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Flowerhorn Cichlid With Popeye

4813 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  namtran
Here was what happened...

Come home from college, the fish is in my parents' care (They take care of a 75 gallon Parrot tank and my 55 Gallon FH tank when I'm gone).

Oh, and my tank is fully cycled, it's been going for about a year and a half.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened, but the water parameters were all messed up when I get back. Ammonia was at 3.0 ppm, PH had dropped to about 5.6, and there was some Nitrite/Nitrate in the water.

My Flowerhorn got HITH, which caused a pretty big crater (that is now healing thankfully), and Popeye.

I did a 20% water change, and then immediately used Ammonia Clear (some sort of tablet) to get rid of the ammonia. After that, I have been water changing every day, and I have been using an Epsom Salt treatment to relieve his eyes (fluid build up, slightly cloudy). He is slowly getting better, his color is back (he was pale before) and his eyes are starting to recover. The hole is getting much smaller then it once was also, and the smaller ones along the lateral lines are closing up also.

I also rinsed out the filter, as it's been a long time since I changed that.

So far he is moving around, and he seems to be able to keep track of people moving around the tank. He hasn't eaten since getting sick, but since he is improving I think he will eat eventually. With the stable water conditions now (I have 7.3 PH, I turned the Temp up a little, and Ammonia levels are down to .25, no Nitrite/Nitrate), I plan on water changing about once a week now, while monitoring the water every day.

Anyways, should I use any medications? I just want to cover all my bases and ensure my Flowerhorn is well on it's way to recovery. Next time, I'm not going to leave my fish in the care of my parents. Only in a three week period my Flowerhorn nearly died because of them. I think what happened was that the buffer crashed on me, and so the PH dropped, and Ammonia levels spiked up. The fact that they only feed him Krill doesn't help (when I tell them they have to feed him pellets and other types of foods also, even if he doesn't want to eat it).
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cichlidaholic said:
You shouldn't stop the frequent water changes now. The ammonia level should be zero before you slack up on the water changes. It sounds like the tank was pretty neglected.

Depending on how long this has been going on, irreparable damage may have been done to the fish's internal organs.

I would not advise adding meds to the tank until you get it cleaned up.

Alright, thanks. I don't know if there was any damage to his internal organs, but it seems like he is doing ok so far. He is becoming more active as each day goes by, but still not eating.

The water was neglected quite abit, seems like my parents didn't feel like changing the water or cleaning out the filter when needed. However, I do not think it has been going on too long, so hopefully any damage done is minor and reversible (hopefully).

An update on his conditions, his water quality is about as perfect as it can get. Eyes are slowly going down, and he has full color again. His eyes that were once extremely cloudy are clearing up, and the redness (which is his normal eye color) has come back.
An update on my fish, he seems to be producing an excess amount of mucus (water testings are good, 0 nitrites/0 nitrates, 0 ammonia, PH is standing at 7.4, and everything is stable so far). His eyes are starting to get alot better, but all of a sudden his stomach/abdomen area has started to swell.

However, I do not think this is a case of dropsy. If it was, I would have seen him swell up like a balloon by now (I have seen many cases of dropsy). He seems to be having trouble balancing himself, seems more like a bloated/swim bladder problem. I'm still water changing and testing every day.

Edit : Good thing is, he is eating again luckily. So if it is some sort of internal bacterial infection, I can now administer foods mixed with anti-biotics.
cichlidaholic said:
Well, it certainly sounds like either a swim bladder issue or dropsy.

If I had to place a bet, I'd bet on dropsy from the poor water conditions.

Either way, there isn't alot you can do other than keep the water pristine and hope for the best.

Alright; I may try to use medicated food to see if he will get any better.
Update, it appears that his stomach is still the same size, no increase of the swelling. No scales have protruded though. I am continuing to water change, however I do not know if I should use any medicated food (since he is eating now) or other medicines (readings are perfect).

Edit : He has however is not as active as usual. Just hangs around at the top of the tank with his head towards the surface, and he seems to be having trouble balancing. His stomach is the only thing swollen, the area above the anus, everything else is fine.

His eyes are making a recovery, the color has come back, and are slowly going down day by day. They may not be the same, but it is better then nothing. The color on his body is vibrant as it was before he was sick. Some good signs and bad signs.
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