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AfricanCichlidForum > General Cichlid Discussion > Health Discussion
Seattlemetal
hello- this is my first post, and I'll tell you now, I have no idea what I'm doing with these fish..... icon_mrgreen.gif

we have a 125 gal tank, Temp varies between 77-78 degrees, I use Kent cichlid products to treat the water, along with aquarium salt....I have 2 yellow labs, and the rest of them I dont know what they are because I bought them at petco and didnt think I needed to know what their actual names were....alltogether I have 8 fish all around 2 inches long....theres two 'bumble bee' ones...a male and a female, and then two female ones that look like the bumblebee ones, except their blue and not orange........and a few others....I also have a pleco and a catfish....

I have a cascade 1200 cannister filter...its rated for 150 gallons, I have 125....

my tank is only about 2 months old, I've probably had about 10 different fish die on me, mostly from bloat....a couple from unknown causes.... sad-smiley-014.gif

I started out feeding mainly frozen brine shrimp cause someone told me it keeps the tank cleaner....I've since discovered that some of these fish have to eat different stuff.....

now I feed mainly Wardley pellets, 1-2 times a day, but whenever I put the algae wafers in for the pleco and catfish, the cichlids go crazy on it....

so, I need help, I feel like I'm killing fish because I dont know what the hell I'm doing, and you ask the stores and they either all have different answers, or they have no idea...one place sold me water softener, and come to find out, they like hard water speechless-smiley-015.gif

at one point about a month ago, I treated the entire tank with marycin(sp?) 2 because several of them seemed bloated (that was before I learned about the different diet requirements) most of them got better....one Jewel died in spite of the treatment.

I use those 5 in 1 dipstick type tests to check the water and they all come out OK....

so the first thing I need to figure out is why this yellow lab has gotten all black under his belly and on his cheeks and face....he's dying, and I cant find out whats killing him....he's on the bottom, not eating, hiding, doing the vertical swim thing by the heater etc etc

the chick at petco seriously told me that they turn that color when they get older and perhaps he's about to spawn.....but I believe him to be a her....no dots on the anal fin....

anyway, I have attached pictures of him, (or her), but I only have a lousy cameraphone, so their not very good, sorry!Click to view attachmentClick to view attachmentClick to view attachment

also, I need to figure out what kind of fish I have, and what they need to be eating and what their water should be....do any of you know of a really good site that has pictures? everytime I search I find a list of species, then I have to click on each one to see a picture...with thousands of them, I cant possibly sit there and click every single one till I see something that looks like my fish...is there a site that shows pictures

also, can anyone tell me:
-how much salt to put in and how often? is there a test to see if I have enough or too much?
-how often to do water changes?
-am I a moron for buying fish from petco? where do you all get your fish from?
-how often do I clean the filter? how often do I change the carbon filter bag thingy?


so, I know that this is pretty basic stuff for you guys, but I need to get this figured out and the local stores dont seem to know whats really going on....

thanks so much for reading all this, I appreciate any help you all can offer up! wave.gif
Heather
First and foremost, welcome again to ACF! I must say, I am a huge fan of "Seattle metal" myself... icon_mrgreen.gif

Now, here's my thoughts on your situation:

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
hello- this is my first post, and I'll tell you now, I have no idea what I'm doing with these fish..... icon_mrgreen.gif

Give us just 24 hours... you'll be amazed how much you learn icon_cheers.gif
QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
my tank is only about 2 months old, I've probably had about 10 different fish die on me, mostly from bloat....a couple from unknown causes.... sad-smiley-014.gif

Did you cycle your tank first to establish biological filtration before you added the full bio load?

In other words, I think that's what killed your fish if you didn't, water quality - or lack thereof wink.gif
Do you own a siphon?
To understand more about the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium, click below thumbsup.gif
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
I started out feeding mainly frozen brine shrimp cause someone told me it keeps the tank cleaner....

