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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 07:31 pm:       

55 gallon tank
nitrite:0
nitrate:20ppm reaches about 40ppm before weekly 25% water change
total hardness:150ppm
total alkalinity:180ppm
ph:7.8
fish:
5 African cichlids malawai assorted from walmart 2 at 4-5", 2 at 2", and 1 at about 3"
1 bicolor shark 4-5"
1 red fin shark 4-5"
2 corydora catfish 3" each
1 bolivian ram 3"
The three inch creme color fish with black spots had been picked on by the other fish, and is now hanging out at the water surface, not eating well. He looked like he had a clear capsule that was filled with a red curly cue thing, his belly looks fat and my son says his belly is turning green. All the other fish appear to be okay at this time. This is my first experience with a sick fish. What should I do?
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6697
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 05:51 am:       

ross, you've got an unfortunate mix of fish in that tank and those fish should not be maintained in the same tank for a variety of reasons.

to begin with, African cichlids require hard, alkaline water while all your other fish do best with water at the opposite end of the spectrum.

African cichlids are highly territorial and aggressive. they need to be maintained in sexual ratios of 1 male + 4 females of the same species. they're far too aggressive for the more placid corydoras and ramirez cichlid and the older they get, the worse the problem will become.

more than one 'shark' in a tank is a recipe for problems. they're intolerant of each other.

the dietary requirements of Africans are very different from the rest of the fish. africans are very nearly strict vegetarians. too much protein and they'll succumb to intestinal bloat. your other fish require much more protein in their diet.

what is creme color fish with black spots? how about getting us a latin name or a picture of this fish, since answering your question without knowing is that much more difficult.

you need to decide what kind of fish you want to keep and focus on them. take back the sharks, corydoras and ram in trade for more african cichlids .. OR .. take back the african cichlids and keep the rest. you will not be successful keeping all in the same tank.

the problem you're having with that one fish is probably the fact that it's being attacked by the african cichlids in the tank. it sounds like your best bet is to remove that fish and euthanize it.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 02:21 pm:       

Dan thanks for getting back to me. The spotted fish was an African cichlid.Quite a lot larger than the Ram.The Ram did the most damage. I did remove the fish and broke his neck. What are your credentials and what is your advice based on. How much aggression is too much? The corys just move out of the way,the sharks ignore the Africans unless nipped at and then they turn right back at the africans- too much? The sharks do chase eachother around some, but have established sides of the tank. As far as food I give Algae discs(3)(spirulina main ingredient), the corys, the sharks and the africans all eat these discs-with some tussle over a delightful morsel. They all poke around the bottom of the tank, and the sharks and africans like to munch on the anachris plant. I also feed about a penny sized amount of flake food once a day- of which the Ram eats the most of. The africans bite it, break it up into smaller pieces- spit it out, eat some,and the corys and Ram eat the rest. I also give 1 brine shrimp every three days. The Africans hit it break it up, as do the sharks- again the Ram and the corys get the rest. The water is a little hard for the sharks and the Ram, but I read that aquarium bred/raised fish,as well as life experience has shown me that nature adapts quite well. How long do think it will take for major aggression to take place? These cichlids except for the two new ones are pretty large, as large as any I have seen in most (not all) of the aquarium pictures.
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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 06:42 pm:       

A couple of pictures
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8408
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 06:46 pm:       

yeah dan, what's your credentials--lol.

Ross, i gotta say that was an odd question. you come looking for advice--you get and then demand to have proof the guy knows what he is talking about. lol.

What dan said is pretty common knowledge to anyone that has gotten into fish for awhile. I'll let dan give his creds if he thinks he needs to. But, i'll give you a few hints. PhD chemistry. Long time keeper and breeder of fish. and just an all around nice guy.

I want to know though, just where is the neck on a fish?
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 07:39 pm:       

Hey Sully slow down a bit. You sound so angry. The neck question- did it take awhile to think that up? I see nothing wrong with wondering where, who, information is coming from. You may know Dan, but I do not. You sound as if you would like to run me off. Is that what you want? Do you ridicule all new members, or do you just like to be rude? Please get back to me, I would like to know.
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JP
Moderator
Username: jp

Post Number: 3353
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 07:45 pm:       

I believe this is just a misunderstanding. No one is trying to chase anyone off. Ross, you have the right to question things if you feel there's a need to. However, you can't expect everyone to take it lightly.

