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2 Mbamba gone - unexplained deaths

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Ok so about a year ago I had some mysterious deaths of bristlenose. Never got to the end of it and the two remaining BN had lived on.

Until about four months ago when I added a pair of albino BN when all of a sudden I found one of my seemingly healthy BN dead, so four became three.

Now its a four foot tank, with over filtration and under feed, out of natural light and always clean.

About three weeks ago I found one of my larger Mbamba dead, I had noticed prior to this that it was in fierce competition with my alpha male so put it down to a death fight.

Now just today I found another one dead, and this one was slightly smaller but had awesome colouring and was shaping up to be my favourite fish.

I did not notice any odd behaviour leading up to this final death, the only change has been the colouring of the fish has been showing a lot more of late specially around feeding time.

The tank is a predominantly male tank (two female fish, excluding the cuckoos and the BN) the female fish are fine and not hassled at all.

I just completed a range of water test and everything has returned as expected;

Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrite 0ppm

Nitrate <5ppm

PH: 7.6

GH: 180

Temp: 27 deg

Have been slack and the last water change was just over a month ago.

I can get my head around explained deaths, but when everything seems fine then BAM fish are dead, it really bums me out.

Both fish were excellent looking and all my fish eat like there is no tomorrow. I just don't know what to look for or do next, I am afraid if I loose another fish I will give up on the cichlids all together and just concentrate on my marine tank, which is going great!

Bummed out & signing out,


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I had a similar case recently, I had a few unexplained deaths. however recently it turned out to be camallanus worms. the first few deaths there were no signs (this was several months back), they were eating fine, no weird behavior. The last few deaths however I did notice a little less interest in food, but this was after a fair while of the worms unknowingly festering in the fish, some lost interest altogether and some only mildly, then instantly dead. If it weren't for the last fish showing a strange TINY thing near its abdomen I wouldn't have picked it.,I lost several Bristle nose and glass catfish due to it. your case may be completely different, but just a thought, as not all parasites show signs in the beginning?

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:( Well lost two Humpheads last week and just this morning found a Cuckoo with no life.

Don't know if I have what it takes to cut the fish open to investigate any parasites???

Either way I have decided to part with the lot. (bit of a change in direction considering I had plans to build an 8ft aquarium, ha)

If anyone is interested in free fish, and has the time to quarantine them and treat them for any possible cause of death for at least 2 months, please contact me at your nearest convenience.

My mobile# is 0412 222 778

I am located in Labrador.

The fish list is;

4x Cuckoos

3x BN (two albinos)

4x Humphead

2x Johanni (male & female)

1x Featherfin Cat

1x Venustus

1x F2 Blue Dolphin

2x Demasoni

5x Mbamba

p.s. the crappy quality 4ft tank will also be available soon after all fish are gone.

Edited by Grimace
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theres your problem mate.

Ha sorry mixed up the fish. It's actually two Johanni (one male and female).

Could they still be the problem?

I have watched these fish for hours on end and they just don't seem to bicker all that much.

The cuckoo still had both its eye intact and look fine. The humpheads unfortunately were discovered to late and were only 40% there by the time I had discovered them.

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