African Cichlids all breathing heavily.

  1. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Hi guy's I have a 150 litre tank (40 Gallons) with African Cichlids. Today I noticed that they were all breathing really heavily (all of them) I have three Electric yellows, 2 juvenile peacocks, two juvenile zebra's and three small cichlids which I think are regani's.

    I can't figure out the exact cause, I checked my Ammonia and nitrate levels and they are pretty much at Zero, my Ph level is at 8.0 and I've done a 25% water change and still no change. The only issue I have is that I can't get my temperature over 24 degree's Celsius (Or 74 degrees F) I am planning on getting a new heater. I treat my water using Prime.

    I use a 1200 litre per hour canister filter which is accompanied by a aqua clear 50 which both keep the water crystal clear and I have an air curtain. I still can't pin point why my Fish are breathing heavily my only guess is gill flukes but this problem came so suddenly with all my fish so I need a second opinion.

    I really need some urgent advice :(
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Did you mean that your nitrite level was zero? If so, what is your nitrate reading? Is your tank cycled?

  3. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Hi mate thanks for the reply, please scratch that nitrate zero part I only have a test kit for ammonia which was coming back at nil. My tank was cycled with Seachem Stability which I've use for a month so I haven't really had any ammonia spikes, I'm going to get a nitrate test kit today however I did a 25 - 30% water change yesterday but there was still no change in the condition of the fish so I'll try again with another water change.
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    You might want to double check the expiry dates on the ammonia test bottles and maybe even take a water sample to your LPS and get them to test it for you. Just in case your ammonia test is faulty!

    Get a nitrite test as well as nitrate. Might be cheaper to just buy the whole Master Test Kit and get all the tests at once.

    Also look into a GH/KH test kit just to be sure that your water is hard enough for your fish. By the high pH it probably is but you want to be sure. I don't know if that would cause heavy breathing, more likely it's a water quality issue, but it's all worth testing;)

  5. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    I got my water tested at my LFS and all of the levels were normal with the Ammonia and nitrates, Sydney drinking water is really alkaline ( 7.8 - 8.6) and does have a lot of chlorine in it but I use Prime to treat it.

    I did a 50% water change about a 15 minutes ago so I'm just going to wait and see if there is any difference so far I've noticed one of my zebra's started swimming around again but all of my other fish are really stressed out. My PH level is now 7.8 ish and I added some Cichlid trace (Seachem) to the tank to see if that helps.

    My temperature dropped from 25 to 21 degree's during the water change so I used some warm water to help bring it up again and I got my heater going.

    I did have a brain snap at the Aquarium store today as I remembered that I used the same bucket that I used to wash the car a few days ago but I rinsed it out a couple of times so I didn't think too much of it. If it helps the detergent used in that bucket was Meguiars Ultimate wash and wax so could the residue be the cause?
  6. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, definitely the soap residue can cause trouble! But so could the temperature shock with the water change. New water needs to be temperature and pH matched to the tank water so as not to cause shock to the fish.

    What does your LFS consider"normal" for ammonia and nitrates?
  7. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    For normal they consider it to below 0.2 Ppm, for Nh3 and under 10 for Nitrate. Just when I was feeding my fish one of them had a really big shaking fit (seizure like) just when he was about to eat, his gills are opening as wide as they can and closing really rapidly it must be environmental stress but could it also be an indicator of parasites?

  8. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    LeoDiaz knows cichlids, maybe he can help.

    Can you please post all known parameters so far?
  9. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    what are you testing the water with? Also can you post a video on how they are behaving and breathing. Because with gill flukes they also flash(when they scratch themselves against rocks or the substrate.

    Also are the filters breaking the surface tension?
  10. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Hi Leo thanks for posting, I haven't really seen any flashing only apart from what seems to be territorial behavior for cichlids every now and again but nothing chronic. I have an air curtain in the tank and my filters do create a lot of water movement on the surface so I don't think there is a shortage of O2.

    As for test kits I use API products for Ph and Ammonia, My LFS tested my water today with Sera products but it had similar results, I'll have a video up shortly.

    I uploaded the video here

  11. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    It's just me or some of the fish look like they have there belly a little sunken in?
    They are breathing a bit heavy but not that much more then normal. Are they pooping colorless/white poop
  12. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Yes they are! Their poo is white and stringy that's one thing I forgot to mention and it happened from fish to fish.
  13. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

  14. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Thanks Leo I'll give that a try. Hopefully that will help.

    Thank you, I'll give an update on what's happening down the track.
  15. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    Good luck, and welcome to fishlore
  16. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Haha thanks Leo, one issue I'm facing with the medicated is food is that there is zero kinds of medicated food available in Australia so I'm just going to have to import some from the states, it'll take a while but I don't have not much of a choice haha
  17. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    Have you ask around in local shops or fish clubs to see if anyone can get there hands on some?
  18. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    No unfortunately since it hasn't gone through some RSPCA testing or something else before they release it on the market which won't be anytime soon but I found someone who imports it and sells it locally but it's like $50 but anyway I'll bite the bullet and save myself the heartache trying to get someone from Florida to send a small bag half way across the world ;)
  19. ZeusF6 Initiate Member

    Came home from work to find four of my fish were dead, I am getting really frustrated because I have no idea of whats killing them. Even my LFS can't pin point it, Ammonia and Nitrates were not responsible as the test were shown. My temperature is at 28oC and PH 7.8. I added stress Zyme to the tank and that did nothing but put me out of pocket a little bit. I'm gonna check my water for the third time and bring one litre bottle with me to my LFS and this time I am going to test the whole lot for KH, GH, PH, Nh3, RONO2 and whatever other parameters there are I'm at a total loss now.
  20. Thai Aquarium owner Well Known Member Member

    From the look of the fish in the vid, they appear ( as Leodiaz has said ) to have sunken bellies.
    This would indicate to me one of two problems ( or both combined )
    1) The fish are receiving the incorrect diet
    2) There is an intestinal parasite present in the tank that needs urgent treatment.
    FYI, the fish should be housed at between 26 and 28 Deg C
    They should be fed a low protein, high veggie diet
    Mbuna and Haps should never be mixed as diet requirements are different