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FAQs on Parrot, Jelly-Bean... Cichlids, Disease Treatments   

FAQs on Parrot Disease: Parrot Cichlid Health 1, Parrot Cichlid Disease 2, Parrot Cichlid Disease 3, Parrot Cichlid Disease 4,
FAQs on Parrot Cichlid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic,

Related Articles: Blood Parrots & Flowerhorn Cichlids: maintenance and healthcare of two popular hybrid cichlids by Neale Monks, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Parrot Cichlids 1, Parrot Cichlids 2, Parrot Cichlid Identification, Parrot Cichlid Behavior, Parrot Cichlid Compatibility, Parrot Cichlid Selection, Parrot Cichlid Systems, Parrot Cichlid Feeding, Parrot Cichlid Reproduction,


Blood Red Cichlid needs help   7/11/13
As you can see by the attached pic, my blood red has had this  hanging out of it for over a month..The fish has lost or is losing its color. Appetite etc seems normal and the three other blood reds in the tank are doing fine. How can I help this situation?  Lene
<This would appear to be a prolapseā€¦ invariably a function of poor environment and inappropriate diet. Medicate with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. Do read here for more:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/OscarDisF8.htm , searching for "prolapse" on that page for examples of this situation. Cheers, Neale

Re: Blood Red Cichlid needs help   7/11/13
Thank you very much. I've already found a place here that carries what you've recommended so ill be taking care of the situation ASAP.
Mahalo, Lene
<Good luck with the treatment.>
Sent from my paddle board..I wish!!
<Ha! Cheers, Neale.>

Blood Red Cichlid needs help   7/13/13
> Bloated Red Parrot Cichlid

> As you can see by the attached pic, my blood red has had this  hanging out of it for over a month..The fish has lost or is losing its color.
Appetite etc seems normal and the three other blood reds in the tank are doing fine. How can I help this situation?  lene
< Your Parrot cichlid has an internal blockage that has developed into a prolapsed anus. The internal pressure is usually caused from bacteria in the gut breaking down the food in the intestines or a fatty liver from a poor diet. Since he is still eating I would recommend placing him in a hospital tank and putting him on a diet of fish food with a vegetable base like a Spirulina flake. Watch that the prolapsed tissues don't become infected or damaged. so add a little salt to the water to keep a protective slim over the tissues. Chuck.
Re: Blood Red Cichlid needs help   7/13/13

Thank you Chuck, i will do so and I already have the medication that another of your crew members suggested. I'll let you know how this turns out.
Re: Blood Red Cichlid needs help     8/1/13
Bloated Parrot Cichlid Doing Better and foods/fdg./nutr.

Just wanted to thank you'll for your advise. My cichlid of interest  is doing well! I have them all on Spirulina flakes, bloodworms and cichlids pellets.  Alternating the variety. Also the prolapsed anus is "gone"  not sure how that happened..would it have gone back into the body?
<Yes, it was reabsorbed into the body cavity.>
 It's color still fades occasionally, then returns...any suggestions for that?
< I would feed the bloodworms sparingly. Watch the fish carefully after each different food is fed and see if there is a correlation between the type of food and the loss of color.>
 The other3 blood reds are doing fine.
 < Glad to hear we were able to help.-Chuck>
Re: Blood Red Cichlid needs help    /RMF Oops      8/2/13

Why sparingly with the bloodworms?
<Linked/links to disease... as you were directed, search WWM re>
 Just  curious..and  are there other foods you would suggest, frozen or otherwise?
<... this too; along w/ Foods FAQs for Parrot Cichlids. B>
Re: Blood Red Cichlid needs help, fdg.       8/2/13

So, I though<t> about my feeding routine. In the morning its either the Spirulina flakes or pellets and in the evening its the frozen blood worms..as for the fish in question, it's color is darkest  in the mornings  (after the evening bloodworms) any suggestions for a routine?
<Twice a day is fine... I'd offer meaty foods in the AM; giving fishes time to find, consume all. B>
Link Re: Blood Red Cichlid foods/feeding/nutr.      8/2/13
Re: Link Re: Blood Red Cichlid foods/feeding/nutr.     8/2/13

