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Old 02-02-2014, 06:16 AM   #1
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I had thought that my Dempsey was recovered from HITH/HLLE, but I don't think I was correct. After clearing my algae bloom, I found that he wasn't eating. Though, to be honest, his appetite may have been decreasing without my noticing (and leftover food contributed to the bloom). Initially, I thought this was due to the stress of not being behind "the green wall". He does appear to have a slight bulge on his left side. (pic attached) I have NOT seen any stringy poop, or much if any poop from him when I vacuum the tank. Plenty of pleco poop though. Now thinking about it, and combined with his lack of appetite, he may be on a downward spiral.
That said, the more I read about HITH, the more I'm inclined to think he has HLLE. He never had pits with discharge, which I read is indicative of HITH. I feel just so ignorant.
I may pick up some Metro today, but I've read it is ineffective with HLLE. I seek advice in treatment as my success rate with aquarium meds hovers right around 0. He is in a 36g tank with a pleco and two snails. Since I don't have a quarantine tank I'll have to treat the whole. I assume I have to remove the snails - can they be okay in some other container for the duration? Will this kill the bb in the filter? I don't know what to do. I don't want to just throw stuff at him and hope something works - that usually causes more damage than anything. Perhaps just removing the carbon from the filter?
I want to do this right and knock that cr@p out for good.
Tank parameters: ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5, PH 7.6, Temp 78F

36g Bowfront Corner freshwater -
305 Fluval, Current LED+,
2 Black Marble Angelfish, 2 German Blue Rams, 7 White Tip Tetras, 2 Albino Cory, 2 Pepper Cory, 2 Green Cory
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:21 AM   #2
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I am not a cichlid expert but your fish definitely appears to have HITH. If he is not eating, metro-based food will not help (best option) but you can try metro tank treatment. It should be dosed daily for 10-14 days following a large wc with temperature matched, properly conditioned water. Snails should be removed to another location and I would honestly remove the pleco as well and increase the salinity to .1% (3.8 grams per gallon). If he can not be removed, do not increase the salinity.

As HITH/LLE treatments are more theory than fact, your best bet is a broad spectrum approach. Remove any carbon, treat with metro, improve your water conditions/wcs/maintenance and make sure they are species-specific, rule out any possible stray electrical charges, minimize stress and make sure his diet is as nutritious as possible. The most success people generally have is covering all bases but I would place water quality and diet at the top of the list of causative health issues (this applies to all fish, not just cichlids). Please ask any questions!

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Old 02-03-2014, 07:16 PM   #3
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Water quality is not good and the diet is not either. I'm guessing the tank is too small and/or overstocked. Large frequent water changes and a good diet is the only cure meds will do nothing but waste your money and time. After a few months this will go away if you do the required water changes. He will always be more susceptible to getting it now though.
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