Whats Wrong With My Yellow Lab?

Paul McCarthy
  • #1
Whats wrong with my yellow lab? Its been like this for over 2 week now and won't accept food. It doesn't seem like its in that place for air but rather just to hide. I say that because it switches between that spot near the surface on the wavemaker and a spot under the filter which is internal at the bottom of the tank. It did fine for a week and then this. Just to add it swims fine and has nothing visibly wrong with it on the surface i.e. spots, blemishes, marks, fin damage, injuries or discoloration. Not sure what is going on. I'm not an expert but would he even be alive after not eating for 2 weeks? Or do you think he is when noone is looking? He literally staysin 1 of the 2 spots all the time. He doesn't swim around anymore anyway.
/*
* ----TANK DETAILS----
*
* Size: 42 gallons
* Temp: 79°F
* ph: 7.2 (should be around 8.2 for *african cichlids)
* no2: 0 - 0.2
* no3: 0 - 0.2
* gh: 60
* kh: 80
*
* The tank had 5 malawI cichlids in it *for about 9 months now before the *yellow lab was introduced so it has *been cycled.
*
* Filters:
* 3 150 gallon/hour internal filters
* 2 airstones and a wavemaker for *airation.
*
* Lights on: 7am
* Lights off: 7pm
*
* Water changes: 40% every sunday *and 20% every thursday. I rinse the *filter every month 1 time on the first .
*
* Feeding: 2x daily
* Food: Tetra cichlid flakes, tetra *tropical flakes, Dried krill, *bloodworms, insects, pleco wafers(for *my pleco but they get to it too)
*
* I do not feed them all these things at *once or every day even. I also skip a *day of feeding sometimes to mix it up *for them. They never know what its *going to be. Id like that if I were a fish *so I do that for them.
*
* I have only 5 other malawI cichlids in *the tank but just to note they are all *larger than the yellow lab.
*
* sorry about the lights in the pic. I *didnt want to interrupt the fishs night *for my pics by turning the day light *back on.
*\
 

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Ed204
  • #2
HI there,
Do you see any other fish bullying your Yellow Lab? That's usally what happens with African Cichlids.
 
Braedon
  • #3
Whats wrong with my yellow lab? Its been like this for over 2 week now and won't accept food. It doesn't seem like its in that place for air but rather just to hide. I say that because it switches between that spot near the surface on the wavemaker and a spot under the filter which is internal at the bottom of the tank. It did fine for a week and then this. Just to add it swims fine and has nothing visibly wrong with it on the surface i.e. spots, blemishes, marks, fin damage, injuries or discoloration. Not sure what is going on. I'm not an expert but would he even be alive after not eating for 2 weeks? Or do you think he is when noone is looking? He literally staysin 1 of the 2 spots all the time. He doesn't swim around anymore anyway.
/*
* ----TANK DETAILS----
*
* Size: 42 gallons
* Temp: 79°F
* ph: 7.2 (should be around 8.2 for *african cichlids)
* no2: 0 - 0.2
* no3: 0 - 0.2
* gh: 60
* kh: 80
*
* The tank had 5 malawI cichlids in it *for about 9 months now before the *yellow lab was introduced so it has *been cycled.
*
* Filters:
* 3 150 gallon/hour internal filters
* 2 airstones and a wavemaker for *airation.
*
* Lights on: 7am
* Lights off: 7pm
*
* Water changes: 40% every sunday *and 20% every thursday. I rinse the *filter every month 1 time on the first .
*
* Feeding: 2x daily
* Food: Tetra cichlid flakes, tetra *tropical flakes, Dried krill, *bloodworms, insects, pleco wafers(for *my pleco but they get to it too)
*
* I do not feed them all these things at *once or every day even. I also skip a *day of feeding sometimes to mix it up *for them. They never know what its *going to be. Id like that if I were a fish *so I do that for them.
*
* I have only 5 other malawI cichlids in *the tank but just to note they are all *larger than the yellow lab.
*
* sorry about the lights in the pic. I *didnt want to interrupt the fishs night *for my pics by turning the day light *back on.
*\
Sorry might have missed it but what's is your ammonia levels?

ed204 is probably right he is most likely being bullied, So he goes in the top corner to try and get away from everything else going on. Try putting him in a quarantine tank and see if his behavior changes.
 
