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cichlids scrathing themselves on the gravel

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It's called 'flashing' and it's perfectly normal, just like scratching an itch.

It's commonly a sign that your tank may be infested with Ich (Whitespot) though, so just keep an eye out; if you've had no new introductions for about two or three (ultimately four) weeks you'll be fine.

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If most of your fish are scratching and scratching quite hard against the rocks and gravel you most likely do have a problem somewhere.

Most external parasites can be invisible to the eye so a treatment of some kind may be necessary.

I just finnished a 10 day treatment on one of my tanks with Sterazin.

It has stopped all the scratching in every fish now and they are all so much happier.

I think I had a dose of gill flukes with are invisible to your eye but annoy the crap out of your fish.

Sterazin is an internal and external treatment for worms and parasites.

Several fish even bred mid way through treatment so the side effects cannot be to harsh on the fish.

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I let the tank go for the full 10 days and just kept an eye on things.

After the 11 days i checked the water and had the following.

Amonia = 0

Nitrites = 0

Nitrates = 35

PH = 7.9

All parrameters were excellent considering no water change for 11 days.

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