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Something strange going on in my tank


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Hey everyone,

I have a 125gal display tank which I am very pedantic about and has been established and running now for about 4 months with alot of e. yellows, some rustys, maingano, acei, cobalts and a cobue, I also have two Jewel cichlids which are a result of when I very first started out a particular pet shop telling me that they are exactly what I need and will go well with my the fish I wanted I didn't know much better at that stage. But thats another story.

Anyway the problem. I have one juvenille E. yellow and an adult maingano (male) who just hide under rocks and sit on the bottom very still but are alive, the maingano is sometimes found hanging out at the top of the tank in a corner not moving. Next thing is another maingano with a sunken belly, it's always been like this I have had it for about 2 months and to start with I put it down to just being underfed coming from the store as they sometimes are, but it has never changed, It's a lively fish however and acts just like all the other healthy ones. I also have one of these red jewels often hanging around the top or just sitting on the bottom with a very closed up tail and looking sick. Most of the fish in the tank including healthy ones have been scratching against rocks and the sand from time to time but ammonia is 0. Every other fish in the tank roughly 40 of, are very healthy looking and very very active fish. I even have one Acei which I believe to be holding an a male yellow chasing female yellows around. I feed them on NLS btw.

all my parameters are:

PH - 8.2-8.6

Amm - 0

Nitrite - 0

Nitrate - 0

GH - 10

KH - 17

Temp - 25-26C

I do water changes every week religously including a vacuum and buffer with Epsoms and Bicarb to keep my GH and KH where I need them. The tank is filtered by two Fluval 305's.

I have previously lost an e yellow just out of the blue, and a few others who jsut got very lethargic then given a few days died. All the sick ones haven't been interested in food leading up to death, and thats the case with these current sick ones.

My prediction from what I've read is an internal and maybe even an external parasite, my question is what do you guys think and how can I treat this problem. I can't think of much more info to give at the moment apart from that listed above.

Your help would be greatly appreciated

Regards Matt

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The bit of scratching and clamping of fins might be a fungal problem.

Take out any carbon in the tank.

Turn up aeration.

Turn up heat to 28-9

Drop some water out and treat with a multi cure.

Gravel vac and repaet as per instructions.

When you have finished this cycle then slowly drop water temp back to 26.

Top up tank.

Put some new carbon in.


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Ok so I got myself some Broad spectrum before I use it I got a question. Obviously I'll remove the carbon then treat, when should I put the carbon back in? the bottle says don't use more than once a week, so should the carbon go back in a day later? two days? one week?

Basically how long should the cycle be spread out over?

Thanks for the help.

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Dave's advice is good.

Is the treatment for a week or do you need to treat more than once? Bottle should tell you.

Don't put in new carbon until treatment finished.Toss the old one.

If using multi cure you do several treatments over a week or so.

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The bottle just says Do Not use more than once a week, says to use 5ml per 20ltrs reccomends a 25% water change before commencing treatment. It's the Science Products Broad spectrum. The guy at the LFS said it should have done it's job within about 3 days. I got it from Strictly Aquariums at Blacktown.

So the way that all comes across to me is to dose it once and if the symptoms persist dose again in a weeks time.

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quick update, I have treated the tank using Broad spectrum, after carrying out a 25% water change, I've increased the temperature slightly, not suddenly though as you are all probably aware in a 6ft tank the temp can take quite a while to reach what I have set. I've removed all carbon from the filters before carrying out the water change as well.

So now I just need to sit back and see if I notice an improvement from the sick fish and see if the scratching stops on the others, also still need to figure out when I need to put carbon back in the filters.

Thanks again guys, this suspected parasite problem is the first illness I've had to deal with in my new tank and is quite concerning after all the hard work that I put in getting the tank to where it is today.

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Sounds correct,

Don't put carbon back, replace when alls well, will not be a problem if its a couple of weeks.

Never used the product you have so cant help there, but as you say do as the instructions say.

Are you to do a water change after the week or?

Some (Multi Cure) say do a water change in 3 days and repeat part dose but your's sounds different so follow that.

I've found a treatment then part treatment after a water change the best. From looking at the fish i may even treat the tank 3 times then do small water changes every couple of days for a couple of weeks.

Fungal or other's can return fast if the treatment is short.Bicarb is for P h is it not?

I'm not sure what you mean when you say it should have done its job in 3 days,, but you cant use it more than once a week.

Good luck

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Well this is frustrating, treated the tank last wednesday as per the bottle, no carbon in the filters, all my levels are spot on the same as they were in my first post and I have actually lost more fish than ever before. Since Sunday I have lost 4 fish; two little e yellows, the really sick jewel and a lethargic maingano, the only sick looking fish remaining is a lethargic e yellow everyone else is still occasionally scratching but otherwise are very happy. One of my female Acei is still holding and the mouth is getting bigger (pretty excited about that). I did however just obvserve a very long stringy white poo from on e yellow.

All the dead fish over the last few days have shown no signs of aggression except for the jewel who was an absolute mess when found.

Unfortanatly I have been unable to see how exactly they have died because I have found them either after work or the next morning when I wake up.

I'm not sure what my next step should be, as I said they all appear healthy at the moment but I'm worried it's slowly getting to my other fish.


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Can you please copy out from the back of your med bottle what it says it treats.

In dot points list the fish with issues and describe what you see with each fish.

Can you add photos of the affected fish and the tank?

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