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FAQs on the Flowerhorn Cichlid Disease 1

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

Related FAQs: Flowerhorn Disease 2, Flowerhorn Disease 3, Flowerhorn Disease 4, Flowerhorn Disease 5, 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

I am worried. (Flowerhorn, do real data) 11/11/09
Can some one pls help me???
<Will try.>
I am worried.
My Flower Horn is not taking pellets suddenly.
<Often happens. Pellet foods should be part of their diet, but not the whole diet. Dried foods tend to cause constipation. So at the least, mix with green foods (e.g., cooked peas or spinach). Wet-frozen or live Brine
Shrimps and Daphnia are also good for avoiding constipation. Do remember to keep dried foods in a cool, dry place. Otherwise, they go stale, and the fish won't eat them.>
I normal feed him with Humpy head. it is 3 months old. But it is becoming weaker now. it starves for more than 3 days, then i give him a live food.
Even it is not taking live fish.
<Do not use live fish for food! This is very, very bad. Live fish introduce diseases, and are also likely to have too much fat and too much thiaminase.
All very bad.>
Can some one pls help me
<Read here:
Most sick cichlids are sick because of their environment. You haven't supplied any useful data, so I can't give you any good ideas of what might be wrong. But check the size of the tank and that the filter is adequate.
Check the pH and hardness and temperature. If anything doesn't match what is described in this article, make the necessary changes.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: I am worried. (Flowerhorn, do real data)  11/13/09

Thanks a lot for your suggestion
<You're welcome.>
for the past two days it is standing at the base of the tank and it's very inactive. if its a constipation, what to do.
<Do check the environment. What is the pH? What is the hardness? What is the ammonia level? What is the nitrite level? What is the nitrate level?
What is the temperature? All these things matter. Most cichlids become inactive when they are being kept badly. Read the article I sent you. Check you are providing the water chemistry, water quality, aquarium size, temperature, and diet these fish need.>
can you suggest me any solution. more over there are no waste at the bottom of the tanks as u said. do we have any medicine to cure it?
<Don't use medicine unless the fish is clearly sick. Choose a medicine that treats a particular disease. Adding medicine "hoping for the best" usually ends up killing the fish.>
can i boil the peas/Spanish and feed it.
waiting for your reply
<Cheers, Neale.>

Sick flower horn, need immediate help!!! * I forgot to mention that my fish is in a 10 gallon tank! 8/10/07 Flowerhorn Has Been through Many Tough Times Hi, For about a month now, my flower horn has been quite sick. First it did not eat, and was very pale. I was treating my fish for Hole In The Head, and the holes seemed to be healing nicely, and almost completely. However, the holes are now open and are getting larger. I assumed that it was because no one was changing the water since I was busy at work. < High nitrates and a poor diet will lead to stress and disease.> I did an extensive water change for it, about 50% for 3 consecutive days. My fish ate again, and the holes don't seem to get bigger. < Reducing the nitrogenous wastes in the water definitely help.> However, I noticed that its eyes are weird. It seemed that there are some sort of cotton turfs growing on top of the lenses, on the lens surface, not yet inside the eyes. I thought it was fungal infection and treated it with Fungal Cure for about a week. I went to a pet store and asked them about the condition and the store owner told me that my fish has cloudy eyes, and it was to be treated with antibiotics. He gave me some for a 3 days treatments. I'm not sure which he gave me, < Usually there is some writing on the package. It is very important to know what the antibiotics are and how to use them.> and how to use it, and thought that it might not be a good idea to treat just anything with antibiotics so I didn't use it. I used Fungal Cure instead for 7 days. The condition did not clear up after 7 days. If anything, now the eyes do look cloudy. The right eyes is in worse shape than the left as it seems a bit protrude, and the lens does not look nicely rounded/curved, instead, like a protruding bump on a curved lens. My fish then stopped eating, and kept hiding in the tank's corner. did not really respond. I got desperate last night and did a complete water change, and scrubbed the tank completely clean. I then filled it with warm water, salt, water conditioner to take out chlorine, and sprinkled 2 tiny scoops of the antibiotic the pet store owner gave me. The scoop I used is the measuring spoon included in Mardel's pH-Plus Raises Aquarium pH, net wt 70g powder. This morning, the eyes looked a bit clearer, but still cloudy. My fish was a bit more active. I was somewhat reassured until I got home this evening and noticed white stools in the bottom of the tank. There are these white, opaque things floating around that could only be the feces. I fed my flower horn with red-colored pellets and waited for it to have a bowel movement. After a white, it passed some stools that has some red color it but still has lots of white/opaque color. The feces look like strings of white/opaque little balls with traces of red on them. the anus looks a bit whiter than usual and pouting out. I went online and saw some articles say that white feces announces intestinal infection in the fish, and that one way to treat in is by feeding it with antibiotic foods. I'm not sure what it is, but I tried feeing it with anti-bacteria pellets from Jungle but it does not eat them. I did a 25% water change to take out some feces and uneaten food, and sprinkled in another scoop of the antibiotic. I then noticed that its left flipper, usually clear and beautifully looking has several streaks of red in them. I remember that signals internal bleeding in the fish. The end of the flipper also looks like it had been clipped off, reminds me somewhat of the symptoms in tail/fin rot. I took a look at the right flipper, and it is thankfully still has that clear looking color. However, the junction where it meets the gills, to the body, there's something that looks like an ulcer. The region looked like something had clipped off some part of it, still red with clinging clots, and is about 2 mm wide. The area where the flipper connects to the ulcer-like region has a small white budge to it. I'm so scare right now that something might happen to my fish. I spent a hour online looking for a fish vet to take it to tomorrow but there is none that is near where I live, and there is supposedly another big storm that will hit my area tomorrow and the next few days so I can't leave the home. I'm so very desperate right now. Please help! Even for water change, what should I put in there. What's my fish's prognosis now? Thank you so much < Here is what is happening. You don't have time to take care of your fish. The waste products build up and stress you fish and begin to make him sick with both internal and external infections. As you found out, reducing the waste in the water helped the fishes natural immunity to kick in and help fight off some of the infections. I would recommend that you treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. They can be found online. Treat on day one as per the dosages recommended on the packages. On day two do a 50% water change and vacuum the gravel. On day three you need to treat again. On day four change half the water. On day five treat as you did on day one and three. On day six you need to change one half the water and to see if he will eat. If he eats then he is one his way to being cured. After the treatments you will have no biological filtration in the tank and you may see deadly ammonia or nitrite spikes. Add carbon to remove any left over medication and add Bio-Spira from Marineland or do daily water changes to keep the bio-load down. After your fish is cured you need to keep up on your water changes.-Chuck.>
Re: sick flower horn, need immediate help!!! * I forgot to mention that my fish is in a 10 gallon tank! 08/11/07 Sick Flowerhorn II With Missing Data
Thank you for your advice. The antibiotic I used is Furan-2 by API manufacturer. It lists on the bottle as containing 120 mg Nitrofurazone and 50 mg Furazolidone per teaspoon of powder. I also have API's E.M. Erythromycin powder use to treat fin and tail rot, open red sores, mouth fungus, hemorrhagic septicemia and bacterial gill disease. each teaspoon of the power has 400 mg erythromycin. I haven't try the Erythromycin yet though. However, neither one has both Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace in its mixture. what can i buy that will have both? I went to pet stores but couldn't find anything that has both in one mixture, only separately. should I buy two different tablets that contain each and put them together in the tank? How much salt should I put in the tank, or at all that would be safe and helpful for my fish's recovery? I was told that putting salt in might kill it so I've been keeping the tank salt-free today. My fish's fins look much shorten and ragged compare to last night. Is there a way to stop it from getting shorter? I tried force feed it with anti-bacteria food but it keeps spitting the food out. Is it safe for me to get it some bloodworms, or liver or something? what food should i feed it now? I don't feel like I can trust the food I've been feeding it any more. I've been feeding it food specifically designed for Flowerhorn by Alife Fish Food. What should I feed it now? My tank's water keeps getting these little white/opaque things clouding it regardless of how much water I've been changing. I change about 25% of tank's water about every 6 hours to keep it somewhat clean. Thank you so much for your help. < Your Flowerhorn gets way too big to be confined in a 10 gallon tank. They can get up to a foot long when properly cared for. There is no medication that combines both Metronidazole and Furanace. You will have to buy them both and combine them as I recommended. Some people have had good results with Clout so it is worth a try. I would recommend a good general pellet food instead of a Flowerhorn specialty food. A teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons wouldn't hurt anything.-Chuck>