KimberlyG
  • #4
Paul, I have had MalawI Mbunas for about 25 years. Your tank is slightly smaller than I would suggest but not to the point that it would be causing this problem. I agree with Ed that the fish is probably being bullied. Mine are in a 55 gallon . I try to stock between 20 - 22 in a 55 gallon. My stock is now low (18) but I am waiting to change my hardscape with rocks from our vacation and changing the hardscape is an excellent time to add new fish because territories are gone. I would never add a single Mbuna. I try to add four at a time. These are aggressive and when numbers are low, as yours are, there is often one fish singled out for the constant chasing. Keeping higher numbers has been shown to disperse the aggression. Fish are still getting chased, but it is not the same fish all the time. I keep my tank at 76-77*. This temperature also cuts down on aggression. The higher the temperature, the higher the aggression plus at higher temperatures, breeding behaviors begin to show and the aggression can escalate.
There is another factor that may be coming into play here. You said you keep MalawI cichlids. If the Lab (Mbuna) is being kept in a tank with peacocks and haps, a different kind of problem may occur. These three types of cichlids are all from Lake Malawi, but not found in the same areas of the lake. Fish send out different signals and warnings that others of their kind understand. A Peacock may not be able to recognize the warnings given out by a Mbuna, and vice versa. I know that some people have been able to keep peacocks in a Mbuna tank. It is not something I try. I strive for a peacefully aggressive active tank.
Overstocking requires double the normal filtration and water changes. Your water changes are fine if you decide to go this route, I would have to check your gph. If your 42 does not have a footprint similar to that of a 40 breeder, none of this should be attempted. You need that length to break up line-of-site and make different areas.
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Sorry might have missed it but what's is your ammonia levels?
Well if you can't tell by this then I'm not quite sure. Is this helpful?
Size: 42 gallons
* Temp: 79°F
* ph: 7.2 (should be around 8.2 for *african cichlids)
* no2: 0 - 0.2
* no3: 0 - 0.2
* gh: 60
* kh: 80
 
KimberlyG
  • #6
Sorry might have missed it but what's is your ammonia levels?
I have seen results listed like this before, their test kits do not measure for NH3 (ammonia)
 
Braedon
  • #7
Well if you can't tell by this then I'm not quite sure. Is this helpful?
Size: 42 gallons
* Temp: 79°F
* ph: 7.2 (should be around 8.2 for *african cichlids)
* no2: 0 - 0.2
* no3: 0 - 0.2
* gh: 60
* kh: 80
ammonia is NH3, so I would test your ammonia.

You can get cheap ammonia strips for a few bucks
 
KimberlyG
  • #8
You can get cheap ammonia strips for a few bucks
I use the API Master Test Kit and ammonia is included in that liquid kit. I know people do not find the strips reliable and report that they are pricey as well. I don't think there are test strips that are only for ammonia but I am unsure. A lot of pet stores provide free water testing. That may be an option for you if price is a concern right now. (We've all juggled between eating and buying that new fish we just discovered. lol)
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
ammonia is NH3, so I would test your ammonia.
Oh okay NH3 I didn't know that. Thanks. I have to buy the apI master kit then these 5 in 1 test strips don't test for nh3.

I have seen results listed like this before, their test kits do not measure for NH3 (ammonia)
No I just discovered it doesn't too. I have to buy the master test kit

Whats wrong with my yellow lab? Its been like this for over 2 week now and won't accept food. It doesn't seem like its in that place for air but rather just to hide. I say that because it switches between that spot near the surface on the wavemaker and a spot under the filter which is internal at the bottom of the tank. It did fine for a week and then this. Just to add it swims fine and has nothing visibly wrong with it on the surface i.e. spots, blemishes, marks, fin damage, injuries or discoloration. Not sure what is going on. I'm not an expert but would he even be alive after not eating for 2 weeks? Or do you think he is when noone is looking? He literally staysin 1 of the 2 spots all the time. He doesn't swim around anymore anyway.
/*
* ----TANK DETAILS----
*
* Size: 42 gallons
* Temp: 79°F
* ph: 7.2 (should be around 8.2 for *african cichlids)
* no2: 0 - 0.2
* no3: 0 - 0.2
* gh: 60
* kh: 80
*
* The tank had 5 malawI cichlids in it *for about 9 months now before the *yellow lab was introduced so it has *been cycled.
*
* Filters:
* 3 150 gallon/hour internal filters
* 2 airstones and a wavemaker for *airation.
*
* Lights on: 7am
* Lights off: 7pm
*
* Water changes: 40% every sunday *and 20% every thursday. I rinse the *filter every month 1 time on the first .
*
* Feeding: 2x daily
* Food: Tetra cichlid flakes, tetra *tropical flakes, Dried krill, *bloodworms, insects, pleco wafers(for *my pleco but they get to it too)
*
* I do not feed them all these things at *once or every day even. I also skip a *day of feeding sometimes to mix it up *for them. They never know what its *going to be. Id like that if I were a fish *so I do that for them.
*
* I have only 5 other malawI cichlids in *the tank but just to note they are all *larger than the yellow lab.
*
* sorry about the lights in the pic. I *didnt want to interrupt the fishs night *for my pics by turning the day light *back on.
*\
Just wanted to also note that all of the other fish have been in the tank for over 6 months and are doing fine.
 
