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

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, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

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,


Cichlid Question     8/13/13
Hey guys!
I have a question after reading your FAQ page. I have one Jellybean Cichlid I've had for over 10 years. He is in a 75 gallon tank. Water quality is great, feeding pellet food, has been healthy. Last week stopped eating.
Swimming slower and hiding a bit more. Did a 25% water change (last water change was 2 weeks ago).  Filters working well.  Did another water change last night.  He started to look bloated and still wasn't eating so I removed the carbon and added Metron to the tank per the directions - that was last night.
Now he is upside down at the bottom of the tank, gasping for air, and he color is very deep orange.  What am I doing wrong?
<Hello Brenda. The short answer is that without seeing the fish and reviewing its aquarium, it's hard to be sure. But some factors are worth considering:
(1) Constipation can and does cause problems for fish, especially "deformed" varieties like fancy Goldfish and Blood Parrot (= Jellybean) cichlids. The problem for these fish is that their spines are deformed and their swim bladders displaced, and these factors make is difficult for them to balance properly. Constipation is, of course, a solid lump in the digestive tract, and if that causes the centre of mass to shift, it's possible for the fish to find it difficult to maintain its correct orientation. Some writers here at WWM refer to this as "floaty, bloaty goldfish" syndrome. Diet is often the key factor, a lack of fibre being what causes constipation, and both Goldfish and Blood Parrots (indeed, most cichlids) would be partly or primarily herbivorous in the wild, so given a processed diet based around flakes and meaty foods like bloodworms, they often end up constipated. It's easily fixed though; read here:
(2) Water quality is another issue. Your fish is fairly old, cichlids of this size and origins tending to live for around 10-12 years, sometimes more. A water quality "dip" that might have been shrugged off by a younger fish could be hard work, even fatal, to an older fish. Keeping up with water changes, and certainly ensuring 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, will go a long way to putting this right. Provided no other symptoms (like Finrot) appear, there's no treatment necessary, just time and good water quality.
Do also ensure the water has moderate hardness to buffer against pH drops between water changes. Blood Parrots are hybrids of uncertain origins but likely from Central American cichlids, so you're aiming for 10-20 degrees dH, pH 7-8. Exact values don't matter, but water chemistry should be staple, and rapid pH drop in particular can make hard water cichlids go "loopy", spinning about as if they can't control themselves.
In short, monitor water quality, add some Epsom salt, and switch to a greens-based diet until the fish recovers. Nothing difficult or expensive!
Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Cichlid Question     8/13/13

Thank you for the advice.
Unfortunately he died last night.
<Sorry to hear this.>
He was the last parrot fish in my tank.. I used to have two of the same age. The last one passed away about 3 months ago under similar
<I see.>
 I do partial water changes every 2 to 3 weeks and change the filters at that time.  A day or two later I check the water quality... this time the nitrates and nitrites were both at 0.  the ammonia level was also 0, pH 8.5, but the alkalinity was high (>300) even after 3 partial water changes.
 These tests were done using test strips... should I lower the alkalinity and pH?  I was under the impression that parrot fish like a higher pH...
<They do; if water chemistry is stable and alkaline, I wouldn't worry too much about the precise values. In other words, if you've had success with Central American cichlids in this kind of water, and you have, stick with it. Of course, yes, this water is not ideal for, say, South American cichlids.>
Now I'm trying to decide if I should add new fish to the tank... I cleaned it today and will let it sit a day or two before checking the water again.
I'm worried that I'm missing something and I don't want to subject new fish to whatever's wrong.
Any further advice?  I already miss my fish:(
<If the tank is empty, keep adding pinches of fish flake every couple days to give the biological filter something to feed on, otherwise the bacteria will die back.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

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>

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