Frontosa flashing endlessly

aquamatrix

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Oct 31, 2018
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Hi! It's the first time i post on this website. I'm a fish keeper for more than 25 years, i have around 20 tanks in my fish room, from 20 to 180 gal. I only do African Cichlids, mostly Tanganyikan.

I have a 120 gal Fatboy with a breeding colony of Frontosa 7 stripes in it. I got them about 2 years ago when they were about 1 inch. I have one big male ("4ish) and four females (more or less "3).

Recently, about a month ago, i noticed my male flashing from time to time, i thought he was just showing off since he's about to be ready for breeding now. But this last couple of weeks, the 5 of them are doing the same thing, like one flashing per minute if not more.

No particular behavior beside that, no white spots, no red gills, nothing really alarming, their color is fine (the male tends to look washed up when there's a female nearby but that's normal i guess). But they keep flashing again and again and it's getting unbearable to see them doing that.

Here's what i've tried so far, i know by experience that if it was a parasite, it should have been cleared for now but... :
1) big water changes: i have changed 50% of the water every two days for about a week
2) Salt (i usually never use salt)
3) Seachem Paraguard (3 doses in 3 days - i didn't want to keep medicated more)
4) UV Sterilizer running for about 3 days (i assumed that it was enough to clear everything up)
5) no feeding/no light for about 3 days

Nothing worked. Water parameters are normal, the GH is a little bit over the top due to the salt but otherwise, nothing bad. PH is about 8ish, i don't have any heater, my room temperature is about 78 and the water temp keeps stable around 79 all the time. I haven't added any new rock/sand/something else in the tank for months, so i doubt this is something to consider. None of my other tank is showing flashing, only the frontosas.

My regular maintenance is pretty weird but i do that for years with all of my big tanks: i do 5% WC everyday, my fish are used to it and the water keeps stable without any major changes. I use Safe and baking soda.

If anybody has any idea about what's going on, that would be really appreciated! :) Thanx!
 
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tlindsey

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Hi! It's the first time i post on this website. I'm a fish keeper for more than 25 years, i have around 20 tanks in my fish room, from 20 to 180 gal. I only do African Cichlids, mostly Tanganyikan.

I have a 120 gal Fatboy with a breeding colony of Frontosa 7 stripes in it. I got them about 2 years ago when they were about 1 inch. I have one big male ("4ish) and four females (more or less "3).

Recently, about a month ago, i noticed my male flashing from time to time, i thought he was just showing off since he's about to be ready for breeding now. But this last couple of weeks, the 5 of them are doing the same thing, like one flashing per minute if not more.

No particular behavior beside that, no white spots, no red gills, nothing really alarming, their color is fine (the male tends to look washed up when there's a female nearby but that's normal i guess). But they keep flashing again and again and it's getting unbearable to see them doing that.

Here's what i've tried so far, i know by experience that if it was a parasite, it should have been cleared for now but... :
1) big water changes: i have changed 50% of the water every two days for about a week
2) Salt (i usually never use salt)
3) Seachem Paraguard (3 doses in 3 days - i didn't want to keep medicated more)
4) UV Sterilizer running for about 3 days (i assumed that it was enough to clear everything up)
5) no feeding/no light for about 3 days

Nothing worked. Water parameters are normal, the GH is a little bit over the top due to the salt but otherwise, nothing bad. PH is about 8ish, i don't have any heater, my room temperature is about 78 and the water temp keeps stable around 79 all the time. I haven't added any new rock/sand/something else in the tank for months, so i doubt this is something to consider. None of my other tank is showing flashing, only the frontosas.

My regular maintenance is pretty weird but i do that for years with all of my big tanks: i do 5% WC everyday, my fish are used to it and the water keeps stable without any major changes. I use Safe and baking soda.

If anybody has any idea about what's going on, that would be really appreciated! :) Thanx!

Welcome aboard

duanes duanes
 

Stephen St.Clair

Dovii
MFK Member
Jul 2, 2017
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I keep a Malawi tank, and have only kept a few Tanganyika cichlids, so I'm by no means an authority. Now that I have my disclaimer out of the way; Aren't Frontosa particularly sensitive to unstable water parameters and only small weekly WC are suggested if water has to be reminerized?
If this situation turns out to be water related, the big WC'S might actually be aggravating the problem. Don't get me wrong, I believe in large WC's.
Maybe the water company switched up its water purification chemicals or your reservior / water supply is going through its seasonal water inversion.
I've had numerous varieties of fish display flashing behavior after WC's, but later eventually stop. I just wrote it off as temporary parameter differences between the new and old water.
I hope things clear up soon.
 

aquamatrix

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Oct 31, 2018
8
5
3
41
I keep a Malawi tank, and have only kept a few Tanganyika cichlids, so I'm by no means an authority. Now that I have my disclaimer out of the way; Aren't Frontosa particularly sensitive to unstable water parameters and only small weekly WC are suggested if water has to be reminerized?
If this situation turns out to be water related, the big WC'S might actually be aggravating the problem. Don't get me wrong, I believe in large WC's.
Maybe the water company switched up its water purification chemicals or your reservior / water supply is going through its seasonal water inversion.
I've had numerous varieties of fish display flashing behavior after WC's, but later eventually stop. I just wrote it off as temporary parameter differences between the new and old water.
I hope things clear up soon.
Back in June last year, i got several losses in my tanks after a big water change. I used to do 50% every 3 days in a 75gal tropheus tank and one day, a few hours after the water change, all of the tropheus were acting crazy scary, like if a ghost was in the tank. They were freaked out, gathered all together and breathing heavily. I immediately did another water change, thinking that maybe something fell in the tank or maybe my hands may had soap or nicotine, i wasn't sure but something went wrong for sure. I lost 2 tropheus within a couple of days plus a lot more in my other tanks. I blamed the food for a couple of weeks (since i had just switched to another type of spirulina) but i rapidly realized that the tap water was to blame.

As you said, seasonal water chemistry changes is no joke here in MN. The temperature outside can switch from -20F to 100F within a couple of weeks and i guess they have to adjust their chemical so the water doesn't freeze or doesn't get unwanted bacteria. Using products like Safe, Prime or any other dechlo doesn't help in that case. Even if the tap water is still okay for the fish (after dechlo), I believe the extreme chemistry change can kill a whole fish room in no time. That's why i decided to stick with small water changes more often, and so far so good, except for the frontosas.

I doubt this is the case for them, as i only do very small WC and the frontosas are not the most sensitive fish, they are pretty hardy i'd say. If the tap water was to blame this time, i guess my Furcifer for example would have been the first ones to be impacted. But yeah, you're right to mention tap water chemistry, that's a real thing.
 
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aquamatrix

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Oct 31, 2018
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Have to tested the ph morning, noon, and evening?
I did indeed, and it keeps stable. The tap water is rather high here, i just add 2 tsp of baking soda for the Tang each time i do a small wc (about 10 gallons of water).
 

MrsE88

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Mar 9, 2017
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I did indeed, and it keeps stable. The tap water is rather high here, i just add 2 tsp of baking soda for the Tang each time i do a small wc (about 10 gallons of water).
That is puzzling.
Are they the only fish in the tank?
 
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