Any help will do...pls (sick Flowerhorn). Sick Flowerhorn Placed Outside  7/10/07 It all started when my mom decided to place my FH outside of the house attach are my FH pic before and after...i think i saw some 1. whitespots <Ich. Probably from being too cold at night.> 2. A hole on the hump, and on the fins side fins don't know what kind) < Could be the start of Hole-In-The-Head or just trauma from thrashing about. The pectoral fin damage could be from trauma or a bacterial infection.> 3. One fin torn I think from the filter machine.) < Probably caused by trauma of some sort.> 4. Discoloration clearly seen on the pic) < Clearly not happy and stressed from all the problems.> 5. Don't eat anymore (about 1 month now) *sob* < Could be bloat or just too cold for him to digest food.> 6. Don't move at all except when touch) <Sounds very sick.> 7. Swims sideways most of the time) < Probability some internal infections too.> 8. He's always at that position, sideways. like in the pic) Fed with the pellets made for Flowerhorns. Tank is 1 1/4 m length, 3/4 m width, and about 1 m height. Tank is placed outside of house, therefore has lots of sunlight, especially in the morning, around 7am-1pm.(before he's inside our house). That's all the details I can provide. Please help me. I don't want my FH to die. Is he doomed? Any chance for recovery? Thanks <A tank that is placed outside probably needs to be heated. Flowerhorns like to be up around 80 F. You didn't say what temp you kept him at. You have a pretty big tank but failed to mention any filtration. This tank needs a filter or filters that will circulate at least 3 to 5 times the volume of the tank every hour. You need to check for nitrates and keep them under 25 ppm with water changes. Get the tank running properly and see if he improves. If not then medications will probably be needed.-Chuck.>
Re: any help will do...pls (sick Flowerhorn). Sick Flowerhorn Placed Outside  7/10/07
It all started when my mom decided to place my FH outside of the house <<What?>> attach are my FH pic before and after...i think i saw some 1. whitespots 2. A hole on the hump, and on the fins side fins don't know what kind) < Could be the start of Hole-In-The-Head or just trauma from thrashing about. The pectoral fin damage could be from trauma or a bacterial infection.> 3. One fin torn I think from the filter machine.) < Probably caused by trauma of some sort.> 4. Discoloration clearly seen on the pic) < Clearly not happy and stressed from all the problems.> 5. Don't eat anymore (about 1 month now) *sob* < Could be bloat or just too cold for him to digest food.> 6. Don't move at all except when touch) 7. Swims sideways most of the time) < Probability some internal infections too.> 8. He's always at that position, sideways.(like in the pic) Fed with the pellets made for Flowerhorns. Tank is 1 1/4 m length, 3/4 m width, and about 1 m height. Tank is placed outside of house, therefore has lots of sunlight, especially in the morning, around 7am-1pm.(before he's inside our house). That's all the details I can provide. Please help me. I don't want my FH to die. Is he doomed? Any chance for recovery? Thanks <<Is there any chance of getting you to read? Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorndisfaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>>

Flower Horn Help!!! Flowerhorns Not Moving   06/19/07 We have a 29 gallon tank. We went to the pet store looking for fish and were convinced by the guy there to purchase these flower horns. < Bad idea. They get big and mean.> We have 6 very small flower horns now, they are about 1 inch each. I have been feeding them cichlid food and they have eaten very little. They are very lethargic and not moving very much. They are mostly hiding. Is it too big of a tank for them? Did I make a huge mistake? After reading your site, I see how beautiful they become. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to give them the best life possible. :) Thank you so much! Your time is greatly appreciated. Rachel* < Keep them at 80 F. Feed only once a day and only enough food so that all of it is eaten in two minutes. Do 25% weekly water changes to keep the nitrates down. Once they start to feel comfortable then they should start to come out if they are healthy.-Chuck>

Urgent FH sick Please Please Please help    5/16/07 Hi Crew, <Greetings.> I have a FH which is around 25cm long in length and another FH 10 cm long the same tank portioned by glass. <By "FH" I assume you mean those Flowerhorn hybrid cichlids?> I change water twice a week and see to that the tank is clean, I do this since its really hot in my place its around 45 degree centigrade. Some times even I had ice cubes to the tank. <Far, far too hot for cichlids. The temperature in the tank must not exceed 30 C and should ideally stay closer to 25 C. If the aquarium is getting above 30 C, it really isn't suitable for fish.> Few days back I gave live feeding to my FH. <Why? No cichlid needs live feeder fish. Even pike cichlids (which are predators in the wild) are easily weaned onto dead foods. The ancestral species to Flowerhorn cichlids are omnivores eating a mix of small animals (insect larvae and shrimps) plus algae.> I gave salt bath to the feeding fish then I fed them to my FH. <Salt baths will do nothing to the main problems with feeders: internal parasites and nutritional imbalance. Internal parasites can best be avoided by "growing your own" feeders in healthy conditions. Any cheap feeder fish grown on farms will, by definition, be maintained in overcrowded, poor quality conditions. As for nutrition, the only good species to use for feeder fish are livebearers. Goldfish and minnows are terrible feeders because they contain thiaminase (which breaks down vitamin B1) and large amounts of fat. No responsible aquarist should ever use goldfish or minnows as feeders.> I had few more feeder fish so had them in a separate tank and fed them with Tubifex dried worms then gave them salt bath before feeding them to my FH. <Again, the salt bath did nothing. Salt as a treatment even for external parasites is overrated. To kill off whitespot, for example, requires quite a lot of salt, much more than the usual "teaspoon per gallon" dosages aquarists talk about. Closer to around 5 grammes per litre, and you also need to increase water temperature at the same time.> NOW my big FH is dull. He sits in the corner of the tank. He swims when he sees me but eats well, I see him scratching on the walls and on the sand layer. I see his markings been affected or scratched because of his fast movement. I believe he is irritated by something. He flicks his tail and fins next to the tail, I believe we call them dorsal fins. <Sounds like whitespot coming on. Bear in mind whitespot can affect the gills, and you won't see these parasites. Treat with standard whitespot remedy.> I am not able to see any visible parasites. <Because they're on the gills.> I added salt to the tank too. <Dosage needs to be quite high, as mentioned above.> I saw this abdomen having few rashes due to scratching the first day, now I don't see it. <Probably lose a few scales, and now the skin has healed over.> I treated him with anti bacterial and anti slime medicine. <Neither of which will help. Use medication appropriate to the problem, i.e., anti-whitespot.> I don't see any improvement. <You won't until you kill off the whitespot. And PLEASE stop using feeder fish. You have learned the hard way why no experienced aquarists recommend using them. Even putting aside the legal/ethical dimension, the risks of using feeder fish far outweigh their usefulness. A very small number of fish are obligate piscivores that eat nothing but live fish. But everything else, including your cichlids, can be weaned onto healthier, safer foods easily.> Please advice what to do. Thanks & Regards, Arun Kumar.M |PA <Good luck, Neale>

FH bloated, upside-down   5/8/07 Hi,   I desperately need you help. My FH who is a year old suddenly became bloated and now is swimming upside down. He wants to eat but can't because of his swimming position.  I've tried treating him with Epsom Salt but no effect, I suspect that it's a bacterial infection thus added Metronidazole <... is a protozoacide... Not an anti-bacterial...> in his tank after doing a water change. I don't know if its effective though he is a bit active after putting Metronidazole and his bloat lessen a bit but I notice that his anus became enlarge and there is a filmy balloon sticking out. I am really scared now and I don't want to lose my little fella. Pls help me.   Thanks,   Kathy <I'd have treated with a Furan Compound... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorndisfaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: FH bloated, upside-down  05/08/07
Hi Bob, thanks for your reply. I tried looking for the Nitrofurazone or other furan compound but there is no available one from our local petshop or drug store. The petshop owner told me it was already banned in our area. I'm from Manila, Philippines. Do you have alternatives?   I really appreciate all your support.   Regards,   Kathy <Whatever broad spectrum, gram-negative antibiotic you can get your hands on pronto... 250 mg. per ten gallons, treated three times, with half the water changed out, every three days... Bob Fenner>
Re: FH bloated, upside-down  5/9/07
Hi Bob, I already got furan 3 from a pet shop. Hope it is under furan compound. <Yes> My FH condition is not better though last night the filmy balloon sac which I think is his swim bladder came out from his anal and it burst this morning. We have added Epsom salt, which I hope can help him recover. He does not swim now he just lie flat on his aquarium floor. I am praying he will survive this. Pls advise on what I can do more...can I continue adding the Furan 3? or will the Epsom salt help him? Thanks for all the help. <Yes and yes... You have read on WWM re the use of these materials? BobF>
Re: FH bloated, upside-down   5/10/07
Hi Bob, I really confuse now.  Yes, I have read the uses of the Epsom salt and had success in using it before but with the furan compound I'm not yet familiar though I've read about it. Can I simultaneously use both? and what dosage? Thank you so much for the help. <Can be used at the same time... the dosage and cautionary remarks are posted... where you were referred: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm BobF>

Flowerhorn Misdiagnosed   3/27/07 Good day! My 6 mo old Flowerhorn showed signs of its skin, somewhat, peeling a couple of weeks ago. It got worse after a few days with what seemed to be excess skin (whit in color) hanging all over his body. I consulted a local fish store and was advised that it might have a fungi infection. and so, I bought an anti-fungal medicine recommended by the store and treated my fish with it. It didn't work as my fish is the same as before I started treatment, and even became worse. When I woke up this morning, my Flowerhorn was upside down and looked like it was on the brink of death. It is in a 100g aquarium, with heater set at the 32 mark, all I gave him is an anti-fungal medicine I bought straight from the shelf of the pet shop. What can I do to remedy the situation? thank you and I hope to hear from you soon! < Your Flowerhorn actually has a bacterial infection. Fungal infections actually attack dead tissue. Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Treat with Nitrofurazone.-Chuck>

Growth in gills on my Flowerhorn, NNS  1/29/07 Hi Bob, My name is Eric and I have want to say I've been reading your wed page and have so very helpful advise for a lot different problems. I am hoping you can help me with mine.  I have a 7-8 inch Flowerhorn (female I think as she has no horn) and a 4-5 inch Auratus male in a 62 gal tank. About 2 month's ago my Flowerhorn Started getting a whitish balloon like growth in her lest gill. Her gill will not close all the way but her breathing seems to normal she has a BIG appetite and is still very active. I had read another article from some one who had described the exact same symptoms (I think his was on a salt water fish) You had advised him to use Lugol's Solution. I tried this 3 weeks ago today and I have not noticed any difference. The other guy noticed in just a few day the lump had started to shrink. Is this because he had a salt tank?? <Likely so... this and a bit of self-healing/curing> Please any advice you have would be great I don't want to lose her I've had her since she was about 1 inch long. Thanks Eric <I would use Nitrofuranace here, or another Furan anti-microbial... at the dosage of 250 mg. per ten gallons... replaced with a water change every three days... for three treatments. Bob Fenner>
Re: growth in gills on my Flowerhorn   1/30/07
how much water should I change?? 50%?? <Yes, this at the high end... Bob Fenner>

Experts Asking Experts, Hole-In-The-Head On A Flowerhorn   12/19/06  Good morning, Crew! I hope this day finds you well. Inspired by your example, I have been helping people with their fishy questions by volunteering at AllExperts.com. So far, everything has been very straightforward, but yesterday a gentleman overseas asked me about his Flowerhorn. I hope you don't feel that I am asking you to "do my homework" for me, but before I suggest any other treatment besides salt, I wondered if you wouldn't mind sharing your opinions on what appears to be wrong with this cichlid. Before he sent me the pictures, I told him it was probably Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE). Although the pattern of erosion is not what I expected to see based on his descriptions, I still believe that HLLE is the causative agent here - but I wanted to double check with the real experts! Thank you so much for your assistance, you have always been so reassuring and helpful. There are so few free resources like this on the web at large...what you have here is remarkable. Happy holidays to all of you! I hope that a fab getaway is in your future! Nicole < The exact cause is not known. Generally a 50% water change, vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter improves the water quality and slows the progression of the disease. Treatments of a combination Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone have had some success. Some aquarists have also had good luck with Clout. After treatments have arrested the disease, a more nutritious diet with fresh ingredients and high vitamin and mineral contents speed the recovery. Vitamin C seems to be a key vitamin in getting a full recovery. many Flowerhorn breeders are obsessed with color and developing the fatty hump on the males. These high fat diets usually develop into diseases like bloat and the hole in the head that this Flowerhorn seems to have.-Chuck>

Paralyzed Flowerhorn - suspected toxins in water   12/16/06 Hi.. I'm Rhea from the Philippines. <Hello there.> I want to consult you about my beloved fish. He's been with me for 2 months and just this morning, my mom cleaned the aquarium. <Hopefully this wasn't the first time in two months that the aquarium has been cleaned?!> She removed the fish and put it in another container. <Usually best not to do this unless the aquarium is very, very dirty (which it won't be if you do regular changes.  Depending upon the size of this aquarium, you should be doing at least 5 gal. water changes weekly; if it's a heavily stocked aquarium with less than adequate filtration, you can do more these more often, if need be.> But when she returned the fish to the water, it suddenly stopped moving and it was sulking in one corner. <Sounds like the fish was/is in shock.  Are you/your mom using straight tap water in the aquarium? If so, did you use a dechlorinator? Did you ensure that the pH and temperature were closely matched between the new and old water? Here's a helpful link on that subject: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm Also, did your mom use any sort of chemicals around (or, heaven forbid, in) the aquarium? Sounds like this could be acute poisoning...> At first we never minded it, for we though that he was only afraid. But after a couple of hours, he still not moving and suddenly turning black but his fins and mouth is still moving, when he tries to move/swim he just lay flat. What do you think happened to my fish? <Shock and/or poisoning.  Before I can help you I need to know whether anything was put into the new aquarium water, and if so, what; also, my question about toxic chemicals still stands.  What about other fish - are there more in this aquarium, and are they affected?> Is there anything I can still do for him? <I would normally recommend a large water change (not total, though, and don't remove the fish from the tank this time - that's too stressful.  Without knowing what type of water you are using, though, I'm afraid this may just compound the problem, as it sounds as though something was very recently introduced into the aquarium to cause this. Also, as mentioned above, whenever doing water changes, you need to make sure to carefully match pH and temperature, so you don't shock the fish...> I don't wanna lose him, that's why I'm still trying to feed him and helping him when he lays flat. <Do you have a water test kit? You should measure the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tank...if he isn't eating, the food may be building up and disintegrating, thus polluting the water...> Please help me; I will be waiting for your reply. Thank you so much. <If the fish was fine prior to the water change, something must have been introduced into the tank during the process to cause this.  My guess is a chemical (never, ever use any sort of chemicals around/in the tank), or replacement water that isn't suitable for the tank.  If you could let me know a bit more about the questions I posed in this response, I can hopefully help you identify what's going on, so we can fix it. At this point, if you have a fresh filter cartridge, I'd suggest using it - that will at least help remove whatever toxins are in the water.  Again, I would normally suggest a water change, but you *must* be sure that the water you are using is suitable for the aquarium - do consult the link I provided. Best regards, Jorie> Rhea may

Flowerhorn swimming vertically   11/15/06 Dear WetWebMedia, <Kathy> Good day!   I have been reading the queries on your site about flower horns and it seems that I have same problem too. <Don't know why there are so many problems with this hybrid cichlid> You see our flower horn pet which is 7 months old has been swimming vertically for 5 days now after my mom played with it.  She said the fish was playing when it suddenly bumped itself on the aquarium wall. <Ohh> It has been swimming vertically ever since. We tried giving him antibiotics as recommended by a local hobbyist and he seems to improve a little as he is swimming a bit but still can't swim upright for long time. I also notice that his body is tilted downward so he can't swim as gracefully as before and his left side stomach is starting to bulge but he haven¢t eaten anything since (cause he was just amply fed before his accident).  I tried giving him peas but chew them out the minute he goes down the water.  I also notice that his left eye is starting to bulge.  I have checked the net and read about swim bladder disease and flip over and been worried that it can get worse. I also tried consulting a vet but unfortunately flower horns are not treated by local vets in the Philippines which saddens us because we don't want to lose our pet and my mom has been guilty ever since our pet has been sick.  Please help us. Regards, Kathy Manila. Philippines <Mmm, not much to do... you could try Epsom Salts... a teaspoon per five gallons... Otherwise, only time will/can tell. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flower Horn swimming vertically  11/15/06
Thank you for your reply. Is there a need for me to use the Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace?   Regards, <Mmm, no... won't make a difference here... This seems to be entirely a physical/nervous damage injury. Bob Fenner>

Sick Flowerhorn   11/15/06 Hi Chuck, Thanks for your reply, but there's nothing stuck in my fish's mouth, and I think its fin rot is back. Its eyes are bulging as well! Any other suggestions? Thanks! Lirong < I think your Flowerhorn has an internal and external infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat the tank with Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole or Clout.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn - 10/18/06 Great website and thumbs up to the crew for an excellent job, <Thanks Ivan, MacL here with you tonight. Sorry for the delay in response.> I have a few questions but I'll first tell you more about my Flowerhorn. I've had him for three years now and always fed him a diet of pellets, small live shrimp and occasionally the frozen bloodworms that come in cubes. As of recently, he's been showing some worrying signs. <In the past couple of years I have really come to appreciate Flowerhorns. They have such amazing personalities and such great colors. Many people don't know the beauty of these fish.> This started about two months ago when the edges of his CHECK fins started tattering away. Nothing drastic but the edges now look thinner and jagged like. Also, his stomach is bulging out. His mood is about okay except that he is not as active as before. After surfing the net and reading your informative website, I've come to realize that the live shrimp is probably the suspect. It explains the bulging stomach but I'm not sure about the fins. Could this be a side effect or a different problem? He has stopped eating the live shrimp as well and that sort of tells me he's gone vegetarian, or something about the shrimp isn¹t making him too happy. <Flowerhorns don't usually "go vegan" but they do need some greens to digest properly.  You don't mention the size or the parameters of the tank.  How often do you do water changes? Do you have any problems with your ammonia levels?> There was mention of surgery for this kind of problem. <I believe some vets can do surgery for blockage. But the gills are not because of a blockage, its more likely that its because the tank is too small for the fish.  As they grow they need more and larger room and often this is only manifested with their gills turning out and getting frayed.  There are several other things that can cause the gills to fray but with a large fish this is usually the first culprit.  My friends keep theirs in a 125 and recently purchased a larger tank because its was too small for the fish.> This is new to me and I haven't a clue as to where to begin, or even if it's available here in the land of smiles, Thailand. Comments from readers living in this country appreciated as well. What will happen if I don¹t treat the problem with surgery? What other options do I have?   <I have heard using peas for this fish as well as for other fish to help with the digestion. How long has his stomach bulged, is he eating anything at all?> There is also a sucker fish in the tank with him. Is this okay? <Should be fine as long as the tank is large enough to hold them both. Good luck and let me know how he does. MacL> Comments appreciated. Ivan.

