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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 1yr old chocolate for the last day and a half has been sitting on the bottom for the most part, sometimes leaning and not showing alot of interest in food.

temp 79, ph 7.5, 75 gallon, 3 keyholes, blackskirt tetras... everyone else is fine and has been since i have had them.

any thoughts on whats wrong/what i can do?

thank you
 

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Hi,

Is he eating at all? Did he eat anything unusual just prior to this starting or did he eat more than usual? Is he normally what you might describe as a heavy eater?
Sometimes a fish will overeat and that will send them to the bottom. Does he look bloated in middle?
Is he breathing hard?
How long has this tank been set up and how long have you had this particular fish?
Have you tested the water recently? Any kind of growth on his skin? Have you added anything new to the tank recently? Fish, plants, decorations, different substrate?

If you have a test kit handy I would first of all test the water--it's always the first place you should start whenever something is going on with your fish.
Then regardless of test results do a partial water change of 30% using a good quality dechlorinator. Siphon the gravel and check the filters: make sure that there's a good strong flow coming from the filter return and also check the media that there isn't a build up of waste. If there is rinse it off in a bucket of tank water.
I would not feed this fish for the next 24 hours. Just in case its some kind of internal blockage.
Watch and see if the fish shows any change in behavior/symptoms directly after the water change.

Please get back to me with more information.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jeez, thank you so much for taking the time to help.

i will try to start from the beginning. he notices food the last day or two, he just doesnt seem interested. yesterday, a pellet that sank after about 20 minutes, he did eventually eat it. it dropped right on front of his face. thats the last time he has eaten. i have not fed them since.

i would describe him as a heavy eater. hes actually a fat pig. i do not notice his stomach lookng any larger than normal.

he is not breathing hard. he is, literally sittin in the sand. tank has been set up for over 4 years and the fish is almost exactly 1 yr old.

nothing new besides a group of 5 little juvie black skirts. blackskirts actually have been slowly dissapearing over the last few months (note the new ones i needed to buy). about 2 weeks ago i got 5, added that to my group of 6. since then, 2 have dissapeared. i am assuming hes eating them. if he pulls through, should i get rid of them?

no growths on his skin, but i did notice today that his poop is stringy and a light pinkish color. another thiing is that two of my 3 keyholes have been pairing/making a real go at laying eggs in the last week. could that be causing him stress? he also scraped his side a few days ago chasing them out of his cave. have been using salt (aquarisol) since to be safe.

just did a wc, prime, added salt, temp up, filters good (eheim 2217, ac 110).

i am watching post wc. hopefully he snaps out of it.

thank you again for your assistance. it is greatly appreciated.
 

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The scrape that he got: has it changed at all since you first noticed it? Gotten bigger, fuzzy grey or white growth on it? If so then it's likely infected and this could possibly be part of his problem--please let me know on that so we can decide if it needs to be treated. It's really important that you keep water quality PERFECT whenever a fish has any kind of open wound. Some bacterial infections can kill a fish in less than 24 hours.

I just read up on your fish in the profiles and they are likened to Oscars in that they are messy eaters and therefore need a large tank and more frequent water changes to keep the water quality good. So there's something else that may be contributing to his present condition. How large of a tank is this and what is your water changing schedule? How much and how often do you do water changes? If your nitrate reading gets up above 20ppm between water changes then you know you're not doing enough. (An overcrowded tank and over feeding fish will also contribute to high nitrates however more frequent water changes can compensate for that)

I don't know for sure what is wrong with your fish but my best guess is that he has overeaten, not just the food you give him but probably the tetras that are missing and now his digestive system is messed up--that's probably why he's got the stringy feces. This can cause HUGE problems for a fish--it can actually be fatal so we want to do all that we can to get him through this episode and avoid it happening again.

Fast the fish for the next 48hours. Do another 30% water change with the Prime and then add Epsom salt at the rate of 1 tablespoon per five gallons. Epsom salt works as a laxative and mild pain killer. Make sure you dissolve the salt first and then add it gradually--taking the better part of a day to add it to the tank. You do this because Epsom salt also raises the GH, not an issue for your fish as long as it's done gradually. Whenever I add salt to one of my tanks I use an empty peanut butter jar that I still have the lid to--I measure out all the salt I need and put it in the jar with some tank water and then I'm able to shake it up and speed up the salt dissolving.
You may want to look into some other type of fish to keep with your chocolate--one that he can't fit into his mouth. Seriously. Also any fish that you add to the tank should be quarantined for 3-4 weeks. Even if they look healthy when you purchase them they can easily bring 'something' you don't want into your tank. Quarantining also allows the new fish time to get acclimated to the water it will be living in and food it will be eating and that acclimation time will give them a much better chance of a smooth introduction to the main tank.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
he seems better this morning. resting in the upper middle portions of the tank. i did not feed, but at least things look to be going in the right direction.

i will do another wc today and add salt.

the scrape never showed ant signs of infection and seem to be healing.

he is in a 75 gal. i do at least 1 %30 - %40 wc per week, usually more if time permits. i think i am going to cut down to feeding per day. he is an incredibly messy eater.

i will start thinking about moving the tetras.

thanks again Robin. i will work on it today and update tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
did another water change this morning, salt, no feeding, temp up, scrapes all healed up, water perams all check out fine.
still sitting on the bottom, on his side at times. no improvement...

any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my fish....... my fish........ my poor fish is BETTER!
hes finally out and about, not hiding or sitting on the bottom.
he ate this morning for the first time in over a week.

i did another water change last night, and afterward he hid a bit, but then vetured out and the rest seems to be history. i didnt feed last night, but this morning i gave it a go and he took a half a pellet.

fingers crossed that he stays better.

thank you Robin for your expert advice.
 
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