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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive me for hijacking your thread, but I have a new fish, possible bloat related question. :oops:

Last week I picked up 7 P. saulosi (5f, 2m) and added them to my long established 55 gallon tank with my 5 S. multipunctatus. (My hope is that the saulosi will act as hosts for the cats). There are also 2 adult calvus in there. Water conditions are pH 8.6, highly buffered, nitrates ~10, no NO2, NH3, temp 76. I feed NLS.

I noticed last night that my sub-dom saulosi male looked bloated, spit food, and is now hiding more than before. I haven't seen bloat before, so I'm guessing that this might be my first go of it. The other fish have normal poo and are eating piggishly.

I can move the male, treat with metro, etc. But should I consider treating the whole tank? Silly me for not using a quarantine tank, but reputable source and lack of space made me hopeful that I wouldn't have trouble.

Any advice?
 

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I would go ahead and treat the main tank.

And I would also try to pick up another male...2 males never works out well, better to have 1 or 3. This may increase your need for another couple of females, as well, but with only 2 males, the subdominant male will be under constant stress, and you could have all kinds of problems with their health.

There are two methods for treating bloat listed below my signature. If you don't go with medicated food (and you can't for the one that isn't eating), then you should fast them throughout the treatment period.

Kim
 

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When I see bloat, I treat the whole tank without hesitation. In my experience it can be very contagious, especially if it's a newer tank and the fish are under stress. Even if it's not, "poo sampling" can spread bloat.

In theory, if you do treat the whole tank, you've sterilized your ecosystem against bloat for eternity, unless you add a new fish that you don't expose to metronidazole in quarantine.

I keep a 5 gram tube of metronidazole on hand from Big Al's Online and add 1 level serving per 10 gallons, for three days then do a complete water change. Using that, bloat has cured very quickly.
 

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co-photo said:
In theory, if you do treat the whole tank, you've sterilized your ecosystem against bloat for eternity, unless you add a new fish that you don't expose to metronidazole in quarantine.
I agree on treating the main tank, but would like to hear your reasoning behind this statement.

You can contract bloat again in a tank after treating for bloat, whether you add new fish or not, so I'm not quite sure what you're saying here.

Kim
 

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I've never had any problems treating a tank with Synos with met, and I've got some in every single one of my tanks.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update:

No deaths, no other fish appear ill, and I am sorely tempted to feed them.
Day 1: Treated with 5 tablets Fishzole (each tab has 250 mg of metro), and added 1/2 cup epsom salt to the tank.
Day 2: 5 tabs in the AM, 40% WC and 5 tabs in the evening (added another 1/3 cup of epsom salt).
Day 3: 5 tabs in the AM, 5 tabs in the PM.
Day 4: 40% WC (with 1/3 cup epsom salt) and 5 tabs in the AM, and 5 tabs in the PM.

So, this is day four, and my bloated looking saulosi looks the same. He's active and has decent color, but doesn't hang out with the group. So, the aggression issue is likely contributing to the illness issue.

When should a bloated fish appear less bloated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Asymptomatic is very different from sterile. With any biocide/antibiotic, there will be a certain percentage of bugs that survive, but so few in number that the fish's immune system can cope. If we sterilized our tanks, we would likely have dead fish.
Medicating is a tricky balance between the health of our pets and the death of their diseases, and if that balance is disturbed, the disease can reemerge.
 

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There is plenty of confusion and varrying opinions on bloat and I'm not here to tell you what THE answer is, however I can give you one of the more widely accepted ideas on it is and this will help to answer the question of how a tank can get bloat again after you've treated for it successfully once.

Fish have naturally occuring flagellates living in their intestines that do no harm to the fish, however when a fish comes under some kind of stress these flagellates can multiply rapidly and quickly and its at this point that they become a problem for the fish.
So if you've treated for bloat and succeeded your fish are 'safe' from getting bloat so long as they don't come under a stress severe enough to lower thier immunity.
Fish that are new to the tank are inheritantly stressed from the netting and bagging and travel and are therefore more susceptible and often we blame the fish store for selling us sick fish when in reality the fish may have been perfectly healthy but just couldn't handle the unavoidable stress of moving to a new home. Improper diet, aggressive tankmates, poor water conditions, rough handling are all stressors that can leave a fish vulnerable to all kinds of ailments that they would normally fend off without any problem.

Once you've got bloat in the tank then other fish may become infected when they mouth infected feces. I've also heard that the flagellates may also be abundant in the water column during a bloat outbreak so it's also wise to do plenty of water changes if you've got bloat.

I've also read that bloat can be from an internal bacterial infection, but again, avoiding stress will work against contracting bacterial infections.

Bloat is often mis-diagnosed. If you've got a fish that suddenly becomes bloated and is still eating, or the fish gets bloated and then after a few hours is no longer bloated then most likely your fish is gorging and is getting constipated. While it's not bloat the stress of being constipated can lead to bloat and other illnesses so you need to take immediate action, (Fast the fish and Epsom Salt). A fish with some kind of other obstruction, (such as a tumor), may also suddenly get bloated.

Like I said, there's a lot of varrying opinions on bloat but thankfully we've got a fairly good idea on how to avoid it and if that fails we know what meds and treatments to use to hopefully save our fish.

Robin
 

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It depends on why it is bloated. If its a blockage from a tumor then it may not recover. If it's constipation then a day or two of fasting and Epsom salt should do it. If it is bloat, that's tough to say. From what I've read once the fish gets bloated, which usually happens at the end if it's really bloat, then the parasites have penetrated the intestine walls.

Some seem to feel that once the fish is bloated there is no hope but since there's so much we don't know about bloat, and since you can't always be certain that the bloating is in fact from bloat, I would always advice treating the fish.
No matter what the ailment one thing is for sure and that is that fish can truly surprise you in what they can recover from.

Robin
 

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I was away from my pc for a bit, but Robin has answered your question exactly as I would have, co-photo.

The only thing I could add to what she has said is that I believe "bloat" to be a "blanket/umbrella" diagnosis for the many gastrointestinal problems that seem to go along with keeping aggressive fish. Because they are so aggressive, they are exposed to more than the average amount of stress. Of course, that's just my opinion.

I buy alot of wild fish, so I've used alot of antiparasitic treatments, and always use them on wild fish in QT before they are ever introduced to my main tanks. But, even with those precautionary measures, I've still experienced the rare instance of bloat occuring AFTER they've been treated preventatively and introduced to the main tank. I believe it's because I can't guarantee or foresee the amount of stress that the fish will be under in these new circumstances.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One year later and I've had a healthy tank. I did not lose any fish: my sub-dom male is fat (albeit not bloated anymore) and gets some breeding action when the big guy isn't watching. :lol: The metro and salt combined with fasting didn't seem to stress them as much as I've seen Clout do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used the above treatment on two more tanks this year after witnessing slow wasting and occasional deaths. I didn't like what I was seeing, but couldn't really identify specific symptoms other than a few skinny fish, a few deaths, and less spawning.

About 3 months ago, I did the water changes, the salt, the metro and didn't feed in tanks containing Xenotilapia, Paracyprichromis, Cyprichromis, Julidochromis, Eretmodus, multifaciatus, Altolamprologus and assorted catfish. There were no deaths during the week-long treatment, and all my fish are back to fat, happy and breeding.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled! :thumb:
 
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