Okay I'll switch them around! Thanks!
<Ah good. Welcome. BobF>

Red Parrot Cichlid swimming on its side 12/11/11
Hi WWM team,
I have a tank of 4 red parrot cichlids and 2 clown loaches in a 15 gallon tank.
<Is this a mistake? Do you mean 150 gallons? There is no way you can keep all these fish healthy in 15 gallons of water.>
The parrots are about the size of an adult palm, and the clown loaches are about 7cm in length.
<Much too large for 15 gallons.>

For the past 4 days, one of the parrots began having problems keeping its balance, and have since been floating on its side at the top of the tank.
<Could be several things. Constipation is one. Blood Parrots are deformed fish, and constipation causes them especially serious problems. All fish can lose their balance when constipated, but Blood Parrots, like Fancy Goldfish, are affected more quickly and more severely because their digestive tracts and swim bladders are deformed.>
It continues to feed, although eats less than it usually would, and is still responsive when I trace my fingers on the tank. It has lost some colour, but very minimally, and still looks alright and its eyes are still clear.
Because it is floating at the top of the tank on its side, one side of its fin keeps flapping air and water and I am very afraid that if this keeps up, one side could end up drying.
<A very real problem.>
Would love to have some advise, and know if this condition is fatal to the fish.
<Not necessarily. Do read:
My other parrots and loaches appear fine and not affected by the floating parrot. They also did not bully or harass it.
Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red Parrot Cichlid swimming on its side 12/11/11

Hi Neale,
Thank you for your prompt response! Yes, it was a typo. 150 gallons. I will try changing the variety of plants and tweaking their diet to see if that helps :)
<Real good. Cooked peas and spinach are usually taken by Blood Parrots and most other fish, especially if these fish are starved for a few days beforehand. Live brine shrimp and live daphnia have a laxative effect, too.
Epsom salt (not regular salt) is very, very useful in these situations;
read towards the end of the follow page:
Cheers, Neale.>

Drastic action to save Red Parrot Cichlid
Red Parrot Cichlid Egg Bound - 10/10/10

My 6 year old Red Parrot Cichlid, for the second time in two years, has become egg bound and/or constipated. She is in fine health at other times, laying every two weeks or so. But these two times have almost killed her.
I've resorted, both times, to catching her in a net, placing her on a towel, and literally pulling the clog (which is a gel, incased in a rather strong, clear skin...and in which I can see eggs) out of her with tweezers.
Afterward, she has huge bowel movements for two days, but immediately seems to feel much better. When I say huge, I mean they are as big around as a pencil, and almost as long. I have tried lower protein foods, and she seems fine until...Is there anything you can suggest that I can do to prevent this? I've just had my water tested, my numbers are good, her only tank mates are a Tropheus and a Peacock cichlid, and they've all been together for years. My water temp is constant. I feel like I need to add something to
her diet. Can you please help me?
< Usually internal infections cause a blockage of the intestinal tract. I usually recommend a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. If you fish is still eating then this combination can be found in medicated foods.
It is interesting that you found eggs in the clog you removed. The infection is sometimes caused by stress or food that the bacteria in the gut cannot break down.-Chuck>

Help with blood parrot fish fungus -- 3/14/10
Dear Sir/Madam
One of my Blood Parrots Fish, who is about 10 years old,
<A good long time to be alive for this sport/hybrid>
has developed what looks like a white fluffy fungus in the inside of the lower lip.
<I see this in your pix>
He is off food and doesn't really move much..

I have a 400 litre tank with 3 parrots fish and never really had any problems with them.
What could it be?
<I do think it/this is an infection (bacterial likely rather than fungal/mycological)... resultant from a mechanical injury>
Could it infects the other 2 fish?
<Only if they suffer the same sort of physical trauma, the system water quality fail>
Can you help me?
Kind Regards
<I would urge patience here... Just "waiting" while assuring optimal conditions would be the best approach to a cure. Use of chemical medicines is likely to prove more detrimental. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with blood parrot fish fungus -- 3/14/10
Dear Bob, thank for your prompt reply...I must be doing something right as my other 2 parrots are almost 14 years old and never really had any problems with them.
I spoke to my local fish store's manager and he gave me Protozin.
<Mmm, again... I would not use anything...>
Since using it, I must say I have noticed a huge improvement.
<Likely would be the same sans treatment... perhaps better>
For start the fluffiness has gone done a lot and the fish is no longer hiding . I think I'll carry on with it as it says it is not harmful to the fish or the plants.
Thanks you so much for your advice though
<Thank you, BobF>

Enlarged belly in parrot cichlid
Parrot Cichlid With Enlarged Stomach -- 02/25/10

As you can see in the picture, my blood parrot's been having that enlarged belly from 2 months. Initially we thought it was just overfeeding, but even after we lessened the quantity of food, the belly remained. And to add to our worries, it looks like its papilla is always out, or maybe something's wrong with its anus (honestly, its been worrying me a lot).
Its tank mates are 2 sharks and another parrot. Recently I had to transfer 2 gouramis and a Pleco to this tank from another, as the Oscar in the other tank used to beat the hell out of these fellows. Diet is pellets, freeze-dried worms once a month, and occasionally steamed rice from our dinner (the steamed rice may be the culprit, please advise).
One more thing. about an year back, I almost lost the parrot due to asphyxiation. We were moving from our old place, so we had kept him and another parrot in a bucket. and they were without air for almost 5 hrs. We lost one guy, but this guy was almost gone but we put him in fresh water in the nick of time and he lived. Since then his growth rate has slowed drastically. After the other parrot died we got another small one for his company. the new guy was almost half the old guys size. but now both are of the same size. any reason for this stunted growth?. Water quality is good but is a bit hard. tank size=>3ftX1ftX1.5ft sharks are 8 inches long, parrots are 5 n half inches long. Please suggest a good remedy.
Thanks A Million!! Sharath, INDIA
P.S-We don't get good branded fish medicine here, so bear this in mind.
< Do a 50% water change, clean the filters and vacuum the gravel. Treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace, you might get these from a vet in your area. They are available online from Drsfostersmith.com. Treat every other day and do a 50% water between every treatment. Feed after the treatment. If he is eating then that is a good sign.-Chuck>

Parrot Cichlid With Strange Growth on Throat  5/11/09
Hello. If you could help me I would be ever so grateful. I have a beautiful red parrot fish and not everyone on another forum is happy to answer any questions on its health that I have.
His water conditions are perfect but for 8 days he has not eaten anything and shies/hides away from me. I put this down to a knock on his tank but I now fear it is something more sinister.
Under his mouth in the loose folds of skin that Parrot fish have he has a white lump. For all the world it looks like gravel but I fear it may be a tumour are perhaps fungi. I have been treating the tank with Melafix and Pimafix since I noticed this lump. I have also done gentle water changes to see if that helps. On the whole I am leaving him alone as I don't want to stress him out. He was never a shy fish before and would attack you through the glass if you walked in front of his tank. I have included some pictures for you to ponder over. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and look forward to hearing from you in due course. Regards
Ann, Scotland.
<Thanks for the photos. Very interesting symptoms on your little parrot fish. There may be a tumor on the thyroid gland. This is caused by lack of iodine. If you have soft water then you may need to add some minerals to the water, especially if you have very pure water. The second cause may be a problem to the second set of jaws called the pharyngeal bone. They may have been damaged or gotten infected from eating something in the tank. Net the fish out to see if there is something blocking the mouth and throat. A
last ditch solution would be to isolate the fish and treat with a broad spectrum antibiotic like Furanace. The parrot cichlid is not a fish found in nature and sometimes comes down with unusual problems.-Chuck>

