Yeah, it can be, but you can't go treating for it every time you see a cichlid flash. If it is ich, wait until you see the salt crystals and then treat up through when they are free swimming. You won't be able to kill the parasite now anyways - it has to be free swimming to die. As long as it is attached to a host, the fish's slime coat protects it. So even if it turns out to be ich, treating now is worthless and in fact harmful to the fish because you are guessing.
If I had to guess (I know I said not to guess above - ironic), I bet you irritated them with the high spike. Cichlids flash all the time and they are probably doing more so now because the spike got out of hand. Try the water changes and keep watching them. Do not use flashing as a diagnostic tool - it doesn't work. Also, I would throw away the strip tests and get the drops. Then tell us what your "real" reading is.