Flowerhorn Stressed And Diseased  10/15/06 Hi Bob,  I have a Flowerhorn that have a swollen eye and what looks like parasites on the cheeks. What can I do to fix the problem? I have already put in some Malachite green in my tank and the parasite seems to be peeling off. The problem first started when my 30 gallon tank cracked and I had to put him in a 5 gallon bucket with a filter for 2 days but without a heater. Once I got a bigger 35 gallon tank. Then I notice the problem. Now my fish likes to stay on top of the tank and swimming slanted most of the time. I have took a couple of photos of my fish. I am going to attach it with this email. I really want this fish to be well. How long do you think it will take before the fish gets better and will look normal again? Please let me know. Thanks,  Jackie <After being in a cool bucket for two days , your Flowerhorn has become ill with both internal and external infections. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with a combination of Nitrofurazone and Metronidazole or Clout. These medications will probably affect the good nitrifying bacteria so watch out for ammonia spike and new tank syndrome.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn not eating   10/1/06 hey guys... ding Ilagan of the Philippines here.. my FH hasn't eaten for 2 weeks now. <Bad...> He hasn't shown any signs of sickness (swims a lot, still very aggressive when you put your finger near the tank), except for his body color getting darker, and a white, transparent substance that has substituted for his wastes. Is this a from of internal infection that he has? <Possibly> I have tried doing a 50% water change, putting some salt in the tank, and even dropping a couple of Metronidazole tablets, but still no improvement. I fear that this is going to get worse if I don't do anything. I already lost his brother to an internal infection and i can't stand to lose him too. He's my very first FH and he's turning a year old this month. please advise me on what treatment i should apply. am getting pretty desperate... Help me crew... <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornfdgfaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn has gone blind   8/16/06 Hi crew, <Leslie>       About 3 days ago, my 4 inch long Flowerhorn gradually began to go blind after I moved him to a new 55 gal aquarium containing 2 Plecos (I suspect he killed one) <Possibly> and 3 non-disinfected guppies (which he ended up eating- guess there weren't enough hiding places after all). <? Uh, no> Before that period, he was very healthy, energetic, and constantly begged to be fed while he was in his little 10 gal. Now, he is not able to find the food that I feed him and swims sluggishly around his tank. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that he also seems to have lost his appetite. <May be related...> As these symptoms increased in severity, his eyes went from bright red to completely clear (other than these symptoms, his eyes look completely normal). Also, his coloring went from olive green/pink to dark green/purple and has stayed the latter color every since. Finally, after examining his feces, I noticed that there were little eggs in his waste. Based on this discovery, I decided that he must have an internal infection (probably an internal parasite) and have been giving him General Cure which contains 125 mg Metronidazole, 13 mg Copper Sulfate, and 8 mg Trichlorfon. <Wow... this is general... covers many bases> Also, I have maintained appropriate pH, nitrite levels, and temperature in the tank. So far, my flowerhorn's feces have cleared up and there has been a slight improvement in his appetite. However, his eyes are still clear (not red) and, thus, he is unable to find his food or easily maneuver swimming around his tank. I am really really worried, and don't know what to do next. So here are my questions: 1.) What treatment should I give him next (if any)?; <Vitamins, administered to the water, and foods soaked in same prep.> 2.) Is this current treatment appropriate?; <Mmmm... well, is a blitzkrieg approach... the Trichlorfon/DTHP is a dangerous organophosphate, the Flagyl can kill the fish's kidneys pretty easily if overexposed, the copper...> 3.) Will he ever regain his sight?; <Possibly, but not likely> 4.) What could have caused this? Was it the guppies? <Persistent lack of something needed nutritionally, some infectious, parasitic diseases, "poor water quality" over time> Is it possible that he had an internal infection when I bought him, and now it's in its final stages? <Very possible that this fish had internal parasites... final stage though, am not so sure about. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much for your support! -Leslie

Flowerhorn With Cloudy Eye  - 07/30/06 Hi WWM crew! I went out of town for four days but before I did, I made sure my  flowerhorns were well-fed (not bloated!) and I cleaned their tank. But when I arrived, one of them had cloudy eyes and has a sort of cob-web like thing on its face. I'm really scared that it has gone blind!!! Has he???? Help! What should I do now? I changed half the water but it did not seem to work! help me please...Cecille.... < Sometimes we do too good a job and when we clean the tank we remove all the good bacteria that we tried to establish. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Then treat with Erythromycin. Follow the directions on the package. This may affect the rest of the good bacteria so watch for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With Stubborn Popeye   7/25/06 Hi.. a pleasant day once again to you. Its me again, I consulted you before about the problem of my Flowerhorn. If you still remember, my fish has an internal infection and pop left eye. Well, I followed your advice. I apply the proper medication for my fish. But it seems he's not feeling better. He even got worse because his right eye got infected too and now his eyes both popping out and both are turning white. I am really worried because he's also not eating for days already. I think I've done everything to help him but I still want to know and try if there is anything else I can do to save him. Aside from giving him Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole and water changes, is there any other ways to help him get well or make him eat again. I am afraid to ask this but .. will my fish die? <This disease can be fatal.> What do you think is the percent for his survival? < The key to a complete recovery is early detection and early treatment. Something has stressed your fish to the point that he is susceptible to this disease. It could be food, sanitation, temperature and even tankmates. You need to find out what had changed before he got sick. You could try to add some rock salt to the tank too. About a teaspoon per 5 gallons would be worth a try.> I hope he'll gets better,.. because he is my beloved pet.. hope you help me again. Thanks in advance and for your time going through my letter. good day. RHEA from Philippines. < These medications are usually pretty effective if the disease is caught early. Keep the tank clean by vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter often.-Chuck>

Re: Flowerhorn with pop eyes and intestinal infection, NNS   7/23/06 hi.. once again I need your help. I wrote to you before about my flowerhorn's bad condition. He has intestinal infection and has his left eye pop out. I wrote to you again because I think my fish is getting worse. He has his both eyes popping out now and turning white. He also not eating and stays in one corner. Well I did followed your advice and give him a proper medication. (Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. <Good> But it seems like he's condition is getting worse everyday, and now I am really worried coz he refuse to eat. <... may have been too late> I believed I've done everything to help him but I still want to do anything and take any risk just to save him. What do you think should I do? what will make him eat again? what do you think is the right food for him right now? hope you help me save my beloved pet. I am afraid to ask this but.. will my fish die? please help me...ill wait for your response.. thanks again for your time and help. good day. Rhea from manila rhea may <Really just keeping up with testing your water quality, changing water and being patient at this point is all you can do. Bob Fenner>

Flower Horn Not Eating From 3 Months!   7/22/06 Hi ! This is Avinash Jaiswal from India. I have a Flowerhorn about 1 feet. From 3 months he has stopped eating, he loves to eat fresh prawn but at this times he never turns back to see those prawns and his colour has also became dull and the size of his head has also decreased. <A bad sign of starvation...> Please help me this is not the first time I'm facing this problem 2-3 times this problem has occurred. I'm getting scare if something happens to him, he is my first Flowerhorn. Please reply soon I'll wait for your reply. <Just guessing here, but this sounds like a part of one of the prawns exoskeletons has become lodged in this fish's "stomach"... You might have some luck in trying to pass this with the addition of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) at the rate of one level teaspoon per five gallons of water... Surgery to extract this mass might even be suggest-able... with the use of an anesthetic, reaching into the buccal cavity with blunt forceps. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn Not Eating For 3 Months   7/24/06
As you have mentioned that the exoskeletons have in his stomach. Before feeding him prawns, I clean those prawns and remove their hard shells and I feed him only their soft flesh in which their seems to be no bones besides these I am feeding him OCEAN FREE's FLOWERHORN KING Pellets & BRINE SHRIMP. <Ahh, I see... it isn't the prawn skeletons then... These other foods should be fine, provide complete nutrition, though I would try an occasional earthworm or equivalent here. Bob Fenner>

Urgent Flower Horn nuchal hump harm problem   7/18/06 Dear Sir, I have an aggressive male flower horn about 9 inches length and 2 years old. While I was playing with my fish last night, he tries to bite me with very high force and hit the aquarium glass. After hitting, he probably hit his nuchal hump and he cannot swim and floated up side down in water until this morning. Is there any medical treatment that I can give to him to become better. <Mmm, best to lower the water level, keep the light/s turned off for the next few days. Not likely the hump itself that is "dazed" but the fish's brain itself... happens> Right now, I turn off the aquarium pump for make him easy. Can you kindly answer my question that I'm felling so guilty and sorry for him, as his injury was suffered because of me. Thanks and regards, Min Zaw Tun <I might add a level teaspoon per five gallons of marine (aquarium) salt as well. This is a good general treatment/cathartic here. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn With Cloudy Popeyes   7/7/06 Hi, A pleasant day to you. Well I need your help once again. I wrote you about 2 weeks ago about my flower horn with a case of pop eye. My two year old flower horn has his left eye bulge out before. It really grew big and his eyes turn whitish outside. Well I followed your advice to do a water change and put Metronidazole in the water. My concern now, is that his right eye is now slowly turning whitish just like what happen to his left eye. I am really worried that his right eye will suffer like his left eye. What should I do to stop or prevent this from happening? <When the fishes eyes protrude they seem to get in the way and bump into everything and get infected. A treatment of Kanamycin of Nitrofuranace should get rid of the whit cloudy eyes.> Pls help him. Will my fish will lose his eyes? < If not treated the infection could render him blind.> I don't want him to lose both his eyes so please, please help me. What best medicine should I give him? <The above medications should get rid of the white and may have some effect on the Popeye too.> Before I forget, his appetite is still poor. He hardly eats. Again thank you for your time in going through my letter. I am hoping for your help and response again. Thanks and good day. Rhea- Manila < When the eyes get better the appetite should bet better too. Don't over feed when the fish is not feeling well and hardly eating.-Chuck>

