African cichlid frustration

Lebeeze

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Okay I need to get to the bottom of this once and for all. I dont mean to get dramatic but I am sick of losing fish and I dont know what I'm doing wrong.

I have a 135 gallon african cichlid tank, been set up for 3 or 4 months now. The parameters are as follows.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - always under 20
PH - a constant 7.8
Dont remember the exact number but my city has hard water.

So my issue is I always have fish that just dont eat, become lethargic and eventually just die. I've been assuming its malawi bloat but the fish don't ever actually bloat up or anything. Sometimes they wont eat for a couple weeks and then start eating again, sometimes they just dont eat until they die. In the 3 or 4 months I've had this tank I have lost 4 fish like this, and I currently have 3 that are not eating.

I feed the following

Ocean nutrition spirulina flakes
New life spectrum thera+A
New life spectrum algae max
Omega one cichlid pellets(small and large)
Omega one veggie pellets
Top fin cichlid crumbles
Tropical cichlid chips
Tropical malawi chips
Nutrafin bug bites cichlid
Hi Kari cichlid pellets

I have lots of filtration,( large sponge filter, aquaclear 110, canister filter, and a self made sump) do 50 - 70% water changes every wednesday and only feed once or twice a day a normal amount ( they finish it all within 1 or 2 min).

Someone please have an answer because I'm lost and I hate letting these fish die.

The only mistake I've made that I can think of , is up until a week ago, I never pre soaked the pellets, but I cant see that as a reason to lose a fish or more per month.

I took a pic of the moorii dolphin one of the fish currently not eating
 

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MacZ

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Looking at the food you feed... What's the ratio of Mbuna to non-Mbuna in your tank? Which of the foods do you feed most frequently? No live/frozen foods?

I can almost exclusively see peacocks and haps. In case you most regularly feed high plant-content foods this might be a reason they don't like the food. That's one of the reasons I never liked to keep them with Mbuna in the same tank.

Sometimes the animals lowest in the pecking order refuse to eat. Could that be it?

Otherwise I'd overthink where you bought them.

And finally, besides the C. moorii, what species are also not eating? Or has there never been a recurring theme? Some of the more frequently bred species like C. moorii, Yellow Labs and Red Zebras are susceptible to food refusal and accordingly to wasting.
 

A201

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On two seperate past occasions, two different stores, I've bought awesome, healthy looking Peacocks.
Once acclimated, all refused to eat. I tried every trick I knew to entice them.
The hunger strike lasted for weeks until all eventually succumbed. It was so frustrating watching those colorful, healthy looking fish waste away.
There's no way to accurately diagnose a situation like that. I provided a optimal environment, quality food & compatible tankmates.
The phantom disease evidently wasn't contagious.
I blamed the predicament on just plain bad luck. If you ordered on line, be a good idea to contact the vendor & ask for advice. If you buy from a LFS, next time hand pick each fish you buy & make sure the fish is eating.
Hang in there, things will level out.
 

Mcasella

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The blue dolphin looks like it has some tattered fins and color loss going on. I'd say that points towards an aggression issue that is throwing them off their feed. I would say some more sight breaks in the tank will help the fish hide from each other.

I would also deworm your fish, they may be carrying something that is causing them to refuse food or appear weaker to the other fish (and being pushed away from getting food by healthier fish). You can soak food with a wormer (fenbendazole is normally the easiest) and feed to the fish or if the fish isn't eating shoot some of the dissolved wormer into the fish's mouth.
 
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Lebeeze

Lebeeze

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MacZ said:
Looking at the food you feed... What's the ratio of Mbuna to non-Mbuna in your tank? Which of the foods do you feed most frequently? No live/frozen foods?

I can almost exclusively see peacocks and haps. In case you most regularly feed high plant-content foods this might be a reason they don't like the food. That's one of the reasons I never liked to keep them with Mbuna in the same tank.

Sometimes the animals lowest in the pecking order refuse to eat. Could that be it?

Otherwise I'd overthink where you bought them.

