Ask an expert!

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How many times have you had a specific question about your fish or fishkeeping, searched online for the answer, and got nothing but conflicting information in return? Or even worse, you join an online forum or a Facebook group, ask the question there, and World War III breaks out? It’s frustrating. So what do you do?

I might be able to help. I’m considering adding a component to the blog where I take questions from you, the reader, and get an expert on the subject of your question to answer it. I’ll reach out to the expert, post your question, and their answer. Sort of a “Ask the expert?” component. What do you think?

I have a pretty wide network of friends, acquaintances, experts, and such to draw from. I can’t imagine any question for which I wouldn’t know someone who could answer it…correctly….unless it’s maybe something specific to a piece of equipment, which the manufacturer would need to answer.

Drop me a note or comment directly below if this has any appeal to you. There are some logistics I would have to work out to make this work but I am willing to do so if there is sufficient interest.

9 thoughts on “Ask an expert!”

    • Hello Ryan. Thanks for the note. Unfortunately, I need to know a bit more about the cichlid in question. What species? What sex? How long has it been in the tank it’s in? What size tank? What are the tankmates? If it has other cichlid tankmates, are any other cichlids behaving similarly? There are many possible explanations but I need to know a bit more before I can even provide a plausible one.

      Reply
    • This happened to our cichlid and we found it was holding baby fry in it’s mouth! Depends on the type and gender of cichlid. It could be a number of things.

      Reply
  1. i’m looking to put cichlids in my tank. i currently have a pictus catfish. i want a variety of cichlids (2-3). any opinions on which ones can live together

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    • Hello Mason. Thanks for reaching out. I think you have a lot of options but two questions first. 1) What is the pH of your source water? 2) What is the size of your tank? Answers to those two questions will help me offer some options.

      Reply
  2. A sunshine peacock (mom) and OB (dad) had about 45 fry. We were able to successfully remove all the fry from our 55 gallon tank and kept them in an off the tank breeder box for almost 2 weeks while a new 29 gallon tank water cycled. The water tested well so we introduced the 45 fry to this new 29 gallon tank. They lived well for about 2 weeks, but over the past week, 1 or more fry are dying each day. We started feeding the cichlid with First Bites 2-3 times / day. After a couple weeks, we changed their food to Omega One Cichlid flakes 2-3 times / day (same food as their mother and father and other cichlids in the 55 gallon tank). Water continues to test well (no ammonia or nitrites). We change the water about 25% every 10-14 days. We may increase the water change to weekly and do 10-15%, but don’t want to take out too much of the good bacteria. We noticed the fish either spiraling or swimming and then just floating a day or so before they die. When we notice this, we remove them from the tank and put them in a rescue breeder box, but most don’t recover. Only after the 1-2 fry died, we notice a little white spot on its head; however, but we don’t think this is ick as the spots are not really furry and we only noticed it after they died. We think it is more likely caused by maybe a disease other than ick or a bite from another cichlid. It only looks like their color in that area is gone. The filter we are using is a carbon filter (Aqueon 20) so we probably need to increase the filter slightly. The temperature is also a little cool at 76 degrees.

    What do you suggest that we try…a salt bath, try ick medicine, change water filter more frequently, increase the water temperature, feed less frequently in case of a bladder infection (maybe once per day), and/or switch diet?

    Reply
    • The water column holds no appreciative beneficial bacteria. That all resides on solid surfaces, mostly the filter (substrate too if you have any). The filter (Aqueon 20) should be fine for the 29g if the tank only contains fry. The food is fine if the fry are eating. The water temp is fine too.

      How large are the fry now (my guess is they’re juveniles by now)?

      I agree that you’re not describing ich, so it must be something else. How did you cycle the 29g? My guess, based on what you typed, is that the tank isn’t actually cycled. Given the frequent water changes and small fish sizes, there may be no ammonia building up or not enough to start a bacteria colony. Are you sure your water test kit is working properly?

      As to the options, I wouldn’t try to treat the tank unless you can better identify the problem. It may have nothing to do with any pathogen, treatable or not. As to changing the filter, you don’t need to change it. Just clean it. Those filter inserts don’t have to be thrown away and replaced. They can be rinsed. The carbon in the insert will eventually become ineffective. You really don’t need the carbon anyway unless you’re trying to remove some chemical in the water (e.g., medicine).

      Not sure what you can do now to save the existing fry/juveniles. Your water change regimen is fine, in my opinion, but I’m leaning toward the water in the 29g being the issue. Maybe move the fry back into the breeder box. If the fish in the 55g are healthy, keep the fry in the breeder box in that same water. Going forward, I think I would leave future fry in the breeder box.

      Reply
  3. A Sunshine peacock (mom) and OB (dad) had about 45 fry. We were able to remove all the fry from our 55-gallon tank and kept them in an off the tank breeder box for almost 2 weeks while a new 29-gallon tank water cycled. When the water tested well, we introduced the fry to this new 29-gallon tank. They lived well for about 2 weeks, but over the past week, 1 or more fry die each day. When in the breeder box, we started feeding the fry with First Bites 2-3 times/day. After a couple weeks, we changed their food to Omega One Cichlid Flakes 2-3 times/day. The water continues to test well (no ammonia or nitrites). We change the water about 25% every 10-14 days. We are considering increasing the frequency of the water change to weekly and do 10-15%. We noticed the fish either spiraling or swimming and then just floating a day or so before they die. When we notice this, we remove the fry from the tank and put them in a breeder box, but most don’t recover. Only after 1-2 fry died, we noticed a little white spot on its head (and lower body almost a yellow puss); however, we aren’t sure it is ich and we only noticed it after they died. We think it is more likely caused by another disease or a bite from another cichlid. The filter we are using is a carbon filter (Aqueon 20) so we probably need to increase the filter slightly. The temperature is also a little cool at 76 degrees.

    Reply

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