Da_MOJO
  • #10
My Yellow Lab was acting similar to yours in the sense of not eating for quite some time. She would swim around with no problems and seemed generally happy. She is about 4-4.5 inches so she is pretty big. I just kept monitoring her for any signs of stress, or infection but nothing ever surfaced. I fed my fish as normal (OmegaOne Cichlid Flakes) and she would just pass them up. This was going on for a couple weeks. When I first brought her home, she was eating like a normal Cichlid would (like they're always starving...LoL).

It wasn't until recently that she started eating consistently and chasing after her Flake food. What I did notice was she has been constantly pooping. So my only assumption was she was "constipated". Once she was able to finally pass whatever was "backing" her up, she seemed to feel better and her appetite is slowly returning. The thing with these types of Cichlid, is they need more of a vegetable based diet. So my suggestion is to try and include some seaweed or vegetables from your fridge (Lettuce, Carrots, Zuchini, etc.). You can google what types of veggies to feed them. That should help your Lab pass anything that might be backing her up.


Best of luck!
 
AWheeler
  • #11
Are you sure it is not a female that is "holding"?
 
Braedon
  • #12
No I just discovered it doesn't too. I have to buy the master test kit
Not necessarily you could get ammonia strips for a few buck. They will do the job
 
Da_MOJO
  • #13
Are you sure it is not a female that is "holding"?

Let me clarify the "She" portion of this fish. My Wife has deemed it a female and named her "Belle" (She's a big Disney fan). I haven't had the time or guts to determine the sex of the fish by venting, so I just rolled with it and by default I call it a She. Very well could be a male...

Now to answer your question, I thought at first that my Lab was holding and the reason for not eating. But S/He would constantly dig up my substrate. I assumed there was no way she could be holding AND digging (as well as spitting out the substrate). I could be mistaken, and please inform me if I am wrong. But I chalked it up to "Belle" just being "backed up"...LoL
 
AWheeler
  • #14
Yeah, I doubt it is holding if it is spitting substrate I've seen mine holding and they will hide at the top and around the filter sometimes, that is why I thought that.
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
HI there,
Do you see any other fish bullying your Yellow Lab? That's usally what happens with African Cichlids.
Hey. The first week of having it it swam around freely but unfortunately I work all day and work occupies a lot of my time so if bullying was happening I failed to notice it. Since its been acting this way I have been paying close attention from a distance so that the fish act normal unlike when they see you and they think they are going to eat. From my day to day observations of itg.jt

Let me clarify the "She" portion of this fish. My Wife has deemed it a female and named her "Belle" (She's a big Disney fan). I haven't had the time or guts to determine the sex of the fish by venting, so I just rolled with it and by default I call it a She. Very well could be a male...

Now to answer your question, I thought at first that my Lab was holding and the reason for not eating. But S/He would constantly dig up my substrate. I assumed there was no way she could be holding AND digging (as well as spitting out the substrate). I could be mistaken, and please inform me if I am wrong. But I chalked it up to "Belle" just being "backed up"...LoL
Well I'm not sure either but I could imagine them being able to dig as well as hold fry if the fry were maybe held in 1 section of the fishs mouth like a pocket. Compared to humans I mean like the space under your tonguegppp]p]]]]l


Hey everyone. I appreciate all the responses but I'm afraid I asked for help too late and sadly the little guy passed away and my pleco ate some of him or her. Thank you everyone

My Yellow Lab was acting similar to yours in the sense of not eating for quite some time. She would swim around with no problems and seemed generally happy. She is about 4-4.5 inches so she is pretty big. I just kept monitoring her for any signs of stress, or infection but nothing ever surfaced. I fed my fish as normal (OmegaOne Cichlid Flakes) and she would just pass them up. This was going on for a couple weeks. When I first brought her home, she was eating like a normal Cichlid would (like they're always starving...LoL).

It wasn't until recently that she started eating consistently and chasing after her Flake food. What I did notice was she has been constantly pooping. So my only assumption was she was "constipated". Once she was able to finally pass whatever was "backing" her up, she seemed to feel better and her appetite is slowly returning. The thing with these types of Cichlid, is they need more of a vegetable based diet. So my suggestion is to try and include some seaweed or vegetables from your fridge (Lettuce, Carrots, Zuchini, etc.). You can google what types of veggies to feed them. That should help your Lab pass anything that might be backing her up.


