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Re: Dwarf Cichlid Plague

Do you remember the TV commercial about 'finicky Morris' the cat who would
only eat 'Nine Lives'?  (Or maybe I'm showing my age. :) )  That's Apistos
for you.  They can spit flakes faster than any other fish in the world.  I
know that there are people on this list who have managed, painlessly
apparently, to accustom their Apistos and other dwarves to eat flakes.  I
have not, despite the fact that flakes were always available in the
community tanks.  Ornery little buggers they are.  But all the more lovable
for it.  ......grumble, grumble...

You are in major trouble given that you've already lost so many fish.  The
only drug that I would recommend under the circumstances would be
metronidazole 250mg per 10 gallons every other day with a water change
before each dose.  Then return carbon to the filter on the 7th day.  I like
metro(Flagyl) because it kills both protozoans and gram negative bacteria.
Plus it doesn't harm the filter because it is effective against anaerobes,
whereas the nitrifying bacteria are all aerobes.

Apparently algae in the tank can pick up antibiotics and store them so that
they're not available in the water column for the fish.  You have to put
sick fish into quarantine.  Minimum substrate and a mature filter. Black
paper around three sides of the tank.   The situation though sounds as if
the prognosis is not very good.

I doubt that just floating a bag of fish in a tank is going to transmit
disease.  You are going to have to take a closer look at what you have been
feeding the fish in order to figure out where this came from.  Frozen
bloodworms vary significantly in quality.  For example, last summer Hikari
refused to accept bloodworms from China because the summer temperature was
too warm and the bloodworms were poor in quality.  The other people selling
this product may not have been so picky.  Also, when you purchase frozen
food, check it out closely.  If it's been thawed out during transit you've
got a major problem creator on your hands.

Whatever your fish have, judging by your description, it's internal.  Their
guts are infected and being destroyed by pathogenic organisms.  Like
septicemia in humans.  In all probability you will end up losing all the
fish, for which I'm sorry.  It's devastating.  However, don't give up on the
soft water fish.  They are tough little buggers when kept in good
conditions.  And way more intelligent than African Rift Lake
Cichlids......okay guys, get out the blowtorch.....

Gabriella Kadar
Toronto, Canada -  in case someone wants to send a 'hitman'.  I'm easy to
find. :):):)

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