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RE: fish deaths

>I'm in Northeren England ( Teesside Area).

Ah good, another  Northerner (but from the Eastern side). That means you
will instantly be a highly skilled and thoughtful aquarist....
You do have some very knowledgable dwarf cihlid enthusiasts in your area, if
you are not yet a member of your local society it could be a really
worthwhile move.

>At the moment, I'm not sure these deaths were related to >internal worms

I agree, having read all your post (I picked up your query from someone
else's reply).
I'd check that your Nitrate test isn't out of date, as they can become
highly inaccurate over a pretty short period of time.
If the fish were larger I'd think that maybe you'd been sold old fish that
were at the end of their lives, but that doesn't fit with the details of the
fish you give.
Do you feed live tubifex? Depending on source this can carry all sorts of
evil plagues that 'do in' Apistos.
It is puzzling, you definitely seem to know what you are doing and I'd be
happy to put most Apistos apart from the real blackwater obligates into your
There are a couple of other minor things, if they are ingesting relatively
big chunks of cooked chicken they may be unable to digest this which could
give them big problems, make sure that any frozen foods you buy have never
been defrosted while in transit (most important, particularly with bloodworm
and artemia), and bear in mind that, depending on species, Rainbows and
Apistos generally require different conditions, so if you are compromising
to accomodate both it could be better to decide on one or the other. Bigger
Melanotaenia will probably be too boisterous for Apistos anyway.  
As has been mentioned, the Bolivian Rams and Kribs in particular should be
thriving in your tanks.
Bear with it, everyone I think sometimes has these frustrating episodes that
are difficult to pin down.

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