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i know this is for bps, but i have a blackbelt cichlid emergency! please help if u know anything about fish injuries!

I know this site is for bp's and i do have some, but i also have a 2 yr old (?) blackbelt cichlid. everything has always been fine with her then today she totally flipped out when i tried to vacuum the tank! she was swimming as fast as she could slamming into everything from the top of the tank to the bottom and everything in between. this went on for like 10 seconds and did her some real damage. the r some cuts and scrapes,but what im really worried about is that she seems to be gasping and is just kind of laying in her hiding spot belly up :( the top of her head also looks to be turning a yellow color like the start of bruising. i did a 10% water change and added salt, but i dont know what else to do. i cant believe how upset i am over this. please help if u can.


I don't think those injuries are anything serious although her behavior is a little odd. She might have damaged her head or something but I don't know.

The cuts and scrapes are nothing to worry about as long as your water is clean. My Red Dragon Flowerhorn jumped the divider and nearly got killed by another Flowerhorn and he healed up fine in a few weeks.

Just keep an eye on her and keep lights off, she might have just gotten badly spooked. How big is she, 2+ year old female Black Belt should be at least 10-12".

the flowerhorn is beautiful :)

shes pretty big, not quite full size, but getting there. shes probably 1+ years old. but, she kicked her own ass pretty good. worried about her. she just lays on her side or upside down it doesnt seem to matter. if it wasnt for her gills moving you would think she was dead :( iv turned the lights off, put in some melafix and thats about it. i was gonna get a divider tomorrow because the convicts always seem to want to be near her for some reason. not doing anything,but huddling right next to her. thought she could use the divider so she could have some peace, but i dont know if that would make her more upset because she has moved from one side of the tank to the other a couple times. yeah, im not so worried about the cuts as i am the fact that she might have hurt her head or other things pretty badly :(

I was just going to tell you to turn the lights off. The color change is likely stress, as is (hopefully was) the gasping. Fortunately that advice preceded my arrival. The salted water and some good herbal antibacterial agent would speed healing. I prefer Microbe-Lift products.

thanks for the advice anyway :) i dont want to use to many meds, i dont want to stress her more and there are other fish in there. iv already started with the melafix, i guess ill just keep using it and see what happens. hope she can recover (shes my favorite)

Melafix is a botanical extract called tea tree oil. I'm not certain it has ever been clinically proven to do anything. I would go with a Microbe-Lift product such as Artemiss, which is very safe to use. I have even used it on scaleless fish. It won't conflict in any way with the Melafix, either.

well guys, thank you for all your advice, but i guess she was hurt more than we thought. i just checked in and shes gone :'(

My condolences. I would just be sick about it,  too. I love my BP's.

Thank you. I appreciate that

i cant believe my Gogo is gone. its crazy how attached you can become to some fish. iv never cried over a fish before :/
now what am i gonna put in a 55 gallon with 2 convicts and an african? :'(

Sorry to hear that, she must have banged her head up real bad or damaged her spine. Black Belts get a little too big for a 55 gallon anyways. Think it might be spinal now that I think about it more.

A breeding convict pair would be cool because they are amazing parents. Its not wise to mix African Cichlid with Central American Cichlids, they are more aggressive. A colony of Africans would be cool too.

she was almost as big a she was gonna get. and she was fine in there as long as she only had a couple small fish with her. she had the run of the tank.
and i like them,but iv had problems with just the africans iv kept with her in the past. always fighting and dying. id like to have another big fish at some point. the convicts and african seem ok just because their both aggressive and there is only one african. if there were more i wouldnt have risked it.

Here is my Black Belt I had for a while. Had to get rid of him because he like to nip my oscar Marley.

Oh, soooo cute! I want another one so bad, but I can't find one around here! I also would need one that was at least bigger than the convicts so it would be ok. In my experience my black belt was the best fish I ever had. So calm and never caused trouble. I really want another one.  Also if I can't find one, what ideas do you have for another decent sized fish to put in my tank with the 2 convicts? (ill donate the african to the pet store if need be). also do you know anything about ordering fish? I always wondered if it was safe, and the health of the fish.

Beautiful fish. It's soo pretty I feel so sad for you. Like it's so pretty that i feel like i'm about to cry. It must suck. Well I hope you can find another one that is EXACTLY like it.


Thank you so much. I'm still really sad every time I look at the tank. It's so empty without her figuratively and literally. She was an huge angel of a fish. I hope I can get that lucky again.

