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FAQs on Neotropical Cichlid Disease/Health 3

Related Articles: Neotropical Cichlids, Central American Cichlids by Neale Monks, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Neotropical Cichlid Disease 1, Neotropical Cichlid Disease 2, Neotropical Cichlid Disease 4 & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Neotropical Cichlids 2, Neotropical Cichlids 3, Neotropical Cichlid Identification, Neotropical Cichlid Behavior, Neotropical Cichlid Compatibility, Neotropical Cichlid Selection, Neotropical Cichlid Systems, Neotropical Cichlid Feeding, Neotropical Cichlid Reproduction, Convicts, Oscars, Firemouths, Texas Cichlids, Severums, Triangle Cichlids, Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Cichlids sick? Env. and parasitic; and mormyrid beh.          9/28/17
Hi guys, so I was hoping you can help me. I have a planted 75 gallon with a few small Tbar (sajica) cichlids, a small chocolate cichlid, a small red Severum, a female electric blue Acara, a 4 inch ghost knife (which is doing fantastic!! Swims all over the tank even during the day and eats out of my hand!)
<Neato!>
and a Featherfin squeaker (I know, from a totally different part of the world). This is NOT everyone's permanent tank. The tbars (which are my absolute favorite) are going in a 40 breeder I'm in the middle of cycling.
My issue is this, I got the tbars in the spring time at about 2/3 inches.
I had been looking everywhere to buy the tbars but I couldn't find anywhere that had them.
<Might have to order such "oddball" cichlids from the ACA (American Cichlid Association) or regional Cichlid Club>
On a suggestion from a youtuber, I traveled out of state to a fish store that actually had them. I really made a bad judgment call.
Sure enough, they had them, along with soooo many different fish and fish I never heard of. Amazing, beautiful fish that were not kept in a appropriate manner. I can't tell you how many tanks I saw that had severely damaged fish. The tanks were just gross and while some were so over populated, others only had one or two fish.. The tbars tank was not nearly as bad as others but foolishly I bought them and a chocolate cichlid. The tbars are barely growing, especially the male. It actually looks like he's shrinking but his fins are getting super long and he's grown the start of
his nuchal hump but he's small.
<Mmm; sounds/reads like they are stunted... from poor water quality, crowding (chemical feedback), lack of nutrition>
The chocolate has had no issues and is growing as he should. I also noticed that other two tbars we're popping
white stringy stuff coming out of them constantly. Just like a long string.
<Perhaps lumenal/intestinal parasite issue. Quite common with mixed, imported fishes>
That went away but now occasionally I see the white stuff again although not nearly as long.
<Mmm; search WWM re the use of Metronidazole here>
They and two of my other fish are flashing quite a bit.
My male Tbar that used to come out and eat anything he could, will only eat live black worms, but still he isn't getting bigger at all! He eagerly comes swimming over when I get in front of tank but won't eat anything except the live food. I have a marine land canister filter 220 along with a Marineland penguin 400 hob filter. My ammonia is 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm and nitrates are 20ppm. My pH is 7.2. I do weekly water changes as well.
<Good>
Do you think it is a parasite?
<At least; yes>
If so what do I do?
<Lace the foods with Flagyl/Metro, or treat the water... maybe after you move them to the 40
Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwintparasitf.htm>
I am extremely nervous about losing my male Tbar as he is my absolute favorite in the tank!! I feed them
a variety of food. Omega one flakes, Omega one shrimp pellets (for catfish)
I put a European cucumber in every few weeks and the Severum and ghost knife love it! I also feed frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimp (which I have recently learned isn't that great for them) and live black worms
occasionally. Am I not feeding the right foods?
<I would sub Spectrum and Hikari pelleted for the Omega products>
Also, this has nothing to do with this but I have a elephant nose that I have had for a couple years.
He is my absolute favorite out of all my tanks, because once again he swims all over and eats from my hand. I just had a concern really. When I got him when he was rather small, he had that white coloration they all have on
their bodies but I have noticed for the past 8 months or so that the white is almost gone. He has gotten significantly bigger and eats like a pig. I just wanted to make sure if this was normal or if something is wrong.
<Likely nothing wrong here; this color loss w/ age, growth is natural>
I really hope to hear from you soon with some suggestions. Thank you so much!!
Jessica
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight     7/25/16
I have lost 4 giant Danios in the year since I left for grad school. One of them jumped out, and the forth recently died, but two vanished while I was gone, and I don't know why. I also lost one clown loach between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.
<The missing fish might well have been consumed by the Acara/s>
I am not sure what could be the cause. I doubt it is a water quality issue, as the Geophagus is very healthy and he is the most sensitive fish I have.
The other clown loach I have is also healthy. Honestly it is the giant Danios that I have been having the most problems with. Could it be because they cannot tolerate the same temperature the silver dollars and Geophagus prefer?
<This species does prefer cooler water, but the ranges overlap... I'd keep in the mid But that wouldn't be right because my weather loaches are healthy as well. Mid 70's for all>
The Geophagus has been chasing the silver dollars a lot, and some have scraped their noses on the glass. But I have not really had the chance to add any fish Neale suggested to distract the Geo. And now with this wasting disease I might not have a chance in a while.
<Is this tank large enough; have enough habitat for all?>
I hope it is just a regular parasite. I am not sure what to do if it is Mycobacteria.
I really wanted a good sized surface dwelling schooling fish, and giant Danios seemed the easiest to keep. But now I am not so sure...
-Lynnie
<Read for now. BobF>

Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight---New Disturbing Development       7/26/16
Yesterday I added a standard dosage of API General Cure (active ingredients Praziquantel and Metronidazole) to the aquarium. ~3-4 hours later, I fed the fish green beans as well as the New Life Spectrum Hex Shield food
(active ingredients Magnesium Sulfate, IH-Imidazole-I-ethanol, 2-methyl-5-nitro-(443-48-1)). Almost immediately after the fish had finished eating, the Geophagus took to lying upright on the bottom, breathing heavily. This morning he has not changed. His belly might be a little bloated, but it is not obvious.
None of the other fish have changed in any way, and the Geophagus was his usual self right before I fed them. Could he have eaten too much of the medicated food and poisoned himself?
<Doubtful>
I have heard Metronidazole is hard on the kidneys,
<This is so; should NOT be used continuously, casually>

and while the Hex Shield does not have that, it does have something similar. The Geophagus always has been a big eater, so I worry he may have eaten too much of it.
I have not changed the routine of the tank's maintenance in any way.
<Perhaps some lumenal parasite issue... B>
Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight---New Disturbing Development

I am afraid the Geophagus doesn't look good at all. He definitely is bloated now. I have attached pictures of him and the two blue Acara. The latter look underweight to me, but their condition now pales in comparison to the Geophagus. I don't really know what to do. None of the other fish were affected aversely after the powder medication or the medicated food--it's just he turned into this after I fed them the latter.
<What can you/one do? No further med.s, provide stable-ideal conditions, have patience>

Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight---New Disturbing Development
Too late. He died overnight.
No clue what happened. I may have put slightly more than the recommended amount of HexShield. It says to put as much as the fish can eat in 1 minute, but I added more to make sure all the fish got some. I had no idea he would just get sick and die after eating it.
<I'd add to foods over a period of time; not dose all at once. BobF>

Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight---New Disturbing Development        7/30/16
Well...I finished the course of the powder medication, and no further problems arose. That being said, I hope the reason for the Danios' illness is something I can fix. I will say that it appears due to the heat of the summer, the tank's temperature has climbed to 82 degrees. It was about 78 in the spring, but it seems even keeping the heater temperature the same, the heat has made the temperature climb.
The thermometer is one of those black color-changing strips you fix on the outside of the tank, so I am not sure how accurate this is.
<Mmm; you could try an in-tank one known to be accurate. BobF>
Re: Blue Acara Suddenly Losing Weight---New Disturbing Development Ian's input         7/30/16

Well...I finished the course of the powder medication, and no further problems arose. That being said, I hope the reason for the Danios' illness is something I can fix. I will say that it appears due to the heat of the summer, the tank's temperature has climbed to 82 degrees. It was about 78 in the spring, but it seems even keeping the heater temperature the same, the heat has made the temperature climb. <Ian here tonight. I recommend that you find a way to keep your tank cooler. Or you could go through this and a whole other string of problems. I have personally found solutions to this and many other problems via YouTube channels. I am a DIY fish keepers and have built the tanks, decor, lids , lighting and filtration for all of my numerous and might I say, enormous set ups. I suggest looking at Joey
Mullen 's channel. He is better known as Uarujoey or the king of DIY. Has some really good, effective, and cheap DIY projects, some of which can cool you tank down during the summer. Best of luck ~Ian >

Texas Chiclid with white spots... no data of use or reading     2/22/16
<? 7 megs of uncropped pix? Why?>
Hello,
My Texas Chiclid has recently developed some white spots on his skin and fins. It looks like a fungus but I don't know for sure. Can you please identify what it is and what course of treatment I should use.
<Looks like Lymphocystis
... are you able to use the search tool on WWM?
Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwlymphfaqs.htm
Thank you,
Jim
<Too much 'stress' from... who knows what... phys., chem. biol. inputs....
Review your water quality (hard, alkaline), nutrition for the species (archived on WWM)... Bob Fenner>

Beat up Vieja      1/29/16
Howdy crew
<Hi there!>
I recently acquired a female Vieja. No idea on specie. She Eww <?> as a part of a mated pair but the male currently wasn't for sale so I got the female. Went back and got the male. They were in a 60 gallon quarantine and the male shredded the females fins into pathetic threads.
<Need to be separated, stat!>

So I moved her into my large oddball 300 and she is floating upright with her top dorsal fin out of the water? Is this a possible swim bladder issue or is she just resting?
<Neither... the fish is beaten to death. In shock>
What can I do for her?
<Move to a smaller system... thirty or so gallons, only half full, keep water quality pristine; no light; low to mid 80's F, treat w/ antibiotic as gone over on WWM>
She is safe as there are only clown knives, Oscars, a female jaguar (no aggression whatsoever) a gar and a silver Arowana.
Thanks
<I'd be moving stat. Bob Fenner>
re: Beat up Vieja      1/29/16

Ok. As soon as I get home I will move her to my 29. Is this normal for mated pairs to do this?
<IF too crowded; in too small a space; yes. READ on WWM re neotropical cichlids... stop writing: READ>
I have seen these raise multiple broods together and now the male has beaten the female.
<B>
Re: Beat up Vieja        1/30/16

Ok thanks. Is there a link I should you or will the search engine on your website find it?
<The latter; or the indices... >

Silver Dollar With White Wart on Nose...and Blue Acara with Protruding Anus       12/20/15
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
Hey, long time no see! It's me Lynnie.
In my absence, my parents have been taking care of the fish. They have been feeding them New Life Spectrum cichlid pellets, Omega One veggie rounds, Hikari Seaweed Extreme and Algae Wafers, dried seaweed, and fresh vegetables once a week. They also have been doing 50-70% water changes weekly
<I'd cut this back to no more than a quarter, 25%>

and the service still comes to clean the canister filter and under gravel filter monthly.
The fish have been doing well for the most part, as my Geophagus has completely healed up and grown a lot in size and color. So has my clown loach. (Though the second one seems to have vanished since I saw him healthy and big during Thanksgiving...I suspect the service might have buried him again). However there is something up.
One of my decade-old silver dollars has had a white wart on his nose for years. But lately, it seems to have grown larger, and he seems unable to open his mouth to eat.
There is also the fact that the blue Acara still have protruding anuses, as they did when I first bought them and put them in quarantine. I have been feeding them green beans and brine shrimp and it seems to be somewhat better but their anus still protrudes. They also look somewhat bloated...I am not sure why they are constipated while none of the other fish are. They
seem just as enthusiastic about vegetables as the other fish. I am not sure what to do about these issues now that I am in Houston for Christmas break. My parents only are able to care for their basic needs thanks to instructions I wrote up for them.
Thank you,
Lynnie
<I would do nothing out of regular maintenance. Bob Fenner>
Re: Silver Dollar With White Wart on Nose...and Blue Acara with Protruding Anus       12/20/15

I am concerned that just 25% might be too little, given the delicate nature of the Geophagus. I can't really maintain plants in the setup, given the six silver dollars, so water changes are my only real outlet for nitrates.
Would 50% be okay, or still too stressful?
<Search and READ first: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pondsubwebindex/pdh2ochgs.htm\
Silver Dollar With White Wart on Nose...and Blue Acara with Protruding Anus        /Neale       12/20/15

Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
Hey, long time no see! It's me Lynnie.
In my absence, my parents have been taking care of the fish. They have been feeding them New Life Spectrum cichlid pellets, Omega One veggie rounds, Hikari Seaweed Extreme and Algae Wafers, dried seaweed, and fresh vegetables once a week. They also have been doing 50-70% water changes weekly and the service still comes to clean the canister filter and under gravel filter monthly.
The fish have been doing well for the most part, as my Geophagus has completely healed up and grown a lot in size and color. So has my clown loach. (Though the second one seems to have vanished since I saw him healthy and big during Thanksgiving...I suspect the service might have buried him again). However there is something up.
One of my decade-old silver dollars has had a white wart on his nose for years. But lately, it seems to have grown larger, and he seems unable to open his mouth to eat.
There is also the fact that the blue Acara still have protruding anuses, as they did when I first bought them and put them in quarantine. I have been feeding them green beans and brine shrimp and it seems to be somewhat better but their anus still protrudes. They also look somewhat bloated...I am not sure why they are constipated while none of the other fish are. They
seem just as enthusiastic about vegetables as the other fish.
I am not sure what to do about these issues now that I am in Houston for Christmas break. My parents only are able to care for their basic needs thanks to instructions I wrote up for them.
Thank you,
Lynnie
<I would optimise environmental conditions (do recall that like Corydoras and Neons, Acara generally prefer cooler, oxygen-rich conditions so maintain accordingly, 22-25 C being ideal for them) and make sure the diet has plenty of fibre in it (green foods, brine shrimps and daphnia all good; avoid flake/pellets entirely). Prolapse anuses are fairly common on cichlids, and while there are various causes, opportunistic bacterial and protozoan infections are most likely. If you can treat with Metronidazole, that'd help. Alongside this, the use of Epsom Salt may be helpful if the fish are constipated. Use of both Metronidazole and Epsom Salt are described elsewhere on WWM. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Silver Dollar With White Wart on Nose...and Blue Acara with Protruding Anus        12/22/15

Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
When Neale says avoid flakes and pellets entirely, does he mean until the prolapsed anus problem is cured, or forever?
<Until cured. Think about flake food as the opposite of a laxative.>
Because it will be difficult to give the Acaras a nutritionally complete diet without using them at least some of the time.
Thank you,
Lynnie
<I do agree. But with these cichlids, flakes or pellets can be used sparingly, alongside a good variety of foods from the kitchen. Cooked peas, softened vegetables, minced white fish fillet and seafood, hard boiled egg yolks... all sorts, really. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Silver Dollar With White Wart on Nose...and Blue Acara with Protruding Anus        12/24/15

I bought a frozen food medicated with Metronidazole as per Neale's suggestion. However it also contains Kanamycin. I would prefer to use the food over the bath formula, as the blue Acara are eager to eat food from my hand and so I could easily make sure they get it and not the other fish.
But I also know that when I used Kanamycin in a newly cycled quarantine tank, it totally wiped the bio filter.
I have been told for a large, mature bio filter this is unlikely to happen.
Is this correct?
<Pretty much. And bear in mind the food is being eaten. By the time it's been through the digestive tract of a fish it won't be in much state to affect the filter bacteria. Also, used as instructed, aquarium antibiotics shouldn't normally affect filter bacteria. Antibiotics are fairly specific and don't kill every single type of bacteria. If you're concerned though, remove some of the filter media, up to half is fine, place in a bowl so it's just covered with aquarium water, and put somewhere it won't dry out but gets some air too. A piece of cloth for example over the top would be great, or some cling film/saran wrap with some holes stuck in it. Now, if anything happens to the filter during treatment, you'll have a generous reserve of healthy media to stick back into the filter afterwards, thereby avoiding the cycling process! Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlids... WAY over-crowded beh.         1/7/15
Hello, My name is Alicia and would like to ask a few questions and hoping you have the answers and want to Thank You in advance.
<Greetings, Alicia >
I have about 10 Chiclids in my 55 Gallon tank, I love them all dearly. I have a big Oscar he is about 10 to 12 inches long and looks healthy, this morning when i turned on the tank light he was down at the bottom and eyes looked closed and I thought he was dead I freaked out I've had him for about 8 months, I don't know if it is normal for him to have been like that I have never seen the Oscar do that before??
<It is not normal and usually means something is wrong with the tank. First check the heater is working. Then check the filter pump. Now grab a nitrite (with an "i", not nitrate with an "a") test kit. Check the water quality.
If nitrite is not zero, then something is wrong. My guess is that your tank is overstocked. As the fish grow, they produce more waste. An adult Oscar can overload a 55-gal tank without any trouble, so 75 gallons is the recommended minimum for Oscars these days. You have a bunch of other fish as well, which almost certainly means water quality isn't good.>
And the other question is I have what I believe is a Jewel i don't know if it is male or female but it stays in the cave nonstop it only comes out once in a great while to eat and very quickly runs back to the cave i don't understand why
<Variety of reasons for this. Sometimes cichlids hide because they're scared, sometimes because they're guarding something, and sometimes because the environment is "wrong" somehow (water quality or pH are possibilities).>
and when the Convict gets near the opening of the cave they both open their mouths and looks like they lock mouths together
<Likely aggression.>
do you know why please im very confused about it i was told they are mating or lighting for dominance???And my last question is do they prefer sand or gravel, because I have 2 African Cichlids and I believe the rest are South American I have a huge Albino from and 2 Algae eaters one is huge and other is alot smaller jus to give you a idea of whats in the tank, <You have FAR TOO many fish for this aquarium. Time to start "pruning" your collection. An Oscar and a Plec on their own easily fill out 75 gallons; add a Jewel, a couple Convicts and whatever else you have by way of Mbuna, and you've got a collection that needs to be kept in a 150-200 gallon aquarium. Sit back, think which fish you really want, and keep those properly; rehome the others.>
Thank You soo much for your time and knowledge for getting back to me, I think your site is Amazing and have shared it on Facebook and other sites with fiends!!!
<Cool.>
Thank You Alicia
<Most welcome! Neale.>

? re a bocourti central American cichlid with bizarre issue   10/15/14
Sick Central American Cichlid

I have a large bocourti which is about 8 years old. He was fine until recently. He had some whitish clumpy material on two scales and by the area where one fin came out of body, but that went away with antibiotics. I
also had a trimac which developed a whitish exudative material that came out of the area around its eye. He died after about month. Now my bocourti has similar material, looks like a white horn, coming out of one
area of its scales. Around the white area his scales are slightly red and look damaged. Is this a fungus? Or what?
I have photos if that helps. I hate to lose the fish. Sal
< The reddish scales are probably a bacterial infection. The whitish clumps may be a secondary fungal infection. The antibiotics you used may have affected the bacteria that provide the nitrification of the fish waste and you now may have elevated nitrogenous waste levels. I would recommend a water change and then clean the filters. Try to keep the water very clean and watch for any progress. Your cichlid is usually very tough so I would only recommend antibiotics as a last resort.-Chuck>

Growth stunted after parasite?   7/5/14
I have two young gold saum cichlids, and they are the most beautiful fish I've ever owned.
<Quite so. Were moderately popular in the UK during the late 80s-early 90s, though at that time often confused with Blue Acara (invariably with disastrous results as Gold Saum cichlids are far more aggressive, so in the UK they're called Green Terrors).>
A while ago after I got them, the female stopped eating - the male was fine, and actually never showed any signs of infection. I did some research, and paid close attention, and within a few days of her failures
to eat I began to notice more and more telltale signs of parasite infection (stringy feces, shrinking stomach). I did ask around online some, and was recommended Seachem's ParaGuard.
<Would not have been my first choice. The Hexamita infection you are describing above can pretty much only be treated with Metronidazole, a.k.a. Flagyl. This, coupled with careful control of nitrate (and other
metabolite) concentrations in the water should help; do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flagylfaqs.htm
Hexamita is quite common among farmed cichlids, and seems especially problematic in less than perfect environmental or dietary situations.>
For a straight two months, it was daily water changes and tests, soaking their food in medicine and garlic and hoping she'd eat at least one or two bites, and begging the gods to be kind. The first week, there was nothing.
Then, she kept down one bite. And then another, and another. I kept up treatment for another month after she'd begun eating normally again, but now she hasn't coughed up her meal for six weeks, and I'm (understandably, I think) quite proud of bringing my fish back from the dead.
<Indeed!>
The male was younger than her, and during the span of her illness, he caught up to her in growth. In just the month since she got better, he's grown to half again her current size - she's around 3 inches, he's going on 5. Meanwhile, if she's grown at all, the female gold saum hasn't done so noticeably. They are sexually mature, and have spawned once since treatment.
<Good.>
I've done some digging, but haven't been able to confirm for myself that her growth could be permanently stunted. I'm just worried that someday soon, the male will kill her in one of his spawning chases. Could her
growth as a female just be slower than the male's? Or will I have to separate them if I don't want my efforts to save the female to be thwarted by her own mate?
<Male cichlids are commonly faster growers and earlier maturers than the females, though not always. But to answer your specific question: yes, fish have a "juvenile" growth stage through which they grow fastest, and subsequent to that, their growth rate slows down dramatically. It never stops, but if a fish didn't grow much in its childhood (for want of a better word) it never quite catches up with its siblings who grew at the normal rate in theirs. Make sense?>
Thanks for any response!
- Margaret
<Most welcome, Neale. Have bcc'ed Chuck if he's got a different opinion/advice.>
Re: Growth stunted after parasite?   7/5/14