Bloated Flowerhorn  6/30/06 Hi. In the past few days I've been desperately seeking for advice and help from the marine experts regarding my flower horn condition. My two-year old flower horn has his right eye bulge out and it became cloudy. < Popeye probably.> It really grew big and it became cloudy after each day. And maybe because of his condition that's why he is not eating properly and before he used to be an aggressive fish but know he never reacts when I came close to his aquarium. < Probably suffering from an internal infection too.> He had suffered from an internal disease before and because of your help I was able to cure him. And now I am again seeking for your help. What do you think its cause? <Stress from diet/water quality/water temp/aggression/water chemistry/etc...> And what should I do? <Change 50% of the water, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel.> What medicine should I give him? <Try treating the tank with Metronidazole and a double dose of Nitrofurazone. Add a teaspoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water.> Please. please help me. I don't want my fish to lose his eye and see him suffer. I am hoping for your quick response and help for my pet.. again thanks and good day. < Good luck.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With Popeye Problems  6/30/06 Hi. I need your help. My 2 year old flower horn has a bulging eyes. I noticed it for days. His right eye grew bigger and bigger each day and now it really bulge and it became blurred. His left eye is normal but I also worrying about his eating because he hardly eats for the past few days. I'm really worried at my beloved fish. What do you think of his condition and what medicine would you recommend for him. What else should I do? Hope you really help me. Please...Ill wait and hope for your quick response. Thanks......and good day..! rhea- from Philippines < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole and a double dose of Furanace. Add about a teaspoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water. The bacteria or protozoa that are living behind the eye are producing a gas that is pushing the eye out. They are probably causing an intestinal infection too.-Chuck>

Upside Down Flowerhorn  6/30/06 Hello, my flower horn is very sick for the past couple days now.  It  got sick a month ago maybe even 2 and its eyes remained cloudy ever since.   However now the problem is that it is just upside down (beak is touching the  floor hump is toward the floor)   If the picture is not clear imagine  the tail at 0 degrees and the mouth at 180 degrees, my fish's mouth is facing  the floor and the tail is at 145.  Very awkward positioning I think.   I recently tested my water and it has a pH of 6.2.  I did a 50% water  change yesterday and separated the South American cichlid in the tank with a  divider.  I was wondering what I should do other than water changes if  there is anything else? And also would I be able to provide information about  the condition the fish is suffering from.  Also what can I do the raise the  pH and keep it at a healthy state for the fish?  The other fish however  seems normal though, so it was a surprise that anything is wrong. Basically I am not sure what is exactly going on. I am going to do another  water change but I don't want to scare the fish because it tries hard to move  when I change the water but basically gets no where. Thank you for your time and  concern. Manish < Your FH probably has an internal infection that has affected the swim bladder. Do another 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Treat with Metronidazole and a double dose of Furanace. Add a teaspoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water. The key to a successful treatment is to medicate as soon as any symptoms are noticed.-Chuck>
Upside down Flowerhorn II  6/30/06
Also around his anus it looks injured.  The a few scales look like its missing and it is a very white color which is a huge contrast of the entire  area.   I was reading your forum and I am doing the second water change the  day after the first.  I have a carbon filter (Eheim) in my 55 gal  tank.  I was also wondering if it could be something that he ate, like the  plastic leaves from the ornaments, or an infection in his stomach causing the  awkward positioning. <This condition is usually caused by stress. The wrong diet could definitely contribute the situation. Objects like leaves get stuck in the throat and not usually in the intestines.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With Head Trauma   5/27/06 Hi! I am emailing to ask if you have any  idea what we can expect when a Flowerhorn has had a head injury. I have read  through the questions on your site and I understand that this fish has the  capacity for overexerting itself when agitated or playing and hitting its head  on the cover of its tank. My sister was teasing the fish and  the fish got very excited I saw it jump from the side of the aquarium then it  seemed to hit the cover of the tank and in slow motion, it slowly drifted down  the side of the tank and it settled on the floor. It seemed to be  hyperventilating for a bit and then we tried to see what was happening to it.  You can imagine the scene of chaos when 4 women were screaming in terror ( going  around in circles in panic) because of the fact that their mom's beloved fish  now resembles the goldfish in the other tank which had a ruptured air bladder.  The goldfish seems to be in a better position because at least it is floating  compared to the head down fins up tilted fish on the floor of the tank. Two of  us went to the fish store to see if there was any advice from them they just  gave us a stress reliever, while the other two hit the internet and I found your  interesting site with scenarios similar to ours. Right now it is about an hour later  and the fish has shown some capacity to propel itself through the water.  Unfortunately it still would not stay right side up. At one point it even looked  like it was spiraling down to the floor, it stood on its mouth vertically and  then for a couple of seconds it went tail down vertically before sinking back to  the floor. It seems to be asleep now and shallowly breathing it is breathing  very lightly and still tilted with its head down, body at an angle and pelvic  fins up in the water. Please, please tell us what signs  and symptoms we should look out for in the next few days whether or not the fish  will get better and what to look out for if it gets worse. Thank you, 4 panicked  daughters < Many fish experience trauma to the head like this and don't make it. They can linger on for awhile but soon stop breathing. You can try to increase the aeration and add a cup of rock salt per 20 gallons. If you have ever gone fishing before you will notice the first thing they do with a freshly caught fish is knock him on the head to stun or kill him. Sorry I can't be of any help. Good luck.-Chuck>

Pot Belly Flowerhorn - 05/06/2006 Hi my two year old Flowerhorn has been sick lately. I noticed that his stomach grow bigger and bigger and really became an enormous size. He eats two to three pellets a day. His movements seems ok.. he swims normally. But am really worried at him. My mom went to a local pet shop and they gave my mom some medicine to be put in the water. They said that maybe our flower horn had a internal infection. They advice us to lower the water level, put the antibiotic and observe our fish..  But i still want to hear and seek the advice of  an expert. And am so glad when i learned about this column. Hoping for your quick reply on my questions. Thank you very much.. <For internal bacterial infections the medication of choice would be Metronidazole. Nitrofuranace at double to triple the dosage may be effective too. Some aquarists had had success with salt treatments. Google the website for bloat or dropsy.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With A Little Hump    5/2/06 Hello, it's me again. Well, the color of my FH's are good  but the hump on the head isn't. I know it's some kind of fat storage so  what fatty foods can I feed my fishes? Can I give them chicken liver or  chicken skin? thanks for the good and fast respond on my previous problem. Cecile ^__^ < Stick with fish foods made specifically for fish. Lower the water temp to the mid 70's F to reduce his metabolism. This may help generate more fat storage.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Desperately Ill - 04/15/2006 Hi Guys <Hello.> Recently about a week ago I realized that my Flowerhorn does not stay upright like it usually does and it just twirls around in the water doing forward spins and rotating sideways. <It's been this listless for a week?  A very, very bad sign....> It also stays upside down when it is resting at night. It does not remain upright when it is resting like it used to last time. I am totally bewildered and I do not know what is happening to him. <It is very possible that this "illness" is mostly environmental.> Also, I noticed that on his forehead, the hump, there is a "sore" where his skin where the skin is not its usual red color but is white and I can see some torn skin on the sore. I am not too sure how he developed this sore but the only thing I can think of is that he could have bumped his head against the sides of the tank. <Sores like this can also be bacterial or can happen in poor water quality / environmental conditions.> He also seems to be breathing very fast at a rate of 20 "breaths" in 21 seconds. <This listlessness, sore, and heavy breathing are all testament to poor water quality.  That is the first thing you need to check.> He has been like that for days already and I am very worried for him. The water level he is currently in is 60cm(L) X 28cm(B) X 27cm(H) That is 23.6"(L) X 11.0"(B) X 10.6"(H). <This is a very, very small volume of water for an animal that can reach over a foot in length....> I use a water filter and a airstone. The water filter is above my tank and it is the type that draws in water from the left hand side of the tank and sucks in water upwards into this filter, where the water would then pass through some filter wool stuff and the water would then flow down from the right hand side of the tank. When the water flows out of the filter, it hits the water surface and there would be air bubbles under the surface of the water if you know what I mean (sorry but I cannot describe things properly without being very long-winded). <The longer, the better - I now have a good idea of how your filter works, thanks for the good description.> During the day, my fish likes to stay UPSIDE-DOWN underneath the part where the water flows out of the filter and where the bubbles form underneath the water surface. I am not too sure if I should turn off the filter as the pressure of the water that comes out of the filter may be hitting him a tad too hard and it might injure him. <No.  When in good health, he should be able to take it, no problem.> Also, he seems to be coming up to the surface of the water to use his mouth to breathe despite the airstone thing.   <Also suggests poor water quality.> As for his food consumption, he has not been eating much as there are many leftover food pellets floating on the water surface. <Never leave uneaten/leftover food in the tank.  Immediately remove anything he doesn't eat in just a few minutes.> The tank water used is ordinary tap water. I have gave him the following medicine:  Bacterioses & Fungi Pinnarum, Internal Bacteria & Velvel Away (treats open sores, popping eye, color loss, lack of appetite, rotting of gills, clamping of fins, dropsy), and anti-chlorine special.   <I would not medicate at this point; not until the water quality is addressed.> Could you guys give me some help and advice on this please, like what medicine to give him and what proper water level I should set. It is greatly appreciated. <First, test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.  Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm.  If your water has higher levels for these, you need to do a large water change right away.  As for the water level he should have, ideally, he should be in a larger tank.  For now, though, fill his tank as full as you can.  This fish will get big.  Flowerhorn are large "messy" cichlids and need all the water they can get.  Make sure you treat your water for chlorine and make sure any new water is the same temperature as his old water.  Proper water quality alone may fix his problem, but if it does not and the sore remains or worsens in a couple/few days, I would suggest to treat him with a medication containing Kanamycin or Nitrofurazone.  I don't know what medications are available in your area, but try to find something with either or both of those as the active ingredient.> Thank you!! - Gerald - Singapore <I hope your Flowerhorn recovers quickly!  -Sabrina, California USA> Attached are 2 pictures of my fish and the tank. I hope its useful! thanks again! <Images are always useful, thank you very much.  Do please fill his tank as much as you reasonably can.>