Best of luck!
Hey thank but it passed away yesterday
 
Da_MOJO
  • #16
Sorry to hear! Maybe there was something internally wrong with your Lab that just couldn't be helped. Dont get discouraged...
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Sorry to hear! Maybe there was something internally wrong with your Lab that just couldn't be helped. Dont get discouraged...
No I'm not. You know I didnt mention before but this is the second yellow lab in a row!? The one before went through the same thing but yet all of my other fish are doing great. The ph is a little low. Its at 7.1 - 7.2 and I know african cichlids ph should be around 8.1. I'm stumped. Both yellow labs were significantly smaller when introduced so maybe they both just caved under the stress. I hate to see a fish suffer and you can't figure out what itis. They can be so delicate sometimes.
 
mswan1069
  • #18
It sounds like it's dying. Sorry brah.
 
AllieSten
  • #19
You do need to still get the liquid test kit to be sure you are in fact dealing with a fully cycled tank. Without knowing your ammonia level, you won't know for sure. You may need to adjust your water changing schedule. I test my water once a week before my water change. I plan on a 50% water change, but if my chemistries (nitrates) are too high I adjust my amount I change. With this being the second loss in your tank, there is definitely something going on.

The test strips are notoriously inaccurate. I would also get a gh/kH liquid testing kit. Be sure to test your tap water also. Sometimes the problem lies with the tap water not with the tank water.

Sorry about your loss.
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
You do need to still get the liquid test kit to be sure you are in fact dealing with a fully cycled tank. Without knowing your ammonia level, you won't know for sure. You may need to adjust your water changing schedule. I test my water once a week before my water change. I plan on a 50% water change, but if my chemistries (nitrates) are too high I adjust my amount I change. With this being the second loss in your tank, there is definitely something going on.

The test strips are notoriously inaccurate. I would also get a gh/kH liquid testing kit. Be sure to test your tap water also. Sometimes the problem lies with the tap water not with the tank water.

Sorry about your loss.
I have 5 other cichlids(not sure exactly which kind)
1 - is all orange
2 - blue and black stripes
3 - is yellow and black stripes(like a bee)
4 - is all pink with faint darker pink stripes
5 - is different shades of browns in splotches
These 5 I have had from the beginning about 7 or 8 months now and they are great. They are all active(they dig, swim around, graze etc...) and they all love to eat. I also had the first yellow lab in the beginning with the other 5 and it went through the same thing and died. It acted normal the first week and then one day I found it hiding between the glass and filter and then it never ate or acted normal again until it died, so I didnt buy any moreafter that and I decided to just let the tank establish itself.
Now 8 months later the other 5 are bigger and as I said doing great. The tank cycled (my tests do not test for nh3 ammonia but my nitrates and nitrites are all 0) so I decided a couple weeks ago to buy another Yellow lab and again the same exact situation, fine for a week and then ill. I know it must be some parameter or bullying or both but until I get ammonia strips or the apI master test kit I can only speculate. I won't buy any more fish until I get to the bottom of it as I don't want to see them suffer.
In the past week or so I learned more in depth knowlede about the nitogen cycle and common practices but unfortunately because of ignorance I didnt certain things that I should have like the full acclamation process for example. I acclimated the yellow labs to the waters temperature but didnt do a slow drip to acclimate it to the waters chemistry or instead of adding at least 2 I only added the yellow lab alone so it probably was a target for bullys. Things like that I just wouldnt have ever guessed were necessary but now I know. So they won't have died in vain.
 
Paul McCarthy
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I have 5 other cichlids(not sure exactly which kind)
1 - is all orange
2 - blue and black stripes
3 - is yellow and black stripes(like a bee)
4 - is all pink with faint darker pink stripes
5 - is different shades of browns in splotches
These 5 I have had from the beginning about 7 or 8 months now and they are great. They are all active(they dig, swim around, graze etc...) and they all love to eat. I also had the first yellow lab in the beginning with the other 5 and it went through the same thing and died. It acted normal the first week and then one day I found it hiding between the glass and filter and then it never ate or acted normal again until it died, so I didnt buy any moreafter that and I decided to just let the tank establish itself.
Now 8 months later the other 5 are bigger and as I said doing great. The tank cycled (my tests do not test for nh3 ammonia but my nitrates and nitrites are all 0) so I decided a couple weeks ago to buy another Yellow lab and again the same exact situation, fine for a week and then ill. I know it must be some parameter or bullying or both but until I get ammonia strips or the apI master test kit I can only speculate. I won't buy any more fish until I get to the bottom of it as I don't want to see them suffer.
In the past week or so I learned more in depth knowlede about the nitogen cycle and common practices but unfortunately because of ignorance I didnt certain things that I should have like the full acclamation process for example. I acclimated the yellow labs to the waters temperature but didnt do a slow drip to acclimate it to the waters chemistry or instead of adding at least 2 I only added the yellow lab alone so it probably was a target for bullys. Things like that I just wouldnt have ever guessed were necessary but now I know. So they won't have died in vain.
Sorry for my terrible typing btw and spelling\grammer errors.

It sounds like it's dying. Sorry brah.
It did
 

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