Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Cichlid Disease Treatment  

Related Articles: Cichlid FishesFreshwater Fish Diseases, Freshwater DiseasesIch/White Spot Disease, Freshwater Medications

FAQs on Cichlid Disease:  Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease 2, Cichlid Disease 3, Cichlid Disease 4
FAQs on Cichlid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Pathogenic, Parasitic, Trauma,

Related FAQs: African Cichlid Disease, Oscar Disease/Health, Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesIch/White Spot DiseaseCichlids in General, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Reproduction, Dwarf South American Cichlids, African Cichlids, Angelfishes, Discus, Chromides, Neotropical CichlidsOscars, Flowerhorns


Cichlids With Cloudy Eyes -- 1/27/10
I have 2 cichlids in a 29 gal tank. We've had them 5 or so years. (They ate all the other fish that were in there within a week and anything else we would try.) One of them developed a cloudy film over its eye. I thought it looked as though his eye had rotted out. Pretty gross! My husband is the primary care taker of the tank. I let him know and he put some salt in the tank. I just kept watching the fish. Then I realized the eye was still there. It was just a film over the eye. The film had come loose on one side and it looked like it was getting better until it spread to the other eye.
The first infected eye now has a cotton ball looking stuff on it. The fish is pitiful. It stays in one spot usually, doesn't act interested when fed (or doesn't know there is food) and today it just runs into the walls/plastic plants like its blind (which I'm sure it is). Now the other fish has the film over its eyes. I don't' know what to do or where to start.
I have read everything I can get my hands on, but nothing I've read fits exactly. Is it fungus, pop-eye, TB, bacteria, or what? What do I do about it? .... and I hate to ask this, but when is it too late to do anything?
And if it's too late, just exactly what do I do? These poor fish are just getting worse and I can't wait for someone else (who is supposed to be taking care of the tank) to do something about it. Please help me to help them. Thanks!
< First thing is check the water quality. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero and the nitrates should be under 20 ppm. It is probably bad so do a fifty percent water change and clean the filters. Next week do a twenty -five percent water change and vacuum the gravel.. If no improvement is seen then treat with Nitrofurazone. It treats both bacteria and fungus. When the cloudy eyes clear up you will be able to determine if your fish is blind or not.-Chuck>

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

Green Terror Sick? 7/12/05 Hello Guys, I need to ask a question here. I have a male green terror & have had him for about 10  months now. I bought him when he was a baby, 3 inches long, and he is now a healthy 7 inches long, 3 inches from top to bottom and about 1-1/2 inches thick. A real bruiser.  He used to eat everything in sight, always coming to the top of the tank to greet me and see what I brought him. But for the past week, he is just laying around, and I have not seen him eating anything. He is in the tank (150 gallons) with 1 female red terror, 3 Frontosas, and 2 clown loaches, and 4 small Cory cats. Nobody is showing any aggression, <Not at least that you've seen...> not out of the normal anyway. He has not lost any color, or any weight, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what the problem is. I checked all of my water parameters, and everything is just perfect. I do have a sand bottom, (sand blasting sand). It has never presented a problem, and I have live plants growing like weeds in there. All I have seen him do is move from one location in the morning, to a different one at night. He does not come up to the top anymore, or even go midway up. A friend of mine told me that cichlids grow like the dickens until a certain point, then they slow down considerably, and just sit around. <Mmm, to some extent this is so> The food I have been feeding all this time has been beef heart, bloodworms, nightcrawlers, small guppies ( occasionally ) Mysis shrimp, pieces of thawed shrimp, mussels, and some pieces of krill. <A good mix> It just seems like he has lost the will to function anymore. He doesn't act like he has a parasite or anything, no jerking, twitching, or thrashing around, just sits on the bottom, and does nothing. I fear if he keeps this up, he will eventually be found floating from having died during the night. All of the other fish are as normal as ever. What can I do to save my prized fish? I thank you for any advice you have. Your website has been a godsend for other information I have needed, and I do appreciate you guys. Nervous about my fish. Dan Simpson <Well, "when in doubt... do a water change". I would take out and replace a good 25% of your system water here, add some liquid vitamins to the water, the foods of the day... and hope for the best. If the fish doesn't eat in another week or so, I'd try moving it to another system... perhaps there is some interaction going on... Bob Fenner>

Cichlid rubbing several of my cichlids are rubbing against things what should I do? <Do a 30 % water change and service the filter. When you change the water try and vacuum the gravel to remove the crud that has accumulated there. Check the nitrates too. Add a teaspoon of rock salt per 10 gallons of water to aid the fishes to create a protective slime on their skin.-Chuck>

