South American Cichlids • Mature midas has stopped eating

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Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:01 pm

The midas is about 14 to 15 years old, nine inches long with no external signs of disease or wounds. About four weeks ago, found he was suffering from swim bladder disorder. Provided epsom salt baths of 15 min. For two days. On day three the bladder disease was cured. Over the next few days, noticed he was not eating. Although swimming normally, the midas experienced about five episodes of swimming erratically (hitting tank walls) for about three seconds over a few days. Lack of eating has continued to this day but the erratic behavior ended. The fish continues to swim normally and is active. The tank was treated with metroplex and ultimately, have force fed the midas each of the last two weeks, including a dose of metroplex. Tank mates include a Jack Dempsey (similar size) and a three inch African cichilid who are healthy. Tank is 90 gal, temperature is 79 degrees to encourage eating. Water parameters are fine, with slightly elevated nitrate. Water changes are 25% every 3-4 weeks. Would appreciate help from forum members. I think the fish is dyeing from old age but did not expect him to be active during this process. I don’t know how long I should continue force feeding given this must be stressful for fish. Maybe another medication will be helpful? Thank you.
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Auballagh » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:11 pm

Oh wow.... I'm so sorry this is happening to your Midas cichlid. :(
It honestly sounds like your fish is just dying of old age. Geriatric. And my goodness, 14 - 15 years old?!!! That's incredible! You can rest assured that your Midas cichlid lived to a very ripe old age.
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As sad as it is, it's reaffirming and beautiful to hear this. I've had a very few cichlids that also, just eventually died of old age. It's so surprising and upsetting to realize just how emotionally attached you've actually become, to these long term residents in our aquariums! Midas (and Red Devil) cichlids are truly unpredictable, and wonderful characters to keep and enjoy. And it is ALWAYS so unexpectedly hard to deal with, when it's time to let amazing fish like them go.
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So, I personally think you have really gone above and beyond in an effort to get this one back.... and, I'm really sorry I can't offer anything new to help with this beyond my own sympathy and understanding of your situation.
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby sir_keith » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:49 am

I feel for you, but it is time to let him go. 14-15 years is a remarkable lifespan for a cichlid, and neither force feeding nor medication will change the course of the inevitable. We all hope to pass with ease; it is time to say goodbye, and let him go. So sorry.
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:23 pm

Thank you both for your input and kind words. My son, who helped with the feeding, was saying I might not be doing enough to help him and this prompted me to visit the forum. Your input should help him understand and accept the unfortunate situation. I also thought the years of life and enjoyment of this fish was beyond what most fish keepers experience.
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:18 pm

I'm providing an update for my original post because it has been some time now and the Midas has not expired. I can't explain why since I have not witnessed any feeding activity for over two months. The fish has been in distress but seems to have a tremendous amount of energy. The distress involves frantic/rapid swimming behavior with the fish bouncing off the top glass, bottom and tank walls. This happens about four times a day for 15 to 20 seconds. This is followed by normal swimming activity. I have inspected the fish for parasites but do not see any. At this time, I'm lowering the temperature from 80 to 76 degrees. The temperature was raised to encourage eating. I thought the higher temperature may coincide with the abnormal behavior. All tank parameters are normal and I continue water changes every three weeks. Is it possible the fish is just unhappy in the 90 gal. tank? Are there any other options I should consider such as more or less lighting? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Auballagh » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:13 pm

