ragged fins

Q&A about diseases and their cure

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ragged fins

Post by BNebel15 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:58 pm

Hi, i have a 72 gallon bow front tank. I currently have 14 African Cichlids mostly from Malawi. I recently lost a blodd parrot due to her fins. Her fins began to look like they were deteriorating and were looking ragged. Is this simply from the other fish picking on her or is this some kind of disease in the water because now my venustus' fins are looking the same way. My venustus is the largest fish in the tank as well. Just wondering what is causing their fins to do this. Is my tank to little populated. I heard various rumors that if your tank is under populated the fish will pick on each other and fight more. Just looking to prevent myself from losing another fish. If you could help that would be great. Thanks

Pam Chin
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Post by Pam Chin » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:20 pm

Hi Bnebel,

A blood parrot is the last thing you want to have in your african cichlids. They are a hybrid, and some are so mutated that they have no defense against these active and aggressive cichlids. Some of the parrots witih longer fins wear them down just like betta's get ragged tails when put in a larger tank. Long fins just can't take the wear and tear of all that swimming. Ragged fins stress the fish, and breaks the slime, which can allow a bacterial infection to set it. Some of these bacteria diseases are highly contagious. They also have different diet requirements, and often as they grow, they can have deformities that hinder their ability to eat and digest foods. Parrots are bad news....

Why the Venustus has ragged fins is a good question, did it get fin rot from the Parrot?? Or has it been fighting with someone else in the tank. You will have to decide, since it is really hard to diagnose fish without actually seeing them. At this point, I think you need to look at what else is in the tank, what species, size and quantity. Are your tank mates compatible? Also we need to look at your maintenance schedule. How often do you change water, and how much? Now that the fish are grown is the filter able to keep up with the bioload. Do you have sand or gravel, how often do you vacuum it?? What is the temperature and pH? What kind of foods are you feeding?

I don't like to medicate unless I know exactly what the problem is. Guessing and using the wrong meds, can be worse than not treating at all. The first thing I would do is a water change, and I would remove 5 or 10% more than you usually do, and vacuum the gravel/sand, and throughly clean the filter. Then in a couple of days, do another water change, and remove a little more water than you did the first time, and you shouldn't need to clean the gravel or filter. If you can remove the venustus to a hospital tank to observe that would be even better. If the waterchanges aren't showing an improvement, then you need to start thinking about what your medication options are. Hopefully, the freshwater will improve the situation.

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