Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Very complete request for help with African cichlids flashing!

  1. #1

    Default Very complete request for help with African cichlids flashing!

    Hi,

    I'm a bit worried about some of my African cichlids, they are feeding and behaving normally but I've seen many of them "flashing" and am worried that they are suffering from a parasitic infection. I saw a list of questions designed to help diagnose these problems on the web somewhere so have made a list and answered them in the hope someone will recognise the symptoms and be able to help with a way forward:

    - Size of tank - 100 UK gallon
    - No new additions to the tank in the last few months
    - Behaviour over last month - more or less normal, very eager to feed (as usual), flashing intermittently (various fish doing this)
    - Are problems affecting all or some of the fish? - hard to say but I've seen most of them flashing at some point
    - Have they been suddenly affected? - no, this has been going on for some months now
    - Examination of respiratory rate, behaviour etc - respiration seems normal, there are no fish no hanging around the top of the tank etc., no obvious physical damage to the fish, although some have slightly concave stomachs despite feeding well
    - Water parameters - Nitrite - 0.1mg/l, Nitrate - 20-30mg/l, Ph - 7.5, Gh - 240mg/l, Kh - 180mg/l. Generally do a 25-30% water change weekly, treating new water with Seachem Prime, bicarb and aquarium salt (approx 1 level teaspoon of each per 25l changed).
    - The filters are cleaned every 8 -10 weeks alternately - I have one Eheim 2215 and one Professionelle II. I remove as much solid waste as possible when I do a water change.
    - Any other symptoms - have noticed that one bright yellow mbuna has some tiny black dots, one near its dorsal fin, a couple on its belly, I never noticed these before
    - Stock in the tank - there are about 3 alunocara, 4 catfish, 3 rusty plecos, about 10 ice blues and about the same yellow labs or hybrids

    I know these symptoms are common to just about every ailment but having tested the water etc. I think it must be some sort of parasite. I inherited the tank a while back (maybe 3-4 months ago) and it was pretty filthy to say the least - I've been keeping it far better and the fishes health has improved as a result, but I think this may have persisted since then.

    Any comments welcomed, I really want to get this sorted out as I hate seeing the fish flashing despite the fact they look otherwise healthy.

    Thanks.

    George

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hollywood Florida
    Posts
    473

    Default

    George,

    I have seen my cichlids flash occasionally with no sign of disease. They do not flash constantly and it mostly occurs after a water change. If I may offer a suggestion, purchase a magnifier to make the inspection of your fish much easier and accurate.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...9FYV3M8E3R6FY4

    Regards,
    -Gary
    Visit my You Tube aquarium channel
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ge2655h20?feature=mhum

  3. #3

    Default

    I agree. Africans will flash on the rocks when they are feeling rowdy after a water change or just whenever.
    <3 Kitty

  4. #4

    Default Re: Very complete request for help with African cichlids flashing!

    Interesting, thanks for your comments. The thing that makes me think this isn't normal behaviour is that my brother has a similar setup with a bigger tank (about 150 gallon I think) and his Africans hardly ever flash.

    Mine do it quite a bit esp. after feeding it seems - although this might just be when I watch them most as am in the lounge in the evenings.

  5. #5

    Default

    Have they recently hit sexual maturity?
    The photocontest, like everything else is behind schedule. You get some links back today.

  6. #6

    Default

    Some of them may be coming into sexual maturity, but I've seen plenty of cichlid flirting and this is subtly different. I'll try and get some video over the next couple of days and stick it on Youtube so you guys can see what I'm talking about - of course when I point the camera at them they'll stop it - but I'll report back if I get anything worth viewing.

    Thanks again to everyone that has contributed so far, it's put my mind at ease somewhat!

    Geogre

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Neenah, Wi.
    Posts
    3,562

    Default

    Cichlids seem to be the only fish that do the "flashing" thing. Occasional flashing is normal as it is a way scratch an itch so to speak. Abundant flashing can also be an early sign of ICH or some other illness. Change in water params, even minuscule can cause flashing too. Flashing is also many times noticed in aquariums that are overstocked and I have been told is a sign of marking territory or showing boundaries to the others. The black spots you see on your fish may be an illness popping up, but it may also be a pigment thing going on and will disappear eventually as they grow. Just a few things to consider as I am sure you may have already done.

