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Old 08-14-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
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Cannot figure this one out, any help greatly appreciated

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting and I wish it were under better circumstances. My wife and I are at our wits end. We have a 55 gallon tank which is very healthy (levels are all withing acceptable range, will post exact numbers if someone asks). This tank has been established for about 2 years and our fish do very well. We have 4 parrot cichlids, two plecos, dojos, loaches and a cory. Our largest cichlid started getting a swollen belly so we assumed at first that she was full of eggs, it has happened before. After 2 weeks, she wasn't laying eggs and her appetite was decreasing. She was nesting, but the two females (her and another) always fight over territory so this was nothing new. We didn't think it was bloat or dropsy because her scales are close to her body. We also didn't think she was full of eggs because her birthing tube hadn't dropped. By this time she was looking very uncomfortable but still acting pretty normal. We decided to quarantine her in another tank so we could monitor her eating and excretions. After 3 days of watching her, she wasn't eating or pooping. We decided to treat her as if she was constipated. We tried the pea trick by manually feeding her pea meat (inside of the pea) soaked in a multivitamin bath but she kept spitting out the peas. For the past week and a half we have been giving her epsom salt baths for 20 mins at a time. We started with once a day and now do it twice a day. 2 days in to the baths her anus became enlarged and she was excreting a very small amount of what looks like a fluffy or stringy mucousy substance. I hate to use those general terms because I don't want to taint anyone's diagnosis with fungal infection symptoms ( although that may be the case). Again, it has been a very small amount at a time, but it has come out a few times. I have noticed now that she has been hanging out around the heater in the tank we have her in. And today, I got another clue. When I give her the baths, I do it in a five gallon bucket. Today I put her in the bath and dropped in four pellets of her regular food because I am so worried she hasn't been eating although she is not exactly lethargic. She started swimming backwards around the bucket. The first thing I think of is Hexamita, but she does not have the associated hole in head syndrome and there are no lesions of any kind. I have also noticed that when I put her in the baths (which I use freshly treated water for, stress coat) that there are little pieces of a very thin film floating on the top. I am not sure if this is the aloe in the stress coat but I have never noticed it anytime before this. So, I think that's about it. There is a youtube video of her if you search for "what's wrong with my fish". My Name on youtube is Jimi409. YouTube - What's wrong with my fish? Thanks for any help you guys can be!
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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I would keep her in QT and treat her for internal parasites. Keep attempting to feed her peas but don't worry about feeding her any regular foods.

If she does indeed have internal parasites, they may be blocking her digestive system. She is definately bloated and constipated. Unfortunately the pea trick will not work if she does not eat.

You can add epsom salts to the QT tank and not stress her out with baths.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, Zagz! I really appreciate it. So, today I went out and bought API Anti-Parasitic Medication which contains 250mg Metronidazole and 75mg Praziquantel per packet. I have never treated for internal parasites but I have read that it's either Metronidazole or Aquarium salt. From what I read, the aquarium salt is better in the beginning of an infection (or infestation) as more of a preventative measure. We will treat her tonight with the meds unless I hear from someone that there is a better way to do it. Thank you again and I hope that one day I might be able to help this forum as you guys are very informative and do a great job. Thanks!
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