This is completely false.. but funny... please relay this information to whomever told you this thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
now I feed mainly Wardley pellets, 1-2 times a day, but whenever I put the algae wafers in for the pleco and catfish, the cichlids go crazy on it....

Be careful not to over feed!! Excess waste is not a good thing.

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
so, I need help, I feel like I'm killing fish because I dont know what the hell I'm doing, and you ask the stores and they either all have different answers, or they have no idea...one place sold me water softener, and come to find out, they like hard water speechless-smiley-015.gif

Less LFS more ACF and you'll be just fine thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
at one point about a month ago, I treated the entire tank with marycin(sp?) 2 because several of them seemed bloated (that was before I learned about the different diet requirements) most of them got better....one Jewel died in spite of the treatment.

I suspect because of the water conditions.... how often do you do water changes and how do you do them?

Medications can help to treat medical issues but there's usually underlying stress factors that cause the problem to begin with. Better to get to the root of the problem I think, and I believe that's why your jewel didn't survive despite treatment... the underlying cause -whatever it was- was not addressed.

Are/were you keeping your jewels in with your mbuna? "Electric yellow labs" etc.?

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
I use those 5 in 1 dipstick type tests to check the water and they all come out OK....

Assuming those sticks are accurate, which old ones and some batches in general are not, this is good news.. th_38326493.gif Were they within normal ranges when you lost your "10 fish or so" ?

QUOTE(Seattlemetal @ Jun 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *
so the first thing I need to figure out is why this yellow lab has gotten all black under his belly and on his cheeks and face....he's dying, and I cant find out whats killing him....he's on the bottom, not eating, hiding, doing the vertical swim thing by the heater etc etc

Sounds like stress to me, although I've had LFS bought yellows go black in the face on me before just due to old age. But the fact that it's also on the bottom and not eating.. sounds like it's not well.



I'll let somebody else try to help you from here on.... but I hope that much helped icon_cheers.gif
Seattlemetal
bowdown.gif oh thank you for the reply!

yes, we had the yellows and jewels together the LFS person told us that as long as they were about the same size, and had plenty of room they'd be OK....I've had two jewels die....
like I said, I have no idea what I'm doing and I just went and bought all the pretty ones grin.gif

so old age on the yellow huh? does it matter that he's only 2"? are they a 'dwarf'?

I often wonder about the pellets....they seem to swell up once they've been in the water for a few...do they do that in their tummies too? is that bad?

I did a 25% water change about 2 weeks ago, I think I should do it again.....I have one of those gravel vacuums with the big long hose that hooks to the faucet....but when I did that water change, I could only reach half the tank, so I have to get my husband to take the thingy off the kitchen faucet to see if that one reaches better than the bathroom icon_mrgreen.gif

why are the fish so afraid of the camera? laughing-smiley-015.gif they usually come right to my face when I sit and look at them, but as soon as I bring up the cameraphone, they bolt! laughing-smiley-015.gif
HornPlayer54
Yes, welcome!!!! I think you'll find this site has a lot of helpful and friendly people. I hope we can get your tank working proprly soon!

If you haven't had a chance to read the link Heather gave you about the nitrogen cycle, you should take the time. I suspect that the root of your problems have to do with the issues involved in the "cycle."

I would be willing to bet that you could potentially see major improvement in the behavior of your fish with a good water change. Make sure you use a good water conditioner, but if you do and change a sizable amount (perhaps as much as 50-60%), they may do much better. This will not mean that you are out of the woods or that the losses will cease, but it may put you on the road to recovery. The link will help explain why a water change could do so much good.

If the article is not helpful, I'm sure someone could recap it for you. My apologies that I must run and can't do it myself just now.

