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Worried about my Blood parrot new tank setup advice

Just took her home from work they were getting rid of the tanks there so just wanted some input....its a 30 gal long tank with a ex70 tetra filter ...the water is about 80 degrees...using a whisper air pump and stone for more oxygen and movement in the tank....took the powerhead out because she seemed like she didn't like it and her old tank didn't have one...used some lava rock for a bridge ....few artificial plants from amazon for some decoration...and a fine black sand substrate...just did a 10 water change used some stress coat and I forget the name but something for the ph to be around 7 concerns are ahe seems to have lightened in color and I use floating pellets which she seems to be eating and then spitting out....ive been adding them sparingly but she definately doesn't seem to have a good appetite so I'm a little worried....tried sinking pellets and that was even worse just created a mess at the bottom of the tank ... any advice would really help...aldo tested the ph and ammonia it was originally high after the water change it came down but I've heard that's normal with a new tank when it cycles....she still has plenty of energy though and is playful and not hiding so in hoping she's just still adjusting but figured couldn't help to ask especially about the eating.


Maybe she needs something smaller to eat? Or perhaps try a few bloodworms - they usually love those.  


Sounds like a lot for one to go through... A new tank--still being established--in a new location, plus food that's hard to swallow. This could be enough to stress-out any fish, but yours--thankfully--hasn't. 

Getting into the main concern of color loss, you needn't worry. I kept four in a 40-gal. breeder with filtration beyond belief, and they also had some fading--my current pair as well! This seems to be of no real indicator of detriment to their health, as I've observed no change or decrease to their activity during the occurrence. 

Now, as another said: maybe what you're feeding them is too large for them to chew. Keep in mind that most examples of this species cannot close their mouth, so they're forced to chew whatever food they can get with their throat muscles. And if they can't get it down their throat, back out it'll come. Also, if it's too difficult (hard) to chew, the same will result. 

I recommend trying what I've been feeding mine: Hakari Sinking Cichlid Gold Mini Pellets. It provides all the nutrition they require, and is easily eaten by them... so you know whatever amount you put in will get eaten. 

As for tank size and total filtration, I'd say you're playing it close to the edge. Common recommendations are a minimum tank size of 40-gal. for a single adult, and enough filtration to cycle a tank of such size 2-3x an hour. However, given what I've read of the Tetra EX70's capacity, I think you'll be in the clear... just as long as all the parameters stay in check.

I do have one suggestion for your filtration: Add a form of biological media to increase the level of nitrification, so whatever ammonia is produced is thoroughly dealt with. This can be done by placing a small amount of bio-media in a clean knee-high stocking, and placing it on the outlet side of the filter-floss bag. 

The only other suggestion I have is to use API Stews Coat+ & Stress Zyme+ with every water change, and perform 50% changes weekly. 

Good-luck, and here's hoping things go "swimmingly"!