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Lowy

Yellows with sunken belly and strange scratching behavior

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I have lost a few of my electric yellows with sunken belly and a couple of other larger yellows without the sunken belly. I have tried seperating the sunken belly fish and feeding them up with a tablet the LFS gave me to grind up and mix with a shot of vodka into my food to bind the two with no luck.

I also notice the fish seem to be scratching themselves against the gravel. Would this be itch? I have been searching online but am still confused. I raised the temperature of my tank to 30 yesterday as I read doing this for 7 days can kill off the parasites.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I dont want to loose any more fish

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no they didnt have sunken belly to begin with.

I now have them on a mixed pellet from a local breeder. 3 or 4 different types in the mix. they seem to love the small red ones the best... (sorry i have no idea on the names)

I have checked the ph in the past and it was fine. I have just changed the gravel over to crushed coral this weekend as I read that is best for cichlid PH

I dont have a nitrate test kit at the moment. I run two canister filters on the 4ft tank and do water changes every 1-2 weeks. there are currently 30 yellows and a handful of dragons blood, and electric blue, white cap in there too

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Every 1-2 weeks how much of a water change do you do? how often do you clean out your canisters foam media?

probably go get a nitrate test kit, one of the most important things you will need.

scratching themselves on gravel doesn't necessarily mean whitespot, however you are right in bumping up the temperature as fish do this as a way of scratching, im pretty sure using their fins would do all that much to relive the itch ;)

just keep the water and the fish will take care of them selves most of the time, keep up with regular maintenance and feeding and there really shouldnt be any problems.

do you ever observe any aggression during feeding time? have you observed them feeding to make sure that the smaller guys are getting enough food and the larger ones are not hogging it all?

also......... the question on my lips is who did you get these yellows from?

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Start testing and recording the results.

Low PH, high nitrates and food low in amino acids........... all can cause sunken gut in african cichlids.

As can insufficient food and parasites like flukes................ also old age and no break between mouthfuls for females.

Find out what food it is, and get the nutritional data on it.

It may be defficient in something.

The coral sand will help a lot, but it cant fix damage already done.

Malnutrition on the other hand can often be reversed.

For electric yellows I would buy a fresh jar of ocean nutrition spirulina flake or some spectrum Thera A pellets.

A little bit daily does wonders, and is a powerful suppliment to the average "protein pellet" staple.

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Thank you so much! I think they are getting plenty of food but I will look further into what the different pellets are. I do have some algae wafers with spirulina. I will give some to the sick fella

I only have one medium sized yellow in a separate tank at the moment who is eating but still has a sunken belly. What would be a recommended med if he does have a fluke? The tablet the LFS has given me clearly isnt doing the job as he has been in there for nearly a month now.

I have been chaning about 50% of the water in my changes. the tank has been running a few months now so I have only cleaned out one of the canisters once so far but am planning on doing the other this weekend.

they have stopped scratching since I have put the temp up to 30. I will leave it for the full 7 day cycle before reducing it to try kill the white spot right off.

I never seen any aggression between any of the fish and I make sure they all get a good feeding

Thank you so very much for all your advice so far! This is an invaluable resource! I really did spend a lot of time searching the net before getting on here with no luck! :)

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what is GH and zins?

any advice on meds for the sunken belly guy in solitary? Keep feeding him and add the algae tabs to his diet and hope for the best?

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GH is a measurement of minerals (calcium and magnesium) in the water.

Rift lake cichlids such as mbuna come from water with high concentrations of these minerals, and do better long term in water that approaches the same levels.

I agree on your plan, keep feeding and definitely include those algae wafers in his diet :D

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