Let's try to get back on track, or else this thread is not going to be around very long. :-)
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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 08:07 pm:       

Thanks JP. I really am just looking for information.
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larry
Regular Member
Username: gomezaddams

Post Number: 783
Registered: 05-2005


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 12:07 am:       

Ross dan gave you some straight up solid advice.And Ill add this,in my experience shark type fish like you have stress out corie cats enough to kill them after a while
Waiting will fill
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Joe C
Regular Member
Username: joe

Post Number: 278
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 02:51 am:       

Dan's best bona fides are all of us here on this site who trust him and value his advice. He knows his stuff!

I have a red fin, and my understanding is that a 55 is adequate for two of the red fin/red tail varieties as long as you set it up so they cannot see one another from their caves. I am setting up an active community in my 55, so I want it open for swimming. As a result, I went with just one shark. If you lay out your tank right, two ought to be okay.

It does sound like you've got a difficult mix of fish, so I would second the recommendation to make a decision on which group you prefer, and go that way.
Remember to recycle...scrap your warships!
(USS Nathan Hale, SSBN 623, scrapped on April 5, 1994)
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8412
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:14 am:       

not meant to be rude--just thought it funny. guess i have an odd, maybe perverse, sense of humor.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Shari
Ancient Plus
Username: shari

Post Number: 5605
Registered: 06-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 11:59 am:       

Must agree....Dan is a well informed, knowledgeable fish keeper. I don't know that he has EVER given bad info on purpose, and the info he gave you was correct.

Ross, we are all more then happy to help you out (that's why we are here).
My Fish Tanks Are SPREADING!!
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Ross Stoltey
New Member
Username: gfast

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 01:59 pm:       

Thanks everyone, I feel much better about the advice given by Dan. I did not intend to ruffle any feather's (sully). Being told that what you have will never work is frustrating, as well as expensive, as i'm sure you are all aware. I'm still not positive what I should do. Should I kill the fish and start over? I can't afford another fish tank at this time. Is it absolutely impossible for these fish to survive? Should I even try? Thanks again for the support. I am listening.
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6701
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 02:36 pm:       

Is it absolutely impossible for these fish to survive?

no, it's not absolutely impossible ross, but most of us, given the option, would prefer that our fish thrive rather than simply survive.

in the overwhelming majority of cases such as yours, most of the fish will succumb to stress related loss of disease resistance and fade away.

when we give advice here, it's based on what's the most likely scenario. there are individual cases to be sure, and you may be lucky. the vast majority of African Mbuna are quite territorial and aggressive. maybe 5 percent will be tolerant and even uncaring of other fish in their environment, of what sex they are, color, behaviour, etc. you may end up having one of those rare individuals. likely? no, but possible.

two sharks in one tank. amicable arrangement? not likely ... in the vast majority of cases, one shark will end up killing the other. are there exceptions? sure.

corydoras catfish in an African cichlid tank. most likely result is death of the corydoras. why? Africans are aggressive and will often focus on bottom swimmers. corydoras have, as i'm sure you know, little paired barbels on their snout which are critical to their survival. when stressed, harrassed, these barbels will become frayed and most often, rubbed off. result? fading away of the corydoras.

most of us here appreciate that fish in a glass box represent an unatural aquatic system. the interraction of a mixed community tank and/or the behaviour of a single species is the single most important factor to consider in this system. you want the fish you're keeping to have the ability to exhibit "normal" and functional behaviour. when maintained in an abnormal environment, fish exhibit stress syndromes that result in poor color, improper fin form, insufficient metabolic development, they do not exhibit proper musculature, they do not develop properly functioning organ systems and most importantly, they slowly lose their inherant resistance to disease. this results in a significantly shortened lifespan and along the way, diseases for which the poorly conditioned fish is a good target.

think about the local lake or river --- the fish are free to inhabit whatever space suits them biologically. that space or ecological niche is chosen because it contains the proper food, lighting, structure, substrate, temperature, water chemistry and other fish which are compatible biologically.

if it gets crowded by their standards, or if they're confronted by other fish that exhibit incompatible biological behaviour, they will disperse and move to other areas where they again have the biological niche they need to exhibit functional behaviour.

we try our best to provide our captive fish with that proper environment in our tanks. that includes the proper food, structure, substrate, lighting, water chemistry and tankmates.

experimenting with other than the right conditions in the hopes that the fish will survive seems like the poorest option given that one can relatively easily do what's best for the fish.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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