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FAQs on the Flowerhorn Cichlid Disease 5

Related Articles: Flowerhorns by Ong, Blood Parrots & Flowerhorn Cichlids: maintenance and healthcare of two popular hybrid cichlids by Neale Monks, Cichlid Fishes

Related FAQs: Flowerhorn Disease 1, Flowerhorn Disease 2, Flowerhorn Disease 3, Flowerhorn Disease 4,
FAQs on Flowerhorn Cichlid Disease by Category
: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments, & Flowerhorns, Flowerhorn Identification, Flowerhorn Behavior, Flowerhorn Compatibility, Flowerhorn Selection, Flowerhorn Systems, Flowerhorn Feeding, Flowerhorn Reproduction, Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, African Cichlids, Angelfishes, Discus, Chromides, Neotropical Cichlids

Cant Recognize what's wrong with my Flowerhorn. Env.      7/7/17
Hello Sir/Ma'am.
I have a 8 months old Flowerhorn ( gender unknown) from recent 1 month his behaviour have been changed drastically.
1) He flickers his all fins at a very high rate ( more or less it looks like shivering)
2) he sits in corner of the tank and
3) He rubs his mouth against glass and then jumps out of water 3-4 times a day
4)is losing appetite slowly.
5)A jumps out of water as if he is scared as hell of something.

I don't see any signs of ich there are no salt like granules on his body but sometimes I see air bubble stuck on his belly.
He is in a 20 gallon tank(which I know is very short).
<.... the symptoms you mention could be due to nervous damage, genetic problems; but are almost assuredly environmental. This fish is being subjected to poor water quality. Do you have measures (from tests) for alkalinity, pH, nitrogenous compounds (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)? THIS is what you need to investigate.>
He used to eat 4 times a day, I have never ever feed him with live food or frozen food. All I feed him is Pellets (okiko platinum huncher) and he seems to be happy with it.
I'm attaching pictures with it.
I don't have any ph tester or any water parameter testing kit nor any heater
.<You NEED to get, use all of these. NOW>
I use a sobo Internal power filter rated at 880L/H.
Heater isn't required in my area since normal temperature always ranges between 20-26 degree Celsius and water temperature is same as well.
Not having a testing kit is bad thing, but I'm planning to purchase one.
Just let me know why Is he shivering or flicking his fins and jumping as if he has seen a ghost.
Thanks in advance, hoping for a favourable and quick response.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FHEnvDisF.htm
and the linked files above, AND fix this animal's world. YOU determine what quality of life it has.
Bob Fenner>


re: Cant Recognize what's wrong with my Flowerhorn     7/8/17
Thank you so much for quick response. I will make sure to get a test kit ASAP.
Will further let you if any updates happen
<Oh! Akshay! For now, do change out about a half of the water for new, and STOP feeding period. I suspect you have VERY high Nitrates, likely some ammonia et al. Be of good life. Bob Fenner>
re: Cant Recognize what's wrong with my Flowerhorn

Okay sir,
I made 80% of water change 5 days ago.
I will change half of it again in 7 hours from now as it is night here in India.
Will not feed him and thanks heaps for help.
One more thing which I forgot to mention that he is fading away his colour from top, his skin is white over there ( completely faded patch ), is it okay? Or there is something really going wrong?
<This fish needs to be kept in a much larger, cleaner world, period. B>
re: Cant Recognize what's wrong with my Flowerhorn

Yes He needs a larger home, have sold him to a guy, he lives 10 miles away from my home, He is having a 40 gallon tank, he will get a new and safer home, and yes, have made 50% water change and he is all good now and moving freely again.
<Good moves Akshay>

Will pack him in few hours, just thought should inform you.
<Thank you . I appreciate your efforts>
Your advice helped a lot.
Big Thanks to you!
Will refer to you always.
God bless fishes! Lol
<Life to you my friend. BobF>

My flower horn    2/26/17
My flower horn is sitting very quietly at bottom or near the bio filter an hiding himself and he eats his pellet depending on his mood n I give him Taiyo humpy head , I m not knowing if any disease he is having plz help me out what should i do I bought him three days before
<Hello. You've given me no useful information here. So let me instead direct you to some reading, here:
The vast majority of sick Flowerhorn stories come about because of poor environment. So check the size of the aquarium (250 litres or more, please); water quality (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrate levels below 20 mg/l); and water chemistry (should be at least medium hard and slightly alkaline; 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7-8). Review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Help please! My Flowerhorn has a prolapsed rectum /RMF      8/22/16
Please help. My flower horn has a prolapsed rectum. I've been doing everything I can but nothing seems to be working. I'm not sure if you can give me any new advice, but I hope you can! I'm not sure if the problem has gotten too far to where it can not be healed. I have included an image below, please let me know what you think.
<Seen many times... put the words "Flowerhorn prolapsed colon" in the search tool (on every page) on WWM and read. Bob Fenner>
Help please! My Flowerhorn has a prolapsed rectum /Neale       8/22/16

Please help. My flower horn has a prolapsed rectum. I've been doing everything I can but nothing seems to be working. I'm not sure if you can give me any new advice, but I hope you can! I'm not sure if the problem has gotten too far to where it can not be healed. I have included an image below, please let me know what you think.
<Rachel, let me direct you to some reading. First check out the MANY instances of this we've dealt with, such as here:
Then let me have you review Flowerhorn care generally, here:
Almost always (in fact, probably without exception) the problem you describe is caused by problems with the environment and diet. In spacious tanks with good filters and frequent water changes, Flowerhorns given a varied diet including fresh greens don't suffer from this problem. The use of Metronidazole plus Epsom Salt can help to deal with the symptoms, but the bigger picture is fixing care/diet so the problem doesn't re-occur.
Hope this helps, Neale.>

Flowerhorn... lumenal parasite?      5/25/16
Ok im at my wits end.
<Oh no!>
I know what white poop in Flowerhorns is i honestly have tried everything under the sun, I've used CLEAR, Prazi Pro, Bacta, Aci, epsom salt, i haven't been able to get this fish better or get him to eat in over a month im noticing his white waste coming out is thick and airy looking,
<None of the medications used are the right one. You MUST use Metronidazole, ideally alongside a broad spectrum antibiotic such as one of the Nitrofuran drugs. While medicating be sure to do several things. First, remove carbon (and for that matter, any other chemical medium that might remove or react with the medicine). Secondly, optimise environmental conditions, especially by providing lots of oxygen and by minimising dissolved metabolites, including nitrate.>
i placed him back in his bigger tank with his girl friend, his color has come back he acts like he's happier, he had completely lost what was going to be a nice Kok, skinny been force feeding him spectra, with some garlic Epsom salt spirulium, same way i administered his CLEAR he has no interest in food, not even bloodworms, cant get my hands on metro as it is by
prescription only?
<Correct. In the UK at least, you'd talk to a vet. There are some non-prescription medications here, such as eSHa HEXAMITA, that may be worth trying in non-critical situations. But Metronidazole is absolutely the drug of choice.>
What do i do? My water in my tanks are always on point, perfect!
<Do review diet as well; Flowerhorns are omnivores, and one common mistake with these (and indeed most other cichlids) is the absence of fresh green foods from their diet. Hexamita and HITH/HLLE-type infections do seem to have a strong link with lack of green foods as well as high (20+ mg/l) nitrate levels.>
He's in a 75 gal with his girl. Help im out of ideas???? Put him back in his tank from hospital tank, put carbon back in as i did preventative for her, but im frustrated? Jamie
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Flowerhorn fish throwing up food hours later. No data      5/6/16
Sent from my iPhone Hi I have a Flowerhorn fish approximately 5 inches long that I received several weeks ago . I used a 5 day treatment of the product Clear
<What active ingredients here?>

on the fish to make sure he had no internal parasites before putting him in my main set up. The fish is eating pellets soaked in distilled water to soften them for easier digestion following the treatment . The fish accepts and eats the pellets with no problems . But hours later appears to be throwing up the food . The fish doesn't seem to be defecating nor have I seen him since I've had him . Fish is very healthy looking very large KOK for his size , full of color & very active and responsive to interaction with people . The fishes belly is not bloated or any abnormalities detected visually. But fish appears to be eating and throwing up hours late and not defecating it out . What could be the problem and is it something that can be rectified ? Thank u for ur time
<Can't tell much from your information... what re water quality here? Temp., pH, alkalinity? The set up, size, filtration, lighting. Other tankmates? Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn fish throwing up food hours later      5/7/16

Hi Bob , temp 84,
<Too high. See; as in READ on WWM re>
PH 7.6, 30 gallon sick tank set up
<I'd be monitoring ammonia, nitrite, pH here
. Sponge filter ,
<See above>
air stone , standard tube lighting on for 4-5hours a day . Not sure of exact Alkalinity but it's high I have hard water .
<How hard is hard?>
But the fish seems to be throwing up his food hours later like he's not able to poop . Stomach not swollen no abnormally detected in the fishes appearance or behavior.
<First guess is poisoning... as I asked last time....
Note : I have 5 other Flowerhorns with the same ph, temp, lighting, water hardness without ever a issue . What could be wrong or going on with the fish do u think ?

Flowerhorn: Plz help.... no data, 10 plus megs.... RMF in Belize     1/5/16
Hello there,
My name is Rachel.
I have seen your website and was wondering if you could help. My flowerhorn's head has turned brown/reddish and it is no more swimming and stays upside down. It has stopped eating as well.
I've attached a picture.
Would be really grateful if you could please help.
<Your images are more than an order of magnitude too large. Please re-size and re-send. Oh, and DO send along data: water quality test results, history of the set up, foods/feeding, other livestock present. DO read what we have archived re FHs first. Bob Fenner>

Flower horn injury... 25+ megs....       10/30/15
.... your msg. deleted. See our file size requirements.
Re Flower horn injury.... No data, or using WWM       10/30/15
With few images
<4 megs.... WHY?>
Greetings WetWebMedia team,
I have a female Flowerhorn for more than 3 yrs now and since two days it has some problem near its mouth. Seems like some tumour,
<Looks more like a physical trauma to me>
I am really worried. Find attached few images for reference and suggest what care has to be taken.
<..... Just read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FHDisDiagF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re FH Hlth., NNS       4/11/15
Sir thanks for your help... Now my flower horn is getting well....Now he is taking food....but the pits of his head is still present....What can I do.
<Time; healthy diet; optimal water conditions; correct water chemistry... alongside medication, the pits will heal if the fish is kept healthy for an extended period of time (months, not days). Cheers, Neale.>

Flower Horn with Thyroid Problem        2/9/15

Hi, I submitted a video (Linked here. mov) to show you the issue
So here are the facts:
200 gallon tank, mixed foods, he is super active and aggressive. Eats twice a day no live food and no signs of being sick. But if you look in the video under his mouth he seems swollen. I have had 20 plus flower horns and have never seen this. Should I medicate? Please help.
< I have seen this problem with some Lake Tanganyika cichlids with thyroid problems from not enough iodine. I have not seen it in any new world cichlids though. Try changing the food to include more shrimp in the diet or try adding an iodine supplement used with salt water reef tanks. It may take a few weeks before seeing any improvement.-Chuck>

Flower Horn queries.      /Neale        2/6/15
I am Sachin from India, have got a flower horn since 5 months now. I have kept the flower horn in a partition in the tank as their are other fishes like Blood Parrot, Arowana, Mono Angels, Dollars. I once tried removing the partition but my FH gave the other fishes a very hard time.
<Indeed. These fish are incompatible. The Monos need brackish or marine conditions. The Angels, Silver Dollars and Arowana are strictly freshwater fish. The Arowana will eat the Silver Dollars and Angelfish. None belong
alongside something as aggressive as the Flowerhorn.>
So I moved him back to the partition.
<Arowana alone needs a very large tank; 100 gallons or more for an Asian Arowana, maybe twice that for South American Arowanas. The Flowerhorn will need a 75 gallon of its own. Partitioning a tank is not the answer.>
I am very confused about his sex and hump. His forehead seems to be growing and looks as if he might get one. But recently FH is growing in size but the forehead isn't.
I have read all the distinguish factors between male and female FH but I am not able to identify.
<Indeed. Hard to sex these fish. Some males develop the hump. Some don't.
Genetics is the main factor. But the fish also needs to be in optimal conditions and growing steadily. A fish under poor conditions won't ever colour up nicely or grow a large hump.>
Last night the FH started digging the sand and reached the tank bottom. It is like guarding the hole it has dug at the corner of the tank.
<Probably wants to get out of the partition!>
I have also removed the Albino sucker which was in the same section of tank as the FH had gone real aggressive. It was also bullying at the fishes at the other aide of the partition if they came near the partition glass.
<What they do. Please READ before BUYING your fish.>
This is the only FH I have got, so is it possible the FH may lay eggs without pairing with any male.
<Not really, no.>
Is it also possible that its a male which is maturing and has gone aggressive all of a sudden due to hormonal changes.
<Male Flowerhorn cichlids are very aggressive.>
Also since yesterday it is eating half the quantity it normally does.
<Because he is sick...>
I have attached a pic of my FH
<That red tube from the anus is his lower intestine. This is a prolapse. It shouldn't stick out like that! Sure sign of intestinal infection. Do read here:
Very, VERY common when people keep Parrot cichlids and Flowerhorn cichlids in poor conditions and feed them the wrong diet. Hope this helps to clear things up. Cheers, Neale.>