Blood Parrot With Growth on Forehead 3/24/09
I attached a picture showing the growth The 1st day the fish looked like someone took a spoon and flattened out some mashed potatoes In between its eyes Then 2nd day a growth started to appear with white spots Then third day is the picture is attached I looked closely and when the fish got excited I noticed blood coming from the infected area.
The fish lives in a one hundred gallon tank with cichlids and other fish alike its own.
I raised the tanks temperature to 95 not sure if this will help or not.
I'm trying to keep this from spreading to other fish in the tank Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks Mark Byrns
< Looks like there may have been some trauma to the area. Could of bumped his head on an ornament the area got infected. I would recommend placing the fish in a hospital tank and treating with Nitrofuranace. If not better in a few days then send a better picture of the head if possible for a better assessment of the area.-Chuck>

Missing scales and hurting front fin -12/14/07 Hi to all, Your website is the most informative website on fish that I have come across so far. I went through your fresh water disease chart and tried to diagnose what it happening with our fish but I cant find anything that fully matches what's happening. I have attached the best picture I could get of the fish. <A very nice pic> I know that you are not fond of parrotfish, but the ones that we have we rescued from my cousin without really knowing about the fish itself. Anyways, our largest parrot that we have had for a year has in the last three days been losing it's scales around it's gills and its not using it's left front fin and the fin has a whitish look to the base of it (lymph?) <Mmm, no> His gills seem to be curling backwards towards it mouth a little and the fin that he is not using is becoming frayed. Also its going lighter colored in some areas, kind of randomly on the fish. The spots in the picture are air bubbles that seem to be attaching themselves to him. At the beginning we thought that it was Ick because we thought that we saw a few little white spots on the other parrots but those spots are gone and everyone else in the tank seems fine. Its a 72gal sumped to a extra 20 gal. below. The water is meticulously tested and it has been up and running for a year. It has 2 404 Fluvals w/o carbon, but with filter media and bioballs in them. There are 3 parrots 2x2.5' 1x4', 5 albino Cory cats, 2 Plecos, 1 striped cat, 5 upside down cats, and 6 little tetras. <Surprised these haven't been consumed> The LFS that we went to suggested to treat the tank with CopperSafe thinking it was Ick, <No, I would NOT do this> but it's getting worse and doesn't seem to sound like true Ick. The temperature is 79, the PH is 7.2 and the nitrates, nitrites and ammonia all come back low to none. The parrots get fed, Spirulina algae flake and blood parrot pellets and blood worms, we mix up what they get fed so they get a few variations. They get fed every second day. Please let us know what to do with our parrot, he's so friendly he's like a dog in the tank and I would be very upset if we cant get him to be better. Thanks for all your help! Carly <Is strange... but this one fish does appear to be suffering from a "bacterial" complaint... as if it were badly damaged... like caught, dropped on the floor... Was this fish recently handled, netted? And with the other fishes not suffering similar complaint... I would just do my/your best to maintain good water quality here... and hope for the best. Remedies will likely do more harm to the system, livestock en toto, than good. IF you have/had another system, I might attempt a therapy with sulfa drugs and elevated temperature, but would NOT do this in your main display. Bob Fenner>

Re: missing scales and hurting front fin -12/14/07 Thanks for your time, he hasn't been handled at all since he moved into the tank a year ago. We did remove the plant that the Plecos and catfish use to hide in last weekend it wasn't doing so well and they have taken over the parrot's cave now. Is there a possibility that they have been attaching to him and eating his slime coat, causing a infection? <Not likely the "Pleco"... but what is the other catfish, specifically?> I have heard of this happening but I haven't seen this behaviour in our tank, at least with the lights on and out in the open. It is on both sides of him in the same place though, but his left side is definitely worse and involves his front fin. His tummy seems to be sloughing off what looks like peeling dry skin. (I only observed this after we trapped him and separated him in the tank.) <I am going to semi-reverse myself, and urge you to treat this Parrot... in another established setting... at higher temperature (the low to mid 80's F) and with a Furan compound. Perhaps Nitrofurazone... Please see WWM re cautionary remarks, instructions for use. BobF>

Re: missing scales and hurting front fin, Parrot   12/18/07 Hi Bob F, Sorry about the repetitive email but every time I come home the poor guy looks worse. The cat fish are the upside down catfish (I don't know if that's their technical name) and albino Cory cats. <This Synodontis and the Corydoras catfishes are not provocateurs here> Please see the new attached picture, the shedding skin seems to be heading down his back. My husband treated the main tank (AHH) with erythromycin while I was at work, which I didn't know he was doing, will that be as effective as your suggestion of Nitrofurazone or should we change to that? <I would change> and is it okay to after we already added the EM? <I would do water changes, allow some time to cycle out, use activated carbon in your filter flow path...> Thank you for all your helpful advice, sorry it didn't get to me before I got home. Thanks Carly <Please see/read on WWM re antibiotic/antimicrobial use. BobF>

Re: missing scales and hurting front fin  12/19/07 Bob, Unfortunately we had to put him down on Saturday, it got really aggressively worse and he wasn't able to stay under water without lying on his side and gasping :( Thanks for all your help anyways! Carly <Thank you for this follow up Carly. Bob Fenner>

Parrot Cichlids With Hole-In-The-Head - 2/28/2006 HELP. About two months ago My 2 parrots who are around 2.5 years old - we had them from babies, started to develop fungus type 'sores' on their head (no where else, and none of my other Cichlids have this problem) then it disappeared only to return again and now I need help. I treated them for Velvet, Fungus, Hole in the head etc., to no avail. Although my water qualities etc., were fine, water temp was tried at between 24-28 (this was double checked by Maidenhead Aquatics) I changed to the fish shops own water in the hope it would make a difference - it didn't. I have not added any new fish, gravel, plants etc., Food is still the same dried in morning and frozen in evening (Krill, bloodworms, Mysis, Green food, Artemia etc). I do a water change every week, (sucking up all pop from gravel in process) I have tried to do it daily, every other day, weekly and even longer - no difference. The last month 'his' sore has got bigger and does not seem to be responding to anything. He is eating well and his stools are normal. For the last month, 'he' has started to hang round the top of the tank as if trying to get more oxygen, rapid gill movement (compared to the other parrot) and generally looking off colour doesn't really want to move, and when he dose it looks like he hasn't got full balance, although he eats well, and moves fast and straight into the caves when startled. The other parrot I am sure knows something isn't right as she is hanging below him instead of her usual haunt the caves. I have a 5' tank and an external Fluval 404 pump. I am an experienced Cichlid keeper but was given these fish from my son, they are magnificent and very clever and cunning. I have no trouble between my fish what's so ever, if anything the parrots rule the tank, or at least did. I have photos of his head if it will help anyone to help me. My local fish shop said that as they are a hybrid fish, they are not as healthy and tolerant to changes as the normal cichlid and that they don't know much about them as they don't and never will stock these fish. < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. The drug of choice is Metronidazole, but you need to get it inside the fish. Take some live Calif black worms or Tubifex and wash them very well. Place them in a disposable plastic cup or bowl. Drain off most of the water. Add Metronidazole to the worms. It should kill the worms. Immediately feed them to your affected fish. You know it is working when the pits turn black. This disease is thought to be caused by stress. Things like dirty water or a lack of minerals/ vitamins have also been thought of as a cause. If the fish are not eating then treat the water . It may help but will not be as effective as getting the medication inside the fish.-Chuck>
Hole-In-The-Head Cichlid Photos  - 3/1/2006 Thanks for this advise, did you see the second email I sent to you from home last night with photos on this fishes head - showing this complaint?  It may help, also do you think it is Hole in the Head or Fungus etc????  Many thanks  Sheena Jolliffe < We got the photos and the reply is still the same. They are posted on the site.-Chuck>

Parrot Cichlid Swimming Strangely 6/31/05 I have a 4 year old red blooded parrot. I have purchased about 6 fish only because I have a 125 gallon aquarium and it was starting to look empty. I only have about 12 fish in there but for some reason the female parrot, the one that is 4 has started swimming upside down, she gets up anytime I get close to the aquarium and is eating normally, but hangs out at the bottom in a corner upside down. What is wrong with her, if anything? < Your parrot cichlid may have an internal bacterial infection. I would isolate her into a smaller tank and treat her with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

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