Thanks! I did have it clarified that, for the ParaGuard to work it had to be soaked in to the food. It was really very effective, but if there's ever a next time I might give your recommendation a shot.
<Cool.>
One other thing I wound up doing was, when I noticed that the female would swim directly into aquarium salt additions, I dropped some raw granules in.
She swallowed them, and that was the first thing she kept down after getting sick. I've been told it's not recommended, but she did keep food down more frequently after salt. I imagine it wasn't pleasant for the
parasites.
<Quite possibly. Whether the Hexamita parasite causes the stringy faeces and weight loss we associate with it remains unclear. Some argue the parasite is latent in most cichlids, but a combination of stresses causes the cichlid to weaken, and the Hexamita merely multiply because conditions now favour them. It's likely complicated, and perhaps varies from fish to fish. Metronidazole is an antibiotic as well as being good against Hexamita, but if Hexamita aren't the immediate problem, but the bacteria, then some other antibiotic could work just as well.>
Thanks for clarifying the infection, too! I only knew it was parasitic, but not what kind.
<If it's any consolation, mine's a wild guess. We hardly ever do the necessary science needed to identify the parasite or pathogen involved, and instead go by hunches and probabilities based on accumulated veterinary experience.>
I hope she grows some more, I'd hate to see her stunted her whole life. But I guess I did about all I could do?
<Indeed. Cheers, Neale.>
Cichlid Stunted After Parasite Treatment     /Chuck's go      7/7/14

I have two young gold saum cichlids, and they are the most beautiful fish I've ever owned. A while ago after I got them, the female stopped eating - the male was fine, and actually never showed any signs of infection. I did some research, and paid close attention, and within a few days of her failures to eat I began to notice more and more telltale signs of parasite infection (stringy feces, shrinking stomach). I did ask around online some, and was recommended Seachem's ParaGuard.
For a straight two months, it was daily water changes and tests, soaking their food in medicine and garlic and hoping she'd eat at least one or two bites, and begging the gods to be kind. The first week, there was nothing.
Then, she kept down one bite. And then another, and another. I kept up treatment for another month after she'd begun eating normally again, but now she hasn't coughed up her meal for six weeks, and I'm (understandably, I think) quite proud of bringing my fish back from the dead.
The male was younger than her, and during the span of her illness, he caught up to her in growth. In just the month since she got better, he's grown to half again her current size - she's around 3 inches, he's going on 5. Meanwhile, if she's grown at all, the female gold saum hasn't done so noticeably. They are sexually mature, and have spawned once since treatment.
I've done some digging, but haven't been able to confirm for myself that her growth could be permanently stunted. I'm just worried that someday soon, the male will kill her in one of his spawning chases. Could her
growth as a female just be slower than the male's? Or will I have to separate them if I don't want my efforts to save the female to be thwarted by her own mate? Thanks for any response! - Margaret
< It is not unusual for cichlid females to be smaller than their male counter parts. The female usually puts her energy into egg production and not into growth, so she may be done growing for awhile. It is very possible that the male will kill the female if she is not ready to spawn.
Experienced cichlid breeders place dividers between the fish so the smaller female can get to the male but the larger male cannot get to the female.-Chuck>

question regarding whitening of lips of T. Sieboldii (Bob, second opinion?)<<Mmm, no>> 3/31/14
Hi crew,
Long time reader here of the dailies, I always find it interesting to read of the successes and problems of others, and your suggestions regarding these...these is always something new to learn.
<For sure, Henk.>
This kind of setup is really quite different from most other aquarium and fishkeeping sites, I really am a big fan of your website.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I have a question regarding the whitening of lips of a few Tomocichla Sieboldii.
<Wow! These are some seriously rare fish.>
First some info on the tank. This is a 100 gallon tank, filtered over a Fluval FX5, Eheim 2078, and a small Eheim 2213. Temperature at 27 degrees Celsius, pH 8, KH 7, GH 10, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate between 5 and 10.
I do weekly water changes of about 40% with water which has been stored overnight. Due to the extreme softness of the tap water (KH 0-1, GH 2-4) I add baking soda and Epsom salts to increase hardness. Tankmates are a pair of Hypsophrys Nicaraguensis and two Thorichthys Maculipinnis.
<All sounds about right, and good choices for tankmates. Not aggressive, but robust enough to handle themselves.>
Two out of three Tomocichla Sieboldii clearly show whitening of their lips.
There is no fuzzy growth noticeable. First these white lips where only noticeable on the smallest of the T. Sieboldii, and since this fish seems a bit weak/stunted, I actually thought of it as poor genes.
<Do think this is "wrestling" damage from the lip-pulling that cichlids engage in, especially when pair-bonding. Under good conditions generally heals up without any fuss.>
Recently I see the whitening of lips also on the other T. Sieboldii, very clearly on the presumed male, and to a lesser extent on the largest specimen, a female. I have enclosed some pictures which hopefully show this. The smallest fish has had these white lips for at least 2 months,
whereas the second one to show these white lips only does so since a week or so. I have never seen any of the T. Sieboldii engage in liplocking, so I'm quite certain this is not due to lip locking.
<Indeed, but may go on at times and in places you don't see it.>
The two largest T. Sieboldii are picky eaters (graze on algae in the tank and feed on frozen bloodworm and my sis, refuse New Life Spectrum or flakes after 3 months of trying) but eat well. The smallest one has never been a very good eater, but he's been in the tank for almost 3 months so whatever makes him eat less (spits out quite a lot including frozen bloodworms) I assume it is nothing acute.
<Do bear in mind these are strongly herbivorous in the wild. I'd be offering them a good mix of green foods alongside the usual krill, bloodworms, etc. You might care to try one of the Hikari wafers of the types used for Panaque and other herbivorous catfish.>
Not sure if it is more likely to be stress or parasites (or something else)? There's quite a lot of chasing around in the tank (mainly done by the T. Maculipinnis) but nothing out of proportion, nor anything which I would label as severe bullying.
<Indeed. Your mix of cichlids is on the "easy going" end of the behaviour range.>
Now on to the questions... I do have some medications on hand but prefer not to use them unless necessary. I have SeaChem Paraguard, SeaChem Kanaplex, Metro, and Tetra Parasite Guard at home in the medicine cabinet.
Regarding the whitening of the lips of these three fish and the poor eating habits of one of these fish, could this all be due to some kind of bacterial infection?
<Well, the possibilities are the bacterial infection we call Mouth "Fungus" (also called Columnaris); plain vanilla Fungus; and Finrot. Some medications treat all three at once; so you could try one of those. But honestly, I do think this is nothing more serious than damage from mouth-pulling. Obviously watch them closely, and if things get worse, medicate. But if the fish are feeding fine and the lips improve then you won't need to do anything.>
Should I just keep up good water conditions and allow some more time to pass, or considering the whitening of the lips seems to be spreading, start medicating?
Your opinions are highly appreciated!
Thanks
Henk
<Welcome, Neale.>