Re: Flowerhorn that doesn't stay upright  - 04/16/06 Hi, <Hi, Gerald. Tom here> Thank you for the very fast reply. <The credit belongs to Sabrina.> In the reply, you said, "If your water has higher levels for these, you need to do a large water change right away." How many percent of water should I change for a large water change? <On the order of 50% is typical for a "large water change".> And, how do i treat the water for chlorine? Do I change all the water in the tank and give it some anti-chlorine liquid thing? <The dechlorinator should be added to the new water first, not directly into the tank. Personally, I allow the water to turn crystal-clear before adding it to my tank. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, or so. Depending on the size of the container being used, waiting much longer can affect the temperature of the water, which you want to be the same as the temperature in the tank.> I think that he's feeling better now because when I put my hand near the tank, he would become active and start twirling around again as compared to a few days ago where he would just move his eyes, looking at my hand. Do you think my fish will survive or is this just a small illness? <Honestly, only time will tell this, Gerald. Many variables involved.> Thanks for your help! <You're more than welcome.> Gerald -Singapore <Tom>
Re: Flowerhorn that doesn't stay upright
 - 04/23/06 Hi, Its me again. <<Tom again, Gerald.>> It has been a week already but my dear Flowerhorn does not seem to be upright but is always upside-down. I have changed almost 70% of the water over 1.5 weeks, gave him dechlorinator, medicine to treat his sores but he just doesn't want to remain upright. When I observe him now, he seems to be more active lately but he's still inverted. Do you know what's wrong with him? <<Several possibilities leading only to an educated guess.>> What do you suggest can be done? <<For the time being, stop medicating for the sores. This might be treating a symptom rather than a cause. Do two 50% water changes today approximately six hours apart adding one tablespoon of Epsom salt to the "new" water along with the dechlorinator. Repeat with one 50% water change with one TBSP Epsom salt for the next two or three days. If your Flowerhorn is constipated and its swim bladder is affected, this should help. If no appreciable difference is seen at the end of this time, I recommend treating your fish with Metronidazole (Flagyl) which is prescribed for Hexamatiasis (Hexamita infection). (We won't be "shooting in the dark" here since the Epsom salt treatment is prescribed prior to medicating with Metronidazole anyway.) I'd ask that you do some research on treating with Metronidazole since there are a variety of ways to prepare foods with this medication - provided your fish is eating - and whatever works well for you is the way to go. (Note: If your Flowerhorn isn't feeding, the tank itself will have to be treated, however, medicated food would be the treatment of choice in this case.) If you're wondering, my thinking is this: "Swim Bladder Disease" is often the "quick" diagnosis for the "upside down" behavior your Flowerhorn is displaying. Fair enough, since it's a common reason and easily treated if constipation is the cause. Hexamita infection can also be attributed to your pet's behavior/condition and can display itself as Hole-in-the-Head disease (perhaps accounting for your fish's "sores"). This is almost always a nutritional deficiency since the protozoa inhibits the uptake of essential vitamins in the fish's system. Conditions of the animal's nervous, or muscular, systems are not easily treated if, in fact, treatable at all. In short, we're going after what we can easily fight.>> Thanks. <<I sincerely hope this puts your fish on the road to recovery, Gerald.>> Gerald - Singapore <<Tom>>

Re: Flowerhorn that doesn't stay upright
 - 5/5/2006 Hi, <<Hello, Gerald.>> I have done what you recommended and after a week still, the Flowerhorn is not upright but rather, I feel that his condition has worsened. Now, the area surrounding his eyes (the silvery part) has traces of reddish stuff which I think is blood. It seems rather bloodshot. Also, he cannot even stay upside down now, but at a 15 degree angle from the bottom of the tank (like this  /  but at a much lower angle). <<We can't rule out the possibility of septicemia, Gerald, though I would expect this to have displayed itself a little differently.>> He does not seem to be flapping his fins but only moving them and he is leaning on the right of his body where his right fin touches the bottom of the tank. <<With septicemia, the fish's organs are affected which might account for this.>> He seems to be breathing rather slowly and calmly which I do not think is a good sign as he usually breathes much faster. Also, whenever I turn on the light he will get all active and start to move about. However, he will only move around in circles and he cannot get upright at all and can only spin around, sideways. <<Given what you've described here, your fish has internal injury which is not likely limited to its swim bladder.>> I think that maybe his right fin is injured or something like that. I also noticed that if he is upright, you can see his mouth, and below his mouth, further down, I can see some kind of bloating around his "neck". I do not know what that part is called but it seems not normal. <<The heart ventricle is located, typically, between the gill plates and the pectoral fins, i.e. the "neck" area on the underside of the fish. If this is swollen, there is a chance that septicemia is involved. Not always the case, of course, but treatment with Oxytetracycline is in order where septicemia is suspected.>> Would some photographs be useful for your assessment? I will take them tomorrow when the lighting conditions are better if you need them. <<Photographs are always a help to us, Gerald. Please, forward these if you can.>> Please advise. Thank you for the much needed help. Gerald Tan <<Wish I could be of more help to you, my friend. Tom>>

Re: Flowerhorn that doesn't stay upright  - 05/13/2006 Hi, <<Greetings, Gerald. Tom once more.>> The condition of my Flowerhorn seems to have turned from bad to worse. Now, his eyes have turned cloudy and his fins have some kind of white growth. <<We've dealt with the issue of water quality before and I'm confident you're continuing to address this. What you describe is almost always consistent with poor conditions but, in your case, Gerald, I know that you've been changing the water regularly.>> Now, he does not even move and he is completely resting the right side of his body onto the bottom of the tank. Its really depressing to see him in this state. I started to observe these symptoms only about two days ago. <<You don't say what actions you've taken since we last discussed your fish's condition but I would recommend Maracyn-Two treatment now if you haven't been treating with the Tetracycline (Oxytetracycline). Perhaps the Maracyn-Two would be more readily available in your area.>> Is there anything that can be done to save him or, are these the final days of my fish? <<I don't like to give up hope, Gerald, but you must act quickly if your fish is to have any chance. If it doesn't start to respond soon to this treatment, I'm afraid that I wouldn't be optimistic.>> Thank you for the reply earlier on, I have attached 3 hi-resolution pictures to this e-mail so that you can deduce what sickness he is suffering from. <<The attachments didn't come through with your posting, Gerald, unfortunately.>> <<Tom>>

Flowerhorn with holes in bottom jaw  Dear WWM crew, <Just a small part of it, Rod... Tom> About a month ago I noticed my Flowerhorn had ONE hole (or what appears to be a hole, could be circle sinks) under his jaw. I didn't think anything of it because I have never seen this kind of disease before, but now he has about 5 of them. I wanted to know what disease is this, and how can I treat him? Also he has a white spot on his left gill cover, it seems to be under the scales. <Your description seems consistent with HITH (Hole-in-the-Head) disease/HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion) disease.> I had treated him with PimaFix but I don't think that helped. <It won't. HITH/HLLE is multi-faceted in that there are several factors known to, or suspected of, causing it, i.e. water conditions, stress, vitamin deficiency, internal parasitic infection (Hexamita), carbon contamination. [The last two are "shaky" but haven't been totally discounted.] Please, research the WWM FAQ's/articles for more information on these diseases. You might look at this article, as well: http://www.worldcichlids.com/diseases/Adamhith.html>   I am sorry, but my digital camera broke. <Sorry about this, too.> But, if needed let me know and I will try my best to get a picture of it. <No worries, Rod. Clear photos certainly help us but concise, well-written and well-documented information is often worth just as much.> Thank you very much, Rod <Hope I've been of some help. Tom

Beat Up Flowerhorn Needs Help  - 03/29/2006 Hi, WWM crew...  well, you see by some reasons my smaller Flowerhorn (a little over 1 inch) got to the side where I keep my bigger one (around 2 1/2 inch. I really don't know how it happened since there are dividers but well, the smaller ones tail was almost eaten!!! I removed him and let him swim for a while, first it was okay but then he fell vertically with his head down. I tried supporting him with a net but it didn't work. Earlier this morning, I saw him swimming horizontally again, but when I tried to feed him I realized that he can't swim upwards (like, with his head facing the surface) and so he can eat only those that sank at the bottom of the tank. What can I do to help him? Will his tail grow back and function normally if it does? I'm really worried that he might die of starvation. Please reply soon. Thank you. < First of all keep the water clean and treat for infection with Nitrofuranace. Add Bio-Coat by Marineland to add a protective slime to the body. When things start to grow back he will begin to swim normal and start to eat again. Everything may grow back if things do not get infected. Fins will not be as long as undamaged fins.-Chuck>        Cecille,   Philippines
Re: Beat Up Flowerhorn Needs Help   4/1/06
Hi,  WWM crew... well, you see by some reasons my smaller Flowerhorn (a  little over 1 inch) got to the side where I keep my bigger one (around  2 1/2 inch. I really don't know how it happened since there are  dividers but well, the smaller ones tail was almost eaten!!! I removed  him and let him swim for a while, first it was okay but then he fell  vertically with his head down. I tried supporting him with a net but it  didn't work. Earlier this morning, I saw him swimming horizontally  again, but when I tried to feed him I realized that he can't swim  upwards (like, with his head facing the surface) and so he can eat only  those that sank at the bottom of the tank. What can I do to help him?  Will his tail grow back and function normally if it does? I'm really  worried that he might die of starvation. Please reply soon. Thank you. <  First of all keep the water clean and treat for infection with  Nitrofuranace. Add Bio-Coat by Marineland to add a protective slime to  the body. When things start to grow back he will begin to swim normal  and start to eat again. Everything may grow back if things do not get  infected. Fins will not be as long as undamaged fins.-Chuck>
Re: Beat Up Flowerhorn Needs TLC    4/3/06
Hello,  thanks for replying soon. well, how fast will the tail start to grow  and he still has very low appetite, how long can he last without  eating? Cecille       --------------------------------------   Hi, I went to our local pet store and they said they didn't have the  Nitrofuranace and the bio-coat and gave me this tablet like thing,  Baktopur direct by Sera. is that okay too?   Cecille <... for? Please see WWM for Flowerhorn Disease: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorndisfaq.htm and Cichlid Disease, Neotropical Cichlid Disease, Infectious Disease... Bob Fenner>

