mbuniac
02-17-2003, 12:31 AM
Good advice from all! If you use any medication and have power filters, don't forget to take the carbon out just in case the directions don't tell you to. It really helps to have an extra tank like a 20 gal. for an isolation tank. Check malawicichlids.com (FAQ's) for instructions on cycling a tank with pure ammonia and keeping an empty tank going.
Good luck with your fish!
Sam

joshuaisblink182
02-17-2003, 01:48 AM
I also want to know if I get that hospital tank tomorrow could I use it right away if I take the water from my already established tank because I'm just going to treat he with hexamite and that will only be for a few days. Should I do it please let me know.

Thanks Joshua

WorldNation
02-17-2003, 01:50 AM
yes you can use it right away if youre using youre aquarium water, and yes you should do it.

Mbuniac
02-17-2003, 02:05 AM
Before I bought my 20, I added another power filter to my 29 gal. that was already establish. It created it's on bacteria colony quickly. Then I added water from my established tank to the 20 moved the extra power filter and was ready for business. Now I have a black wrought iron stand that holds a 29 gal and a 20L. So, that will make 4 tanks that you know who made me buy. I won't mention her name, but her initials are SGYPSYMERMAID!!!!! Watch her closley, she's subtle, but she'll corrupt you in a "NY minute". First I sold my large entertainment center and got a small one to make room for my 125 in the living room. Now I'm gonna have to move my little hobby bench out to the garage to make more room for tanks in the den. All of a sudden I feel that this is getting out of control. :shock:

Dave Schulman
02-18-2003, 12:44 PM
I know the exact answer to your problem as i have had it a million times over. Your fish is showing the first sigsn of malawi bloat. Even the same kind as yours showed these signs. I found one way to treat it is to get it out of the tank and treat it with tetracycline hydrochloride. Bloat is a stress related disease so if u keep the rest of your fish stress free then you will be good.
Dont give up! ... its a hard thing to treat when they stop eating!!!
"ThE AnGrYfIsH"

merlyn2221
02-18-2003, 01:53 PM
If it is bloat, shouldn't you change the diet, too?

joshuaisblink182
02-18-2003, 08:10 PM
Thanks for all of the advice, but I was wondering is it a possablility that he has a rock stuck in his mouth? I heard that he had to be swimming with his head straight down for that to be proven. He also seems to like caugh every now and then would that mean something???

Thanks Joshua

matt1066
02-18-2003, 08:28 PM
I recentley lost a new purchase Sci fryeri to the same issues, it is bloat, and the coughing is syptomatic of the affliction. From the day I purchased him he did.nt eat anything. I tried some chopped clam which is generally irresistable to any fish-got nowhere. he lasted almost 3 weeks.

If I had a hospital tank I would have taken the problem on, however since I don't, the writing(so to speak) is on the wall. I dont know if he was a new purchase or not. If new he probably came in with it. If you have had him for a bit, the lack of roughage was probably the culprit. Add more greens, if you need suggestions just ask.

I have mixed feelings about euthanasia, morally, ethically, spiritually, physically(wizard of oz) trying to lighten up a serious subject, but I digress. I think I will post a question on euthansia and get other peoples thoughts like when and how to do it.

Best regards,

Matt

jonah
02-18-2003, 10:21 PM
I recentley lost a new purchase Sci fryeri to the same issues, it is bloat, and the coughing is syptomatic of the affliction. From the day I purchased him he did.nt eat anything. I tried some chopped clam which is generally irresistable to any fish-got nowhere. he lasted almost 3 weeks.


Sci. fryeri are piscivores in the wild so the chances of them dying from Malawi bloat are pretty slim. I still think it's hexamita. They'll stop eating, hang around the top of the tank, waste away and then die.

Boilermaker
02-18-2003, 10:44 PM
Joshua check out this thread, it worked for me and the female that had the bloat is now in the ten gallon with a mouth full.
http://www.cichlidforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=11&highlight=bloat

joshuaisblink182
02-20-2003, 07:36 PM
Hey I'm starting the treatment today in my ten gallon tank. I'm going to use Bio-Spira so the cycle won't hurt him. I was wondering my cichlid has not eaten for about 10-13 days! How long can fish go wothout eating???

