View Full Version : Are they SICK?

11-02-2016, 01:51 PM
Hey Folks, I have a few Mbuna and Peacocks 3 to 4 inch length that have a sunken area between the ventral/pelvic fins and the anal fin. The fish still eat good and carry on like they are fine. I don't have any pictures currently. Does anyone know why they look this way? Or if it is a good or bad thing for the health of the fish?

11-02-2016, 06:04 PM
What are you feeding them? Sounds like they are malnourished to me. Mbuna and Peacock need a lot of veggies in their diet, which a lot of people tend to leave out of their diet. Most people just feed them basic pellets and frozen food and they end up losing color over time and develop sunken bellies as you are describing.

11-02-2016, 10:04 PM
Hey Jakub, Thanks for the quick response. I've been feeding them Omega One Super Veggie Kelp Flakes most of the time. I give them Thera A+A regular formula pellets and I occasionally give them Omega One Supper Veggie Green Seaweed. What would you recommend changing?

11-02-2016, 10:22 PM
Could be parasites... what is the color of their poop? And is it stringy?

11-02-2016, 10:59 PM
Give them some nori. How long have you had the fish?

11-03-2016, 06:01 AM
Poop is dark colored. Haven't seen any stringy poop.

11-03-2016, 06:03 AM
Some are a year old to 6 month range. Is Nori the same as Omega One Supper Veggie Green Seaweed?

11-03-2016, 08:14 AM
Nori (stuff that goes around sushi) is a seaweed perfect for herbivores. The omega one product is the same thing, but more expensive, you're just paying for the "made for fish" packaging.

11-03-2016, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm going to go home today and make some Sushi:toothless:

11-03-2016, 12:13 PM
Many Africans enjoy eating green veggies that many people eat. Sunken belly can be a sign of many things and some of the treatments I have read over the years have included treating with Epsom Salts as well as feeding Green Peas. I have bristlenose plecos in many of my tanks and ofter feed them with Green Beans which I see my Malawian species attack when I feed them (I typically use canned peas and beans when I feed them). I also try and vary my fish foods (flake as well as pellets) over time to ensure a varied diet.

11-03-2016, 02:22 PM
I will start adding some green veggies to their diet and Epsom salt. Do you add the Epsom to the water or soak the veggies in it? Thanks

11-03-2016, 03:20 PM
I will start adding some green veggies to their diet and Epsom salt. Do you add the Epsom to the water or soak the veggies in it? Thanks

Many of the remedies I have read about actually say to soak the veggies in the Epsom salts. I wish I could find the link for you, but I cant seem to lay my hands on it right now.

The thought process is by soaking the food in Epsom salts your getting it directly into the fishes system and since it is a form of a laxative, it will cause the fish to relieve itself in an elevated fashion taking some of the parasites with it. I personally have not used it, but do keep Epsom salts in my water as a form of preventive measure.

Hope this helps.

11-03-2016, 04:59 PM
Thanks for your help. Isn't Epsom also used to raise GH levels?

11-04-2016, 01:55 PM
espom salt 1 tbsn:sea salt 1 tsp:baking soda 1tps for 5 gallons. This is a rough approximation of rift lake salt & buffer for Malawi tanks. It works, raised pH and gH. For malawi you want pH of 7.5+ and 150 ppm TDS.

Malawi fish need a lot of veggies, but some protein too. They aren't tropheus. But sunken belly sounds like parasites to me. If you've had them a month and they haven't started to fatted up, I'd suggest a food with metro and Prazi-pro in the water.

11-05-2016, 06:48 AM
I will begin treatment this weekend and maksue they eat more veggies. Thanks I appreciate your help.

03-18-2017, 02:08 AM
Before feeding your fish any vegetable or fruit, rinse thoroughly before cutting up. The fresh foods must be removed within 24-48 hours; otherwise, they will foul up the tank. Then you can add zucchini, broccoli, green peas. These are the best for algae eaters.

03-18-2017, 09:23 AM
What a watchful fish keeper, I'm glad you posted!

I want to add more about using Epsom salts in food: In addition to its laxative properties, Epsom salt also reduces the number of any protozoal gut parasites. Make a stock solution of ~3% Epsom salts by adding 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts in 1/3 cup dechlorinated water, and stir to dissolve. Then, pour out however much you need into the container for pre-soaking food. Depending on the type of food, it will take about 10-15 minutes for the Epsom salts to soak in. Best of luck!

03-18-2017, 09:58 AM
Great tip Heather. You have really been an asset to the club lately...