Please help! Sick fish.

  1. anz Member Member

    Please help. I am new to fish keeping. I have a 55 gallon tank with 4 african cichlids. My tank is not cycled. When I first added the fish I had 3 cichlids and 1 pleco. I used Top Fin bacterial supplement and Top Fin declorinator. After a couple of day the fish 1 fish died. Then a couple of days later another died. I replaced with 2 more fish. Up to this point my water readings were all at zero (API freshwater master kit).

    So, this past week, the ammonia started to rise to .25 which I believe is not good for the fish, but not deadly(nitrite still at zero). I have been doing daily water changes (10-15%) and started using Prime. After the first time using the Prime, they perked up and I thought they would be ok. However, the next day 1 of the fish died, and the rest are not looking good.

    They are basically laying on the bottom of the tank. On one, the gills look red.
    Today I did a 30% water change, added Prime and they still look like they are on deaths door. Please help!

    ps, none of the fish ever hovered at the tope of the tank gasping for air.
     
  2. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    You could possibly have a couple of problems. The fish could be feeling the effects of a cycling tank. For that (shy of returning the fish and going with a fishless cycle) all you can do is either daily water changes with Prime or add a bottle of SafeStart (but be sure to wait 24 hours after using Prime to add the Safestart to the tank. The Prime will interfere with the SafeStart.)

    But it is possible that there are aggression issues. While I have no experiance with African Cichlids, from what I understand they are very aggressive and when housing them, it should be in an overstocked tank to help spread out the aggression.

    Good luck!
     

  3. pitbull_nc Member Member

    I dont know a lot about freshwater, (i started off with sw) but I do know a cycled tank is very important to there success. I too use prime and it will help with the ammonia. I dont know about your test kit but some test kits will still read positive for ammonia after using prime but the prime is supposed to turn it into a nontoxic form. so dont overdue it with the prime. I wish the best of luck to you and keep us updated.
     
  4. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    African Cichlids are terrible to use during a cycle. They will VERY QUICKLY falter under any ammonia and nitrite. I would recommend you return them and do a fishless cycle. Daily Water changes will not alleviate the problem enough for the africans to handle it.
     

  5. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    :;hi2My african cichlids are very sensative to any change in water conditions. I added them when the tank was completely cycled, and I did not add them all at once. I have a very heavily stocked cichlid tankand now that it is cycled they do fine.

    My south american cichlids are even more sensative to anything in the water. Any sign of ammonia or nitrite (even when using Prime) and the fins begin to shred.

    You have to be super careful with cichlids. Maybe you could cylcle with some tetras or something like that.???
     
  6. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    Most tetras wont tolerate it either, infact i dont think there are any that do even remotley well in amonia. Why not just a fishless cycle, just as fast, a lot more safe.
     
  7. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    :;otThat is true, then there won't be a body count. What fish are good for cycling if it is done that way??:cool:
     

  8. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    None imo, they all take damage. However, Dojo loaches and tilapia are two fish that ive worked with that can take amonia pretty well. I suppose for a tank you can use molleys(ive seen it done).
     
  9. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    The fish that are most tolerant of bad water quality are:

    Danios
    Rasboras
    Plecos
    Some Catfish
    Livebearers

    Beyond that, the rest of the families are terrible at handling bad water qaulity. That being said, the fish above will still struggle in the presence of BWQ...

    Hence why a fishless cycle is the best thing to do. No other way is right IMO.