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Trouble in the Mbuna tank
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2012.03.11(Sun)18:46    Post subject: Trouble in the Mbuna tank Reply with quote

1.) Please describe the symptoms in as much detail as possible, because we cannot see your fish or your tank. Include a photo if possible (optional).
I have had three fish deaths. The first death was a young male rusty on 2/22/12. The second was a 5 year old female (fairly certain, but not 100%) white top (yesterday) and the third was a 3 year old female (not 100% certain) white top today.

The rusty, I simply found at the bottom of the tank, looking a bit bloated and very dead.

With the white tops, they exhibited similar symptoms. One day they were fine, the next day they were hiding and refused to eat, and within about 12-24 hours of that, they were dead and bloated looking like the Rusty. The older female's mouth was partially open and she did have some sand in her mouth. The younger female's mouth was wide open and stuck that way, with nothing in it.

The younger white top actually seemed to lose most of her color and looked pretty terrible before she died. The older white top didn't seem to have this happen, and neither did the Rusty.

I should've snapped a pic of the younger female before I disposed of her, but all I have are a few shots of the Rusty:

2.) Tank size and how long it's been set up. Filtration type, gravel depth and type, decor. Do you have live plants?
75g (4 foot tank)
Set up since February 1, 2012 (filter taken from existing tank, then fishless cycled for increased bioload)
Substrate: black blasting sand, approximately 2" deep
Decor: slate tile caves, grapevine
Live Plants: yes

3.) Temperature and all other water parameters you can measure.
Temp: 81*F
pH: 8.0
gh: 4
KH: 7
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 10

4.) Water Change schedule and volume. Water conditioners/additives. Water source (RO? DI? Tap?)
50% weekly, well water (water does run through a water softener). I do add "grumpy's GH booster because the gh is basically 0 without it. I have been using Prime because I'm concerned about metals in the substrate/tile.

5.) Tank Mates (full population list).
(stocking list before deaths)
Rusties: 1m/4f
White Top Hara: 1m/2f?/2 juvies
Saulosi: 1f/4 juvies

6.) Anything noteworthy or changed within the past month.
The four adult mbuna (white top male, 2 white tops that I assumed to be female, and the adult saulosi female) were all in a 29g filtered with a Rena XP3. The tank was obviously inadequate and water changes were NOT as frequent as they should've been. I set up the 75g, added the juvies on Feb 15, and added the adults on Feb 21. First death was Feb 22 and is possibly unrelated.

7.) Food type, amount, frequency.
NLS cichlid formula. The food was quite old and I have since purchased new food and thrown out what remained of the old food. Is it possible the food was bad?
Dumpster Tank
Nano Fish
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