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Cyphotilapia Disease, Health and Nutrition Discussion of Cyphotilapia frontosa & gibberosa diseases, health and nutrition.


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  #1  
Old 05-10-2018, 09:11 PM
Nanook
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Default Losing fish

Iíve lost a Gnathochromis, one julidochromis and 3 Fronts in the past couple of weeks. I have one Front dying now.

My feeding has probably been excessive with NLS pellets of three sizes and frozen brine shrimp.

My ph is the first thing i noticed. It was staying 8.4-8.5 since the beginning, then it started to drift down to the 8.1-8.2 range. I buffered for a week or two with Seachem Tanganyika Buffer, but it would eventually drop back down after a day or two.

The Julie I lost was kind of an outcast from the beginning, the Gnathochromis never looked bad to my eyes. The Fronts all look fine until they start swimming erratically and floating upside down sinking.

Nitrate, nitrite and ammonia are all zero, checked numerous times on different test kits. My only clue is the fine sand Iíve used has deep pockets of gray, blackish sand. The sand is 1Ē in some spots and 5-6Ē in other spots. I suspect these pockets are anoxic causing hydrogen sulfide and lowering ph, but not positive.

My plan, unless you have any ideas, is to siphon the majority of sand out until I have a sparse coating. Itís the only thing I can think of causing my issues. The fish that are alive seem fine and there is little, if any aggression. I just want to nip it in the bud ASAP.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:15 PM
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The other thing I left out is my Fluval FX6 after 5-6 weeks was absolutely filthy with brown detritus.

My main filtration is a 25-30 gallons of bioballs in a custom trickle filter.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:33 PM
Nanook
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Just siphoned out the majority of my sand, lots of dark gray areas throughout. Did about 80-90 gallons of water change in the process and then added a big bag of carbon in the sump.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:34 PM
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In an established tank, nitrates are not going to be zero, even with weekly water changes. I'd expect a reading at least 5-10. Something is wrong there.

The PH in my city's water averages 8 and my frontosas are healthy so I doubt it is a PH thing.

I can't comment on the sand. My tank only has a half inch of it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punman View Post
In an established tank, nitrates are not going to be zero, even with weekly water changes. I'd expect a reading at least 5-10. Something is wrong there.

The PH in my city's water averages 8 and my frontosas are healthy so I doubt it is a PH thing.

I can't comment on the sand. My tank only has a half inch of it.
All my fish are pretty small. Iíve checked nitrate on two test kits, 0-5 tops. But, Iíve done weekly 50 percent water changes so maybe thatís the issue, too much water changing for the size of the fish.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:29 PM
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I tried another test kit for nitrate and it showed 25-50. Would this explain fish deaths?

A good friend of mine thinks I need an air stone to oxygenate the water more. Anyone using an aeration device?
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:13 PM
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If you have enough water surface agitation, an air stone would not be needed
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:03 AM
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Don't have a concrete answer. I generally keep my Kapampa at pH in the mid to upper 7s, have for years with no problems, so I wouldn't suspect anything there. I use roughly 1-2 inches average sand cover in my tanks, depends on the tank, but not more than two inches. There's such a thing as a "deep sand bed" tank that can be healthy and will remove nitrate. Did some reading on it years ago but never had the ambition to try it and don't remember the details of keeping it healthy vs. going toxic. Sometimes I've had a fish that likes to pile sand in a corner, etc., might have a peak of 4 inches or more in a corner. Never permanent or long term, though, because either the fish are moving it around enough or I'll smooth it back every so often-- sometimes it's a battle between what I want the tank to look like and what the fish want. On a side note, some bulb type plants can rot inside the bulb and release sulfur toxins.

Big filter dirtying up fast seems unusual for smaller fish. Big tank, though, so maybe that's it, or possibly something in your tap water? I have well water, lot of sediment at times, I believe it shows in my filters, considering my stock levels tend to be light to moderate.

O2-- Either you need good surface agitation, a bubbler, or some combination for most tanks, but especially in a deeper tank, because surface area to depth (volume) is a factor. The water surface is the interface for gas exchange with the atmosphere. In other words a shallow tank with plenty of surface area means a better atmosphere to water volume interface = less mechanical agitation required. In a lake you get surface agitation through wave action, rain, or other turbulence, in a river it's river flow, turbulence over rocks, etc. In a shallow pond with fish, you're probably not getting much turbulence (except during a hard rain) but the surface area to volume ratio works. Fronts are generally fairly slow, relaxed breathers-- unless they're doing aerobics chasing each other around. My kaps weren't getting sick, but at one point, based on watching them, I decided to add an airstone to the tank-- has two Eheim 2217s, good filters, but I set the spray bars vertically, which means I'm getting less surface agitation out of them, so the bubble bar made a difference. Don't know, but it's a possibility to consider-- it's also a possible factor in getting a lot of detritus in your filter. Low O2 can mean waste sludge isn't processed as efficiently-- the explanation can be technical, the waste processing bacteria community in your water, substrate, and filter isn't as simple as we often make it and research keeps adding new wrinkles to how it all works.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:20 PM
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Try feeding once a day, and preferably frozen foods. Pellets have a lot of fillers therefore there is a lot more waste coming out of the fish. I feed frozen and there is very little waste on the sand, if any. The little waste they produce doesnít sink like the pellet waste and gets sucked up by the filters. Do you buffer and age your water before you do your 50% water change?
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:22 PM
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Thanks! I’ve been busy working lately without much time. My fish losses appear to have stopped. I’m due for a water change tomorrow, ph is 8.1. I’m not going to chase it any more. I’ve cut back on feeding a lot too as I was grossly over feeding.

I have a 96*30*30 aquarium. My Seaswirls are 3/4” and rotate left and right at the surface creating top water turbulence, my Fluval is also aimed at the top of the water level. My tank is reef read, so the water drops a few inches in the overflow. I have 25 gallons of bioballs creating significant oxygenated water, but I wonder if an air stone in the sump would be beneficial?

I do have 4-5” deep sand bed in my 500 gallon reef and it works decent, but nitrate is still an issue in that tank too.
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