Torn Up Tail On A Flowerhorn       4/4/06 Hi again. I e-mailed you a day ago but you didn't reply so I went to  our local pet store and well they didn't have the Nitrofuranace and  bio-coat so they gave me this tablet called baktopur direct by  Sera instead. Is that one okay too?  The tail keeps getting shorter  instead of growing back. My dad who used to have pet fishes as a kid  said that it is natural because the fish is getting rid of the damaged  tail in order to grow a new one. is that true? Thanks! Cecille, < When a tail fin gets chewed on it is usually not very straight or even. This allows bacteria to infect the tissues and to begin to start what is commonly called tail rot. Dead tissue usually fungus's up with a white cotton ball like look to it. I would take some fingernail clippers and trim the tail back just past the damaged area if possible. Do not get into the caudal peduncle or the fins will never grow back. Baktopur is a combination of butylglycol, acriflavine and methylene blue. These help inhibit bacterial activity but are not as strong as the antibiotics I recommend. Sometimes dead tissue will fall off just before the new tissue starts to grow, but this really sounds like  bacterial infection.-Chuck>

Flowerhorns WWM, I want to how to distinguish the sex of the Flowerhorn, <The males will develop a larger hump on their foreheads, I would not be surprised if you could the difference by their finnage, or even venting them, but I am not positive.> and how to cure white spots  and discoloration of the fish. <If by white spots you mean Ich, your fish are sick, sick fish are not going to display good coloration.  I used Quick Cure on my Horns, seemed to do the job (primarily formaldehyde with a dash of malachite green).  IME I have never seen a fish with the healing abilities of a Flowerhorn, I had one get sucked up into a filter for an unknown amount of time, I got him out, thought he was doomed, the next day I could not tell which was the damaged one.  Once you get the parasites cleared up, color enhancing food, a varied diet, excellent water quality (I cannot stress that point enough), good lighting and a dark substrate should bring out their colors.  If you have a group of these fish in a tank you need to watch out for aggression, these are very aggressive fish.> And what is latest Breed of Flowerhorns. <Not sure on this one, it seems like the LFS are always making up new names and overcharging for these fish.  Check out FlowerFish.com  Best of luck, Gage> Thank you very much.... Very Truly Yours, Leugim

Injured Flowerhorn Hi, <Hello> I think my Flowerhorn is paralyzed already... it's  beautiful fish with us for about a year, until 2 weeks ago, my mum played with it and it jumped too high and hit the top of the tank and then fell flat on it's side till now... <Yeowch> the colour also changed black... <A very strong sign of nerve damage.> the side is very arched... how...?? pls reply ASAP... pls help... thinks... <My best guess is that he must have caused some injury (perhaps spinal?) to himself when he hit the top of the tank.  This might explain the black color, which is very indicative of nerve damage, though it may also be just bruised or burned.  Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done with such injuries, other than maintaining pristine water quality and hoping for the best, or, in extreme cases, euthanizing the fish to put it out of its misery.  I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I fear that there's not really anything you can do for him, besides try to make him comfortable.  With deepest sympathy,  -Sabrina>

Pearl Flower Horn My pearl flower horn is about 5 inches long and seems very healthy. However, about 1 1/2 weeks ago he developed a growth that looks like an intestine that hangs down behind the fin on his stomach. It got bigger for several days and now is about 3/4" long and hangs down right behind the fin. He acts healthy and eats well but that growth can't be ok. None of the aquarium people I have spoken to have any idea what it could be. He is developing well and is changing to a reddish color and should be a beautiful fish when he finishes developing. I have not moved him into the new 46 gallon tank I got him because I hope to provide treatment for him and the smaller tank is easier to do that with. Do you have any ideas about what this could be? < It sound like a prolapsed rectum. It may come back in over time if it doesn't get fungused or damaged. Try smaller but more frequent feedings so there won't be so much stress on his digestive system.-Chuck>

SICK FLOWERHORN Dear Crew, Greetings! Almost a week ago, my flower horn's been swimming vertically. Right now, as I watch it in the aquarium, it's as if it's sleeping. I spoke to one hobbyist and he recommended that I put an antibiotic. To date, no improvement has been made. I already changed the water 25%. I've added salt as well. Another hobbyist said that it might have broken its spine. It looks like it's having a hard time  swimming.  Your advise would be very much appreciated. Sincerely, Denise < Sound like your flower horn may have contracted an internal bacterial infection. I would recommend a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Get the water up to 80 degrees F and treat with Metronidazole. The water should have no ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates should be under 25 ppm.-Chuck> 

Flowerhorn Cichlid Is Too fat My flower horn has an enormous stomach now and its not because of eating. He got really big at one time and couldn't move. Now he is swimming around a little more but can't get to his food and he also has like a white sack under his belly where I think his poop hole should be. What is wrong with him and what can I do to cure him? < Your Flowerhorn probably has an internal bacterial infection. I would recommend a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat the tank with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. Early treatment is the key to a complete and total recovery.-Chuck>
Flowerhorn Treatments
Dear Sir, I really appreciate for your valuable answer. According to your answer you recommended me to use Nitrofuranace. My question is Can I use Tetracycline instead, Sir? < Tetracycline will work in clean soft acidic water. It is not as effective in hard water.> The black marks spreads gradually on his fin. And I also see some hole in his head.  So, what shall I do for this hole? < The hole in the head is a matter of sanitation and quality food> I'll be waiting your reply. Thank you so much for you help. I'd also be glad if you reply me in a very sooner time as I'm so worried for my baby fish. Thanks a lot! < Clean the tank as recommended and add some live food to the diet such as washed earthworms, shrimp and a quality fish pellet. Keep the nitrates under 25 ppm with water changes. If the hole in the head gets worse then treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck> 

Flowerhorn With a Headache - 08/16/2005 Dear Crew, <Hello, Arnie.> I have a Fiery Phoenix FH named Elmo.  He's 2 years old, he has a perfect body with a very nice humpy head.  Last Monday, he accidentally bumped his head in the aquarium because he was very furious with our cat who happened to pass by his tank.   <Temper, temper!  What an aggressive fellah!> I think the impact was too strong in which he vertically slammed down the edge of his tank.  I was so afraid that he might die, he couldn't swim but was still breathing.   <At that point, dazed or injured....> What we did was to assist him by holding him with net.  We tried to make him relax for about 20-30 min.s without swimming, because every time we tried to let him swim by himself, he vertically fell down.  After the 30 min.s observation, we found out that he can now swim by himself, however, whenever he tried to turn either going left or right, his body's falling down... <He may have permanently injured himself....  Damage to the brain or spine, perhaps....  Or he may still have a complete recovery.> It seems that he's so dizzy that every time he moves, his movement is very limited.....what should we do?   <Wait, and observe carefully....  If necessary, drop the water level enough that he doesn't have to struggle too much if he needs to make it to the surface to eat.  If he's still eating, I think there is a good chance that he will either recover fully, or at least still be able to survive.> Please help me!!  I already cried a lot and I don't want lose him...he's my baby!!! <I do understand what you're going through, I'm so sorry....  You have done excellently for him already, just giving him the care you have.> By the way, from the time of his accident, his appetite is still perfect, only his movement is not..... <A wonderful sign, indeed.  As long as he is eating, there is hope!> Arnie <Wishing you and Elmo well,  -Sabrina>
Flowerhorn With a Headache - II - 08/16/2005
Dear Sabrina, <Hi again, Arnie!> I am so thankful and very hopeful now after reading your prompt response...I'm relieved!!!! <Ahh, glad to be of service.> Is there any medicine which I can possibly give him?  If yes, what's the name of the medicine and where could I possibly buy? <Unless you see any wounds or abrasions, I would not medicate him.> Elmo still eats a lot, his appetite does not change... <A very good sign, for sure.> If he have damage in his brain (hope not)... does Elmo have a chance to live longer than 2 years? <Possibly - no real way of knowing.  He may live a mostly normal life, or he may not.  Too soon to tell.> Does he also have a chance to swim the same way as before?   <Too soon to tell on this, also....  Mostly, just wait and see, and make him as comfortable as you can.  He can't be feeling too terribly bad, if he's still eating normally.> Thank you so much again............... <Always glad to be of service.> Best regards,  -Arnie, Makati City, Philippines <Wishing Elmo a swift recovery,  -Sabrina, California, USA>  

