Fading colors

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquariums' started by Itchytoe, May 14, 2011.

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  1. Itchytoe

    Itchytoe Plankton

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    I have 6 Lake Malawi cichlids in a 30 gallon tank. They're all about 3 inches long and the tank has been set up for about a year. I've had aquariums before and have never had any issues, so I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to fish, but I still have alot to learn.

    I recently moved and within the last month or so, their colors seem to have faded. The blue ones are nearly white, and the orange one is also starting to fade. The yellow and black ones seem to be getting darker if anything. I'm assuming (as perfect as assumptions are) that the recent move is the culprit since the tap water here isn't the same as it was in my last city. Unfortunately, I've never had to test for anything other than nitrogen cycle, so I don't know what I should be looking for, or where I should get the test equipment.

    If you can help point me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it. Nobody likes a sad fish, so help me make mine happy again.
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sparks, NV
    Test general hardness and carbonate hardness. Also test your pH.
     
  4. Itchytoe

    Itchytoe Plankton

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
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    Had to use those stupid test strips because I couldn't find a liquid test kit, but both GH and KH are maxed out which is 180 ppm and 240ppm respectively. pH is fine at about 8.1. Had a liquid pH test kit, so that one I know for sure.

    It would seem as though I now have extremely hard tap water. Maybe a partial water change with bottled water is in order, unless someone knows an easy way to get softer water without installing a house water softener.
     
  5. CODEE111

    CODEE111 Peppermint Shrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
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    I've had cichlids for years. My water is almost always on the upper hard side but my fish look and respond great. The hardness of the water may not have anything to do with your problem since Lake Malawi fish are used to the water being harder due to the high mineral content in that specific lake....and many Cichlids like their water to have a higher PH.

    Mine is a huge tank (somewhere between 230-250 gallons). At times, the fish will start to look dull so I raise one of my fans partially out of the water to give them more air. The color will usually come back in about 30 to 45 minutes. Have you tried adding more air to your tank? Granted, you never had a problem before but maybe they are growing and need more oxygen.

    Another thing, if you moved from a place with softer water to a place with harder water, maybe they are stressing do to the rapid change from soft to hard.
     
  6. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
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    Location:
    Dunnellon, Florida
    Temperature should be between 76-79F
    PH7.5-8.8
    4-6DGH
    6-8DKH