Free Fish With a Couple Catches Bloating, Pop Eye, Bacterial Infections Neotrop. Cichlid hlth.      3/24/14
Greetings WetWebMedia, I've recently set up a few new ponds and have been given a few fish. The latest a 14inch Oscar and 7inch Jack Dempsey, both 5 years old. They came from a 135gal aquarium. Immediately I noticed the Oscar was very bloated(round on both sides) with lateral line erosion and bulging eyes. Although color was OK and fins looked decent. The JD was slightly bloated with what looked like a huge slice in caudal fin(looked to of healed with middle 30% missing but not sure). The lower jaw protrudes slightly, probably from an injury during a mismatched battle with the Oscar or other tank mates.
I should mention the previous owner had stuck these guys in a 20gal tank filtered by a AquaClear 110 for at least 4 days prior to me receiving them, as he was trying to sell his 135g tank. As far as water quality and dietary history beyond that I don't know. Both fish show scratches behind gill plates from being netted head first with a 4inch net upon transfer from the 135g to 20g aquarium. So these guys have taken some abuse and could be suffering from multiple bacterial and digestive issues. I now have them in a 250g quarantine tank and have dosed them with Epsom salt. Since the treatment the Oscar is laying on his side more. It has been 15hrs and no change in bloat or bowel movements.
Do you think these fish can be saved without antibiotics?
<I do>
( I can provide immaculate water quality) If not what are your recommendations?
<That you continue as you've stated>
The JD seems healthier, should I separate?
<Not necessarily, no>
I'm thinking this is environmental mostly, but how contagious would these conditions be?
<Not very>
Will Epsom salt have as much preventative value against fungus or bacteria, opposed to normal salt.
<Both can be used>
I'm just waiting for the Columnaris to set in.
I've been given several 250g acrylic domes and want to stock those guys and a large Pleco in one, filtered by an aquaponic growbed at 265gph. Thanks for your advice Brandon
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

reddened area around base of pectoral fins        6/16/13
Dear Crew,
<Hello Henk,>
I have noticed the last few days that my Nicaragua Cichlids appear to have a reddened area around the base of their pectoral fins.
<Not uncommon in cichlids; usually goes away without treatment. Can be physical damage from handling (including with nets) or fighting, but may also be incipient Finrot-type bacterial infections, i.e., an inflammation.>
At first I wondered if this has always been there and whether I just noticed it recently, but I double-checked some pictures taken 18 days ago and there it is much less (or not) visible. I have attached a picture of the fish showing this reddish area most clearly (pic 1), and a picture of the same fish 18 days ago (pic 4), as well as a picture of another specimen where this reddish coloration is less visible (pic 3). Overall coloration of the fish has changed quite a bit, they are about 4-5 inches and coloring up, but the red area looks a bit suspicious to me.
<Indeed so.>
Water parameters as follows: pH 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10. Only less desirable parameter (which I measure) is temperature which is at 30 degrees Celsius.
<Ah now, temperature may be a factor…>
Unsure if this is related or not, but about three weeks ago one of my juvenile Thorichthys Maculipinnis (about 1.5 inches) had stopped eating and had white slimy faeces, so I treated the tank with metro, according to the recommended dose on the package, for 3 consecutive days. At the same time I added aquarium salt gradually to a dose of approximately 3g per gallon. After treatment the fish started eating again and no more sign of white faeces. Since the treatment there have been three 30% water changes. Now all fish are active and eating very well. The reddish area however worries me, only the Nicaragua Cichlids are showing this reddish area, the Thorichthys do not. I have checked online and on WetWebMedia and don't really seem to find descriptions of symptoms well matching the ones I am seeing. Can you have a look at the pictures and let me know what you think? Thank you very much.
Henk
<Treating for Hexamita infections of similar using Metronidazole should not cause any specific reactions in the fish, but there's always a small risk when using any medication of some side affect, just as with humans. My two concerns here are environmental ones: salt, which isn't really necessary as a permanent fixture to any Central American cichlid aquarium, and temperature. Hypsophrys nicaraguensis comes from water bodies with a definite current, not necessary turbulent, but steady, and are likely sensitive to warm water that carries less oxygen than middling temperatures around the 25 C/77 F mark. So what would I do? I'd slowly dilute the salt out of the equation through a serious of water changes, and I'd also turn the temperature down a bit to see if that helps. Adding extra aeration or beefing up water circulation may be useful too; I'd be aiming for a turnover rate of around 8-10 times the volume of the tank per hour for cichlids like these. Cheers, Neale.>

Problem with Female Festae Cichlid   4/10/13
Hi again WWM crew,
<Hi Matt, Rick here>
I have e-mailed you about a similar problem I am having with my current female festae.  I believe this is the same problem because this is the 3rd fish I have had get the same symptoms.
<Maybe something dormant in the water? Has the tank been sterilized since the last outbreak?>
I had treated the previous 2 fish with API General Cure that has active ingredients of Metronidazole and Praziquantel.  Both of those fish didn't seem to get better at all from treatment.
<Could have been too advanced a stage for recovery.>
Here is a the message I sent to you guys, you had thought it was bacterial because by the time the fish had died his gills were eaten through.  I have attached the 2 pictures of the festae.
<Note to BobF: we cannot post the picture he pulled from Google due to copyright concerns.>
<<Thank you Rick. Understood. B>>
<Begin previous query - RN>
"Re: Festae Breeding, now hlth. Question   6/12/12Red Terror Problems- Maybe fish Louse
Hello WWM crew.  I'm replying back about my festae cichlid that hasn't eaten for over 3 weeks now.  I have him in a quarantine tank by himself right now and I've been treating him with General Cure made by API because I hear its a good all around treatment.  The active ingredients are Metronidazole and Praziquantel and I've been treating as the package suggests with a dose every 48 hours and a 25 percent water change before each dose.  It's been 6 days now (3 treatments).  Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, and Nitrate is 10.  He's been breathing hard and won't look at food at all so I'm only treating the water column.  I took him out of the quarantine tank today to take a look at his gills and I notices that the gills are not attached to his body on the underside and I think they should be (I've attached a photo with the area circled). < The gills are attached to a gill arch. The whole underside of the fish between the gill covers an the body doesn't look right. It looks as though a bacteria has eaten though some of the tissues in the lower part of the gill covers.> The other picture I've attached shows a bulge right below his gills, although its not the best photo.  Is this the way normal gills look, I have always thought they were attached to the body on the underside?  Thank you for your help!<
Flip the fish over so you can get a better idea what the bulge is . I am thinking you might have a fish louse. It is a crustacean that may come in to the aquarium with feeder fish. The Praziquantel should take care of this problem.-Chuck"
<End previous query. - RN>
As for my female festae, she has stopped eating about 2 days ago and has stringy white poop.  <Indicative of an internal parasite. What have you been attempting to feed her?> Her breathing is labored and I don't believe it is due to lack of oxygen because she has thrived in this environment for over a year now. <Probably is due to a lack of oxygen passing through the gills, not necessarily lack of oxygen in the tank.  How do her gills look now? Any discoloration, anything that looks like it doesn't belong there?>
Her symptoms are the same as the previous 2 fish that died.  I also noticed a spot of her side fins, I found a picture of what it looks like on Google and have attached it to this email as well. <BobF: This is the picture we can't post.>
Ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is 30 ppm.  She is 7 and a half inches long and stays in a 135 gallon aquarium by herself.  The tank has a Rena XP4 filter and a Marineland Penguin 1140 powerhead with the bubbles on.  The temperature stays at 79 degrees.
If you could recommend a treatment along with a medication that would be great.  All I have on hand is General Cure (Praziquantel and Metronidazole) and SeaChem's pure Metronidazole.  I am willing to get something else I just don't know what to try.  I will drop half the water in the 135 gallon and treat the whole tank.  <I'd include a substantial partial water change also, which is standard operating procedure with Praziquantel.  I'd try the General Cure first and observe closely for a couple of days, mainly because of suspicion of both bacterial and parasitic problems. Be sure to remove any activated carbon, and if you can get your hands on a UV sterilizer I'd put it use here for a few weeks as an extra measure.>   Thanks for your response!
<Hope it helps. That General cure didn't work last time leaves me doubting that we'll see anything different, but if you caught it earlier than the previous cases, that might be enough.  If in a couple of days you don't start to see improvement, we'll try to formulate plan B. - Rick>
-Matt