Flower Horn queries.     /RMF        2/6/15
Please reply...
Regards, Sachin.
| Hi, I am Sachin from India, have got a flower horn since 5 months now. I have kept the flower horn in a partition in the tank as their are other fishes like Blood Parrot, Arowana, Mono Angels, Dollars.
<Wow! Hope this tank is very large (hundreds of gallons... The Monos really like "different" water (brackish to marine as adults)>
I once tried removing the partition but my FH gave the other fishes a very hard time. So I moved him back to the partition.
I am very confused about his sex and hump. His forehead seems to be growing and looks as if he might get one. But recently FH is growing in size but the forehead isn't.
<May well be a female; and/or not much "nuchal hump" to be grown here genetically>
I have read all the distinguish factors between male and female FH but I am not able to identify.
<Mmm; well; tis a relative thing... the unpaired fins not as long, pointed posteriorly... body conformation... and genital papillae at some point>
Last night the FH started digging the sand and reached the tank bottom. It is like guarding the hole it has dug at the corner of the tank. I have also removed the Albino sucker which was in the same section of tank as the FH had gone real aggressive. It was also bullying at the fishes at the other aide of the partition if they came near the partition glass.
This is the only FH I have got, so is it possible the FH may lay eggs without pairing with any male.
<Is possible; they won't be fertile>
Is it also possible that its a male which is maturing and has gone aggressive all of a sudden due to hormonal changes.
<Ah yes>
Also since yesterday it is eating half the quantity it normally does.
I have attached a pic of my FH
<Best to keep separated from the other fishes here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Urgent ! Help... FH, env...  cont.     1/27/15
I changed the water immediately and my fish was fine, thank you Bob Fenner.
But now again he is in the same situation, so i changed the water again.. i have changed the water twice now, but still no progress.
<... where is the data re your water quality tests? NH3 and NO2 in particular>
My FH is around 12 inches long. 33 gallon water tank.
<... environmental>

(i am going to get a bigger tank soon for him). Along with airstone i use a regular power filter..i keep it running for 6 to 7 hours.i have him since a year now. i gave him peas..he eats them and also the floating pellets. but otherwise he stays near the surface with his mouth in upward direction. and he also rubs himself against the glass of the tank very often now. there
has been a change in his color, the color at his stomach has turned a little white.I use tap water and dechlorinate it before putting in the tank. I think it is the water quality. can I do anything to improve it at the moment?
<You're joking?>

I am attaching two pictures of him. one is of him near the surface and the other one is of his color.
Kindly reply.
<Kindly read our instructions for writing us: NOT 6 megs of pix, READING before writing. JUST on FH env. here.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Urgent ! Help      1/27/15
Joking ??????
<Yes; are you pulling old Bob the fishman's fins? You realize that your lack of care is the root cause of this fish's problems, correct? You've read on WWM re its care... otherwise you wouldn't be writing us w/ nonsense questions.

My Flowerhorns nose is blocked... no data; apparent env. ish.      8/27/14
please give me some advices to remove the blockage in my fish's nose.
I desperately need advices.
He is very slow.
He does take food regularly.
I only feed XO humpy head.
<.... Need to review regarding your water quality... the system. Such infected/mucusy nares are usually due to environmental issues. Do you have measurable ammonia, nitrite? How much Nitrate present? READ here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FHParrotCichArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My FH needs ur valuable help sir   9/5/14
My FH is around 7cm only till last week up-to 30th aug he was doing
fine. I noticed some lumps
around his right side fine portion as a whole but it doesn't bother
him .He was always gazing near the surface for 2 days (aug 30 ,31)
<? The sores, gazing... water quality methinks>
so I
used Levamisole for deworming. Some white worm like thing came out thought pooh. During that 24 hrs treatment period he refused feed. Next day he took feed ,he was crunching the pellet and more than half of the pellet is spilled out though his right gills. I already had a doubt if he has bloat so I treated him with metro (I still has a doubt if he has bloat r not ,but for last five days he haven't feed on any thing
but his belly still seems big).He is trying to take feed but as soon
as food enters his mouth either it comes out through his gills or he
spits out.
I am totally confused and worried .
please guide me to cure him. I feed him with humpy head Xo for last 1 month.
*hari shankar.s*
<Something else apparently going on, has gone on here with this fish... environmentally. You offer no information re the system, water quality test results, maintenance protocol.... Please read here: on WetWebMedia.com re Flowerhorn Systems and Disease Diagnosis, Environmental Disease. Bob Fenner, out in Japan at Narita Airport where WWM is loading slowly>

Please help me! Flowerhorn With Possible Blindness 6/1/08 Hi Crew, I have some problems to discuss with you. Last week, I got a male Flowerhorn as a present from my friend including all his accessories. First 2-3days he didn't eat anything and he didn't go anywhere but I can accept that as water changes. Then he continuously keeps silent but sometime he tries to swim. He's timing is not more than 5sec. then falling freely underneath the water and hit with glass. Mostly, he hit all the objects on his ways likes he didn't harm and seems he can't see anything. Last night, I realized that, it may be his problem, both of his eyes have some black shape, I attach his photos. His left eye is full with dark and the other is half. I haven't seen like that before in my experience because I have others 5 Flower Horns at my home. What should I do? Is he blinded? Is anything wrong? ? ? ? ? Please reply me as I feel sorry for him. Best regards, KMMK < After looking at your photos I don't know if your Flowerhorn is blind or not. I have never seen that kind of coloration in a fish's eyes before. Generally it sounds like you Flowerhorn has an internal bacterial infection that has affected his swim bladder. I would recommend treating the tank with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. I would also add a teaspoon of salt to the water for every 10 gallons of tank water. Keep the water temp up at 80 F too.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn injured     8/5/14
As I was playing with my Flowerhorn I deeped my finger in tank he catched and felt out of the tank from 7 ft and he is eating, swimming. But the question is can growth would be stopped or not
<Not likely to be changed if the fish is eating. Bob Fenner
Re: Flowerhorn injured      8/6/14

So no need to change the fish it will grow or not
<No need. BobF>

Sir...I have a FlowerHorn Fish of 4-5inches Red Dragon suddenly it stopped eating pellets from last 2-3 days...I used to feed him thrice a day n it was eating all the pellets which I feed...I just bought a shrimp e and feed him after feeding shrimp it's not eating pellets only so what should I do for my FlowerHorn to eat the pellets please help Me out as soon as possible... is shrimp good for FlowerHorn....?? M FEEDING XO HUMPY HEAD N EVER RED....!!!
<.... what re the system (size, gear) and water quality tests? READ on WWM ahead of writing us. We CAN'T help you, people without useful information.
Bob Fenner>

Worried about my Red Devil.     4/17/14
Good afternoon, I am once again writing to you for some much needed advice.
Thanks again in advance for your help. Since the last time I wrote to you, the blister like lesion heeled and he gained back his appetite and was doing really well since then. But now, there is a bigger problem that appeared: There is a huge bump but this time it's right between his eyes and I would say looks more like an air bubble full of something dark giving it a purple-ish color. It has been there for about 3-4 days now and it's size is increasing with time. Also, he tries to eat the pellets giving to him but all he does is spits it back out.. What should I do at this point?
<As the shampoo commercials say, "rinse, repeat". This may or may not be a reoccurrence of the same problem as before. Hard to say. With mysterious cichlid problems the combination of Metronidazole alongside a good antibiotic (Nitrofurans for example, or the Maracyn 1 and 2 combo) often fixes things without a complete diagnosis being necessary. That said, review the aquarium carefully. Consider tankmates; water chemistry; water quality; ornaments (that might be sharp and cause damage or chemically reactive so change the pH up or down); water turnover rate; oxygenation.
Review the needs of Amphilophus spp in terms of diet, water chemistry and aquarium size, and act accordingly. Good luck, Neale.>

female Flowerhorn is sick    2/8/14
<8 Megs, no data, or reading>

Please help me! I don't know what to do, my Flowerhorn Max all of a sudden was on her back, she was in a 150 gallon tank and there are no visible signs on her, she can't swim and lays on her side so I propped her up with 2 Coke glasses otherwise she will lye on her side and will not eat, I tired to give her a cooked pea but she won't eat anything. I'm giving her Maracyn Two for 6 days now and no improvement, she is trying to swim and seems a little better but I need some advice, I have her in a 10 gallon hospital tank now with aquarium salt and plenty of air. She is like a child to my wife and me and we hate to loose her at such an early age, I did many water tests on her 150 gallon tank and they where all great,
so I am truly baffled and both fish stores her in Lincoln, Née. don't have any answers, so can you tell me what you think happened to my fish, Thanks Larry
<Read here:
AND the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: female Flowerhorn is sick      2/8/14
I already read that and I still don't know what to do?
<Salt and a 10-gallon aquarium won't be doing her any good! So let's review. Make sure your fish has a spacious (75+ gallon) aquarium with hard, alkaline water chemistry. Nitrite and ammonia need to be zero. Nitrate should be as low as practical, certainly below 40 mg/l and preferably below 20 mg/l. A good combination for treating large cichlids is Metronidazole with Nitrofurazone; the first treats a range of parasites, the latter some bacterial infections. Note that Maracyn isn't particularly useful in this situation. Remember to remove carbon while medicating. Hope this helps,
Re: female Flowerhorn is sick      2/8/14

My Flowerhorn is in a Hospital tank and that's the only reason she is in a 10 gallon now, her home is a 150 gallon tank and I already did every test I could on the water in the 150 and its fine,
<Meaning what... "it's fine" doesn't really tell me anything useful. Would look in particular at nitrate level (a real killer for large cichlids) and sudden pH changes (surprisingly common in old tanks).>
that's why this is such a mystery as to why she all of a sudden was on her back, anyway thanks a lot for the reply's as I really don't want her to die as she is my best friend and is a very cool fish , kinda like part of our family since we don't have any kids of our own, Max our Flowerhorn is like our kid we never had, so should I return her to her home or leave her in the hospital tank until she can swim?
<Assuming no other fish in the 150 gallon tank, I would treat there. Cost of Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone may be factors if added to the water rather than food, but even then, would not keep a cichlid this big in anything smaller than, say, 30 gallons.>
Thanks a lot Larry
<Welcome, Neale.>

Re: female Flowerhorn is sick      2/10/14
thanks for the reply as to my sick Flowerhorn, can I ask you this, if a fish is lying on its side it will soon die because it can't get enough oxygen?
<Is a worry, yes. Would move to a "good" aquarium (suitable size, good water quality, adequate oxygen). Will not get any better in a 10 gallon tank.>
I have her propped up by a few Coke glasses so she won't lye on her side, so do you think I should keep treating her with medicine or what should I do next,
<See previous e-mails; Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone are good choices with mystery cichlid ailments.>
put her back in her 150 gallon tank as I don't have a 30 gallon tank just the 10 we got at the pet store to use as a hospital tank, she can't swim just a little but doesn't seem to be getting any better. Should I try a different medicine and if so what medicine should I try?
<See above.>
I read so many things on the Internet, some say raise the temp. and some say lower it, some say put aquarium salt in then others say don't so its very confusing to get the right treatment for my fish,
<Indeed. It's very difficult to diagnose a sick fish by e-mail! Cool water is very bad for cichlids; warm water can perk them up a bit, but too much is very bad. For Flowerhorns, the usual 25 C/77 F is fine. Salt can be useful in soft water when Central American cichlids are being kept, but apart from Whitespot and maybe Velvet, it isn't a medicine for anything much. Once cichlids start "rolling over", it's a sure sign of deeper problems. Possibly constipation, in which case Epsom Salt and peas will help, but if the fish is constipated, it should otherwise seem healthy (normal breathing, normal appetite, normal responses to you).>
she won't eat so I can't give her a pea as I read its good for constipation in fish, but she wasn't eating in 1 week now, seems like her back half is paralyzed or something she can move her dorsal fins but not her tail.
Please help! Thanks for the reply's, Larry
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: female Flowerhorn is sick      2/10/14

Okay so if I pit her back in her 150 which I just checked with my test kit and it is fine, if I put in back in the 150 should I continue to prop her up? If your not careful sometimes she backs out of my glasses and then ends up on her side again, she has no appetite at all and I have tired different foods, I suspect it was the water condition of her tank, which now I have cleaned and changed 50% of the water, what is the name of the medicine you would suggest when I go to the pet store today?,or should I just put her back in the 150 with no medicine?
<Please read my previous e-mails; as Bob F would say, "read more, write less"... all this is covered elsewhere on WWM; maybe start here:
And then follow the links above, specifically, the categories of Flowerhorn disease especially "Environmental" and "Infectious". Virtually all Flowerhorn problems come from a combination of environmental factors together with dietary and genetic shortcomings; review, reflect, and act accordingly. Good luck, Neale.>

Flowerhorn; five megs of no data, rdg.     12/30/13
Hey I hope you can help me out with my Flowerhorn. It looks to be like a tumor. But I am not to sure so i was hoping you could tell me what that is?
There is also an attachment of his bumb on his head
        Thank you, please email me back as soon as possible at
<.... looks tumorous to me as well. See WWM re these, and the copious FH sections... need data on system, water quality, nutrition.... to help you.
Bob Fenner>

flower horn skin colour... no data     11/12/13
Hello wwm,
This is Bhavna here. I bought a flower horn fish a week back..till yesterday it was playing n was very active. Last night, accidently my little brother lowered the speed of the oxygen ( the airstone)i saw that in d morning n made it to normal again..now the fish isn't that active n becomes still at one place for a long time..even his colour has changed a bit from pink to white..he isn't that playful.
the oxygen is running n also I have kept the filter running too..what else should I do.
<//// What re water quality tests? Your set up? Please read here:
the linked files above; re possibilities and what sorts of information
we're needing to help. Bob Fenner; sent to Neale>
flower horn skin colour     /Neale's go      11/12/13

Hello wwm,
This is Bhavna here. I bought a flower horn fish a week back..till yesterday it was playing n was very active. Last night, accidently my little brother lowered the speed of the oxygen ( the airstone)i saw that in d morning n made it to normal again..now the fish isn't that active n becomes still at one place for a long time..even his colour has changed a bit from
pink to white..he isn't that playful.
the oxygen is running n also I have kept the filter running too..what else should I do.
kindly help as i don't want to lose him.
<Hell Bhavna. If the fish didn't have enough oxygen for a few hours, it will probably recover given time. But the filter might also be affected by low oxygen level, so check ammonia or nitrite (not nitrate) level. If either aren't zero, then act accordingly: don't feed until zero again, do daily water changes of ~25%, and keep a close eye on the fish for signs of stress. In the meantime, have a read here:
Most problems with Flowerhorn cichlids are environmental, and caused by obvious problems, e.g., the aquarium is too small (less than 75 gal/300 litres). Cheers, Neale.>
re: FW: flower horn skin colour      11/13/13

Dear WWM,
I did 25 % water change..n now my fish has gained his colour back...Thank you Neale.
<Most welcome.>
.It worked..but as u said I don't yet have the ammonia-nitrite test kit. so till I buy it..I think I'll keep changing the water, everyday.
<Very wise.>
Also I want to know..I have 20 gallons water tank..can the FH survive for few more weeks in it ? Till I get a bigger tank for him.
<Few weeks... yes. But months, years... no. Cheers, Neale.>

My large flowerhorn   10/19/13
Hello, I am reaching out to you as a last resort. Have a large flowerhorn in an 80 gallon tank all alone, and he is sick. I change the water every 6 weeks or so and clean his tank, he has two large filtration systems on the back of his tank.
Okay so about 9 days ago I noticed he had stopped eating, not sure if it'd been a little longer. Then I noticed he was sulking. I am a college student in my first quarter at the University of Washington and swamped so I have not been paying as close attention as I normally would.
1) Anyways had a day off so I was cleaning his tank and while I was cleaning it he started floating and I thought literally this was it. I did approximately a 40 % water change but felt I should stop cuz he was stressed if not dying. I put some old Maracyn I had had in his tank hoping it would keep him alive over night, stopped and bought some API general cure the next afternoon, and also took the water to be tested and it was all within normal parameters,(sorry can't remember specifics just that they were not high nitrates ect 6.something on one of the tests and other was normal range too) sorry about specivity I do not remember heading into midterms! and did a 30 % change or so and added the general cure.
2) day two put the general cure and aquarium salt day before and was waiting. Fish seemed to be alert but noticed some clear little stringy things coming off his head so I added some clout and stress zyme. Did the 48 waiting and did a 30%water change more salt more stresszyme. Fish alert but now hasn't eaten for days and days?
3) Fish not getting better read you can put Metronidazole and Furan both to treat anything that it might be so I bought some furan and added that one dose wait 48 hours redose and water change.
4) so I've given him general cure with Metronidazole, waited 48 hours re-dosed waited 48 hours partial water change. Noticed the stringly things 2 days in added clout, completer that round just the Met. and clout. Fish wasn't eating and still lethargic so tried the furan. Dosed waited 48 hours dosed waited 48 hours water change.
Tonight my fish seems really buoyant, almost like swim bladder or abdomen bloat though he has lost so much weight he is not showing anything? Just rising to the top there's air in him.
I am outta my league. I've had him/her for a almost three years and I do not know what else to try!!! The breeder in Seattle I bought him from never answers his damn phone and I am up to my ears in papers to write and mid term to study for! I have enclosed a pic so to try to help see if you see something I don't he is really thin obviously what he's been through.
Oh yea and diet I feed him cichlid pellets, shrimp and blood worm and peas and the green vegetable frozen things in his variety pak. Haven't fed him vegetables in the last 3 weeks or so cuz last time I went to give him some he wasn't eating.
The reason I do not know the exact time he quit eating is because my husband and I share the feeding and it took a few days before I realized the non eaten food and removed it. my husband is so thick he would of just kept feeding him and not removing the uneaten pellets! I am the fish keeper he is retarded.
Any thing you could suggest would be so appreciated I really want to save my fish desperately. Thank-you deeply for taking the time to read my less than organized and somewhat erratic post it is late and I've been writing a paper all damn day and feel ridiculously tired! Thanks Elizabeth
<At this point I would not panic. Chances are that you've skipped one too many water changes, and the nitrate level has gone up, and this seems a particular stress factor on large cichlids (indeed, most cichlids across the board). Increasing oxygenation, cutting back on food, performing a series of water changes, and giving the aquarium filter a thoroughly good clean will all help to reduce this stress. With cichlids, appetite is almost always an indicator of health: if the fish is healthy, it'll eat; if it isn't eating, something is wrong, so fix the aquarium rather than worry about the food. A cichlid this size can go weeks, likely a month or more without food and not come to any serious harm. If you must feed, offer high-fiber foods that'll help with any buoyancy problems -- cooked peas are ideal. Definitely avoid anything dried like pellets or flake as these can have the opposite effect. I'm not a huge fan of general cures -- I'd be horrified if my doctor treated me that way -- but what's done is done, and Metronidazole and Nitrofuran drugs do make a good combination for many cichlid ailments, though primarily protozoan and bacterial infections rather than environmental stress. But unless any other symptoms present themselves, I would not add any further medications -- do always remember medications are, by definition, poisons to some degree, and if they aren't doing any good, there's a risk they could be doing harm. At the very least, random medications add variables to an already complex situation. For now, keep up with the water changes, optimise living conditions (oxygenation, water hardness and quality, water circulation) and observe. Cheers, Neale.>

Fins problem. No data, rdg. again      10/10/13
Hi Bob,
Greetings.   Hope all is well at your side..
I observed something unnatural in my FH fins two days before. Herewith attaching photos of the same.
Thought that it may be his scale. But no...!! Result the tip of the Caudal Fin dropped off...!!!
<...? You show pix of pectoral fins... not caudal>

I am worried now. Worrying as it may be Fin rot..
Checked up the TDS (Total Dissolved Salts) of the water its 168-170 ppm.
Is this too much. Did 30% water change yesterday and day before. Can you please guide me in this?
Thanking you in advance for the same.
Vinay M.
<? Same ole... water quality... You still aren't reading... B>

Concern regarding Flowerhorn!!   10/5/13
Hello WWM,
I've been regular visitor of ur site and glad that people like you are helping people in need without any demands.
Myself Aaditya, i just exchanged my Flowerhorn and bought a new one from local aquarium. Its colour was so gud there and was looking very attractive but as soon as i brought it and transferred it to my pot it just started swinging crazily while swimming normally after certain interval of time and stress marks appeared on it. It was kind of feeling irritated i guess and i think the reason was the nitrite levels coz of the reason i was feeding it shrimps and didn't clean the pot for over one and a half month.
But today i cleaned the pot, washed the stones nicely and cleaned the pot with KmNO4 and made sure it is washed off properly with scrubber and filled tap water which i stored 3 days ago, even added dechlorinator in specified quantity and after putting fish (my FH) it still has stripes i.e. stress marks all over it and i must specify it is in 1.5 feet tank and the tap water is soft water.
It is playing with my finger though but has stress lines pls help me out..
<Hello Aditya. Lots of possible problems here. Start by reading this article:
Your main problems are certainly aquarium size (much too small) and your water chemistry (much too soft). In brief, Flowerhorn cichlids need an aquarium at least 75 gallons in size (in the US, that's typically 4 feet in length and 18-24 inches in width and depth). Filtration needs to be generous, a large external canister filter being recommended. As always ammonia and nitrite must be zero at all times, but nitrate should be low, certainly less than 40 mg/l, and ideally less than 20 mg/l (higher nitrate levels seem to be linked to health problems such as bloating, Hexamita infections and Hole-in-the-Head). Water chemistry needs to be moderately hard and alkaline; aim for 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7.5-8.2. With all this information it should now be easy for you to see what's wrong with your current set-up and make the necessary changes. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Concern regarding Flowerhorn!!    10/21/13

Hello wet web media,
Your advice worked and my fishes (Flowerhorns) stress marks were gone as i shifter it to a new 75 gallon tank and is quite happy in its new home.
I added tap water and some aquarium salt to it and rid all anti Ich solution for the prevention of Ich in small doses and it was playing well but suddenly today i noticed something white and sticky dots on both its eyes and the fish is a bit inactive and when i give her food it just eat half and throws half of it (i am feeding humpy head) after that i thought it might be the size of pallets and cut the pallet into half and gave it to the fish but still the same though the wastage was a bit less this time. I
just feed two pallets twice a day but its worrying me...
Pls help me out asap for the eye disease its a bit of cloudy in structure and sticky and tell me how should increase its appetite i even fed it spinach it ate it but still of no use  do i increase the quantity of spinach?
<Cichlids will eat when happy. Don't worry if the fish isn't eating. Wait a day or two. Monitor water quality and chemistry. Check for signs of injury and/or stress. After a day or two, offer some more food. If food is still not taken, then again, try to figure out why.>
Any eye drops available in the market dat i shud apply?
Pls revert asap.
<If you are in a rush, then SEARCH WetWebMedia.>
I am sending you the pic of my Flowerhorn. The disease i guess just the beginnening.
My water is kind of soft
<Not what Flowerhorn cichlids like; aim for 10+ degrees dH, pH 7-8.>
with 0 nitrates, nitrites and ammonia...
If its way too soft how do i increase its hardness?
<Do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Some aquarists simply add calcareous material to the aquarium substrate, coral sand for example.>
My pot is well ventilated and oxygen supply is enough.
And one more thing 1 of my friend suggested mixing boric powder in water dilute and applying it to the eyes of the fish, he did it to its turtle and it was gone.
<Turtle/reptile eyes are MUCH different to fish eyes; unless your friend is a vet, I would not do this!>
But i trust you more, so I'll go with whatever you suggest.
<Epsom salt is better/safer.>
In this pic you could see the white sticky dot in the centre of both of its eyes.
<Pop-eye usually happens on cichlids either from physical damage (usually this is when one eye "pops" up) or poor environment (usually when both eyes "pop" up). In any case, start by reading here:
Treating with Epsom salt can help relieve the symptoms. Then concentrate on fixing the environment. For a start, Flowerhorn Cichlids dislike soft water. If all else fails, you could regularly add aquarium salt to the water (2-3 gram/litre) but you'd probably get better results focusing on increasing hardness.
Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Head down of my Flowerhorn... Houston! We've got a non-reader!    9/18/13
I've Flower horn of 1yr old and from last one month he was suffering from Dropsy but at present he is alright with that, but during this disease he started swimming in down ward direction i.e. His head touched on tank floor and whole body is in reverse direction.
Could you please help me out with some suggestions and cure to be taken that he can swim in correct way
Like normal fish.
Shaibaz Khan
<Please help yourself by reading here:
And then follow the links at the top, especially those about "disease" and "systems". Virtually all sick Flowerhorn cichlid problems are to do with poor environment. Have a look at the checklist of things you MUST have, and see what you are missing in your aquarium. Aquarium size, water chemistry, temperature and filtration are all especially important. The fact your specimen is relatively young suggests he was small when you got him but is now grown up, so his original aquarium may well be too small. Anything less than 75 gallons isn't going to work. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Head down of my Flowerhorn... data?     9/18/13
Hi Neale,
<BobF this time; though will send to Neale as well>
Thank you for prompt reply.
As suggested below I've checked all the areas where I'm lacking but doesn't find anything serious.
<... We need values re your water quality; source water as well as that in the system... in particular metabolites: Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, aspects of mineral content (e.g. hardness)>
Also my aquarium size is Length 4' ft and Height 12" inch
<... something off here... the pic shows a tank of greater height, and where's the width? What sort of filtration employed here; maintenance?>
 and when I bought this flower horn the aquarium was different.
Attached is pic of my Flowerhorn to exactly let you understand what my fish is suffering.
<Can't "tell" anything other than this fish is upside down... >
Please suggest some more practice to make my flower horn in normal way.
<Keep reading, change water as per the reading, write us back with data, information of use. Bob Fenner>

re: Head down of my Flowerhorn; Env., won't read; leave to Neale     9/18/13
Hi Bob F,
Width of Aquarium is 2'ft.
Advise some suggestions what I've to do to bring my fish in normal position.
<Read where you were initially referred; the linked files above Neale's article. Your answers and many others who have lost their FH's due to the same simple mistakes are archived over and over there. BobF>
re: Head down of my Flowerhorn; Env., won't read; leave to Neale     9/18/13

Hi Bob F,
But can you advise what mistakes would be and where I've to work more to bring my FH in proper position.
<?.... answer the questions I've already asked you... see prev. email. JUST READ where you've been referred. Don't write, READ. B>
re: Head down of my Flowerhorn    9/18/13

Hi Neale,
Thank you for prompt reply.
As suggested below I've checked all the areas where I'm lacking but doesn't find anything serious. Also my aquarium size is Length 4' ft and Height 12" inch and when I bought this flower horn the aquarium was different.
<Okay, let's assume this tank is 48 inches long, 12 inches deep, and 12 inches front to back. That's 6912 cubic inches, or 29 US gallons. Looks to me like your aquarium is only about two-thirds full anyway, so that's 20 or so gallons.  That's much too small for this species.>
Attached is pic of my Flowerhorn to exactly let you understand what my fish is suffering.
<Could be any number of problems, but as Bob and I have suggested, the problem is environmental.>

Please suggest some more practice to make my flower horn in normal way.<A bigger aquarium, better water quality (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 20 mg/l or less nitrate levels), more water movement, better aeration /
oxygenation. Take your pick. There's nothing "wrong" here that can be cured with medicines, though a combination of Metronidazole and an antibiotic may be useful. Do read where you were sent: these fish are not as easy to keep as many suppose, and really do need a spacious aquarium and strong filtration if they are to live a long and healthy life. Hope this helps,

re: Head down of my Flowerhorn      9/19/13
READ HERE: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FHDisF5.htm
and the linked files above. B
re: Head down of my Flowerhorn      9/19/13

Hi Neale,
I don't understand how the environmental problem will bring FH upside down.
<When a fish is exposed to poor environmental conditions, two things can happen. Firstly, the fish needs to compensate for whatever the stress might be. Its organ systems have to work harder. This places them under more strain, and over time, this can damage them, making the fish more likely to become ill. Classic example: keep Malawi cichlids in soft water or water with aquarium salt added, and you'll often find they develop "Malawi Bloat", the body becoming swollen, similar to Dropsy, because the kidneys aren't working properly. Secondly, under stress the fish's immune system becomes weaker, and under too much stress it stops working altogether.
Bacteria in the water that normally do no harm (and may even do good, e.g., saprotrophic Aeromonas spp.) suddenly find themselves able to overwhelm the fish's white blood cells, and because of that, they can "eat" away at the fish's tissues. Classic example: Finrot, which is almost always caused by poor water quality and very rarely comes out of the blue, even when fish damage their fins.>
As in the attached pic the way he is standing is he always use to be and for that only I need your advise how should I bring him in normal way.
<As Bob and I have stated REPEATEDLY, the real problem here is the aquarium is too small. Diet can be a factor, so see here:
But unlike Goldfish (which are herbivores) your cichlid is an omnivore, so the constipation problem is unlikely. Instead check aquarium size (should be 75+ gallons, certainly not less than 55 gallons, even for a youngster) and ensure that ammonia is 0 and nitrite is 0. Nitrate levels should be low, certainly never above 40 mg/l and aim to keep at or below 20 mg/l as much as possible (frequent water changes and very, very cautious feeding are essential here). Next up, check water chemistry is hard and alkaline (10+ degrees dH, pH 7-8). Basically, have a read of these two articles and, as Bob has indicated, follow the links above; your problem is FAR from unique and we get MANY such questions:
Help YOURSELF to help your fish by READING, not writing, and definitely don't hope for a "silver bullet" that will magically fix this fish if you don't FIRST FIX its environment. Cheers, Neale.>

RE: Flowerhorn suffocation observed    9/16/13
Dear Bob,
How's Life...?
<Fine; thank you>
My FH is 1 1/2 year old now. He has a very good built, active etc. All credit to WET WEB MEDIA. I had an eye on everyday FAQs and Archives.
Which made me to take good care of him.
<Ahh; great to realize we have been of use to you, your petfish>
Well got a problem now.. I got the tank replaced since a month back. Now it's the bigger one (3 ft X 1.f ft X 2 ft). I have everything mounted in the tank just the same way which was as earlier. But don't know whats wrong, My FH has stopped eating
<Not unusual behavior; to be expected with the move. I'd just wait... offer some food (pellets) daily>
 since four days. I got him two feeding gold fishes.
<I'd remove these... too much potential for trouble. See WWM re "feeding feeders">

 But he is not at all interested in them.
I am worried. Please suggest
Thanks and Best Regards,
<Patience... Bob Fenner> 

urgent help needed... FH, no reading  – 09/9/13
<... why, WHY have you sent nine MEGs in images?>
Hello Sir,
I am writing to you with a lot of expectations and questions. I had a flower horn; which I had got in March 2013. It was very big itself when I got it (almost 8-10 inches). It was very good until it died last Saturday (31st Aug 2013). Before dying it turned up-side down. I noticed some string like substance in her stools.
<... did you look at this material through a microscope?>
 I tried treating her with Terramycin and Hostacyclin,
<... for what?>

 but it did not help.
I have now got a small flower horn; approx 4-5 inches. I have attached few photographs here. I have again noticed same thread-like white substance in the tank. It seems to be some stomach problem as I have read on your website.
These are other details.
Tank size – 2 ft (L) X 1.25 ft(B) X 1.25 ft (H)
<Too small>
• Feeding – Humpy head
<.... too limited>
• Water – I use 100% filtered water (water purifier used for drinking water thru UV and RO)
<Unsuitable. This C. American cichlid cross needs mineral content... hardness, alkalinity>

• Using oxygen pump as well as a big aquarium filter (power filter as seen in the photo)
• Using pink fluorescent light (or while LED lights sometimes)
I checked it with the person from whom I bought, he suggested that it may be due to changes in habitat and water etc. and the fish will settle soon.
My questions are:
1) Is humpy head good to continue. I have heard it is very high in protein and may cause digestion difficulties. Also suggest alternate food. I read about peas and spinach etc. what is the best way to feed spinach and peas etc.
2) What is immediate medication that I should start
3) Are there any changes required in the set up of aquarium I do not want to lose this one. Please please please help me.
Expecting your response as soon as possible. Thanks a ton..
Thanks & regards,
<... READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FHDisF5.htm
and ALL the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: urgent help needed; less purchasing, more studying applicable bio.  – 09/9/13
Dear Sir,
I apologize if the attachment size was very high. I just wanted to make sure that you have all info before you answer. It is not that I have not been reading the info on the web. Before writing to you I have already read FH Dis F4 and F2, but was not 100% sure as i do not want to lose time I wrote to you. really sorry for asking so many questions again.
I would really appreciate some help from you.
I thought that my tank size was good enough; which was not true. I have already ordered a tank with 2X2X1.25 feet. Would this be enough.
<Should be... much better>

I did not check white material thru microscope and treated the old fish (which died) with Terramycin (and hostacyclin afterwards) as suggested by a fish seller.
<... these antibiotics are of very limited use; can be detrimental applied w/o knowing what you're treating for>
Currently, I am feeding only humpy head to my new FH, about 4-6 pallets twice a day.
Please please please advise how my FH would turn to normal.
<... Put gravel in the tank; add mineral/ised water... feed a better mix of foods. READ where you've been sent; all this is gone over and over. BobF>

Thanks again and best regards,

Re: urgent help needed; more re abused FH     9/11/13
Dear Sir,
<N; you have been reading?>
Thank you very very much for your answers and support. I REALY REALLY APPRECIATE IT. You all are truly saviours.
Yesterday morning I changed to tank water and mixed it with normal tap water (40%) and added Flagyl 200 in to the tank.
<... why? Toxic and of no use here.
Your troubles are of your own making w/ this FH... it is being killed by poor environment>
 I did not feed him since yesterday morning (now 32 hours almost).
Within few minutes I noticed my FH to be more active and fast; however; in the evening I noticed a thread like substance coming out of her rectum; which got dropped after couple of hours.
He seems to be fine now, but fears a lot. It seems that he is not able to settle in our home yet (as I have got it on 7th Sept only). I have again changed the water to 30%-40% today.
I read all the information provided by you and Neale/chuck in different articles and responses. This information is really helpful; however; I have few more questions.
1. Should I start feeding him (there was not eating problem earlier also).
<Yes I would>
2. One of you responses to other aquarists suggested that Flagyl treatment should continue for 5 days (Flagyl and water change at alternate days for five days). Should I continue the treatment this way. Can I feed him during treatment.
<Do NOT continue to treat this fish period>
Request you to kindly advise on these questions. It would be really appreciable.
Thanks & regards,
Navpritsingh (Pune, India)
<Welcome. B>

Red dragon Flowerhorn. Hlth., likely env., gas...      6/9/13
About 3 days ago my female red dragon fh which i have had for 5 years got sick like never before. She is and has always been in my 75 gal tank with a canister filter rated at 420g/h bubbler with 3 stones in tank 400w Heater. The temp has always been between 84-86
<Too high... I'd lower to the mid to upper 70's F>

blue background river stones and many caves. She is with 2 jags a midas cichlid and 2 convicts all between 4 and 7 inches she is about 12 inches. I have basic tests for all parameters nitrites read between 0-.25 but closer to zero ammonia is 0 and ph is 7.5 nitrates are close to zero. I woke up and my fh was looking right at me (tank is right next to my bed) breathing heavy and being very lethargic. I have a good relationship with my fh and even on a prefect day she will let me catch her and remove her from the tank so i examined her through the glass and saw nothing. Then grabbed her and pulled her out. Looked in her mouth through her gills inspected her fins and saw nothing. Her last stool was a normal reddish brown. I replaced get in the tank and she was still the same. Throughout the day her condition worsened breathing heavier and laying around with no will.
<Sounds/reads like a gas exchange issue/problem... too little O2 and/or too much CO2... too low gas solubility in too small a volume at too high a temperature>
 I did a 50 percent water change
and later noticed she is holding one gill open and relying on the other one. What could cause this to happen?
<Environment most likely... and that the largest fish is mal-affected... the above>
I believe her gill is infected somehow but with no fungus or ick swelling or anything. Only thing i can see is a patch where the skin looks washed of color which had always been lighter and could just be more noticeable because i never see her so black and dark colored. I put her in a 45 gallon hospital tank that i keep set up with prospects for my 75gal i tested it everything is good just don't want the infection spreading to any other veteran fish ill risk the newbs first. I treated both tanks with "triple sulfa" anti bacterial fish medication.
<I would not do this. Will only worsen the cause of this trouble>
 And tetra parasite guard.
This was yesterday she is breathing a little easier
<Due to your water change>
and is off of the bottom but gill is still stuck open. Like half an inch open and not closing at all. What could it be and do these medicines seem right?
<No more "medicating"... wick off the top water every day for a few days, be careful/stingy w/ feeding... Keep up with the weekly massive water changes. Shop for a larger tank... Bob Fenner>

Dude! I will just ask, on how to " condition my male Flowerhorn for breeding      4/4/13
" because the last time my female spawned eggs he wasn't able to fertilize
it to life. Thanks.
<See WWM re... as always; ahead of writing us. BobF>

Flowerhorn tilted and breathing heavily    4/2/13
   I have been referring to your site since long and you guys are of great help. My Flowerhorn of 8 inches size has been breathing heavily since the last two weeks,
<... what is the size of this system? The filtration, aeration... is there surface agitation? Any surface film? Your water change regimen, techniques please.... Am thinking (a common issue) that you have a simple gas diffusion (oxygen) problem here>
 i have been treating this with erythromycin but this showed no results and fish gets very uncomfortable with this medicine, using erythromycin led to hole in the head so i had to discontinue erythromycin and use Metrogyl.
<For what reason/s?>
  My water quality is good
<... such evaluation is of little use to us in helping you. We need actual test values>
as per set standards. i feed him with Ching Mix, my flower horn is now completely tilted flat, not consuming food and breathing heavily. I have searched your forums for answers with this regard and i am not very clear on what to do, I live in India . Please help
Thanks and regards
<Can't help you w/ the information provided. Bob Fenner>

Please help identifying my fish's disease  3/26/13
Hello expert,
The picture of my fish is attached in the mail.
<... this fish has been brutalized... Beaten by another. You provide no information re tankmates, the system... Read over what is posted on WWM re all FHs. Bob Fenner>
My new Flowerhorn is staying so calm and stop eating and two days later i saw this injury on the left side of his body.
I don't know how to deal with this.
Please help me out with the disease and give me idea to cure this fish.
I am keeping this little fella with a Thai silk Flowerhorn
<Likely the perp.>

 and i think the disease could spread the Thai silk is not eating well now.
Will i need to cure him as well?
Thank you advance for your answer.

Re: Please help identifying my fish's disease     3/27/13
The tank is divided by a tinted glass. He stays with a Thai silk.
There is no way the Thai silk can come and bully him.
<Then how did this fish get beaten on its side? Did the one fish "jump over the barrier, then jump back?" Is there some sort of sharp decor; like coral there?>
If it is brutalized what medicine should i use?
He stopped eating couple of days ago.
Is that thing fatal?
<Hopefully not. Should cure on its own. Re-read what is posted re FHs on WWM. BobF>
Re: Please help identifying my fish's disease     3/27/13

Thank you very much
<Ah welcome. B>

Flowerhorn with cloud eye turning into a puffed up cornea     1/16/13
Evening crew@WetWebMedia.com
my Flowerhorn experienced 0.25 ammonia for about three days (spike).
<Toxic; burning>
Since then water parameters have been fine with no ammonia, no nitrite etc.
Since after the 0.35 ammonia it developed cloud eye on both eyes. Spoke to few people and concluded it was a bacterial infection.
<... no; at least not primarily; initially. This is a chemical burn>
Treated it with
bacterial medication (two different courses) but cloud eye remained.
Decided that it might be fungus and got some new medication for it.
<Only time going by, good water quality and nutrition will "cure" this condition. Medications are much more likely to cause troubles... e.g. disrupt nitrification. I'd remove all>
 Fish is healthy eating well, very active, looks happy, no pop eye, stomach looks normal, fins and scales also look normal etc. However just before  started the fungus treatment the Flowerhorn's eye cornea seemed enlarged. Today, which is day two of the course and meant to run it for one more day, the cornea of the eye is almost like a bubble, fish still behaves as before.
Could you please advise and tell whether you think the fish will loose <lose> its eye.
Many thanks
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpopeyefaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn Trouble - 01/15/2012
Hi Team,
<Hi Sandeep, I hope you are well.  Thank you for keeping the old conversation we had attached to this new one; knowing the history of the question is very helpful.>
I need some immediate help please. My Flowerhorn is not eating for a week.
He has banged his head to the filter and I guess he has got a white patch/ hole on the head.

<Sounds like he hurt himself pretty badly.  Flowerhorn are very tough fish, so hopefully he has a chance at recovery.>
He has turned very dark and very weak.
<I will assume that it is still impossible for you to test your water - but if not, if you do have the ability to do so, please test for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH.  Any bad water quality after an injury will further compromise his health and maybe prevent him from healing and that may be why he is still weak and not eating.  If you cannot test the water, then please try doing a few large water changes over the next few days and see how he responds.  If he still won't eat, you can try soaking dry food (like pellets) in a tiny bit of garlic juice; sometimes this will make the food easier to find and more palatable.>
He is nearly 6 months old and he was around 6 inches long. Please help I love him a lot - I don't want to lose him.
<I hope he will hang in there!  Do some big water changes and see if that helps him improve any.  My fingers are crossed!>
Thanks & Regards
Sandeep MK
<Best wishes to you and your fish,  -Sabrina>

Flowerhorn Popeye      12/10/12
Hello WetWebMedia Crew,
I have a large Flowerhorn cichlid in a 40 gallon aquarium (I know that this is far too small, and probably the reason that the infection happened).
Yesterday I noticed that he very abruptly developed a severe case of PopEye. It is bilateral, and both eyes are cloudy. He still responds when I approach the tank and is still eating, so I have hope that he may recover.
<Me too>
 I have begun the treatment with Epsom salts, as has been frequently suggested, but I have added 1/2 the recommended dose because I didn't want to overwhelm him with that and with medication. I have also added "Bifuran +" to the water since it indicates that it can treat bacterial/protozoan diseases. I am wondering if Bifuran has been shown to be successful with this disease, and if my method of dealing with the problem is acceptable.
<I do think it's worthwhile; of use in these cases/circumstances>
 I've read that you can mix it with food, but I am not certain how much of  the powder to use. I've also increased the temperature of the tank to 86 F.
Do you have any additional recommendations, critiques?
<Mmm, no; not really. Other than to encourage you to read re others' experiences; here:
and the linked files above. Other than time going by, what you are doing... there's naught else to do>
It is obvious that the problem is environmental (to me) and ideally he would be in a tank that is 70 gallons, not 40.
Thank you,
<Steady on. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn Recovering from Hexamita, and Flagyl use f'  - 11/15/2012
Good day, Sir. My name is Len from the Philippines. I just have this not-so-urgent-but-important question to ask about my Flowerhorn named Thor (as my 5 year old son has named him, being a huge fan of the movie).
Anyway, he is about 5 inches in length, and I have had him for over a month now. He shares a tank separated with a glass divider with another Flowerhorn not-so-surprisingly named Loki. Thor has recently suffered from Hexamita, and after a 5 day treatment with Metro in a 10-gallon hospital tank, seems to be recovering well, good thing I diagnosed him with it after just 2 days of him having it so gave him his medications right away. He is gaining back his appetite, which he totally lost during the illness. And is now somehow pooping normal again (no more white strings, just pale brown poop). Only thing I'm worried about right now is his discoloration. He has gone really dark and I was wondering what I should do to get him back to being 100% normal again, being pinkish and very pretty.
<Mmm, just good water quality, nutrition and time going by>
 Are there extra things that need to be done after treating with Metro?
<Not really, no; monitoring aspects of water quality, being ready (w/ pre-made water) to do partial change-outs is expedient>
I have been Google-ing about this for 2 days and found almost nothing so I wanted to ask for your expert advice on this. Any advice/help will be highly appreciated.
Thank you very much. -Len
<Would it be worthwhile to have you read over what we have posted re Metronidazole use?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm
and the related FAQs links above. Bob Fenner>

Flower horn head fungus, NNS      11/12/12
His sir my flower horn head has fungus and its eyes are coming out of fish.
Please help me to save my fish . Please be needful
<No need to send your message and image three times... w/ no information of use. READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FHParrotDisArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  


Flowerhorn With Hole-In-The-Head - 10/24/2012
I have a Flowerhorn Cichlid who's about 6 inches long in a 25 gallon tank.
<You'll soon need to be looking for a bigger tank, I fear....  This is a large, "messy" fish, capable of producing much waste, and while 25 gallons might seem nice and roomy for one single 6" fish, it's water quality that's going to be the issue, here - and the Flowerhorn won't stay 6" forever....>
The PH is 7.4, ammonia and nitrite are both zero,
and I had the nitrate checked at a store once, and it was tested to be very low.
<Had it checked once....  Like once upon a time, in a shop long, long ago? 
Nitrate fluctuates, builds up over time, and only is removed by plants or algae consuming it, or just plain ol' water changes.  I'd suggest obtaining a test kit for this, as it really is worth knowing.  It takes a great deal more Nitrate to cause issues than Ammonia, but it can and does still pose a problem in great amounts.>
The problem is that I went on a vacation to Vietnam for a month back in July,
and my Mom who usually takes care of the Flowerhorn, had my uncle feed him for the month.
<Oh boy.  I know exactly where this is going.>
When we got back, he had small white "bump" on the front of his head. This slowly popped, and formed a crater in the area. Since then, another white "pimple" had formed there, and then white stringy stuff came out of it when I fed my Flowerhorn normally. The "wound" in the front of his head has since sealed, but now I see more white stuff forming below the surface of his skin.  In addition, one more pimple had formed on the side of his head, and did the same thing.
<This is all consistent with Hole-In-The-Head / Head & Lateral Line Erosion....  Often, in Cichlids, caused by - you've guessed it, haven't you? - very high Nitrate levels over a prolonged period of time!>
The other side however, secreted something similar to a cotton ball. This happened today.
<Your descriptions are so very clear; you are very observant.>
We've been doing 25% water changes every 3-5 days for the past month and a half.
<Depending upon how high the Nitrate level is, this may actually not be enough.  If you can test it, and find that it is over 20ppm, see if you can make up enough water for a VERY large water change.  As long as you can match temperature and pH to the water in the tank, I would really do 50% daily until the Nitrate drops below 20ppm.  I might even go with larger water changes if the Nitrates are very excessive.  I have seen Nitrates in excess of 200 (two hundred) ppm in a tank I maintained for someone years ago - it took quite a bit of effort to drop it.  Do be sure to very thoroughly siphon your gravel/substrate during the first water change, and occasionally thereafter.  Any leftover food from that month might still be down there, rotting and pushing the Nitrates ever higher.>
I assumed it was hole in the head, and added Metro pro, Metronidazole powder that I bought online and have been applying it after water changes for about 2-3 weeks.
<This was an intelligent move, as HITH/HLLE can indeed be caused by protozoan parasites (or become infested after the fact), but with the formula for disaster - big, messy fish that eats a lot and produces a lot of waste, not too huge a water volume, and someone potentially overfeeding the tank for a month straight - I would really bet that your Nitrates are surprisingly high right now.  I think I'd rather see you get the Nitrates tested and corrected instead of continuing to medicate this.>
At this point, I'm not sure if it's hole in the head, or some other disease.
<From your very excellent description, and very detailed background about the tank (thank you!), I think you're quite correct in your well-educated guess of HITH/HLLE.>
The water also smells "metallic" if that means anything.
<Another spectacular observation!  I can almost smell what you mean, having smelled "dirty" (though clean of Ammonia and Nitrite) water before.  I really think you're going to be surprised by the Nitrate level.>
He still eats normally, and behaves normally.
<Very good news.  It can take a very, very long time for HITH/HLLE to outright kill a fish, but it can also easily cause pitting severe enough to permanently disfigure a fish, too.  You've caught it early - tackle it now, and there may be no permanent damage at all.>
But my Mom's really scared that he might die, and is freaking out about it.
<Good of her to have such compassion for the fish.  You two make an excellent team in this.>
She also said something about how a lady at a store suggested feeding him feeder fish sometime in February.
I looked that up too, and found out that this was a terrible terrible thing to do.
<Whew!  Thank goodness!  Seriously, a good team indeed.  She's got the compassion, and you've got the drive to research.  That's awesome!>
<I hope this has.  If for some reason I'm way off base and your Nitrate level is actually less than 20ppm, do let us know so we can explore other possibilities.  I have a pretty good feeling about this, though.  Check it, correct it, and continue to observe.  Once corrected, it may still take time for the bumps and/or pits to fade and heal, but I'm sure you'll be watching.  Best regards to you and your Mom (and your fish!),  -Sabrina>  

Flowerhorn query, hlth., sys.      8/29/12
Hi Bob,
How's life...? Well hope everything is fine at your life, profession and health.
<Fine, thank you>
Well I am again here with a typical observation of my Sunny (Flowerhorn - Red Dragon).
I had put glass stones to the ground of the aquarium which he started pushing and throwing vigorously. Sometimes I observed him hitting himself horizontally to the stones very hard with his small hump head.
He became very aggressive against these glass stones. I thought he might not like them.
<Likely saw his reflection in their shiny surfaces. Better by far to use natural gravel of reasonable size... see WWM re freshwater substrates>
 So henceforth I removed all the glass stones and now the ground of aquarium is plain. Now he has calmed down. But during this aggressive hitting, he has lost a layer of his head scales which had developed very nicely earlier. He might have hit himself to the stones or suction pump. No deep injury observed. A line of his scaly skin has gone...   :-(  Will this recover in future???
His appetite has also quite reduced since this change. He used to consume up to 9-10 pellets in the morning and the same in the evening.
But now its reduced to 4 and even less. His activity also reduced.. :(
Now he is attacking the Oxygen supply bulb also....  Please suggest me should I remove it...?
<I would not remove it... think of ways instead to protect it... add other indestructible decor here>
 Will only the suction can provide Oxygen to him.
Please suggest.
Also please suggest weather I can put back those glass stones after some days........
<... Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubstrates.htm
and the linked files above...
Can you please suggest "Aquarium set up for him" where he can grow and play peacefully without any disturbance.
<... and here:
and the....
Waiting for your kindful reply as always.
Thanks and regards,
Vinay M.
<Please search, read ahead of writing. Bob Fenner>
Flowerhorn picture     8/29/12

Dear Bob,
Find attached the picture of my Sunny.
1. Is he healthy enough?
<Appears to be>
2. Does he require any special food for his hump head and body growth?
<... see, search WWM re... no>
3. Presently those glass stones in the attached picture have been removed due to his aggressive behavior.
4. I am not able to determine weather he is ready for breeding. Does he needs a mate?
<... does not need a mate to be happy, healthy. Does need such to reproduce>
Kindly suggest.
Vinay M.
<Cheers, BobF>

Flowerhorn suffocation observed     8/8/12
Dear Crew,
Its amazing to go through the answers in your site.
<Ah yes>
I am first time hobbyist in Flowerhorn aqua. Recently I brought a Flowerhorn Male. He was very active and playful. But the day i got in heating equipment inside the aquarium. The temperature was set by the shop person. Suddenly my Flowerhorn started to float head down and was like paralysed. I was shocked..
<He may have been as well. There may be an electrical short here>
I immediately took him into the cold water, cleaned the full tank and replaced him. I am worried to see him lying to one corner of the tank behind the suction.
Although he swims now and then, he is not able to eat or respond as before. There is enough oxygen supply.  On local enquiry, I treated him with Metrogyl 400 tablet but he is still "lost". Please do help me in this regard.
<Can't do any better than to encourage you to read all this is archived on WWM re this hybrid/mutant... Need info. on the system, water quality, foods/feeding... But I'd replace this heater. Bob Fenner>
Vinay M.
Re: Flowerhorn suffocation observed     8/9/12

Dear Bob,
That was great that your replied my query. Very happy on this regard. I did as you said, found out that the supplier gave me a malfunctioning heater which i have given him back.
But i have one more query... 
Since this incident, my Flowerhorn has lost its appetite and not taking pellet feed. Although it plays on well in the water, but doesn't eat. I comes up to the surface takes the pellet but spits it out. I have kept on removing the pellet which it doesn't consume. When will he start eating pellet as before??
<Likely in a few days>
 A local Aquarium shop person told to put a handful of salt into the aquarium and change 59% of water the next day. Is it true...? Can I do it.
<I wouldn't add salt; but water changes are good>
Me very much unhappy and tensed with my 5 inch Flowerhorn appetite. Kindly suggest.
Thanks and regards,
Vinay M.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Flowerhorn suffocation observed    8/10/12

Dear Bob,
<Hey Vinay>
Thank you very much for the timely reply.
Please don't feel irritated if I send you more questions in coming future..
<No worries>
Thanks and regards,
Vinay M.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Flowerhorn suffocation observed     8/13/12

Hi Bob,
How are you? Its great that I got you for my queries...
My Flowerhorn baby is doing very fine. He got a new name - SUNNY. I got the heater replaced and set it to 28 degree Celsius. Is it fine?
<... see WWM re systems for FHs>
  I changed the feed too. Got an humpy head meal. Is this good to him?.
<... you didn't read where you've been repeatedly referred to. Disappointing. B>
He is enjoying the meal now. I see him very active and jumping all around the water surface.
I am very happy. Thank you very much for thorough guidance and help.
Thanks and regards,
Vinay M.

Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?) – 07/27/12
Dear Lifesavers at WWM,
I have a Bonsai red flame Flowerhorn (?) (exactly like http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?328310-Bonsai-Red-Flame-Flowerhorn-Female-TX-Shipping-or-PU),
who is trying to recover from a severe case of Hexamita or perhaps a Swimbladder disorder or bloat (I am not sure).
My problem is a little involving, and you may think it is useless to do anything at this point, but I request you to please bear with me. I have few specific questions in the end.
Though my Flowerhorn (FH) went through very rough times in the last 6-8 months, I am mentioning the events only in the last couple of months. She started to develop a grotesque bloat and went upside down floating at the top of the tank, and a significant part of her belly was outside the water.
She also had something coming out of the anus (the prolapsed colon, or perhaps the swimbladder).
Initially, I tried feeding her with Metronidazole soaked blanched peas, and Epsom salt in the water (20g/20G), but that was not enough. So, after a couple of weeks, I removed the carbon from both the filters and started dosing the tank water with 500mL Metronidazole (ivy) solution in 20G water.
<Into the water? Of very little use>
I absolutely had no hope for her, and everywhere I asked for opinion/help, I was asked to euthanize her. I just could not do so, because every single time I looked at her, she tried to swim and come down in the water and showed immense energy. So I decided to continue with the medications and see what happens. I am only hoping that I am not torturing her with the medications.
With this regime, her bloating subsided and she came under the water (still in upside position and with prolapsed colon). In hope of further improving her condition, I added Nitrofurantoin (150mg/20G) last week. Her prolapsed colon (or perhaps swimbladder) disappeared within a single day, but there was still a little bit of swelling just near the anus. Also, she turned sideways from upside down. I was unsure of the reason for turning sideways, so I removed all the Nitrofurantoin from the tank (cleaned the canister filter, did 50% water changes 4-5 times). I did not have much hope for her *till today when I saw her trying extremely hard to swim straight and she could manage to do that for a very short time*. I saw her straight (glimpse of) after many months! Thank god!
She mostly sits sideways in one corner trying to rest on the filter inlet pipe, and occasionally swims in the horizontal (disc like) position.
I still don't know what is going to happen, but I think she has better chances if I can find answers to the following questions. I will really appreciate if you can help me here -
1. Diet: What should I feed her? She has been literally on blanched peas for the last 2-3 months.
<A high quality pelleted food: Spectrum or Hikari>
I used to feed her Hikari Cichlid Excel, but in recent past she turned upside down whenever she ate that. I gave her few pieces of garlic soaked blanched prawn a few days ago, which she liked. Can I continue this?
<Not indefinitely, no. See WWM re Thiaminase>
On your website, I read that Vitamin C is good for Cichlids recovering from diseases. Should I buy some Vitamin C capsules and put in the water? How much?
<Best to buy a prep. made for ornamental aquatics, e.g. Selcon...>
I tried feeding Oranges (blanched), but she just does not want to touch them. Any other source of Vitamin C for fish? Few months ago, I tried adding Vitamin B-Complex capsule, and she developed a bloat.
2. Should I add Metronidazole in the food again?
<I would not, no. Trouble to expose fishes more than once>
3 I have reduced the Metronidazole concentration to 200mL in 20G with about 5-10gms Epsom salt. I plan to slowly withdraw the addition of Metronidazole over the next week. Given that she is getting better, should I still try to add Nitrofurantoin again? How about Epsom salt?
<... w/o knowing what the actual cause of troubles are, ameliorative remedies are hard to recommend. I wouldn't be adding anything>
4. What is the right pH for this species (
<Not a species; but a hybrid, cross. Low to mid 7s... same as hardness, alkalinity (GH, KH)>
I saw an extensive article on your site to maintain pH, which I am going to follow. What exactly is the name of this species? I see names like short body/albino/bonsai FH. Out of curiosity, is this really a FH or a parrot Cichlid?
<The former>
5. Few days ago, when she tried swimming she went in circles. I checked online, and I don't think it is whirling disease (her colors are intact, and she is at least 1.5+ years old). Are there any other symptoms for this disease that I can check for?
<... see WWM w/ the name>
6. Sometimes, I see her curved on one side. I am pretty sure it is not TB, or broken spine. I believe that it is due to the swelling on one side that she goes bent towards the other side. Are there any specific reasons for this?
<Can be or not>
Here are some of the details about my setup:
Tank size: 45G (is filled only half to 20G, because she is upside down)
Filter: 1300LPH external canister filter, and an internal 1000LPH (I keep the internal filter off most of the time, because it creates a heavy current that my fish does not like).
Temperature: 29 degrees Celsius with lots of aeration.
I am changing 30-40% water every alternate day for the last 3 months, so I am hoping the water parameters (except pH) are good and thus not mentioning here. She is the only fish in the aquarium, and is about 4 inches in diameter.
Thank you for your time and patience.
God bless you!
<Please (re) read all that is archived on WWM re Flowerhorns:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)    7/27/12

Hello Bob,
Thanks a bunch for dealing with my rather vague questions. I am not sure what she is suffering from, and I don't have a vet around, so there is no way to figure it out.
<Mmm, yes there is... sampling, microscopic examination, reference books>
But from my limited understanding through online research, I feel it is Hexamita. Although, I am not sure if it causes the fish to go upside down and then sideways.
Yes, I've read most of the articles on Flowerhorn on WWM. I searched "Flowerhorn" on WWM, and read all the articles on the first two pages of the results. And from Neale's article, I realized that it is best to used Metronidazole + Nitrofuran for a cichlid when you are unsure of the problem. And which is why I asked you if it is okay to add Nitrofurantoin in the water.
<... is likely not to be of any positive use here>
Anyway, I will continue with Metronidazole (ivy) in water for another week, because that is how she has improved. I will start on Hikari pellet food (Hikari Cichlid excel or gold) again and hope for the best. I don't get Spectrum in my country, but I will try to see if some shop stocks it.
I will also start working on maintaining the pH (that is one thing I am not doing currently).
Thank you again.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)    7/27/12

Hey Bob,
So you mean I can take the water and/or stool samples to a diagnostic center (for humans) and get it tested for fish bacteria? Can you please tell me the tests (or point me to a location that lists some tests) that I should get done? Usually, when I get my blood tests done, the doctor specifically writes what to check for. E.g. sugar level or something like that.
<No; I would not do this. Not likely to provide you w/ useful information>
Thanks for the great suggestion. I don't know why it never occurred to me!?|
<There are a few stock reference works on fish disease. Can you borrow a copy (first or second ed.) of Ed Noga "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" possibly? Bob Fenner>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)    7/27/12

Hey Bob,
Thanks! This is what I needed. Just purchased the online version of the book.
<Didn't know this was possible. I hope it was much cheaper. Thank you for this info. >
Although, I am not sure if I will be able to make any head or tails out of it (never studied biology after class X). If I am stuck at something, I may bother you again.
Thank you,
<Never a bother. BobF>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)       8/8/12

Hey Bob,
If you remember, you advised me to study the Noga book to identify what could possibly be wrong with my bonsai FH. Well, I spent last week trying hard to make most (or in my case - little) out of that book. The gist of that book (from my limited understanding) is that if the fish has any skin related problem such as fungus, then salt baths (or sometimes formalin) seems to be the correct treatment. For most of the internal bacterial infection, it is suggested to use Oxytetracycline, Nitrofurantoin or Kanamycin.
Well, I am not writing to you to explain what I learned :) Anyway, the method of diagnosis for internal bacterial infection requires a blood smear test. And I don't think that is the right thing to do here, because even the book says fishes smaller than 3-4 inches are not ideal candidates for blood smear, as excessive bleeding may lead to the death.
<Agreed as well>
So, I am back to my question: how do I find out what is wrong with my fish.
Can you suggest any test based on the aquarium water or her poop?
<Not really, no... Nor would I treat for any biological disease here. I WOULD do what you can to improve the environment and nutrition>
Well, in the meantime, she has gone a little better, She tries to stay upright with the help of inlet pipe of the canister filter. When she does not have a support, she lays on her side, or sometimes upside down with some support. Also, she does have a white patch on her top right side. It definitely does not look like fungus, but I am unsure what it is. My temperature is 29 degrees Celsius. Any guesses?
<The usual issues w/ this mutant cross...>
Also, from reading online, I believe her problem was blocking of the intestine from the pellet food.
 So for the last two months, I have just stopped the pellets and kept her on blanched green (fresh) peas. But today, I tried feeding her sinking Hikari Cichlid excel (I used to feed her the floating of the same type some months ago), and she just loves it. I am scared that it may block her intestines again, so I am feeding her pellets only once in three days (5 tiny pellets max!). The other meals are green peas. Any suggestion(s) here?
<Read what's posted on WWM re foods/feeding/nutrition>
Also, I have read the article on maintaining water hardness on WWM, but I am not following it. Will it make a big difference if I keep the hardness to her liking?
 What is the range of kH/gH I should aim for?
<Posted... moderate of both>
She is a bonsai FH (Red flame) as indicated by this link
Also, can you tell me how this breed is generated.
What I mean is which two breeds were crossed to produce this one? I ask this, because I am wondering
if feeding her Hikari pellets for blood parrots will do any good?
<The actual cross is an industry secret, but others have speculated... again, this is posted>
She is showing a lot of liveliness (thank god!), and I want to do whatever possible to cure her back.
Thanks for your time!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)    8/11/12

It is me, again! I thought my FH had recovered, so I started feeding her sinking Hikari Cichlid excel. But within a week, her swelling came back, and she sometimes float to the top while being upside down. I know this means that she would soon be floating at the top if I don't do anything.
So, I again started mixing 200mL Metronidazole Ivy in 50L water (I have not filled up her tank, because I think she may have difficulty with water pressure).  This is how she got well last time.
<Re-exposure to Metronidazole is hard on fishes... kills their kidneys>
I also added around 5mg of Epsom salt, too.
<I'd add much more than this... see WWM re>
The swelling is not that bad, but I know that it is coming up. I have stopped Hikari again. Anyway, I fed her just twice with a gap of two days in between.
I need your help on the following:
1. I see her jerking her head quite often. It is like her head is  vibrating for a small time, but with very high frequency. I don't know if I am able to explain. Somewhere, I read that this could be the sign of internal parasite. She also opens her mouth VERY wide, and tries to attack the wall in front of her. But attacking the wall is, I think, she does when she is hungry. Do you think it is advisable to deworm her?
<A good idea, and my S.O.P. for unknown ailments along w/ Flagyl>
 I don't see pinched belly, but the tummy shape is funny for sure (not the regular shape). Is Levamisole recommended?
<Is a good choice>
2. I strongly believe that the swelling is either due to the worm(s) inside, or due to intestinal blockage. If it is the latter, I am planning to add Nitrofurantoin - 100mg in 50L water. There is really no way for me to diagnose the exact cause, so I will have to take chances. Any recommendations?
<See WWM re "bloat">
 By the way, her tummy was perfect last week, and I am pretty sure it is Hikari that makes her unwell. It has happened at least 3 times before. Do you have any guesses here?
3. What other food can I feed her, because pellets clearly don't work. You sent me an article that due to Thiaminase (?) and fat, I can't feed her Fish/Prawns, so is there a home made recipe I can use? Right now, I am keeping her on blanched peas again. Should I add some supplements like Vitamin B complex or Vitamin C?
<See WWM re foods/feeding of FHs>
I think it is very difficult to treat her, but her will power keeps me going. She is not suffering and is pretty lively despite of her condition.
I am not going to euthanize her. I can keep her on the peas forever, but I fear she might develop some other disease, due to lack of nutrients.
Thank you,
<Welcome. B>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?), use of Levamisole, FW med.s period      8/15/12

Hello Bob,
I am sorry to bother you again. I'm going to treat my FH with Levamisole tomorrow. I checked several online resources (including WWM), and also Noga's book, but I am still unsure, so I thought I'd rather ask you.
Noga's book says: use 10mg Levamisole HCL per litre of water for "prolonged immersion". This translates to 500mg for 50 Litres water. Isn't this too high? And what is prolonged immersion? 24 hours?
<An hour or more>
I saw another page -
http://www.loaches.com/disease-treatment/levamisole-hydrochloride-1 - that suggests 90mg/10G, which is approximately equal to 100mg/50Litres.
I have Dicaris Levamisole HCL tablet (from Johnson & Johnson), and on the wrapper it says one tablet is equivalent to 150mg of Levamisole. I am thinking of playing safe and using 100mg (2/3rd of the tablet) for 50Lwater. Does it sound about right to you?
<It does... but better to introduce w/in food/s... freshwater fishes don't drink much at all... hence med.s don't really get into them if dispersed in the water>
If not, can you please point me to a literature that explains the dosing.
<I only have it in print... do see Noga re>
Thank you.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?), Levamisole use f as well      8/19/12

Hello Bob,
I thought I will share my experience of treating my bonsai FH with Levamisole. So far, it has been mixed, and I am a little scared actually.
Last night, I did a 40% water change, I started with adding 100mg Levamisole HCl in ~55L of water. I also added very little (25mg) in her blanched peas (as you had suggested), but she barely ate any, because (I assume) of the horrible taste. This morning, too, she did not eat much peas.
Also, while researching online on Levamisole, I saw this site - http://inkmkr.com/Fish/CamallanusTreatment/TreatmentProcedure.html - that says the dosage should be 500mg per 50L water. It also says that dosage can be doubled without any side effects. Based on this, I added 150mg more of
Levamisole HCl this afternoon. That is, about 16 hours later than the first dosage of 100mg without a water change. The total amount of Levamisole HCl in water is now 250mg in 55L water.
However, when I came back home in the late evening, she was all pale and a little anxious. One VERY ODD thing that I noticed was the following:
At first, her anus was all fine. And then suddenly something started popping of the anus, which I thought to be a prolapsed colon. Soon the colon started protruding more, and it became like a balloon or a sac (inflating and deflating) about 1-2 mm in diameter, and then she pooped a green string, which I don't think is worm. Anyway, I fished the stringy thing out, and in no time her colon was totally fine. I mean no protrusion anymore. It all happened (protruding to pooping to normal) in less than 5 minutes. I am shocked, and I don't know what to do. Is this balloon like thing her swim bladder that came out of the anus? Is she constipated?
<Not the gas bladder... not likely constipated>
Have you seen/heard/experienced anything similar!?!
<Yes; perhaps an effect of the treatment>
She otherwise looks normal, except a little bit of abdominal swelling that was already there. And she is not eating, either.
I also noticed her poop having a tinge of black and red. I am not sure why it is so, because I have been feeding here "only" blanched peas for last three (3) weeks! Is there a possible explanation?
<None that I'm aware of>
I am going to do a large water change 48 hours from the first dosage of Levamisole. I also plan to clean the canister filter, too. I don't see any worms or creatures in the water in the last 24 hours. I don't think she is suffering from worms. Well, at least not the ones that can be killed/paralyzed by Levamisole.
<Maybe switch to Prazi/quantel>
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Bonsai FH, Worm treatment     8/21/12

Hello Bob,
Thanks for your reply! I was glad to know that the colon protruding out was a part of treatment, and that other people have seen it too.
Well, I think, I had some luck with the treatment, Yesterday, I saw some weird worm (or perhaps bunch of worms tangled together in water). But whatever it was, it was about 1-2cms long (yes, cm not mm). Its skin was not smooth like earthworms, but it was more like a caterpillar. Sort of - round big heads connected by long string. Later, I saw just a small worm that was about 1-2 millimeter (this time it is mm), and it had a same texture (caterpillar like), and it head was red/orangish. I took it out of the water, but in less than 5 min.s, it shrunk down, so I could not take pictures. I tried looking at places, and the closest I could relate to is a tapeworm, but then Levamisole does not work on tapeworms, or does it?
<As far as I'm aware, this product works on all worm groups>
Would you know what kind of worm am I dealing with?
<I do not... you can see examples of commonly encountered ones... on WWM>
In the last couple of days she had not eaten at all, and was all pale! She just did not even smell the food next to her mouth.
Anyway, so I changed the water as following: kept pouring water and taking it out in chunks of 20L for about 4 times. I don't exactly know how much did I change, but I rubbed all the algae out, and did not leave anything dirty in the tank. At any time, the remaining water in the tank was barely enough to submerge her (30L). I did not take her out of the tank, because she looked extremely stressed and pale. There is no gravel in the tank.
And I cleaned up the internal filter and the canister filter thoroughly!
<Do be mindful/aware that w/o gravel and too much cleaning of filter media, you may have a biological filter issue>

Never mind if I've to recycle it. I'll be doing WC every tree days. She is in 60-70L water now.
<Too little volume... need a much larger system for a full size FH>
She gained a little bit of her colors some time later (she is still quite pale), and ate few peas about 8 hours later.
I think I might have overshot the dosage (250mg in 55L), but the link said that 500mg/50L is the concentration of Levamisole HCl required to kill the worms. I may have to dose it a little less (probably 150mg) next time, which I plan to do that two (2) weeks later (unless I know what specific worm I am treating, and I will change the duration according to the worm's life cycle).
The stomach swelling is getting back to normal slowly, but it still looks pinched. Not sure how it is working out.
Do you recommend adding some antibiotic (Nitrofurantoin) for the secondary infections the parasites may have caused?
<I thought I'd answered this before... no>
Thank you for your patience and time!
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)     8/21/12

Thanks! Yes, my tank is big, but I have filled it only less than half, because she has swimming issues.
<Ahh, I see. B>

Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour  6/27/12
<Hello there>
Thanks for the valuable suggestions.
My Flowerhorn is normal now and reached 7 to 8 inches long. Black coloration on his face and body was due to dirt deposited under the gravels (I removed the gravels completely later) and stress and back marks are completely disappeared and he looks healthy now :)
I have few more concerns on his behaviour:
1.         I have introduced him 4 gouramis last week.
<Mmm, not compatible>

 He didn't want them to be in the tank, he was restless he was angry and chasing them one by one. I was so scared, I returned them to the pet store itself. Could you please let me know the suitable tank mates for Flowerhorn.
<Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorncompfaqs.htm
I feel he is alone during the day time when v r out for work. I knew that Flowerhorn should be kept alone, but if it is possible to introduce tank mates, let me which one specifically. I had bought him when he was 6 inches long, he is used with the tank for past 2months.
<How large a system...?>
2.       Yesterday I took him out of his tank and placed him in small tank with air tube for cleaning purpose. Suddenly He became so adamant and aggressive. This is the second time I am seeing him like this (First time with gouramis mentioned above) By the time I left him in small tank, he started jumping out of it, he was almost jumping 1 feet or more than that out of tank, then immediately I closed the tank with lid, he was jumping and dashing his head against the lid. Then I had no way, I shifted him back to his house and he was fine. I want to know why all of sudden he became aggressive. Is it not possible to get him out of his house?
<Likely needs more room... might be reacting to its own reflection in the glass... Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour   6/28/12

Please find the inline comments.
<<My further resp.s in double carats>>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour Hi, <Hello there> Thanks for the valuable suggestions.
My Flowerhorn is normal now and reached 7 to 8 inches long. Black coloration on his face and body was due to dirt deposited under the gravels (I removed the gravels completely later) and stress and back marks are completely disappeared and he looks healthy now :) I have few more concerns on his behaviour:
1.         I have introduced him 4 gouramis last week.
<Mmm, not compatible>
He didn't want them to be in the tank, he was restless he was angry and chasing them one by one. I was so scared, I returned them to the pet store itself. Could you please let me know the suitable tank mates for Flowerhorn.
<Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorncompfaqs.htm
Thanks for the info :)
I feel he is alone during the day time when v r out for work. I knew that Flowerhorn should be kept alone, but if it is possible to introduce tank mates, let me which one specifically. I had bought him when he was 6 inches long, he is used with the tank for past 2months.
<How large a system...?>
Tank dimension is (3.5*1.5*2) feet
<<Ah, good size>>

2.       Yesterday I took him out of his tank and placed him in small tank with air tube for cleaning purpose. Suddenly He became so adamant and aggressive. This is the second time I am seeing him like this (First time with gouramis mentioned above) By the time I left him in small tank, he started jumping out of it, he was almost jumping 1 feet or more than that out of tank, then immediately I closed the tank with lid, he was jumping and dashing his head against the lid. Then I had no way, I shifted him back to his house and he was fine. I want to know why all of sudden he became aggressive. Is it not possible to get him out of his house?
<Likely needs more room... might be reacting to its own reflection in the glass... Bob Fenner>
Its actually plastic tank :( what can I do If I want to service my tank next time.
This was a shocking experience.
<<Do try affixing (taping) a piece of paper on one end of the tank... this should discount the internal reflection, calm this fish down. BobF>>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour    6/29/12

