It is important to feed these fish a proper diet.
Most African Cichlids need a diet that does not contain a high animal fat content.
I have found Xtreme Cichlid PeeWee to be a good all purpose food for omnivores and carnivores.
Sprinlia is an excellent food for herbivores.
The following Article explains diet very well.
http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/feedi ... chlids.php
Bloat is a common problem that is often caused by feeding the wrong type of foods, feeding too much food, or stress.
The following Articles help to explain Bloat and how to cure it:
http://www.oscarfish.com/article-home/h ... bloat.html
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... hp?t=24132
New Life spectrum Hex-Shield works well for Bloat and for Internal worms.
Other Common Fish Diseases and Cures:
http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/i ... seases.htm
http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/ ... clist.aspx
http://www.fish-disease.net/articles/un ... ng_ich.php
Often if in doubt 1 teaspoon per gallon of table salt (no Idonie) can work on most problems and can be less harsh on the fish. However, if this fails, you need to use stronger fish medications.
Cooper Safe is a less harsh chemical medication that works on many issues as well.
Quick Cure is a harsh chemical medication that can be used as a last resort for ICH. Do not mix this with any other treatments. It can kill some fish that are too weak from disease.
Basic Salt will not cure this issue. This can be a difficult problem to catch and in the past was very difficult to treat. Symptoms include indented belly and white stringy bowel. Once these symptoms appear, it often was too late to save the fish in the past. A new treatment Levamisole-Hydrochloride has come to the rescue. This treatment was originally used for livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep). It has been found to work on fish as well. See the following articles. New Live Spectrum recently introduced Hex-Shield Food which is also effective in curing internal parasites and works much quicker.
http://www.loaches.com/disease-treatmen ... levamisole
http://www.southernstates.com/catalog/p ... r-52g.aspx
Stress from Shipping:
Some times a fish will develop stress or swim bladder from shipping and will circle or lay on its side. Swift action needs to be taken to save a fish in this condition. Put them this fish in a smaller tank, by itself, if possible. If you do not have a smaller tank, try putting it in a small fish enclosure that can float in your tank and get filtration from the tank. Smaller tanks work better because the fish is easier to treat that way and it will have more space to swim around as it recovers. Try to keep the fish warm, around 80F. Add some stress coat or ultimate water conditioner if you have any or another product that has an extra slim coat. Try to get the fish to eat a small amount of the inside of a cooked pea. If the fish improves, start to feed it a little regular food at a time, two or three times a day. Spirulina Flake is a good food that is usually easy for the fish to eat unless it does not like that type food. Keep this fish away from you other fish for a few days until it regains full strength and can be feed normally. When the fish regains strength try transferring it to the tank you originally planned for it. Watch this fish closely, if it shows stress, return it to the smaller tank for a few more days and try again. A customer taught me this method which worked for him. It may not always work; but, it is at least worth a try before completely giving up.
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