Again, welcome!!!!
iuhippiechick
I am by far NOT an expert, I've only been in the hobby a little over a year, so I'll let others respond to the bulk of your questions. But, for what it's worth, any yellow labs I've had that have gotten stressed and/or sick and died never turned black. They always got very pale. A fish friend of mine (a source for some of my yellow labs) told me that yellow labs sometimes get a dark "beard" when they get old. However, I wouldn't think yours would be that old if it's only 2". Unless, maybe, it's growth was somehow stunted early on and it just never obtained a longer length.
birdman1099
I too believe it may be a water quality issue. To maintain good quality, I would suggest a water change every week of 30 %. Make sure you do use a good de-chlorinator. Prime is wahat I use.
This should, with time, solve many problems. Check The NitrItes often. Zero nitrites is your goal. Do constant water changes until you reach that goal. Make sure you are vacuuming the gravel each water change. If you are using a "python" for your changes, you can order an extension for it so it will reach the whole tank.

I have some filter questions for you. What kind of filter media are yopu using in the canister? Do you have some Bio-Filtration media. (ie. ceramic rings, lava rock, sponges, plastic balls...) Make sure you have plenty of media to grow your beneficial Bacteria to break down ammonia and nitrites. NEVER wash the Bio-Media. just rinse it out in old tank water. NEVER at the sink using the tap!!!! Please read and fully understand the Nitrogen Cycle in a tank. THIS IS A NECESSITY.

As for your Lab, I can tell you he is a male. The dark face is surely a sign of stress. Could either be water quality or aggression. Fix the water and watch out for aggression issues.

I can also tell you, if you have bumble bees in with other non-aggressive species(ie. Yellow Labs) that will lead to stress and/or the loss of more fish. Just keep an eye out for the aggressors.

as for the feeding of pellets. All pellets are dehydrated, They will expand in water. Just keep that in mind when feeding. Remember, a fish's stomach is the same size as his eye. so depending on the size of the pellet, 1 or 2 pellets may be plenty. and, try only feeding once a day until we are sure you've taken care of the cycling issue. then maybe go to 2 light feedings a day. Alsa, I've never used Wardley Pellets, so I can't speak for their quality, but if you could find NLS (New Life Spectrum cichlid formula) I can guarantee it is a quality food.

For fish ID's. Post us some pics, even if it is with your camera phone. We may not be able to tell you for sure what a fish is due to pic quality, but we should be able to help you narrow down your search to just a few options.

I'm sorry you have to live through this experience without any help. It's a shame that many LFS that sell you tanks and fish really have no idea what to do, or help anyone else for that matter.

Please keep us posted and ask as many questions as you need. We are more that happy to help.



Scott
Seattlemetal
UPDATE:

the electric yellow that was turning black...is dead :rip:
sad-smiley-014.gif

I did a water change...probably about 1/3, and the other fish have definately returned to normal behaviour...they had been a little skitish...

I also cleaned out the filter last night because it seemed to be getting clogged up.....that seems to be helping too....

all the fich come and swim by my face when I look at them like they used to icon_mrgreen.gif

however, the Male bumble bee has gotten REALLY aggressive in the last few days and seems to have chosen a new victim, (assuming the yellow lab was a victim of his)

a couple of the others seem to be standing their ground, but this one striped one suddenly has some flesh hanging from the bottom of his left gill....I think he got bit....
sad-smiley-014.gif


so if these bumblebees are too aggressive, what do I do with them?
skraeling
Trade them back to the LFS for credit towards something less maniacal! Good Luck
HornPlayer54
Good advice from skraeling. That's what I would do too. I sure would describe these guys as maniacal like he did!!!
Amber
Its unbelievable what an LFS will tell people some times. Drives me crazy. I never listen to what they have to say anymore. If I need help.. I come to these forums or research it myself.

I am sorry you have had such a rough time of this! It really stinks when you get such bad advice and so much different bad advice thinking these people (lfs workers) know what they are doing and your fish end up dead because of it.

I know these guys here can help you tho! Good luck!

Oh btw.. In your Welcome thread.. I feel like such a dunce.. talking about Washington state.. thinking that Seattlemetal was something about Washington lmao <--- at me!!! I still dont know what seattlemetal is.. but I know its not to do with Washington lol

Amber
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