And finally, besides the C. moorii, what species are also not eating? Or has there never been a recurring theme? Some of the more frequently bred species like C. moorii, Yellow Labs and Red Zebras are susceptible to food refusal and accordingly to wasting.
I have 7 mbuna, the rest are all peacocks and haps. I have only had 1 mbuna( acei) suffer from bloat and die the rest have all been peacocks or haps. I've had a sunshine peacock, red empress, obliquiden, and the acei all die the same way. I currently have the dolphin, a Taiwan reef and a williamsoni refusing to eat. The williamsoni is at least active in the tank and not just floating in one spot all day.

A201 said:
On two seperate past occasions, two different stores, I've bought awesome, healthy looking Peacocks.
Once acclimated, all refused to eat. I tried every trick I knew to entice them.
The hunger strike lasted for weeks until all eventually succumbed. It was so frustrating watching those colorful, healthy looking fish waste away.
There's no way to accurately diagnose a situation like that. I provided a optimal environment, quality food & compatible tankmates.
The phantom disease evidently wasn't contagious.
I blamed the predicament on just plain bad luck. If you ordered on line, be a good idea to contact the vendor & ask for advice. If you buy from a LFS, next time hand pick each fish you buy & make sure the fish is eating.
Hang in there, things will level out.
They have all been form lfs I have yet to try ordering online. Just hearing that other people have had this issue makes me feel better because I thought I was doing something wrong and these fish were dying because of my stupidity.

The red empress I even put in a hospital tank and dosed with epsom salt with 50% water changes everyday. Eventually I just put him back In the main tank and he ate for a couple days then just stopped again.
Edit: now that I think about it, the red empress, Taiwan reef and moorii were all purchased from the same store.



Mcasella said:
The blue dolphin looks like it has some tattered fins and color loss going on. I'd say that points towards an aggression issue that is throwing them off their feed. I would say some more sight breaks in the tank will help the fish hide from each other.

I would also deworm your fish, they may be carrying something that is causing them to refuse food or appear weaker to the other fish (and being pushed away from getting food by healthier fish). You can soak food with a wormer (fenbendazole is normally the easiest) and feed to the fish or if the fish isn't eating shoot some of the dissolved wormer into the fish's mouth.
Do you know how or where I can get this product? Is it something I can order on Amazon?
 

Mcasella

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Lebeeze said:
I have 7 mbuna, the rest are all peacocks and haps. I have only had 1 mbuna( acei) suffer from bloat and die the rest have all been peacocks or haps. I've had a sunshine peacock, red empress, obliquiden, and the acei all die the same way. I currently have the dolphin, a Taiwan reef and a williamsoni refusing to eat. The williamsoni is at least active in the tank and not just floating in one spot all day.


They have all been form lfs I have yet to try ordering online. Just hearing that other people have had this issue makes me feel better because I thought I was doing something wrong and these fish were dying because of my stupidity.

The red empress I even put in a hospital tank and dosed with epsom salt with 50% water changes everyday. Eventually I just put him back In the main tank and he ate for a couple days then just stopped again.
Edit: now that I think about it, the red empress, Taiwan reef and moorii were all purchased from the same store.




Do you know how or where I can get this product? Is it something I can order on Amazon?
You can get it via dog dewormer, I use safe guard wormer, it is a powder that has to be crushed fine to dissolve completely. A 1 gram packet normally doses for about 60-100 gallons of water, however it will be more than enough to dose via food. I normally do three days in a row to make sure everyone gets enough of a dose over the days.
 
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Lebeeze

Lebeeze

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Mcasella said:
You can get it via dog dewormer, I use safe guard wormer, it is a powder that has to be crushed fine to dissolve completely. A 1 gram packet normally doses for about 60-100 gallons of water, however it will be more than enough to dose via food. I normally do three days in a row to make sure everyone gets enough of a dose over the days.
Okay I saw on amazon fenbendazole for dogs and cats. That will be safe for the fish? And do I dissolve it in a cup of water and then put the pellets in the water to soak it up, then feed to the fish?
 

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