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Old 07-19-2004, 05:22 PM   #1
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Green severum with swimbladder issues

There is something very wrong with my green severum. I noticed it the day I bought him six weeks ago. He swam with his head pointed downward and a 20o list to starboard - classic swimbladder problem. He also had some caudal finrot and a case of ich. So I put him in the Q-tank and treated with Jungle fungus clear for a week and with high temp for three weeks after that. The finrot and ich cleared up, although he pretty much stayed put under the heater. During this time, he ate normally and his coloration was great.

Last night, I put him in the show tank to make room in the Q-tank for my new acquisitions. Within minutes, he got himself wedged upside down between the filter return and the glass. He didn't put much of a struggle when I netted him - a bad sign - and I noticed that his pectoral fins were badly frayed.

Because the Q-tank is occupied with my new cichlids, I put him inside a 5 gal bucket lined with a garbage bag and containing an airstone. Still thinking swimbladder, I started treatment with kanacyn. I'm also giving a half dose of Melafix for the ragged fins.

One other thing that I noticed after I got the fish home six weeks ago is that the pupil of one eye is completely contracted. I'm now wondering if this fish somehow brained himself in the lfs and suffers from some kind of neurological problem. The frayed fins might be injuries sustained when he blunders into things.

Is this swimbladder and should I continue antibiotic treatment?
Or is it neurological and should I get him fitted for a helmet?
I can't imagine this fish competing for food with the other finned psychos I bought. If that is the case, I might have to consider euthanasia


Any ideas?
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:52 AM   #2
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When he's swimming(as you described), does it look like he's struggling?

The fact that it's been six weeks would suggest any swimbladder problems would not likely be related to digestion difficulties. So it could an internal bacterial infection either of the swimbladder or of other internal organs, but I would think after this length of time, that the damage would be pretty severe. It could also be swimbladder damage he received as a result of a prior infection.

If it were mine, I'd complete the treatment that was started, return him to the tank after treatment, and if the swimming problems continued to prevent him from existing with any decent quality of life, I'd euthanize.
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:50 AM   #3
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Wow, after 6 weeks, he's still not well. You brought home an ill fish. If the LFS (I know it's a bus ride and a half for you) had lots of them, I would stop by or call and see if the others all sold and if they heard of any illnesses.
*slaps self in the head* That's what I would do here in Calgary. You city folk may not be able to handle the social interaction required for such communications (can you tell I've been up since 5:30am and it's now 11:30pm?).

Try looking through these sites (you may already have):
http://www.aquatronicsonline.com/hobbyist/hobbyist3.htm
http://www.aqualink.com/disease/sdisease.html#ich
http://fish.mongabay.com/diseases.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubW.../fishdisho.htm
http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health.htm

Ah, the fourth one down:
Quote:
SWIM BLADDER DISEASE

The swim bladder is the organ which allows a fish to stay at any level in the aquarium without sinking or floating. The swim bladder may fail from damage by bacteria, parasites, genetic faults, or blows and/or bruises. When the swim bladder fails to function the fish loses it's ability to swim normally and may swim sideways or even upside down. Once damaged, the bladder does not usually return to normal functioning, but if the fish can eat and swim without too much strain it can live for years with the condition. Goldfish seem particularly prone to swim bladder problems. Without knowing the exact cause of the malfunction, treatment is difficult. Since internal bacteria, fungus, or parasites are the only treatable causes, medicated food and/or antibiotics should be tried along with frequent water changes.
Have you tried medicated foods?
These are links from the fish pond info site:
http://www.netpets.com/fish/referenc.../swimbldr.html
http://www.geocities.com/swimbladderhelp/index.html

My eyes are dry, but I just read the second link a bit--it talks about "floating on the top" vs "head standing" vs "laying on the bottom" and different causes of each (and how best to treat).
*I just closed the link * I'm too tired to read anymore--good luck and keep us updated!!
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:54 PM   #4
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Cienfuegos and Menagerie.

Thanks for replying - the severum never appears to be struggling and his breathing looks OK. Water quality is A-OK (NH3=0, NO2=0, NO3=15 ppm, pH=6.8). It's definitely not digestion because he eats and poops normally. Besides, he gets peas once a week. I agree that an internal infection lasting this long would probably cause other, more serious symptoms. I guess it's possible that the swimbladder was permanently damaged by an infection before I got the fish.

When I had the severum in the QT tank, it mostly hung around the heater and didn't swim unless it had too. Other than that, it ate well and its coloration was fine. The fish doesn't appear to be stressed in any way and its only symptoms are frayed finnage and funky swimming. It can and does eat, but I'm concerned that it will be unable to compete for food or hold its own against six other aggressive cichlids.

Right now, it's in a normal upright position bear the bottom of the hospital bucket (I have a spare heater and an airstone in the bucket, but no filtration - I'm doing 30% water changes every other day) Poor fish hasn't moved much and never comes to the surface to feed like the other cichlids do - he just waits for the food to drift down to him. But like I said before, he looks OK physically and CAN swim if he has to.
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:32 AM   #5
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I wouldn't rule out internal problems caused by a parasite. Treat with medicated food and see what happens.
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Old 07-21-2004, 02:02 AM   #6
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Allivymar sent me a link where I could order medicated food a few months back...I'll give that a try.
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Old 07-21-2004, 05:39 PM   #7
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Keep us updated!
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