Well.... okay then. :-?
This changes things a bit, hmmmm?
- Three week water changes? Whaaaa.....? C'mon, a 15 year old Midas Cichlid kept in a 90 gallon tank just has to make enough of a mess in there to warrant pushing a bit more water through his tank, right? Got any way to do a Nitrate test of the water in his aquarium? If its above (way above?) 20 PPM, I would get busy on that to lower those Nitrates in there.
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So, let's see if we can perk this ol' boy up! Maybe 'Lazarus' here has got a few cool moves left in him after all?
- Water Changes. Water Changes. Water Changes!!!! Let's go a bit radical here and try doing things just a bit different. Go DAILY water changes for this guy. Start light initially at around 30 percent or so, with a lot of filter cleaning etc.... Next couple days push that daily percentage up to 50 percent for a couple days. Then, go big. I'm talking 75 to 80 percent (PLUS) water changes for about 4 days straight!
- Salt. Yep. For your 90 gallon tank I would go light at about 1/2 cup added to the fill water for each water change. Non-iodized pleazze....
- Garlic. And yes.... I know. Just Google it, and you WILL see. Get the fresh stuff, peel it down and mash it up into a nice fine paste. Pre-soak his pellet food in it with a bit of aquarium water in a small bowl. When pellets get soft, dump out most of the water and squish in the garlic paste to the pellets. Feed normally and (hopefully), enjoy a bit more vigorous feeding response (Plus, purchase fresh pellets!).
- Treats! I have NEVER met a Midas/Red Devil Cichlid that will turn his nose up, when offered a nice fat, juicy earthworm. They're Irresistible! And hey... whaddabout some raw, fresh shrimp cut up into bite-sized morsels and soaked down in the refrigerator overnight in garlic paste? Scallop bits? Whew.... (Now, I'M getting hungry!). While doing those massive water changes, lesssee if you can entice old Mr. Fussy with some tasty treats.
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Kind of (well actually totally) surprised to get this update! Be great if you can get this guy back. Keep us posted! :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:10 am

Thanks for quick response, nitrates at 35 ppm and that has not changed for15 years. I don't want to rule it out but his tank mates including a 15 yo Dempsey and small African are doing well. Have been reluctant to do more frequent or heavy water changes due to ammonia in tap water (.5 ppm). To address ammonia, I dose tank with Prime. Each water change includes vacuuming the gravel and the Fluval 5 is cleaned monthly. The erratic behavior continues hours after water changes. Salt has been added with each water change. Read about the garlic and will try that. Have tried raw shrimp (without garlic) but it didn't work. The Midas used to love fresh butter lettuce but not now. After two months, I'm sure the Midas must still be feeding, he just won't come up for the pellets. I'm still puzzled by the the crazy behavior, he's probably stressing the tankmates. Will post updates.
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:39 am

An update on the Midas. He was placed in a hospital tank 10 days ago due to erratic behavior and signs of pectoral fin damage. Have been maintaining temperature at 79 degrees and treating with Megaplex initially (no changes), Melafix and now Pimfix over the last two days. Daily 90% water changes with Prime added to address ammonia. He's still not eating even after offering garlic soaked raw shrimp and earthworm. The right infected pectoral fin is forming a white ball near the point of injury, see photo. Would this be normal for healing or a sign the infection is getting worse? The fish is still active and has calmed down. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
Attachments
20210322_112118.jpg
Midas image fin damage
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Auballagh » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:55 pm

Unfortunately, haven't got anything new you can try, that I see you aren't doing already. Are you using a filter sponge driven with air stone, HOB filter or anything with his quarantine tank? The higher water temps and some of those medications can lower the oxygenation rate of the water. When you're done dosing with the anti-bacterials, you could try adding some Epsom salt to the water and lowering the temps a couple degrees. Sometimes that will trigger a better feeding response. But I dunno, hearing that he won't eat shrimp bits or even worms soaked in garlic? Whew... that's some serious treat food for a Midas Cichlid!
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Mature midas has stopped eating

Postby Randolph949 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:27 pm

Thanks for your input. No filter since I'm doing heavy water changes daily. The power head is generating a lot of bubbles so I don't think oxygen is a concern. I was hoping someone could address the white ball growth on fin and if that's a good or bad sign. The growth appeared shortly after dosing with Pimafix. Other than the eating problem, there has been no change in activity. Still alert and swimming around. I'm going to stop the meds in a few days and will lower the temp to 76. I think the eating problem is related to stress. Unfortunately, Midas can't go back into the community tank until the fin damage has stabilized.
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