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Mbuna flashing question

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Everywhere I read people state Africans notably flash off objects without it being an issue.

Over the last month or so fish in my tank skim off the substrate multiple times then off swimming about doing their thing. Don’t see them scratching on rocks and only the substrate.

I note if I sat and watch for 10 mins I would see this behaviour in a number of fish which to me seems too much and a possible issue.

The fish aren’t gasping and fins aren’t clamped or looking stressed in any way. I constantly have females producing mouthfuls of fry and apart from the flashing everyone looks happy eating like pigs.

I’m fastidious with water changes weekly and checking the water parameters which I will list below. Change around 30% water

I’ve tried taking out powerheads and heaters to eliminate any electrical discharge without change.

Water from the tap is a neutral ph 7.0, Gh 7dKH & Kh also 7dGH. When I water change I prepare the water hours before using seachem buffer and salts to match the tank which is ph 8.0, Gh 10dGH, Kh 10dKH.

tests show no ammonia or nitrite

Nitrates are normally around 15ppm before water change.

I have a JBL master kit so why not test Iron and copper which results were all fine at <0,02 and <0,05

Substrate is made up of pool filter sand and fine crushed coral and decor is basalt rocks.

My thoughts are is it possible could the fish be experiencing chemical burning from the water chemistry as it is more noticeable after a water change but water going in has the same levels as that coming out. Other than that some kind of flukes but nothing visible and none look ill anyway.

Am I worrying about nothing? 

Other things about the tank:

4ft 283L

2x Eheim classic 2217’s

2 x powerheads for flow

temp steady 25.6C

Fish 3 x I sprengerae, 3 x caeruleus, 3 Joanjohnsonae, 5 x Afra cobue

Any advice welcome!


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2 hours ago, Link2Hell said:

@pride  usually they do this if they have some sort of irritation and is like having a scratch

water chemistry after a WC seems to be a popular time for them to do it also


Thanks @Link2Hell, I’m assuming most Malawi or all fish for that matter are kept in whatever water comes from the tap in most LFS’s so guessing if I slowly rid the buffers and salts or used minimally it wouldn’t impact the mbuna if they were maintained in a more neutral water?

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there is more in the water than what we test for and that is what will irritate them I think 

also the pH buffing will have minimal difference as Sydney water is approx 7.2 but soft

and you are buffing to tank parameters, some are more sensitive than others

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