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Old 02-03-2007, 01:16 AM   #1
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Bolivian Ram Swimming Sideways *Died last night*

Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 2ppm (after a few water changes - it was 40-80ppm)
Ph = 8.0

Earlier this week I noticed one of my Bolivian Rams was having a bit of difficulty swimming. Nothing drastic, it just kind of tilted on it's side a little bit. It was still eating so I wasn't overly concerned yet. I was treating the entire tank for Parasites using both the heat method (with high aeration) and a mixture of Jungle Parasite Clear (I couldn't find Guard anywhere!) and also Melafix. I was also doing frequent PWC to help with the parasites and to lower my Nitrates which somehow got way to high (I was adding chlorine remover after each PWC). It's condition seemed to be staying the same up until this evening. Now it's still swimming on it's side, but it's almost completely parallel to the substrate. It'll correct itself and swim normally from time to time, but it seems to have a hard time moving it's tail properly. A few minutes ago just as I was getting up to shut everything off it started flipping out - literally! It was doing somersaults and then it suddenly stopped and rested on the gravel while keeping an upright position. Sorry to get so graphic, but right now it has a little bit of poop (brown) sticking out . Any ideas on what this is and how I should treat it? None of the other fish have shown any of these symptoms, in fact they all seem to be perfectly fine and happy with everything.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:11 AM   #2
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i'd start by putting a LOT of carbon in the filter, try to get the meds out.

The only reason i say that is though meds definately have thier place, my experinece has been pretty hit and miss on them. I have killed many fish I have been trying to save with melafix.

It doesn't sound real good for this little guy. What you are saying isn't a good sign at all. They usually act that way when there is severe neurological damage. =*(

I hope he is ok.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:01 PM   #3
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I took your advice and put the carbon back in my filter. I haven't dosed the tank with Melafix since yesterday so we'll see what happens. He seems to be swimming ok today, but his tail isn't moving as normal yet. He's not swimming on it's side or doing anymore somersaults (that I've seen anyway), but it's tail still isn't moving as normal. I have no clue what's going on with this poor thing. I'm going to try video taping him so I can put some videos online for you to see. It's kind of hard to describe.


***** 2/3/2007 - EDITED TO ADD VIDEO CLIPS *****
Here are two clips downloaded into two different formats. I can't get them to look good on YouTube so I'm trying to upload them using my own webspace. They're both really large files, but as long as you don't have dial up it shouldn't take to long to download if you want to see them. (I'm not computer savy enough to figure out how to download the files while still keeping them in decent quality)

Clip#1: Shows the Ram swimming weird.
http://www.marinediscoveries.com/ram207a.mpg (MPG)
http://www.marinediscoveries.com/ram207b.mov (Quicktime)

Clip#2: Shows that the IS still eating.
http://www.marinediscoveries.com/ram207c.mpg (MPG)
http://www.marinediscoveries.com/ram207d.mov (Quicktime)
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:30 PM   #4
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Well, the Ram is still hanging in there. Still swimming kind of normally with the exception of the tail thing. It's still eating as well. I don't know what to think. It's hard to be overly concerned because it's still eating and getting around all right. I've never seen anything like this and all of online searches are coming up with nothing new. I'll keep monitoring it though.
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:13 PM   #5
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could be swim bladder. i'll watch the video and let you know if i come up with anything.
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:54 PM   #6
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After looking at the video a couple of times, I can see what appears to be a slight imperfection in the rear of his body right behind the dorsal fin. It slants downward and it appears that is the reason he is not getting any movement in his tail fin. Other than that, I cannot see any other signs of illness. How long has that condition existed? I couldn't tell if there was any damage up there.
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:23 PM   #7
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Jchillin - I first noticed the tail thing about a week ago and I've been watching out for him since then. I've been making sure he's still eating (which he is) and not getting picked on (which he's not). Before I noticed it, he was perfectly fine. I'm not sure what may have caused it. Is it possible that elevated Nitrates may be the cause? I've been treating the tank for Ich and other parasites (using the heat method, Jungle Parasite Clear, and Melafix). While going through this I discovered that the Nitrates had soared up to 40-80ppm (which I've gotten back down to 20ppm doing more frequent PWC).
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:02 PM   #8
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Last night I did a PWC on my tank, larger than usual do. I normally do about 25%, but this time I did more than that because that's what the instructions said on the Fungus med I used. Well at the end of the night everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves. This morning I woke up to find this little Ram was missing. I looked under all of the decorations, but couldn't find it. So I started lifting everything and finally when I lifted the large stump it's body came floating up. Poor thing must've died overnight. It was eating all along and it had some spunk as it would chase the other fish away from it's food. So I'm thinking the PWC had something to do with it.
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:36 PM   #9
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Sorry for your loss.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:50 PM   #10
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Sorry for your loss. I would think it unlikely that your pwc had anything to do with it. Most likely it gave in to whatever had made it swim sideways.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:54 PM   #11
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T.T At least he's not suffering anymore...Sorry to hear...
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:34 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your ram. After watching the video of it swimming I notice that it was thinner than the other ram in the clip. Was it always that thin?
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