  8. #8

    Default

    My largest L. ornatipinnis will flash on occasion. I have two shell beds with 14 inches of sand space between them. When the bigger male gets all territorial he will repeatedly flash in the direction of the other male across the way.
    The photocontest, like everything else is behind schedule. You get some links back today.

  9. #9

    Default

    Well i did try and get some footage last night, but predictably they stopped it as soon as I got anywhere near the tank - me near tank = feeding time!

    I'm going to do a full clean out the tank over the weekend and see what effect that has - should be doing one about now anyway.

    Wishing everyone an enjoyable weekend.

    George

  10. Default

    As promised here's a link to a video of my holding tank, they seem to be showing the same symptoms. Across the bottom of the tank you'll see a couple of them flashing, this is quite typical and I've seen most of the fish in both this and the other tank behaving very similarly to this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LamoOw32wFQ

    It doesn't look like territorial or courtship behaviour, and it's not the water AFAIK, so I figure it must be some sort of infection/parasite??

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,594

    Default

    I'm not that experienced so my opinion probably don't hold much weight around here but I just think it's territorial. There's a lot of fish in that tank and they are very active. It could be like that mob mentality, one starts doing it to mark territory then others see that and start doing the same.

    A few of my Cobalt Blues are now doing it on a daily bases as they are maturing and want to start marking their own piece of the tank. It's not working however as the other fish are much larger then them and just scoot them away.

    My apologies if I'm totally off base here.
    Patti the Pomeranian
    Houdini the Bearded Dragon
    Betta

  12. Default Re: Very complete request for help with African cichlids flashing!

    There are actually about 25 less fish in that tank now, a friend took some off my hands as I felt it was overcrowded in there, but they're still flashing. I suppose if I don't see any other symptoms - gasping, lethargy, not eating etc then I have to assume it's territorial too...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hollywood Florida
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Are you still having the problem with flashing?

    -Gary

  14. Default

    Hi Gary,

    Yeah unfortunately so, they're still at it fairly regularly. They look healthy in every other way - I did have one death the other day but seemed to be an isolated case.

    I understand why various people are suggesting that it's territorial but having observed the behavior at length I really don't think so, they look like they're reacting to discomfort, albeit temporarily.

    I'm going to try increasing the salt that I add to water changes, and failing that am considering treating with SeaChem paraguard - its supposedly less damaging than formalin based meds.

    I'd rather not use anything but I hate to see them irritated by whatever is causing the problem.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hollywood Florida
    Posts
    473

    Default

    George,

    In your video it appears to me that the volume of air bubbles from the powerhead may be aggravating the fish. I had a similar thing happen when I switched substrate to play sand. The current would cause the smallest particles to swirl around the tank and the fish would clearly be irritated. I decreased the water return flow rate and eventually, the sand thinned itself out and the irritation subsided.

    Try temporarily eliminating the bubbles and decrease the flow slightly. The elimination of the bubbles will make it easier to see if the fish have anything on them.

    Focus on a couple of fish you see flash. Look closely at their fins and under their head. Many times ick that has infected the gills will show under the lower jaw or just beyond the gill cover. Determine if the same fish scratches the same spot on it’s body consistently, that will lead you to the source of the irritation. Look for any sign, even 1 spot. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. Should you see something, check that fish the next day and see if the 1 spot becomes 2 or if it disappears.

    Try shining a flashlight on the suspect fish through the glass after ‘lights out’. This method makes those fine, hard to see parasites more obvious.

    Good luck with your situation.

    Regards,
    -Gary

Similar Threads

  1. Flashing?
    By LordVega in forum The Beginner's Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-17-2010, 08:32 PM
  2. Flashing?
    By PEKO in forum Cichlid Health
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-02-2009, 06:35 PM
  3. Eco-Complete African Cichlid Sand or Gavel?
    By K_Labs in forum Your Aquarium: Equipment, Water Chemistry, Maintenance
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-01-2007, 12:51 PM
  4. African black knife fish and african cichlids
    By DarrenMnaples in forum Other Non-Cichlids
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-24-2007, 07:31 PM
  5. URL: African Cichlids - An Open Forum For African Cichlid Discussions
    By BrownBullhead in forum African Cichlids: General
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-25-2005, 09:04 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •