black ink-like spots on red zebra

barry.os

HI there,

I'm hoping somebody might be able to help with this.

We have an African Cichlid tank that has been stocked for about a month. The first three fish to enter it were three red zebras. The LFS stated that they were a male and two females, but we are not so sure..

Anyway, here is the problem...

One of the red zebras has small black marks on its body..they look like tiny ink blots. I have not been able to verify, but it looks like they might rub off. they are on its body, its fins and even one on the edge of its mouth.

The red zebra in question is the smallest of the three, and has always received a fair amout of chasing and harassment. There are 10 fish in the tank in total, including a few different psuedotropheus (not sure about the spelling) and a pleco. It would seem that it is only the other two, larger red zebras are chasing this fish, the others seem to tolerate it well.

At the moment, this fish spends the majority of its time close to the surphase, hiding from the other zebras.

From what I have read, I think that these spots ar ethe result of stress, because of the harrassment this fish is getting but I am afraid that it might be something contageous that would affect the other fish. I don't know what to do if it is stress, because I do nit have another tank.

I apologise for the length of this post, but I wanted to get as much info conveyed as possible. Finally, the all important tank data:

Tank: Trigon 190
Capacity: approx 40 gal
Stocked fish: 3 zebras, 6 assorted psuedotropheus (not sure of the exact sub-species) 1 clown pleco.
Enviroment: Assorted natural rock with a crushed coral substrate
Tank partameters: ph 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, temp 26 deg C

Many thanks in advance for any help!
 

Allie

If there is only 3 zebras and you don't know what sex they are..... the males will fight and stress each other out.
I know with sub dominant yellow labs they get a dirty look with black marks. Most zebra species are pretty aggressive.
For a happy tank the best combo to have is 1 male to at least 2-4 or more females depending on how aggressive the species are.
Too many single males in any sized tank is a big problem. In a 40 gallon you could have 15 fish. The more fish in a MalawI set up the better...it spread out the aggression.
 

barry.os

Thanks for your reply...

I am not too impressed with the LFS because we were looking for the male: female ratio that you suggested, any they made an error in the gender of the fish they sold us. Still, I guess sometimes it is difficult to sex them properly? I am going to check out some of the other fish suppliers in the area to see if they are any better.

My girlfriend will be delighted that you suggested to add more fish! She would love to add another 4 or 5 fish
 

laurie.os

Yes your girlfriend will be very happy to hear that!!!!!
 

Fishies-for-me

Hmmm ...Me tinks dat is da girlfriend...hehehe.
 

barry.os

Hmmm ...Me tinks dat is da girlfriend...hehehe.

Yes you are right, that's my girlfriend, and the real BOSS of my tank!

Just to update you.....we have in fact added 5 new fish to the tank, and our small zebra seems a bit more confident. In fact, I think he has done well because he has somehow inherited prime spot in our rocks, with the confusion of the new fish!
 

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