Illness, Health & Nutrition • Frontosa spitting out food

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Frontosa spitting out food

Postby lucrent » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:49 pm

Hi,

My Burundi Frontosa has started spitting out food in the last two weeks. Basically it eats the pellet and then a second later spits it out, it will do this 10 times and then give up.

I usually change food fairly frequently, sometimes it looks like she keeps it in. When I feed frozen shrimp, it will spit out the mysis but it looks like she is swallowing the brine shrimp. The fish is definitely hungry, and although it will wait for the Labs and others to eat first, I put enough food that there's plenty when they slow down and she can swoop in.

I have spotted not stringy feces on any of the fish, in fact its pretty hard to find feces anywhere except for the small, 1/4 inch lengths.

I have had it for at least a year and the tank has been set up fro 8 months now, there's lots of rock and hiding places, and she usually hangs out in a large amphora shaped pot.

Here's the info:
210G tank
1 Hap
1 Peacock
6 Yellow Labs adults (juvies I've lost count, they started breeding like rabbits a couple of moths ago, I'd say 12-15 all less than 1 inch)
1 syn cat
PH 7.8
Amonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Temp: 81

Please help! By far this is my favorite one and would hate to loose it.

Here's a photo:
Image
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lucrent
 
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Postby lucrent » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:23 pm

I forgot to mention, I had some Tetramin flakes lying around, and tried those, she did eat then, but spits out everything else, even the shrimp that I cut up into little pieces this evening. I'll try the flakes again tomorrow morning, to see if she'll eat those for some reason.
lucrent
 
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:35 am
Location: London, UK

Postby Robin » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:28 pm

So you've had the Front for a year and it's just in the last few weeks that she's started spitting food? Any changes made to the tank in the last month?
It the fish behaving normally otherwise? Swimming where ever it wants in the tank? Breathing normally?

It doesn't sound like bloat simply because of how long this one symptom has continued. Usually with bloat the spitting out of food is the first symptom and then the fish becomes listless, loses interest in food completely, etc. This is not what's happening here.

Sometimes there can be an actually obstruction in the fish's mouth or throat that will prevent it from swallowing. Could be some some of foreign object or a tumor. The only way to find out is to look into the fish's mouth.

You could try doing several partial water changes and then treating the tank with Epsom salt just in case its some sort of blockage that can be expelled. (Epsom salt: 1 Tablespoon per five gallons, dissolve it first, add it gradually).

It would also be worth a try to dip the pellets in a product by Seachem call Entice. Its suppose to make any food irresistible. I've read accounts here on the forum of fish needing to get back into the habit of eating, so to speak.

Robin
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Postby lucrent » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:45 am

This morning I tried pellets again, little interest, ate one and spat it out right away. I then fed some thawed brine shrimp and it ate those like candy, perhaps 10-15 of them, until it started spitting them out after chewing on them.

I have not made any changes to the tank in months nor did I add any fish.

Behaviour is typical frontosa, very shy and swims away as soon as any of the other fish become a little agressive towards it, though it will chase them out of its pot.

Breathing is normal and slow. Location in tank is normal, hangs out in its pot or in other holes. Swiming is slow and relaxed.

I think you may be right about some kind of obstruction or the fish is very picky. If I feed it larger shrimp, lets say an inch in length, it will eat them and spit it out, and go at it over and over again until it gives up.

Although the tiny brine shrimp are swallowed, though I'm not sure why that would explain why it won't eat thawed mysis shrimp, i break up the cubes into tiny specs, and it doesn't like them.

I'm doing a water change now, I'll do another one tomorrow and add the epsom salt. I've never done than before, is there anything a I shoud watch out for apart form the dosage.

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a one week trip, so that's all I can do until i return, they'll be on automatic feeders.

Thanks!
lucrent
 
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:35 am
Location: London, UK

Postby Robin » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:36 pm

The only thing to be watch out for with Epsom salt is that you want to dissolve it first and add it gradually over several hours time. The fish are fine with a higher GH but they don't like the change to be sudden.

Really don't know what's going on with this fish. It may be that its uncomfortable with the tankmates. Are you going to get some more Fronts? You could fit a few more fish into a 210 gallon.

Robin
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Postby lucrent » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:46 pm

Came back from my 1 week trip. Well it's still alive and shows no signs of illness so I don't think it's bloat.

All they had to eat were the pellets, and it seems to be eating them, but not with much enthusiasm, I did not notice spitting. I did not add the epsom salt in the end, because of the trip.

I have a 110G that only has 3 Red Zebras and 1 Ruby Red Peacock in it, I'm thinking of moving the yellow labs to that tank. If I can catch them! They're breeding very actively, I noticed some more fry, so I'm worried that by moving tanks they'll stop breeding.

I noticed the Frontosa attacking (mouth locking) one of the peacocks, that's not normal behavior for it. I'm thinking that though it is not getting injured, it's still stressed.

I was thinking of getting more Frontosa, however my dilema is I wanted to may be get some Moba juveniles, however I want to keep this Burundi. So I may get some larger burundi, I can get hold of some 4 inches for 30-40 bucks a piece.

Laurent
lucrent
 
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:35 am
Location: London, UK

Postby lucrent » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:19 pm

Well, still eating very little, 2-3 small pellet then starts spitting out.

I managed to catch it without having to take half the tank out. I saw no obstructions in the mouth:
Image
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Now that I have caught it, I was thinking of placing it in the 110G though I am concerned about giving any additional shock to the fish. Plus in the long run I would want the Frontosa back in the 210. I guess its a question of whether to do the work of taking all the rocks out moving some 7 labs and countless fry, feeling lazy I guess.

I also have a 29G that's empty, that I could fill with the 210 water. Only problem is that the canister filter for it has been sitting idle for 3 weeks, I imagine all the bacteria would have died.

Laurent
lucrent
 
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Location: London, UK

Postby Robin » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:52 pm

My feeling on this fish is that it's not happy with the fish it's being housed with. I'm no expert on Fronts so I can't say for sure but I think you should post a question in the Front folder and see what the experts there say. It just doesn't seem like an illness and as we all can now clearly see there's nothing in its mouth blocking the way. :o Hats off to you for not only getting the fish to open wide but a nice picture of the event, too--yikes!

If you want to use the cansiter filter completely rinse out the media and inside of the filter and start the cycling from scratch. You can take some of the media from one of your other established tanks and put it in the canister and this will jump start the cycling.

Robin
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