Suddenly sick cichlid, iatrogenic    7/14/12
We have a 60 gallon tank with one Pleco (maybe 12 or 14 inches long),
<Needs more room than this>

 2 blood parrot cichlids, and one convict cichlid. PH is 7.8, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 20+.
<Keep under 20 ppm. See WWM re>

Temperature is stable between 77 - 80. I noticed some algae growth around the white plastic parts of the Fluvia canister filtration system. The tank has been set up since about May and has been pretty stable, though the nitrates occasionally slip up to almost 40 where they were when I noticed the algae. I did a water change and left town two days later for a week. I used an automatic fish feeder while I was gone, set to feed twice per day. It is not the best process and the amount of food is not consistent, but I watched it for a week before and it seemed okay.
When I got back, I had full on algae bloom. I still did not see a lot of algae growth on surfaces, but the water was very green. The fish were fine, healthy looking, swimming and visiting with us, and eating the pellets and bloodworms we offered. I tested the water and everything was the same with nitrates back up around 40, PH at 8.0 and everything else at 0. I did two partial water changes which helped lower the nitrates, but did nothing to minimize the algae bloom. Two days ago, I did a 50% water change and added Algaefix.
<A mistake; toxic... PLEASE search ahead of writing us>

 Last night our convict got erratic and flapped crazily across the top of the tank. Then he returned to normal, but his feeding was off.
Today, he won't eat at all. He has gone downhill all day. This morning he was mostly swimming normally, now he is laying on the bottom of the isolation tank we put him in. His color was normal, now seems a little light. We did not notice any unusual white, now he seems to be a little powdery or velvety. His breathing is getting more and more labored.
We put him (might be a her, we don't know) in a separate tank and added Maracyn.
<Of no use here>
 I've researched many things online and don't have a good resource locally that we know of. All that I've read has rendered me quite confused.
Do I add salt or not?
<.... see WWM...>
Do I use Parasite Guard or not? Do cichlid  pellets and flakes provide enough vegetable food or do I need to ensure the fish get more (when he starts eating if I am able to save him)?
Thanks for your site and any help you can offer in this situation.
Laura
<You've written a good record of the causes of the troubles here. Too much NO3 (and likely other nutrients) due to... insufficient filtration, maintenance... Poisoning of the system w/ the algicide... Fix the environment here... Bob Fenner>

Re: Festae Breeding, now hlth. Question   6/12/12
Red Terror Problems- Maybe fish Louse

Hello WWM crew.  I'm replying back about my festae cichlid that hasn't eaten for over 3 weeks now.  I have him in a quarantine tank by himself right now and I've been treating him with General Cure made by API because I hear its a good all around treatment.  The active ingredients are Metronidazole and Praziquantel and I've been treating as the package suggests with a dose every 48 hours and a 25 percent water change before each dose.  It's been 6 days now (3 treatments).  Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, and Nitrate is 10.  He's been breathing hard and won't look at food at all so I'm only treating the water column.  I took him out of the quarantine tank today to take a look at his gills and I notices that the gills are not attached to his body on the underside and I think they should be (I've attached a photo with the area circled).
< The gills are attached to a gill arch. The whole underside of the fish between the gill covers an the body doesn't look right. It looks as though a bacteria has eaten though some of the tissues in the lower part of the gill covers.>
 The other picture I've attached shows a bulge right below his gills, although its not the best photo.  Is this the way normal gills look, I have always thought they were attached to the body on the underside?  Thank you for your help!
< Flip the fish over so you can get a better idea what the bulge is . I am thinking you might have a fish louse. It is a crustacean that may come in to the aquarium with feeder fish. The Praziquantel should take care of this problem.-Chuck

Re: Festae Breeding Question
Festae on Medications    6/19/12

Hello again, I'm pretty sure my male festae isn't going to make it.  I am now worried about my other fish as I don't want the same thing to happen to them in my main tank.  They are all still eating and I am wondering if I can dose the General Cure (Metronidazole and Praziquantel) into their food.
 Is this possible?  If so, how many mg should I put per dosage?  Should I dose the water column also?  I am also wondering if Metronidazole and Praziquantel make fish sterile?  Thanks for the help.
< Keep the water clean and try to keep the nitrates under 20 ppm. The lower the nitrogenous waste levels the better. Look for medicated foods with these medications already in them. You may have to look online to find these meds. Usually the meds are very tough on the kidneys and liver. Stay away from glass or blood worms. When treating the water column the medications may effect the bacteria that break the waste down into nitrates so a "new tank syndrome" make occur after treatments. Hope this helps.
-Chuck>
Re Festae on Medications II   6/20/12

I'm still torn between treating the tank or not.  The fish all seem ok and they have been since the other fish got sick (the other fish got sick a little over a month ago).  In your opinion, should I medicate or not?  I hear clean water is the best medication so maybe I should just keep the water clean?  You said stay away from blood worms and I'm not sure if you
are just talking about live blood worms.  Are frozen or freeze dried bloodworms OK to use?
< I agree that you should strive to maintain  a clean environment and allow the fish to fight off infections on their own. I don't recommend any type of blood or glass worms in a cichlid diet. They do just fine without it.-Chuck>

Re: Thorichthys Ellioti bloat    6/8/12
Hi guys,
it seems I've got my fourth case of bloat in a Thorichthys Ellioti coming up. A bit frustrating, it seems we have our Elliotis for about a year, then they balloon up and expire!
<Not fun>
I'd understand if the junior Elliotis got stressed out as there is a wee bit of chasing, but it's always the senior (bully) who dies...
<Perhaps a clue>
We introduced two juvenile Bristlenose Plecos about a month ago, can that be the issue?
<Shouldn't be>
 Would gladly hand them back to my LFS if that's the problem.
Our water quality is decent, but NO3 is a bit high
<How high? I'd keep under 10 ppm.
Do see WWM, the Freshwater Sub Index, re>
(London UK tap water). I've got two good filters running, loads of plants, aeration, very careful stocking... Don't know what else I can do.
I've got a bottle of Anti-internal bacteria (bronopol formaldehyde) from Interpet – is that good?
<Mmm, have not read re use of for this symptom.>
Also have some EsHA2000, suppose that won't do any good?
<What little I know re bloat/dropsical conditions, in cichlids and other FW fishes is archived here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm
Any advice? I'm really fond of my Elliotis and I hate to see them suffer.
<Yes... perhaps a bit more alkalinity, carbonate presence might help... There seems to be a correlation re>
thank you,
Fredrik
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Thorichthys Ellioti bloat   6/12/12
Bloat Problems With Thorichthys Ellioti

