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Lake Malawi African cichlids - know the disease.

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Keeping Lake Malawi African cichlids has been most adorable experience ever. The temperament and colour of these fish fascinated me from the very beginning of my hobby...

To maintain the Ph level (7.2 onwards ) was the most challenging factor and even the food..i have mixed species cichlids from lake Malawi.

mbuna , peacock an

Diseases aren’t uncommon when looking after fish. It’s important to know what to look out for in your tank to give yourself the best chances of saving any ill fish.

African cichlids are a large group of cichlids, so could be affected by many diseases. Some common ones are:

Cotton Wool Disease: White growths caused by a fungus, more likely in poor water conditions.

Gill Flukes: A flatworm parasite covers the gills with slime, causing breathing difficulties.


: Symptoms include a loss of appetite and lesions, causes are thought to be a parasite and poor water quality.

Malawi Bloat: Abdomen swelling that can lead to kidney or liver problems.

Swim Bladder Disease: Caused by a physical injury or poor nutrition, it leads to difficulty for a fish to stay submerged.

Tuberculosis: Can be identified by white blotches and a loss of appetite, it’s highly contagious and often fatal.

White Spot (Ich): Caused by a parasite that produces white spots on the victim.

Mixing African with South American cichlids can increase the chances of getting a disease because they have evolved different immunities.

They don’t have any extra special requirements when it comes to their care, just make sure that you clean the tank and do water changes every 1-2 weeks to keep nitrates down. There are many medicines available seachem metroplex, kanaplex, polyguard, paraguard are known to be effective to fight both internal and external disease in a fish. Even garlic guard mixed in food once in a way can be very effective and known to have positive effect in a fish.

Maintenance: 1) Do a weekly maintenance of say 50%....of water change.

Effective TIPS:

I strongly recommend 50gallons to start with Malawi tank setup with few cichlids with rocks..this is more exciting to place the rocks in a tank...Be careful with the rocks so that it does not tumble...if possible , glue the stones. If possible do not mix haps and peacock with MBuna species because of their dietary requirements.

Always feed them good diet. Quality natural food will make them healthy and colourful in the long run. Less clogging of the system. Quality fish food ensures no wastage of food. Here we recommend NLS( new life spectrum) or northfin.

For purchasing NLS:

As African cichlids appear greedy all the time..Specially when you approach the aquarium. They are master actors. Do not over feed them ..Have a set time to feed them.

Always use worlds best water conditioner from Seachem - Seachem PRIME...It not only removes chlorine,chlorine but detoxifies Ammonia, nitrite and also provides slime coat to the fish to fight disease

Are African Cichlids Suitable for your Aquarium ?

If you’re looking for an addition to a peaceful community aquarium, then African cichlids are not for you. These are aggressive fish that should only be kept with other large, aggressive fish.

If you’re looking to start a tank that is full of color and activity then these fish are the perfect candidates.

These are some of the colourfulm and can brighten up any room


An experienced fish keeper shouldn’t have a problem looking after cichlids and will quickly discover why they are some of the most popular fish in the hobby.

For purchasing seachem products in India please visit get more knowledge on the medicines and cure.)

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