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How to treat a fish when you don't know what is wrong (Tanganyikan cichlids)


Eric R
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So I've lost three fish in the last three weeks, and I have yet to identify the cause, and it's really starting to bother me. A lot. I recently treated the tank with Maracyn and ParaCleanse, though I haven't observed any symptoms other than a sudden loss of appetite, hiding under rocks, and then overnight finding them dead on the bottom of the tank. Parameters all check out fine (amm 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 5-10 kh 14 gh 18 ph 8.0 temp 77). It's a partially filled 29g (has about 22g in in right now I'd guess) with currently 5, likely soon to be 4 Paracyprichromis nigripinnis (neon blue herring cichlid), from Lake Tanganyika. These are captive bred, I got them shipped to me about 2 months ago. I originally had 8, lost one a few days after shipping that probably just didn't ship well, these are known to be sensitive shippers. The other 7 seemed fine until about 2 or 3 weeks ago, when they started dying. I've been feeding a mixture of crushed Xtreme krill flakes, bbs, and microworms 3 or 4 times a day. Some of them still seem quite skinny, though others are starting to round out. The ones that I've found dead usually are on the skinnier side.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to solve this problem? Also, what should I do about the one that seems near death on the bottom of the tank? It's kind of on it's side, breathing slowly, but it's occasionally moving around the tank. It doesn't seem interested in eating unfortunately. I've never had much luck with using a hospital tank, I usually just try treating in whatever tank the sick fish is in, if it is in need of treatment.

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I just did a 30% water change. I haven't done one for about 5 days, since the middle of the treatment when I had a small nitrite spike from the Maracyn. I figured new water couldn't hurt. I add baking soda and epsom salt to my tap water for my Tang tanks, to increase kh/gh/ph. Tap is from a well that has a micron filter. The other two Tang tanks are doing fine, parameters are all very similar. I want to add them all to a 55g to create a community tank, but I want to make sure that the Paracyps are doing well first.

Edited by Eric R
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