Hi team,
Thank you for good advice. Ruby the senior Ellioti bit the big one I'm afraid. Tried treating her with internal bacteria meds but she was too far gone. I'm aware of NO3 issues, but I can't understand how Ruby could have stayed perfectly healthy for over a year with consistent 40 ppm NO3 and then suddenly balloon and die within 48 hours?
We also had a heat wave in London a few weeks ago, and the water temperature went up from 25 to 28-29 C for a few days, that could have stressed her too I guess?
< Probably not since this is in their normal temp. range.>
My three Elliotis got along much better after our separating Ruby in the birthing cage as you suggested btw, it worked a treat. Adding liquid carbon daily for the plants. pH very stable at 8.
Pretty close to giving up on this species now, it's been my favourite all along but it's so annoying when they keep dying...many thanks, Fredrik
< Check the diet. I have found that glass or blood worms  may cause intestinal problems with some cichlids. In any case the binder of some commercial foods also may case intestinal problems. Try a change in food and see if that helps.-Chuck> 

Lethargic chocolate cichlid, poss. tumor or egg-bound?   3/20/12
Hi crew,
<Brian>
I have a five year old chocolate cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)
alone in a planted 75gal tank that has been very lethargic for a couple weeks.  The water tests out fine (ammonia and nitrite zero, nitrate ~40mg/mL,
<Too high by twice
. Please read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/NO2ContrF.htm
and the linked files above>
 pH ~7.6).  The water parameters haven't changed recently.  She has been spending most of each day lying head down, back arched, right side up, tail up.  She still responds to outside stimulus if I go up to the tank to see her, but quickly goes back to her lying down position.  I've done multiple large water changes and added carbon to the filter (which I don't usually use since the tank is planted), along with a couple tablespoons of aquarium salt.  She has been more responsive since the water changes and carbon.  The tank has been running for about five years and she's the only fish that has been in there (though there are plenty of snails).
On her right side, lower body, she appears to have an asymmetrical bulge.  I'm concerned this bulge may be due to a tumor or stuck eggs.
I know she's female since about four years ago she cleared out some gravel to nest and laid a few dozen eggs.  She has not laid eggs at all since then (compared to our blood parrot cichlid that lays eggs every four weeks like clockwork).  I've tried to capture the asymmetry of the bulge in the attached photo.  When she headstands on the gravel, she always does so with her right side (the bulging side) up, at about a 45-degree angle.  She is a very moody fish
<Common for the species>
 and at first we thought this was some kind of nesting behavior since she cleared the gravel down to the glass bottom and used that spot for her headstands for a few days.  After I covered the glass back up, she picked a new spot, moved gravel and resumed the headstands.  Now she's just doing it without a cleared spot in the gravel so it seems more like lethargy than nesting/hormonal moodiness.  Her diet is mostly Hikari cichlid feed plus occasional frozen bloodworms and fresh-caught houseflies.
<Mmm... I'd switch to Spectrum pellets, the occasional earthworm (from a clean/pesticide free area)>
She's not currently eating.
<Bad>
Can you suggest anything that might be able to help her out, or at least make her more comfortable for the time she has left?
<Perhaps the use of Epsom Salt. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
and the linked Epsom FAQ file above>
 Does anything I've said sound like an indication for a particular antibiotic? 
<Of no use here>
Would stuck eggs present as a more symmetrical bloat?
<Not necessarily, no>
I've used frozen peas for constipated fish before, any chance constipation could present asymmetrically? 
<Possibly>
I'm also considering Epsom salts, maybe in-tank, maybe a dip?
<Yes... in-tank>
Thank for your time on this question and all the others you answer!
-Brian
Vermont
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, Ca.>

Re: Lethargic chocolate cichlid, poss. tumor or egg-bound?  3/21/12
Hi Bob,
<Bri>
I appreciate your response about our chocolate cichlid.  I've slowly added 4 tbsp Epsom salts during a 15% water change to get to a bit under 1tsp/5gal and plan another tablespoon in the morning.  I had added a Rena 'Bio Chem Zorb' pouch to the canister just before the nitrate test so that plus the next few water changes should help with the nitrate levels; I'll also give the micron and coarse filter pads an extra rinse and get to a weekly schedule on replacing the micron pad (and cleaning out plant detritus) to reduce nitrate generation.
<Good>
  I will keep her in there with an extra bubbler for oxygenation and see how she does.  So far she seems less stressed than this morning before the Epsom salts.
She'll get peas the next time she looks interested in food.  I will look for Spectrum pellets, they don't sound familiar to me --
<Mmm, see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SpectrumFoodsF.htm
 I'm still on pre-Fukushima Hikari bags and was wondering what to buy next so it's great to get a recommendation.
Thanks!
-Brian, Vermont
<Welcome. BobF>

Midas Cichlid with internal bacterial/fungal infection?   12/8/11
Hi Wet Web Media Team!
<Micah>
I need help with treating my sick Midas Cichlid.  Our Midas who we affectionately call Midas (original huh!) has not eaten for three days and it's hard to tell because she won't come out from behind the rocks but she looks to have a growth or bubble on her underside.  My husband cleaned the gravel, the filter and did at least a 50% water change last night.  The levels were perfect as of last night. We have a Marineland Emperor 400 Filter with bio wheel. We inherited the fish and the fish tank from my ex-fiancé about five years ago.  Midas is approx. 8 years old.  One of the problems is that the tank is over crowded.  Like I said we inherited all of these fish, this isn't our choice to have this arrangement, but Midas is in a 75 gal tank with about 14 albino/pink convicts.
<Mmm, very likely being bullied by them>
 We have tried to give them away and no one wants them, most of our friends have nice small fish not large aggressive fish.  So we deal with it by doing frequent water changes and checking levels frequently as well.
<Good>
 I'm not sure that's enough given that Midas is now sick.
I read these two questions/answers below that are on your website which really seem to apply to the description of our Midas right now but I still have a few questions. What temperature is optimal while she is in this state?
<The mid to upper 70's F.>
 Should I transfer her to a hospital tank if I don't already have one established?  Should I use the Metronidazole and the Nitrofurazone? If I don't use a hospital tank are these medicines safe for the albino/pink cichlids and our filter system with the bio wheel?  And what is a furnace antibiotic?
<I wouldn't times two and not altogether safe, and Furanace is a Furan Compound... easy to look up/Google>
Thank you very much for your help!  We love her very much and want treat her in any way we can to save her!
Jillian   
<This fish needs to be placed in another system... Really, the root cause is social/environmental. Won't get better living w/ all these Convicts. Bob Fenner>

