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Thread: What is a normal breathing rate in Tropheus?

  1. Default What is a normal breathing rate in Tropheus?

    Hi all. Quick question. My juvenile (3 - 4cm) Tropheus seem to have a very high breathing rate of about 2 per 'mouth openings' per second. They have been in my 4󫎾 tank for just over a week. pH, kH, gH etc are all ok. So is ammonia and nitrite etc. Temp is pretty high at around 28 degrees. All are eating flake and grazing on algae. Can others look at their juvenile Tropheus and tell me if theirs are doing the same? Are they stressed or are these little critters just hyper active?

    Image of set up below.

  2. #2
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    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    Doesn't sound like a problem to me.

    Tropheus are indeed hyperactive, at any size. I think 28 degrees is on the high side though; I would do something about that if possible. You could gradually (over a week or two) lower that to 24-25 and they'd be fine. As for the breathing rate your question actually had me go stare at my colony for awhile as in the 7 yrs or so I've had them I've never wondered or worried about that, as the fish seem fine in all other respects. There are a few juvies of various sizes in a mostly adult population in this tank. Breathing rate is a bit hard to assess due to their constant motion, the size of their mouths, and the fact that they seem to take lots of small breaths, only opening their mouths a bit, rather than slow large breaths. The smallest ones I currently have are around 1-2 cm, and their breathing rate seems to be easily 3-4 per second. For the fully grown fish I'd say 2, maybe 3 breaths per second. This is a rather heavily stocked tank, so these guys have a lot goin' on in their little lives.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your reply. Yes it's been ten years since I've kept Tropheus, so I'd forgotten how active they were. Normally such a high breathing rate ( in other species) can indicate a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiello72 View Post
    Normally such a high breathing rate ( in other species) can indicate a problem.
    Agreed. With these guys I think the tiny mouths may have something to do with it.

  5. Default

    Ok. So I dialed back the temperature fron 28 to 25. Breathing has slowed down. I think their breathing must gave been hard work at the higher temp.

  6. Default

    Very nice set up..... what species you keeping?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiello72 View Post
    Ok. So I dialed back the temperature fron 28 to 25. Breathing has slowed down. I think their breathing must gave been hard work at the higher temp.
    Glad to hear that made a difference. And I agree with Anthony, I like the rockwork

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    Only prob is if you plan on stripping them will be hardhere's my ikolas
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonysafricans View Post
    Only prob is if you plan on stripping them will be hard here's my ikolas
    We're straying a bit from the OP's question here, but I use the tip of a small tie-wrap to open their mouths when stripping them, it's not much harder than with mbuna. There is also the funnel method: put fish head down in a funnel, then pour in water so it flows in 'reverse' - in through the gills and out from the mouth; as the fish breathes the fry go out the mouth and down the funnel. Nice looking colony you've got there

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