Flowerhorn, Exophthalmus - 09/10/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a Flower Horn called Y6 ( Breed : Red - monkey), about 1.5 years old. It's a beautiful fish and it likes to play with us. However, I found one of its eye has been expanded. But it is still red in colour and play with us as usual. What's wrong is it? <Something has caused a fluid buildup behind the eye; perhaps physical trauma (very likely) or an infection.  This is called Exophthalmus, or "pop-eye". I bought a medicine called : Waterlife - OCTOZIN because I asked some people that in the fish store of Flower Horn. <I would likely not use medicine for this condition.  Instead, add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the tank at a rate of one tablespoon per five gallons.  In a few days, you can do a water change and add Epsom again.  This will help relieve the fluid buildup.> I want to ask : 1) Will Y6 die easily? <I doubt the fish will die.  He looks to be in excellent condition aside from this problem.  It is possible that he will lose the eye, and if he does, you might want to use an antibiotic like Nitrofurazone or Kanamycin to prevent infection - but even then, if he's in otherwise good shape, he'll probably pull through okay.> 2) What's the name of the disease? <As above, this condition is called Exophthalmus.  Any major swelling of the eye can be called this.> 3) How can I save him? <Keep caring for him very well; keep his water quality perfect.  Add the Epsom, and watch to see if it helps.> P.S : I took 4 photos of Y6, hope you can reply me as soon as possible cause I love him very much, THANKS A LOT!! <Thank you for the images, they are VERY well done and show his condition very well.> Vienne from Hong Kong. <Wishing Y6 a swift recovery,  -Sabrina, from California, USA>

Flowerhorn Stopped Growing  9/19.5/05 I separated my Flowerhorn from each other since they were starting to be aggressive (2 out of 4 died) and one was brutally injured (I placed it in a small aquarium first) but one remained strong. The one who was in perfect condition grew rapidly but the one who was injured stopped it's growth for about 2 months already. It's now in a big aquarium but it is still not growing. It has a very low appetite and would not even eat pellets but choose to eat insects of different kinds instead. What should I do for it to grow bigger again. <First, if this is a female it may not grow as large as a male. Also, it's normal for the fish to stop growing if stressed from a bad injury or aggression. For now I would keep it in a low aggression tank. Give it time and plenty of water changes. Insects are a fine natural food for a cichlid. But too many with hard shells can cause digestive problems. Earthworms would be better. You can wean him her back to pellets after it's appetite returns. Don>

Bloated Flowerhorn  9/21/05 Hi crew , I need some help or advice please. I am in Australia and have a Flowerhorn my girlfriend at the time gave me. She hated it. It was continuously attacking her Oscar lols. I noticed today it made a huge hole in the gravel in its tank. It was just laying there so I thought I have a look . I am sort of glad I did as I noticed something real weird for me  it has 2 vents I guess u call then near its tail at bottom of its body and one vent/hole has sticky red jelly substance oozing out of it and the second vent/hole is like a pimple or boil and when I lightly touched near it it squirted out a clear substance and I am worried like any thing now As I grew really attached to the fish I feed it live feeder fish once a month and a Nutrafin max Flowerhorn cichlid food for superior colour and conditioning formula any help be great and hope to hear from you soon once again love your site. Wolf < Your Flowerhorn has an internal bacterial infection. The bacteria are pushing some of the intestines out of the fish as the infection grows. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with both Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone as per the directions on the packages. This disease sounds pretty advanced and may not respond to treatment.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With Cloudy Eyes  - 01/09/2006 Dear WWM, My male Flowerhorn, has a white film over both of his eyes for about 2 weeks now. I've noticed that at the center of the eyes there's a circle that's fuzzy. I thought that it was cloud eye, and have been using Melafix + methylene blue + salt for 2 weeks, also I changed 30% of the water every week and there has been no improvement. I want to know what can I do or which medicine I should use, to help cure my fish of this eye disease? Thank You Rodney <  Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Try erythromycin. Follow the directions on the package. When the fish is cured the add carbon to remove the excess medication and then add Bio-Spira by Marineland to reestablish the good bacteria in the tank.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Floating  12/15/05 Hi, I went on vacation and left a Flowerhorn fish alone.  It's been 2 weeks that he's lying on one side on the surface.  He has a bump at the side tummy and is exposed ( not submerse in water). No color change and fin is still moving.  What can I do?  Please help, I do not know what to do. <Sometimes when people leave on vacation they try and fatten up their fish before they leave by feeding them extra food. The problem with this idea is that they eat too much and sometimes the food blocks their intestines. The bacteria in the gut start to feed on the blocked food and they generate gas and the gas develops into pressure and bloating. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. You fish is pretty well along and you may not have caught it in time.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Questions   1/14/06 Hi there, I've been reading through your site and it is really informative about FH I have couple of questions though about my FH 1.) All orange in color with darker tint at the head part, what kind of breed is this? < Flowerhorns are a cross between three different cichlids. One of them is a red devil. This fish comes in white, orange, red and grey. Your fish could be a combination of any of these colors. You will need to consult a specific FH book for an exact breed.> 2.)It has some spots of black at the fins and body but not like the flower rows on red dragons, the previous owner said that when the FH matures it will turn to all orange with some red on the head part, is this true? < Could be. It all depends on the genetic lottery your fish has come up with. The colors may change as it grows. To what color ? You will have to grow him up and find out.> 3.)Also he hasn't been eating lately how can I  tell if he is sick? < Don't feed him for three days. If he is not hungry after three days he is probably sick with an internal bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Treat him with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package.-Chuck> I would really appreciate your fast reply. Thank you

Flowerhorn Trouble    1/25/06 Hi, I have a very big headache and is trying my best to save my Flowerhorn. My Flowerhorn hit very hard on the side of my fish tank while my mother is playing with it and stays on its side ever since at the bottom of the tank. It has been 3 weeks now and he is still alive. I tried very hard to push him upright vertical) but he seems to slip down horizontally to one of its side every time. All he can do now is move his eyes, slightly move his tail and flap one of its fin. For the other fin, he can only move it slightly and is seems to be infected and looks a bit small with white spots. He looks a bit inflated though. He is able to push himself by sliding on the bottom of the tank. About food, he is still able to eat slightly but he will to spit some of the food out sometimes. Before the incident we used to give him some guppies (found in the drain) to eat. I am really worried that he might have eaten some infected ones. Regards Josephine Lai < The trauma to the fish probably caused some permanent nerve damage. As he swims on his side the substrate is scrapping him up and it may now be coming infected from the guppies in the drain. Remove the substrate, do a 50% water change, clean the filter and keep mom away from the tank. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package. This will clean up the infections but I am afraid your fish may not fully recover from the trauma.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Cichlid With Black Markings   2/1/06 Hi there, this is a GREAT website you all have!  Looks like a ton of great info here.  My tank is 100 gallons, I stay on top of water maintenance with 40% water changes weekly, ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0, nitrates = 10.  Ph is at 7.7.  I recently bought a Flower Horn, everything was normal for about the first week.  Then I started noticing these black areas that seemed under the skin, not on top or bulging.  Almost like bruises.  They also appeared on the fins, but smaller.  The spots on the body are getting larger.  I should add that the fishes feces is really light in color, but not "stringy" at all.  The FH acts normal, has no problem swimming, being active, or eating.  I have searched high and low for answers, but I get all different replies and suggestions.  I've treated the tank with Jungle's "Fungus Cure", but no changes.  I then treated with Melafix, same, no changes.  Here is a couple links to some pics of the fish, do you think it is sick?  Or is this just a normal phase of color change before the true colors come out?  Any info on this is highly appreciated.  Thank you! < A Flowerhorn is a cross between three different species of cichlid. From your photos It seems to look more like a generic trait than a disease.-Chuck> http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v205/djfungus/ProgressedBlackPatch.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v205/djfungus/BlackSpots2.jpg

Bloated Flowerhorn   3/19/06 Hello WWM Crew, My Flowerhorn is around 6 months old. At first I thought the tube sticking out was his breeding organ but, I wasn't sure. After observing his behavior he looked unhappy , wasn't playing, and eating . So I did a water change . After reading on your site I think he has a digestion infection ? I took a few pictures so, maybe you could help me. What should I do ? Please help and Thank you. Aloha, Donald The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments: Flowerhorn 001 Flowerhorn 002 Flowerhorn 003 Flowerhorn 004 < Sorry, Photos did not show up. But I can still tell from you description that your fish does indeed have an internal bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. This is best done in a hospital tank. These medications will affect the good nitrifying bacteria in the main tank.-Chuck>

Bloated Flowerhorn   3/19/06 Thank you Chuck, I'm trying to send you the pictures again because, I wanted to know if he still has a chance ? It's been about three days since I notice that hanging out. I won't be able to treat until 24 hours from now. Thank you for the quick response and I appreciate all the help. Aloha, Donald The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments: Flowerhorn 001 Flowerhorn 002 Flowerhorn 003 Flowerhorn 004 Flowerhorn 005 Flowerhorn 006 < Sorry , no photos again. I still think you have the same problem. Keep the water clean with water changes until you are able to get the medications. He has no chance unless you treat him.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn With Internal Bacterial Infection  - 03/13/2006 I found your website about Flower Horn very informative especially the FAQ section. Anyway, a friend of mine gave us a Flower Horn as a gift and now I have encountered a similar problem that I read from your article dated 12/15/05 about Flower Horn lying on one side.  I did not go to a vacation, also I do not know if my children over feed it with pellets.   The fins are still moving and at times the Flower Horn would dare to swim but not as graceful as before. And when it tries to swim the body can not "flex" from left to right, as if it has a "cramp". I noticed too that the tummy seems to be full.  I already tried changing about 50% of the water, and cleaning the aquarium.  Also I noticed that the thing coming out from the Flower Horn is a bit white and transparent like.  It has been 3 days already, I would appreciate very much if you can recommend me something that would make my Flower Horn better. Kind regards, < Your FH has an internal bacterial infection. As the bacteria grows it swells the intestines of the fish and puts pressure on the internal organs. It is usually brought on by stress. Keep the tank clean and treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. If he is eating then mix the Metronidazole in with the food into a paste and try and get him to eat it. If he is not eating then just treat the water as per the directions on the package. The key to a successful treatment is treating it in the early stages.-Chuck>

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