Green Terror with swollen anal area    5/23/11
Hi Crew
<Tim>
I have a Green Terror that has suddenly developed a 1cm round bulge around its anal area.
<Ouch!>
It is still active and I saw it do a thin red poop. Other than that, there is nothing else protruding out of its
anus.
Its tummy also looks bloated, almost like a block.
<I wonder what it swallowed... if anything>
Is it likely to be anything more than constipation and is there more I should do other than put in some Epsom salt (I tried peas, which were ignored).
Cheers
Tim
<IF you're sufficiently worried, AND this fish begins eating something, I might try "lacing" the food w/ Metronidazole (for possible Protozoans) and likely Praziquantel (or other anthelminthic) for worm parasites. Concentrations, rationale are posted on WWM for. Bob Fenner>
Re: Green Terror with swollen anal area    5/23/11
Thanks Bob.
<Hey Tim>
Maybe the attached picture will provide a better idea of what is going on. Any change to your diagnosis?
<Mmm, no... again, could be some sort of gut blockage only... or possibly parasitic involvement>
There is nothing small enough for it to swallow
<Not even gravel? Perhaps a "bug that fell in"...>
and no fish missing (eaten by it). I do have fine sand though - could it be swallowing mouthfuls of those when scooping up pellets?
<Yes>
Cheers
Tim
<Hopefully this too shall pass. BobF>

Parachromis managuensis orange material   10/6/10
Orange Mass With Managuense

Hi, Great page!!! I have a pair of Parachromis managuensis in a 500 l. plastic outdoor water
cylindrical tank, male is 35 cm. female is 25 cm.
My question is, At the bottom, there is a loose mass of orange like material (NOT EGGS) and the
parents did not display any behavior associated to spawning or egg caring (fanning etc) only the male hassle a bit the female, head bumping, a bit chasing'¦Could this material be some kind of pre-spawn substance?
Thanks in advance, Gustavo pd: if you answer, please send it here, and then you can post it. Thanks very
much.
< No pre-spawn. With cichlids it is usually all or nothing. I suspect that something is falling in the water since your tank is outside, or it is some indigestible fecal matter from the food you are feeding. It may have indigestible plant parts in it. Look at the label for things like corn etc...-Chuck>
Re: Parachromis manguensis orange material
Orange Mass With Managuense II   10/6/10

Thanks Chuck, I think you are right since I was giving them Koi pellets, high in wheat...
the thing is that they are rejecting small frozen fish, only eating spiders I give them. I guess they are a bit confused yet, only 5 days in the tank since I got them from a friend of mine...What other food do you suggest?
Thanks once again, Gustavo
< I would go with a high quality pellet and flake food that is made specifically for cichlids.>

Sensory Pores, HLLE, New World Cichlids  3/1/10
Hello Crew,
I have noticed as of late that there are small pin hole sized pores on the front of my Severum and Festivum. The water is a touch hard for those species but I am looking into an RO unit. I have read that these cichlids have what are called Sensory Pores that they use to detect changes in their surroundings. I cannot seem to get any other information other then that it may be Hole in the Head. How can I tell the difference? My nitrates are consistently at 20ppm or lower. The tank has been cycled for a year and is well established. The holes are perfectly symmetrical and for every hole on the left side of the face there is an equally sized and exactly symmetrical hole on the other side. Thanks in advance for your greatly appreciated advice.
Sincerely,
Phill
<Hello Phill. Generally, sensory pores are extremely small, and they don't suddenly appear out of nowhere. They also appear to match the background colour of the fish. Damaged pores, as you get from Hole-in-the-head, tend
to be larger and often appear white because skin (or flesh) below the coloured layer of the skin is exposed. Since the pores do become infected, the Hole-in-the-head lesions can appear symmetrical because the pores are
symmetrical. It's important to catch Hole-in-the-head early, and treatment needs to involve both medication (Metronidazole) plus correction of whatever dietary or water quality issues might be going on. Since Severums
are herbivores in the wild, it's important they get plenty of fresh greens.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebindex/hexoctfwfs.htm
Neither of these species is fussy about water chemistry, though they do come from soft water in the wild. I'd be more mindful of nitrate level, as this is more often the cause of sickness with large cichlids. Cheers, Neale.>
Hi Phill--
I accidentally responded to your e-mail without first placing into my own box to prevent it from being answered by anyone else! As a result, you've probably received two responses. I've deleted my own from WWM's inbox to
avoid any confusion, so I wanted to let you know that you only have to respond to one, not both! Feel free to respond to Neale's, since he seemed to think the situation more serious than I did, so is probably more familiar with the issue and more aware of its ability to appear benign but turn negative. Therefore, he would be the better person for you to speak to! I just wanted to clarify what was going on! Sorry for any confusion!
--Melinda
Re: Sensory Pores
Hi Neale,
Thanks for the help.
<My pleasure.>
I will get on that medication asap. As for the fresh greens....any good examples that will boost his diet?
<All sorts of things are good. Cheap aquarium plants are one way to go, as with Goldfish. Otherwise tinned peas, cooked spinach, Sushi Nori, even small pieces of soft fruit. Feel free to try out whatever salads you have at home, perhaps zapping in the microwave (or blanching with boiling water) to soften them up a bit. The goal is to have at least some greenery available for the Severum to munch on whenever he/she wants, rather as is the case with Surgeonfish, another group very prone to Hole-in-the-Head.>
I just added some Anacharis which I was told they will eat readily. I also add herbivore pellets and omnivore pellets once a week. Should I bump the herbivore pellets to twice weekly as I do see him eating that as well?
<For Severums, it's a good idea to balance the diet about 50/50 between green foods and meaty. I'd sooner use Spirulina flake and algae wafers as the staples than standard fish food, but regular offerings of fibre-rich wet-frozen krill and other whole invertebrates would certainly be worthwhile. On the other hand, try to avoid protein-rich, fibre-poor foods like beef heart, fish fillet and shelled seafood. You might use these as a treat two or three times a month, but no more than that. Severums do seem prone to digestive tract problems including things like prolapses and bloating, so making sure there's lots of indigestible matter in their diet is probably useful in the long run. It's also worth mentioning that the red colouration on these fish comes from the carotene in crustacean skeletons, among other things, so the more unshelled krill, Mysis and brine shrimp in their diet, the prettier they'll be.>
Thanks again.
Phill
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sensory Pores
Hi again Neale,
<Hello!>
Sounds great. I have been doing flake (M.W,F) and Cichlid Attack pellets (T, Th, Sat) and algae wafers/Omni wafers Sundays with frozen bloodworms nightly.
<Sounds good to me.>
I'll replace some of the flakes with wafers and add some more Anacharis. He also seems to like my Crypt balansae plants.
<I bet! Do try Indian Fern, as this stuff seems very palatable and grows so fast (and so easily) that it also helps mop up nitrate and control algae.
Amazon Frogbit also seems to be edible.>
Are the bloodworms ok or are they going along the same lines as the beef heart and could harm his digestive tract?
<Bloodworms contain a lot of indigestible matter. In fact I seem to recall they're only around 4-5% protein, with a good part of the rest being indigestible chitin and harmless water. So they're a good, natural food. In fact almost anything "whole" is good, at least in terms of fibre content and moisture, so problems with constipation are less likely. There are some who argue that top quality prepared foods are safer and better, and you can find such discussions elsewhere at WWM. But me, I reckon the more varied the diet, and the stronger the accent on providing green foods to herbivorous/omnivorous fish, the better. Much as with humans. There's much discussion about carbs, fat and sugar and all that good stuff, but you can actually optimise human nutrition by heeding just five words: eat more fruit and vegetables. Do that, and everything else takes care of itself.
Same with cichlids. Most cichlids are at least partially herbivorous, so anything you can do to get more greens into them improves their colour, vitality and disease resistance in the long term.>
Thanks.
Phill
<Cheers, Neale.>

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