Yeah she was beautiful. Must be terrible. :(


Amphilophus and Vieja fish are the best and have great personality. Another Vieja you could get like your Black Belt are Synspilum also known as Red Head Cichlids, really pretty fish. Although I recommend a flowerhorn, they have awesome personalities, I have 7 my self. I know somewhere where you can order really quality looking ones for cheap.

My favorite flowerhorn, Brucie.

A gorgeous female flowerhorn I have, had to put Brucie in her tank when I was doing water changes.

Recently sold this one, he had great personality.

You can see my Black Belt and Synspilums here, they weren't as colorful in the video because this is the day I brought them home.

Here are a couple pics of my synspilum

"Another Vieja you could get like your Black Belt are Synspilum also known as Red Head Cichlids"

I concur. We have one here and she rivals our Jack Dempsey in beauty. They are also known as ruby headed cichlids.

So with your reply to my other post, it would seem I have two boy convicts possibly. Would any of these fish still be ok with that do you think?

Really beautiful! That green kamfa was absolutely gorgeous!!! How big will she get?

Since she is a female maybe about 8-10"

Do females get the hump on their head too?

They can but usually only high quality ones do and they are hard to come by. Most local store males won't get them either.

Looks like I'm gonna need the name of that place you use to order fish! :)

My LFS has strawberry flowerhorns in stock @ $12.95 each. They are old enough that their patterns and coloration are fairly predictable.

I have bought all my recent flowerhorn from Julie Tran, she has great prices and if you get USPS overnight shipping its really cheap. Strawberry is a fake name, probably ugly ZZ breed.

Local store flowerhorn look like this
Quality ones look like this

You pay a little extra but its worth it. I buy from Julie Tran, this is her website She can be a little hard to get a hold of because she has a family but she is the best to buy from in the US.

I bought all these from here, honestly didn't pay more than $30 each on those.

I'm fortunate in that the guys who run my LFS are excellent fishkeepers, and they just recently began ordering flowerhorns as per requests. They are magnificent looking fish, with bright, vibrant coloration, nothing like your first image. They also import discus directly from Germany, and they are exceptional quality as well. It is a fantastic store.

Yeah we don't have very good fish stores out where I'm at. I mean some are good,but no verity of of different fish. There is one, but I dont think they have any flowerhorns right now. I'm really in love with that female flowerhorn up there! I really want one. I think I like them more without so much of a hump.

I'm with you. I find the hump repulsive. The Golden monkey really creeps me out. Look at the human face...

haha, wow. such beautiful colors, but that is a bit creepy.

Your fish are beautiful!   I am planning on getting a Flowerhorn soon.  I've found a few places on line to get them.  What is the requirement for tank size? 

I didn't care for the humps either but the more I got into flowerhorn the more I appreciated it. Now I don't like males that don't grow them, my Red Dragon Brucie has a big one and its awesome.

i got on that website u recommended. everything was really expensive, but she did have 1 kamfa mix. she said she thought it was a female for $32.  i'm thinking about it. we'll see.

The funny thing is is that is actually dirt cheap....Her prices hurt US and Overseas sales of Flowerhorn. Just take a look at these prices

If you get one from here they will 100x better than anything you will find at your local store. She has fry, you could grow a few out and keep which ever you like. The fry are really cheap.

Yeah, I don't have a place for fry. And I'm willing to pay 32 bucks of coarse, but there is just no way I could or would pay like $100 for a fish :/ That site you just mentioned is crazy! I'm sure there are very good quality fish I wouldn't find anywhere else, but did I see one that was $2500?!  Holy shit! lol
Thank you for your recommendations though. I am thinking about that female I saw. Just wanna make sure before being the owner of another fish :)

Lol, I have a male and female coming from Thailand next week. Paid a bit for them.

I have one of her frys, hes about 2" and is starting to develop his color. That $32 one you are talking about is nice.

Do you really think so? I just don't know to much about flowerhorns at this point to know for sure. And I really hope it's a girl. I'm not at your stage yet where I can appreciate the hump lol

Yes it does appear to be a female. The fish always look better than in the pics once they settle.

Site pic
Month after she settled

I was also thinking about a redhead severum or green terror. Ahhh, decisions!

I hate Severums.....

why? and what do u think about the green terror?

My Mom doesn't let me buy fish over ten dollars. I'm just lucky she let me get terry because she was my first fish.