Re: Parrot cichlid extremely bloated-can you please help? Thank you!  I actually treated the tank last night with Paragon II, which treats many different kinds of bacteria and is supposed to be especially effective on the cichlid family.  I have used it before to treat ich and white spot. I changed about 25% of the water, prior to treating, per the instructions and will change it again after treatment. I will get some fresh food too.   I keep the tank clean, and partially change the water regularly, so the water wasn't dirty but it could be the food or temp.  I did notice the temp a few degrees higher than I usually keep it, so I may have bumped the heater and turned it up by accident.  I will gradually drop it down a couple degrees to see if that helps too.  Thank you so much for the response and advice.  I really appreciate it!   Great website by the way!  < Check the label for the medications in the paragon II. Metronidazole is very effective on anaerobic bacteria. Hope this helps and thanks for your kind words about the website.-Chuck>  

Terrified for my Terrors I have been viewing your site for a few weeks now and it has been soooo helpful to me, however, I can't seem to find the answer to what is wrong with my Green Terrors. I have searched all over the web and one site says one thing while another says something completely opposite! So I came to you for help!  The very first fish my husband and I bought was a green terror. We had him in a 55gal. We fell in love with him instantly and decided to by his tank mate at the store we bought him. About a month after we started to noticed long white stringy feces coming from one of them. We had other cichlids in the tank at the time, but they did not seem affected. They both had an excellent appetite. Then slowly, the smaller of the two started refusing food.  During this time we upgraded to a 125 gallon and as soon as we transferred them, both their appetites diminished. Slowly they started acting scared of us and they started hiding in corners and rocks. Our LFS told us they were probably a mating pair or they were stressed from moving and that was the reason why they were acting strange. We questioned them on the abnormal feces and they asked us if we had changed their diet. We did try feeding them a variety of things just to turn them back on to food. The LFS then told us the change in fecal matter was most likely due to the change in food.  Not knowing at the time much about fish and sicknesses we thought the LFS was right, after all, they make a living in the fish world. Boy was I wrong! And needless to say, we have learned our lesson that when it comes to the slightest change in fish behavior or appearance, chances are something is wrong.  I started doing my research online a couple of weeks ago when I really started to worry that they hadn't eaten in a long time. That is when we also started treatments with Internal Parasite Clear after finding the info online that we had internal parasites. During this time, we had moved them both into a hospital tank. That was 3 weeks ago. After trying 3 other medications there is still no improvement in the fish.  I have called around to several different fish suppliers, and found tons of info online on what they could have. I was told they could have Hole in the Head, Spironucleus, Hexamita, or wasting disease, and to treat with treatments such as salts, Metro, Pimafix etc. I have tried them all with no success. It has been well over a month since they have eaten any food, yet they are still hanging on, although I know they have got to be suffering. I am asking you please for some advice on what I can do. Is it hopeless that these fish can be treated? Do you know what they have? The symptoms other than white stringy feces are not eating, and just basically lethargic. We love these fish. They used to be so full of life and my heart now goes out to them...please help :( < Green terrors are really pretty hardy fish but I have an idea with others that have written with similar problems with their green terrors. First of all lets make sure that the tank is OK. Ammonia , nitrites should be zero. Nitrates should be under 25 ppm. Service the filter and do a 30% water change. The new water should perk them up. Make sure you water temp is around 80 degrees. Then offer some washed earthworms. If they mouth the earthworms but do not eat them then there make be a problem with their pharyngeal bones. These act like a second set of "jaws" and allows cichlids to chew a large number of food items. If these jaws are damaged then they would be reluctant to eat. Try and pre-soften the food by wetting it slightly to make it softer and try that. If there is still no appetite then they have an internal protozoa that has shut their gut down. In a separate tank treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the box. If you can only treat them in the main tank then I would watch for ammonia spikes because some medications will harm the good bacteria that break down fish wastes in an established tank. If they are intimidated by the other fish then I would separate them until they were able to build up their strength and return to the main tank.-Chuck>
Terrified for my Terrors
Thank you very much for your help.  I will try the earthworms.  What would cause the pharyngeal bones to become damaged and on both fish?  Their condition seems to be getting worse.  The feces is now about 6 inches hanging from them.  I just have one more question for you... do I use straight Metro (if so how can I get it) or do I keep using the Parasite guard which has Metro in it?  I really appreciate your help.  Thank you so much! <The bones may be damaged by the fish picking up pellets that are too hard or else mistaking gravel for the pellets and trying to chew them. The Metronidazole is found under a couple different trade names. You will just have to look at the ingredients listed on the package. Usually it is used at 250mg per 10 gallons of water. Watch out for ammonia spikes because it may affect the good bacteria in the tank. Remove the carbon in the filter too. If you can't get the metro straight then you will have to use the parasite guard.-Chuck>

