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Restocking after Bloat Questions

Postby rphox2003 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:31 am

After losing all my Trophs to Bloat, I've decided to go back to Malawis/Mbunas.
I treated my tank with Metro trying to save them but apparently it was too late so it didn't help.

After losing them all, I stripped my tank bare (no substrate or rocks) and did a 90% water change. I will continue with large water changes over the next 2-4 weeks as we're in lockdown anyway so I won't add any fish.

But I have the following questions:
    1. How contagious is Bloat? Does it continue to survive in the tank even though the tank has only water?
    2. Do I also have to clean out my two external canister filters?

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:50 am
Location: Israel

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Re: Restocking after Bloat Questions

Postby sir_keith » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:49 am

Sorry to hear about your loss; this is the kind of thing that turns people off to Tropheus, understandably. Metro is more of a prophylactic than a cure: treating a colony may save fishes in the early stages of infection, but it rarely cures fishes with overt symptomology.

To your questions-

(1) 'Bloat' is not caused by an exogenous pathogen in the same way that diseases like 'ich' are; it is caused by organisms that are normally present, but produce opportunistic infections in fishes whose immune systems are compromised by chronic 'stress' and other ill-defined variables in the environment. In Tropheus, the most common causes of 'bloat' are inappropriate diet and/or water chemistry, but other factors- shipping stress, not enough tank space, inappropriate tankmates, etc.- can also be contributing factors. Which leads to your second point-

(2) Cleaning up the fishes' environment, including the canister filters, is useful, but as described above, the organisms that cause 'bloat' will always be present. You need to assess why your Tropheus colony got 'bloat' in the first place, and correct that. The fact that the entire colony was affected strongly suggests that there was a systematic cause (perhaps diet?). You need to get a handle on this, as Mbuna are also susceptible to 'bloat,' just less so.

Don't be discouraged; this happens to everybody at one time or another. Good luck, :fish:
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Re: Restocking after Bloat Questions

Postby rphox2003 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:55 pm

Great answer! Best I've seen in a long time. Thanks!
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:50 am
Location: Israel

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