Thanks a lot bob.. keep it up :) This website is really helpful for us :):)
<Ahh; very glad to hear/read Subha. Thank you. BobF>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour  8/1/12

Hi Guys,
My Flowerhorn is doing great now.. He is active and looks healthy. I feed him with Humpy head and grand sumo pellets daily, not tried with live fishes.
<Don't... not necessary and a risk of disease introduction>
 He is 8 Inches now. From last week, I could see some changes on his tail/fins. There is some discoloration from the edges. I am not able to take a picture of it. Every time I bring my camera to the tank, it is playing with the camera :D I feel it is bit increased than last week.
<No worries>
I used to clean the tank once in a week or 10 days. If it is 1 week - I used to do 50% water changes if it is near to 10 days, I used to change water up to 70%.
<Better to not change more than 35% or so... Weekly>
 Tank is having double filtration. No gravels. Only few decorative plants. 1 air ball.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour    8/2/12

Thanks for the mail sir.
Should you need some pictures of my Flowerhorn to reconfirm it if it is not an issue.
<No thank>
Flowerhorn Tail edges are started fading away. Just want to make sure if it is some disease and it should be cured? If it is normal in ZZ Flowerhorn, I will be relieved from tension :) :)
<W/o gravel/substrate here I'm a bit concerned w/ accumulation of nitrogenous waste issues (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) and variation in pH... but if you are monitoring these, doing massive water changes... B>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour     8/3/12

I have never tested the water till now..
<I would... the color change to the edges of fins may be evidence of a chemical burn>
 but frequently change water.. I have the biological filter and normal filter running.
<But how well? Can't tell w/o testing>
I had gravel before 2 months, I removed it since my Flowerhorn was infected with swim bladder disease because of the dirt in gravels.
<There is no such thing as "swim bladder disease"... Please search WWM w/ the string/term>
U mean to say that tail discoloration is due to ph level?
<Might be... PLEASE re-read what is posted re FH's on WWM. B>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour    8/4/12

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply. I will be getting the water testing kit today and I will start testing water.
Please find attached file for pics of my Flowerhorn.
<Can't open this format>
Please let me know what can be done for this disease.
<Already have. Have you read what is posted on WWM? B>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour     8/4/12

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply. I will be getting the water testing kit today and I will start testing water.
Please find attached file for pics of my Flowerhorn.
<Can't open this format>
 Please let me know what can be done for this disease.
<Already have. Have you read what is posted on WWM? B>
Re: Flowerhorn abnormal behaviour     8/13/12
Sorry for the delay, I was out of town. Please find attached the pictures of my Flowerhorn
I could not see any related post (for tail discoloration) in WWM crew website.
It will be great if you can tell the treatment.
<As stated before, the issue here appears to be environmental. See FH disease & system FAQs on WWM. BobF>

Re Please help; FH hlth.    6/12/12
I need to use Nitrofurazone for my fish, but I cannot find the drug (containing this compound) in my country. Instead, I got the following:
"Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Bacitracin Zinc Powder" (sold under the drug name of "Neosporin" antibiotic powder).
Is this the right substitute for Nitrofurazone?
<Mmm, no>

 My fish is upside down and a little bit of his tummy area is outside the water. The treatment with Metro soaked food is giving some positive result, but the exposed skin has turned red and has some occasional blisters that keep appearing and disappearing.
Another suggestion I got was to use Betadine bath by taking the fish out.
<... too harsh... burning...>
Can you please help me with the right choice?
<There really is none... This fish is too likely been too damaged already to recover. I'd ask you to read again:
and consider euthanizing this specimen. BobF>
Thank you for your time.

Need help on Flowerhorn !!! Hlth.     6/2/12
Hi WWM Crew,
This is Waseem here from India. i found your website very helpful, thanks for your guidance and helping the Flowerhorn lovers raise them well.
i got a silk kamfa on 26/05/2012 its active seems like its pretty much settle with the environment but i could notice that its stomach is swollen up (I think its bloated). i did water change by 50% but no change, As recommended on your site tried giving him thawed green peas (He just chewed and spit it out) and I'm not sure if i Have treat him with Flagyl. i just wanted to know with their be any loss caused to my fish due to this meditation ?
my Fh is around 3inch.
Thanks for being patient enough to read my mail.
Awaiting for your response.
Thanks and Regards,
<... need information on the system, water quality tests, foods/feeding...
Have you searched, read on WWM re cichlid bloat? FH disease? READ here:
and the linked files in the series above. Bob Fenner>

Swollen bumps on sides of Flowerhorn     5/24/12
Our Flowerhorn has bumps on his sides and we are wanting to know if they are a major abnormality or something that we can treat for. Please see attached photo but in real life it almost makes you think he swallowed a marble or something because of how dramatic the bumps look. He has not had any changes to diet and acts alert and swims around excited to see us when we give attention to him.
Keith & Kelly
<Hello Keith and Kelly. It's hard to be sure if this is an idiopathic tumour (i.e., one without any obvious cause), Dropsy or Constipation. Do have a read here:
Does anything in those pages seem relevant? Cheers, Neale.> 

My Flowerhorn is unwell...      5/23/12
Hello all,
<Hello John,>
I have been reading as many questions and answers from your website for the past 3 weeks to adopt whatever practices might work... My Flowerhorn has been at the bottom of the tank for almost 3 weeks now... based on web research it appears to be the swim bladder disease…
<There is no such thing. That's the problem with using the Internet for research. The whole "swim bladder disease" thing is essentially what fishkeepers call anything that makes a fish swim poorly. It's a bit like us calling a runny nose a disease. It's a symptom of something, yes, but not the disease itself. When a fish loses its ability to swim properly, there are several possible explanations, with constipation being the commonest, but others, like Hexamita infections of the gut and systemic bacterial infections being possible too. Without a vet looking at the fish, the best you can do is try curing as many things as possible at once.>
I tried the suggested strategic water changes and use of Epsom salt, feeding peas (which he will just not eat in spite of starving him for 4 days),
<Not good.>
and also an antibiotic made for swim bladder treatment…
<These are almost always worthless. I've yet to see such a medication heal a fish, and I've been at this hobby for 25 years.>
Also since last afternoon there are blood stains at the end of his tail... can't figure out the reason or source…
His tank is a 2x1x1.5,
<3 cubic feet, or about 20 US gallons -- much too small.>
water changes have been consistent since the time i got him in October 2011. Water temperature averages at around 29 degrees
<Too warm.>
and PH level has been well maintained at 7.4ish (resets on a weekly basis). His main diet has been meal worms.
<Not enough on their own.>
Have also been giving him frozen blood worms once a week (normally on Sundays) as treat…
<Of questionable value these days, and many Discus keepers avoid them because they do seem to cause health problems for cichlids.>
Since yesterday morning he stopped eating completely... and i have not seen him poop since 3 weeks now... the tank base and filter wools are all clear…
<I see.>
I'm attaching some of his pictures for your reference. Please review and let me know what are the next steps i can take to revive this fella and get him back on his fins…
<A bigger aquarium and better water quality are obviously essential. This is a big fish that needs not less than 75 gallons. He's sick because he's wedged into a tank that's too small (not enough oxygen, fluctuating water quality, etc). Next up, I'd treat for constipation (Epsom salt and cooked peas) alongside Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone, which together should deal with the commonest bacterial and Protozoal infections such as Hexamita.>
look forward to a favourable response.
<Do read:
And follow the links above. Good luck, Neale.> 

Flower Horn Fish is very Sick **** Please Help *****' – 05/12/12
Hi Team,
I have a sick Flowerhorn fish. I have tried many things to cure him (have listed below) but he is not getting better. Would really appreciate if you can advice what I need to do next to save my fish.
My Fish (Mintu), is about 3 years old. I have kept him in a 32 gallon tank.
I regularly change the water with a gap of 7-10 days. He is a very good eater and I never had any problem with him for the past 3 years. However, suddenly he has bloated stomach and would not eat.
<What do you feed Mintu? Please do read here:
 He hasn't eaten for around 10 days now. Day 1, I changed the water and added salt and Rid All.
<The last is likely more harmful than beneficial>

He still didn't eat. After 3 days I noticed, he has also developed some small holes on his face around his eyes and mouth.
<Indicative of water quality issue/s... Nitrate reading? Do you use carbon?
Might be the medication is impugning (killing) your bio-filter>
 I considered it to be HIH and started Metro.
<I would not do this; and stop now. The HIH is not being caused by  something treatable w/ Metronidazole>

 But then I noticed that his stomach is getting bigger and his scales are slightly protruding.
<Again, environmental...>
So I am not  sure if  this is Hex or Dropsy.

But I have done the below:
I have done 50% water changes everyday for the past 5 days
and now am doing it every alternate days. I am also treating his tank with Terramycin, Nitrofurantoin and Metro.
<Of no use>

 He just stays towards the top  of the tank and breaths heavily with his mouth continuously open. He swims around only
when I try to touch him. I also tried force feeding a 3% Epsom salt mixture through a dropper as it helps in resolving constipation couple of days back. But yesterday I noticed that his stomach has gotten a bit bigger and his scales are protruding a more. Also, he has yellow-white stringy poop coming out of him. His anus has gotten big and looks like a small cotton ball stuffed inside of him.
I tried to feel his stomach and it feels hardened. He doesn't let me touch him under his belly. So as of now, I am changing 50% water alternate days, adding 2 Flagyl 400 Tablets,
<Stop! this is the same compound as "Metro"... and very toxic>

 Epsom Salt two table spoons, 2 Terramycin capsules. I also thought of adding some warm water but haven't done it yet.
Please Please Please advice if I am doing something wrong and what should I do next to help my fish.
Thanks & Regards,
<Water test values please... esp. NO3. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Flower Horn Fish is very Sick **** Please Help *****' – 05/13/12

Hi Team,
Thank you so much for your suggestions.
<Welcome Resh>
I have named my flower horn Mintu. He is a Golden Base.
I am not sure what the carbon filter is, I have a simple filter with a sponge in it that absorbs dirt and circulate oxygen at the same time. I clean the filter thoroughly when I clean my Tank regularly.
<Please read here re C:
and Neale's survey article on filtrants linked above>
Day before yesterday, I changed 75% water and didn't add any medication to it. Only the one present in the remaining 25% left in the tank. Yesterday morning, I noticed his stomach looked a bit smaller and he is pooping yellowish brown stringy poop through the day. I think its a good sign? He is still not eating though.
<Keep the faith>
Today, he seems to be recovering and his bloat has lessened a bit. I guess all the medication I used stressed him out
:( I will do a 50% water change again today.
Please advice what I can do next to cure him completely
<? READ where you were referred last. See below. BobF>

and get him back to his eating habits. Also, he doesn't like veggies, he used to eat Humpy Head pellets, boiled chicken and raw shrimp. what should I feed my fishes regularly to give them a balanced and healthy diet.
Thanks & Regards,
Re: Flower Horn Fish is very Sick **** Please Help ***** – 05/13/12

Thanks Team,
<Welcome Resh>
I will continue with the water changes every alternate days and hopefully will soon update you about his recovery.
Thank you so much for all your help. You are truly doing a noble job, helping people save their beloved fishes. God Bless You!!
<And you, BobF>
Re: Flower Horn Fish is very Sick **** Please Help *****    5/15/12

Hi Team,
I did 50% water change again yesterday. My Flower horn is still bloated a bit less though, but today I noticed a big transparent white colored bubble coming out of his anus. I am so worried for him. Please help!!!!
> > > <Water test values please... esp. NO3. Please read here:
> > > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorndisfaq.htm
> > > and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flower Horn Fish is very Sick **** Please Help *****    5/17/12
Hi Team,
I don't have a big fish shop around my area. There are three small ones and I went to all 3 but they don't have anything that can measure the nitrate and ammonia levels in the water. I know the water quality is good
<... need values, not subjective statements>
because I have two other flower horns in different tanks and they are all using the same water and are doing great.
What seemed like a flimsy balloon coming out of my fishes anus is actually his skin stretching to form the balloon. Day before yesterday there was a small balloon appearing from the left side. Yesterday I turned Mintu to his right and saw another bigger bubble formed by stretching is skin. Till today morning he was pooping yellowish brown stringy feces, but right now he has a big chunk of poop coming out and it fell off. I have attached all the pictures.
Kindly advice what is happening to my fish and what I need to do to save him. I am afraid if the balloon bursts he may not be able to make it.
<Can't tell; only time, good care will show. B>
Thanks & Regards,

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