Discomed Question Hi guys, Just wondering how much food treated with Discomed has to be ingested to affect a cure? I have a 5" gold Severum that will only eat one or two pellets, and then begins to reject any additional ones. Will that be enough to treat him? He still has a healthy appetite (without the Discomed), although he is thinning down the spine, and has some sporadic twitches and often pale and trailing feces which I believe indicate internal parasites. I have read that injection with syringe is an option, but the site didn't detail whether it was just the solution, or the medicated food that was to be forced? And would the manual handling of the fish cause more stress than it would be worth?  Well, I really love this guy, and don't want to lose him. He's paired with my female blood parrot, and they always pal around. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. < Catch the fish in the net and use a wet towel with water from the aquarium to hold him. Hold the head up and look in his mouth for any obstructions. The mouth or throat area may be damaged or infected by food objects in the tank. Once you are certain that that pathway is clear then I would try to prehydrate the food to make it softer and easier to ingest. Don't soak it. Just wet down some pellets to soften them up and see if he will eat more of them. If nothing is working then I would place him in an isolation tank and treat with Metronidazole at 250 mg per 10 gallons and change 30% of the water every other day. It is bacterial then I would try a shotgun approach with Kanamycin.-Chuck> Thanks again in advance, Corey from Toronto, Canada
Re: Discomed Question
Thanks for the quick response Chuck. I took your advice about not soaking the pellets. If I just immerse until they soften, the Severum will eat them just like normal. And thanks for the info on handling a fish - it will be good to know for future reference.  Hopefully the 7 days on Discomed will affect a cure. The package and their 1-800# doesn't indicate how long to wait before doing another cycle, or how to determine if it's even necessary. Do you think I should be looking for weight gain as an indication of being cured? < Try some washed earthworms to put on some quick weight. If the appetite is up then you should start to see something soon. -Chuck> Well, as always, thank you for your sound advice.  Corey. 

Re: Cichlid i.d., Vitamins, Iodide/ine >>1 random cichlid [about the size of a convict] >I would like to figure out what this cichlid is. ><Oh yes: fishbase.org The family Cichlidae is quite large... maybe  >start >with Spilurum, the various re-do's of the genus Cichlasoma... and a  >very >large pot of tea/coffee (to stay up late). Have fun.> *Thank You*!! I may well find out what she is with this:) <<Yes... a long, but fun search>> ><The same causative mechanism/s exist in both marine and  >freshwater... >lack of essential nutrients> Can I overdose them on vitamins? <<Yes, this is possible... not practically though...>> ><There are prep.s that are made/labeled for fishes et al. aquatics,  >but >the compounds involved are the same as for tetrapods (like you and  >me), so >"baby vitamins" (liquids) will do... Do you mean that I can actually buy baby vitamins for human babies and use them?? <<Yes, the actual molecules are identical>> > or pet-fish ones like Micro-vit, Selcon... Add these to the food a  >few >minutes before offering.> Yesterday I bought something called Hex-a-Vital, and it is a vitamin product that specifies treatment for HLLE. I can see a difference in one of them, but the other still looks fairly nasty. <<This "curing process" takes weeks to months generally. Be patient>> In this product is A, D3, C, E, Calcium Phosphorous and Calcium Carbonate. There is no iodine. <<I would find a source and apply it. Lugol's Solution will do, potassium iodide would be better>> However, I know that table salt does have iodine in it. If I were to put a few teaspoons of table salt in there, would this be a bad thing or a good thing? <<Better than nothing>> I have always understood that iodine will kill fish, which is why one should use rock or aquarium salt. <<Hmm, much to say here... Iodine (the element) is indeed toxic... Iodide (same element, different valence state) is a way to supply this essential nutrient... not toxic in small concentrations>> ><Me too... do try the vitamins... they can/will effect a reversal at  >this >point. Bob Fenner> I can tell there is an improvement. You are a wonderful person, taking the time to work with me on this. Thank you so very much. cj. C.J. Moody <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cichlid i.d., Vitamins, Iodide/ine
I am sure I am about to drive you crazy.... but.... <<Mostly there already, no worries>> >Do you mean that I can actually buy baby vitamins for human babies  >and use >them?? ><<Yes, the actual molecules are identical>> How do I know how much of this to give them? Should I treat the food with the same amount as listed for an infant? <<Hmm, a "few drops" total (irrespective of food amount, size of system) will be sufficient and no problem...>> >However, I know that table salt does have iodine in it. If I were to  >put a >few teaspoons of table salt in there, would this be a bad thing or a  >good >thing? ><<Better than nothing>> Sounds a bit ominous... Will track down some of the advised product:) <<Ah, good>> Thank you again:) cj. C.J. Moody <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: