Illness, Health & Nutrition • Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

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Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:37 am

I have had two sets of males of the same species before I knew that was a very bad idea. They are Williamsi Blue Lips my favorite two fish because they follow me around a lot. I have another male pair of Snow Whites (Soccolofi) that I purchased at the same time (also one is a bully of the other). Both pairs I have had in a 75 gallon tank since April/May. Now I have a 240 gallon tank that they all went into happily (including all my others). Although the one Williamsi proved to bully the other, it was not severe and sometimes they even swam together. Now that the Williamsi are in the bigger tank, it has not improved and I got alarmed when I saw the recipient of bullying stop eating although they seemed to be no worse in the aggression department, but no better. It seemed like the one being bullied was afraid to eat after his first impulse to eat he would go hide in the rocks. Also he spent more time in hiding. The dominant Snow White seemed worse in the new tank and started shaking his body in front of several of the fish looking like he was "saying this is my spot, my tank".
So I spent 4.5 hours getting the two bullies out of the tank and putting them in the sump for now, hoping to give them an attitude check. The bullied Snow White is fine now and happy. But the Williamsi Blue Lips still will not eat. I tried again this morning. This is the third day. He seems fine otherwise but when he approaches the food with the others, he does a U turn when he sees the other fish going at the food. He hides. Should I do anything else or let him calm down more?
My hope is that the period in dark confinement will turn the bullies into lambs. After a week (?) of this I might try to put them back in.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:48 am

The blue lips may now be sick from the harassment and need medication to recover. What do the feces look like? I would confirm the feces today and take action as required. Thick and food colored, then leave him. Fine and thready and clear or white, then put the fish in your hospital tank and treat with metronidazole.

If you want to give the time-out a good try, wait three weeks. IME and the experience of many others, you end up with the same problem when you return the bully to the tank no matter how long you wait. The fish are behaving as expected.

So if you put them back, be prepared that you MIGHT have to spend another 4.5 hours to get them out again. Or just rehome now.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:56 am

DJRansome wrote:The blue lips may now be sick from the harassment and need medication to recover. What do the feces look like? I would confirm the feces today and take action as required. Thick and food colored, then leave him. Fine and thready and clear or white, then put the fish in your hospital tank and treat with metronidazole.

If you want to give the time-out a good try, wait three weeks. IME and the experience of many others, you end up with the same problem when you return the bully to the tank no matter how long you wait. The fish are behaving as expected.

So if you put them back, be prepared that you MIGHT have to spend another 4.5 hours to get them out again. Or just rehome now.



DJ I have been looking for feces as I went thru this with my Tropheus. He has not had any. I am going to try some frozen thawed brine shrimp and see if he bites.
Yes I am going to put an add out right now since you say that about the two in the sump. I belong to the local Aquarium Society.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:28 pm

If there are no feces and you are sure...that is total blockage. Isolate and treat. It is not an issue that is improved by tastier food, and too much protein is not very healthy for mbuna.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:22 pm

:oops:
DJRansome wrote:If there are no feces and you are sure...that is total blockage. Isolate and treat. It is not an issue that is improved by tastier food, and too much protein is not very healthy for mbuna.

I have been giving as a treat only like every few days..is that too much? I cannot watch my boy all the time so I cannot say it is blockage..he is swimming around fine since the other boy was taken out.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:24 pm

Other than not eating and thready white feces, fish can die of bloat while swimming around fine.

Until all your fish are eating well, I would stop treats so you can monitor their intake of healthy food.

Just like in the hospital when recovering from a colon issue, the docs and nurses restrict you to bland foods.

If he was healthy, he would be ravenous for his staple food.

If you isolate you can monitor for the feces...they will be on the bare bottom of the tank.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:02 pm

naturlvr wrote:
naturlvr wrote:
DJRansome wrote:Other than not eating and thready white feces, fish can die of bloat while swimming around fine.

Until all your fish are eating well, I would stop treats so you can monitor their intake of healthy food.

Just like in the hospital when recovering from a colon issue, the docs and nurses restrict you to bland foods.

If he was healthy, he would be ravenous for his staple food.

If you isolate you can monitor for the feces...they will be on the bare bottom of the tank.




OK yes I have an empty 10 gallon tank I can fix up. But the water will not be cycled water. OMG 4 more hours of more bruises and back ache.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:18 pm

I just took the water parameters of the new 240 gallon tank that is cycling where my fish is..the Nitrate is over 160! The ph is usually 7.6 from my faucet but the ph of the tank is 7.2 right now. Could this be causing his problem? Everything else was within parameters.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:55 pm

How quickly did the nitrates rise that high?

Both things will make the fish feel unwell, but if it happened gradually, they might be OK. Didn't you just fill the 240G with fresh water and zero nitrates?
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:24 pm

DJRansome wrote:How quickly did the nitrates rise that high?

Both things will make the fish feel unwell, but if it happened gradually, they might be OK. Didn't you just fill the 240G with fresh water and zero nitrates?

Yes a week ago.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby Deeda » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:30 pm

Do the test again in case you made a mistake. Also be sure to vigorously shake the bottles before dispensing the drops into the test tube otherwise your results will be incorrect.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby naturlvr » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:42 pm

Deeda wrote:Do the test again in case you made a mistake. Also be sure to vigorously shake the bottles before dispensing the drops into the test tube otherwise your results will be incorrect.

Thanks Deeda I did.
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Re: Bully removed from tank but the victim still won't eat.

Postby DJRansome » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:37 am

I would do a 20% water change every morning and every night today and 30% 2X tomorrow and continue increasing the volume of water changed until your nitrates are down to 10ppm.

Ammonia and nitrites are zero?
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