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Cichlid tank had ich now my BP has peeling skin and missing fins

Im stressed by my poor BP.  I have a 55 gal tank that got ich from a conamintated African cichlid from Petsmart.  I have 2 Jacks that got sick and the rest of the africans and the BPs were fine.  Since Ive treated for ich my nitrates have skyrocketed and the pH has gone to approximately 6. I added a little a baking soda to help bring the pH back up.  The BP has skin hanging off his lips and his fins are looking really munched on...unsure if this is from bulling.  He was fine yesterday.  I have been using nitrifying bacteria and the nitrates have gone down.  today was the last day for the rid-ich.  I am still using Melafix for the fins.    THe BP is also now hanging in the air curtain and at the top of the tank....he normally hids in the cave.


thanks for any help!!!





How many fish do you have in your tank? The blood parrots need thirty gallons for the first parrot and ten gallons for each additional parrot. I think the Jack Dempseys need seventy five gallons. Plus they are very aggressive, therefore the name. And they get big. The parrot could be attempting to hide. What other fish do you have? You are overstocked and your fish are incompatible. Time for rehoming or multiple tanks.

Cichlids need 50% water changes on a weekly basis. We try to set up our tanks as well as possible but cannot avoid that this is an enclosed system unlike their natural habitats. We must compensate for this. Most aquarium diseases are caused by poor husbandry.

Bronco, on this site, has a good formula for ich that involves salt and temperature increase. You should look him up for lots of good advise.

You should do a lot more reading about your fish. Learning about these guys is part of the joy of having them.

There are 5 fish in the tank. A blood parrot, 2 jacks (about 6 inches had the pair for 3 years an bought the larger tank for them) and 3 small cichlids (1 inch). Sorry 6 fish. Plenty of hiding areas for all of them. They did not seem to attack him at first. I know the dempseys are very aggressive and was instructed the BP would be fine (he's one of the largest in the tank) by the local store and bought fish according to the dempseys. Or so I thought. I'm stopping the ridich today and going to do another water change tomorrow after work. Have been changing 25% every week since the tank is newer. About a month old. The first 2-3 weeks had no problems until the ich happened.

Don't go on what the pet store has told you. Do your own research.

Also the BP was fine until yesterday. No missing fins til 2 days go now the lip skin issue.

Your tanks is misstocked. Africans do not belong with new world cichlids, ever. Jack dempseys require 55 gallons minimum each. You should have those fish in at least FOUR 55 gallon tanks.


Nitrifying bacteria only increase nitrates; that's their job. We address nitrates with water changes.

Your dempseys and africans are eating your bp's. remove them NOW. The irritation has cause a frenzy of unhealthy nipping behavior and your bp's can NOT DEFEND THEMSELVES>>>>

Hmmm.... The jacks used to be in a 10 gal tank (I know .... This is why I bought the 55) ive had them since they were only an inch each. They have become less aggressive in the larger space. I have researched all the fish and the BP were with dempseys at my local store so I was told they would be fine. My first concern is the skin issue. I can't tell if it's from water, the ich treatment or just nipping. I can't find much literature on it. Thank you guys for all your help. The BP is my new fav and I'm sad that he may have to be moved

Well, you can listen to people that get paid minimum wage and are told to sale sale sale or you can listen to fish hobbyist. Your Dempseys have the ability to eat fish, I had 2 and returned them after 1 fish came up missing each morning. They were even small at that time. about 1-2 inches. You are also over stocked. You are being told this by 3 seperate fish owners. Broncomaniac can literally run circles around any article you find online about owning fish. He is a talented aquarium specialist I believe. He has educated answered. I speak from my own experience with these fish. We will not lead you in the wrong direction. The best thing for your fish is to consider their health. as long as they are being nipped at, the skin issue is only going to get worse. You have not adequately done treatment to them. Please make a list of the things being suggested to do and do them. We never know when our fish are going to become aggressive. My oscar was a sweetheart until I added 3 additional cory's into my tank that already had cory's. He then ate all of them... unpredictable and unknown as to why he would just suddenly eat my fish...

Don't feel bad about doing the right thing for your fish. Hopefully you can get another tank for your parrot. The cichlids are beautiful, smart, and amazing fish worth learning more about.

l found a new "word." We are all cichlidiots.

Good luck with your guys!

And thank you to everyone else here! I continue to be educated by you.

There is nothing wrong with JD fry in a ten gallon. Also nothing wrong with growing the fry out in a 55 (or even a 40).  Given their current size, they've grown out at this point and it is time to act once again. If you're quick enough you may not even stunt their growth (are you changing half the water weekly?).

yes i do change the water weekly

:( thanks all. Just want what's best

I would start by looking up each fish using google
write down tank size req for each individua fish if you have 2 of the same fish, I would add about 10 to 15 gallons per extra fish. Compare all temperatures and compatibility for fish. Africans can not go with south americans. They are more aggressive. Some south americans do not play well with others.
You are on the right path and will do well. Just study up on your fish and I would recommend removing the bp's right away. The dempsey's and african cichlids now have a taste for fresh flesh and will kill them.

A 29 would be fine for one BP and they can usually be purchased reasonably and placed on a night stand or small dresser. If you were local I'd give you one.

Think about a 55 for each jack (or rehoming one) and a separate tank for the africans, who don't belong with new world cichlids geographically or otherwise; they have different requirements. I personally have no interest in Africans as they are generally dumb and lacking personality when compared to the smart and effervescent CA/SA cichlids. Color isn't everything.