Help Please Respond Cichlids Acting Funny

Ziggythecat

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Help my convict cichlid is sitting on the bottom of the tank breathing heavy. She is slightly bloated and not moving much. Last night she and another fish was laying on the bottom so I did a 50% and it seemed to help one of them.

I had an ammonia spike after my vacation and the issue was resolved but now I’m second guessing what is really wrong. I had a female Texas cichlid die the other day and I don’t want to lose this cutie too.
 

johnbirg

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Hi,
Really need more information about the tank and especially what caused the ammonia spike. Was someone caring for the tank in your absence? Was the tank cycled prior to your absence? How big is the tank? What kind of filter do you have? How many fish are in the tank.
 
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Ziggythecat

Ziggythecat

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9 fish currently but I lost one a few days before from a similar problem. I had a friend feed them while I was gone. The tank is 60 gallons been cycled for well over two years. I have a bio wheel filter with blue carton inserts. Ammonia spike was definitely due to over feeding on my part. I get scared my catfish never gets anything due to my greedy fish.

Image1563322911.672362.jpg
 

johnbirg

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Any ammonia or nitrites are harmful or deadly to fish but I guess you already know that. It is strange that if your tank has been running for the time you said that you now have an ammonia spike. Even with a bit of overfeeding your bacteria should be able to cope with the extra load. IMO you need to keep up with the water changes 30-40% and keep testing for ammonia and nitrites. Ammolock at the recommended rate should help but it can stall your cycle. I think your fish are suffering from ammonia burn so the news is not good. Is it possible that your friend who was feeding them also severely overfed them in your absence? I still think something else happened to cause the spike. But in the absence of other information I can only guess that something happened to stall your cycle.
 
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Ziggythecat

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My little friend unfortunately just passed and it makes me so sad. I can’t think of anything else that could’ve caused the spike.

Ziggythecat said:
My little friend unfortunately just passed and it makes me so sad. I can’t think of anything else that could’ve caused the spike.
Should I do another water change? I did a large one yesterday.
 

johnbirg

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Water changes can't hurt. 30-40% every other day should help but you definitely need to check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels daily. If you are not getting nitrate readings that is a sure sign that your cycle has stalled. If that's the case then you will have to do a fish-in cycle to restart again.
 
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Ziggythecat

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When I took my nitrate- readings said 0ppm. Is that what you mean by not getting readings? Also what do you mean by fish in cycle
 

johnbirg

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johnbirg said:
Water changes can't hurt. 30-40% every other day should help but you definitely need to check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels daily. If you are not getting nitrate readings that is a sure sign that your cycle has stalled. If that's the case then you will have to do a fish-in cycle to restart again.
Sorry for your loss.

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/fish-in-cycle.362387/
Have a look at the above resource which explains it. And yes, no nitrates means that ammonia is not being converted so there is definitely something wrong with the cycle.
 
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Ziggythecat

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But when I took ammonia readings today they also said 0ppm so I’m confused- it was much different than yesterday’s spike
 

AquaticJ

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What about nitr(i)te? Not nitr(a)te. With nitr(a)te, it’s crucial to do the test correctly. If your arm is not tired after then you didn’t do the test right. I’d actually lean more towards aggression due to how the Convict looked.
 

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