Thanks
Hope Hex-a-mit woks
Joshua

merlyn2221
02-20-2003, 09:03 PM
I don't know for sure, but consider this...

The female holds eggs for 28 days, and sometimes doesn't eat for that whole time. Depending on the fish's condition prior to the problem, it could probably last for awhile. I'm hoping this will be the case for you. Start the meds asap! Then once it starts to eat, feed it Pipzine mixed with food to keep it from getting any internal problems.

Good luck!

joshuaisblink182
02-20-2003, 11:16 PM
Hey Does any body know if you can medicate during the entry of bio-spira?? On the directions it says to make sure you shut off any UV steralizers and remove medication by means of carbon.

Joshua

jonah
02-21-2003, 08:29 AM
Hey Does any body know if you can medicate during the entry of bio-spira?? On the directions it says to make sure you shut off any UV steralizers and remove medication by means of carbon.

Joshua

Sounds like "no" to me if it tells you to remove medication.

SGypsyMermaid
02-21-2003, 01:04 PM
Now I have a black wrought iron stand that holds a 29 gal and a 20L. So, that will make 4 tanks that you know who made me buy. I won't mention her name, but her initials are SGYPSYMERMAID!!!!! Watch her closley, she's subtle, but she'll corrupt you in a "NY minute". .....NOT!!!! you're just like jonathan, trying to blame me for your spendiferous ways. i am innocent, i say!! :angel:

matt1066
02-21-2003, 07:05 PM
Hi Merlyn,

You often mention pipzine, but I have never seen it for sale at the lfs,or mail-order. The only medicated food I see is Pepso food. Same thing?

Regards,

Matt

Hows the shoveling there? :lol:

merlyn2221
02-21-2003, 09:17 PM
:lol: Shoveling has now turned into floating. There's so much melting snow, and now it's raining, that everything is under water. Ah, the joys of the Garden State! :lol:

I am assuming they are the same thing. Pipzine is the brand name for piperazine citrate. The company that makes it is Aquatronics. I know you can get it somewhere on line, because I've gotten it before. Just a matter of searching through hundreds of bookmarks to find it. I'll post the link for you when I find it. :roll: Let's hope it's in this century! :wink:

Remember though, the Pipzine is usually used when the fish is eating. Otherwise I would use the Hex-A-Mit (also made by Aquatronics) which gets mized right in the tank.

As far as the Bio-Spira, I'd say no too. I read a bottle of it today at the lfs and asked what they thought. They say no too.

You could take some used media out of another filter and just put it in the new filter, then use the original tank's water to fill the sick tank. That would probably keep the ammonia from spiking and would allow the fish to be treated even faster.

Let me know how things are going.

Eileen

merlyn2221
02-21-2003, 11:50 PM
Ok, I finally found the link after hours of searching. The only thing that is organized in my house is the fish stuff...except on the computer.

This place has just about every medication known to mankind! :lol: And at really good prices.

I paid $6.59 for the Pipzine and $8.99 for the Hex-A-Mit at a lfs. What a ripoff, but I needed it ASAP, so I spent the money.

Check out this link:http://www.petguys.com

Then go to the "Health" link on the site. There's a page or two of meds. It's great.

http://www.petguys.com/fish-stuff-health-care.html

matt1066
02-22-2003, 04:27 PM
Thanks loads Merlyn! Good sight.

Matt

merlyn2221
02-22-2003, 07:25 PM
Hey, no problem! :D

Frontosa29
02-22-2003, 08:08 PM
all this advice is very good....me personally i try to stay away from ph altering chemichals theyre nothing but drama and in my experience they have helped a grand total of zilch....without try to sound to much like an inexperienced rookie...are you sure its a male..is there any possibility that its a female and its holding eggs fry...wait now that i think about it are zebras mouth brooders oh well brain cramp....hope it works out for ya..