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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 65 gallon tank with 7 assorted Africans, all levels are good and tank is cycled regularly. Yesterday he was moving the gravel alot and I noticed him doing something odd, kind of like coughing, opening his mouth and almost looked like he was chewing but hadn't been fed. I have fed the tank twice and they all eat and act normal except for him, he goes to the top and opens his mouth, then swims straight to the bottom...
Please help me, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I read elsewhere that if you hold him upside down and shake him he may spit it out, does anyone know if this is correct? Or any other ideas to attempt to help him?
 

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Are you sure it is not a holding female? They look like they are chewing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I thought it was a male, would that cause it not to eat, and to move alot of rocks? Also, It does have some spots on its bottom fin, which I assumed meant it is a male.. it is a red zebra. Thank you for your time answering.
 

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what i have heard (from djransome even) is that the spot thing is not true.
more so, red zebras are the one that iread about and it stated they are one species that both have spots.

as far as the chewing, it sounds like a female. what has happened since the last report?

was it moving gravel earlier and now it seems like it is chewing? or is it even moving gravel as it chewed?

cichlids will move gravel during their normal behavior and during spawning. if it isnt still moving gravel it is probably gonna be a mama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x42 ... 150243.jpg

http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x42 ... 150243.jpg

Here are some images of s/he on photobucket and thank you again so much to all who have helped. It is still moving rocks, and still won't eat...[/img]

To answer question above, it acted like it was chewing or coughing when not carrying any rocks, hence I assumed it had swallowed one. It is the largest fish in my tank and also the most aggressive, but has been very subdued the last day or two.
 

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Hard to see the chin, but I don't see a bulge. And if the fish is still moving rocks then probably not holding.

Try to notice other symptoms. Breathing hard? Lurking at the surface or behind filter intakes or heaters? Poop normal (thick and food colored or thin and colorless)? Spots? Injuries?
 

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The best thing to do now is to change your gravel to a larger size to ensure it does not happen again. Gravel in a tank must be large enough for a fish that is not inserted into their mouths. Make sure you rinse the gravel before putting in the tank.
 

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gravel size is not always gonna be bigger than a fish can grab.
in the wild there is a vast amount of debri including rock that fish can easily grab.
im not saying its a bad idea though, just not always possible.
my bigger electric blue grabs rocks the size of slingshot balls.
a bigger example is my midas. he is surely able to mouth rocks that are near one inch across.

but reguardless, has anyone ever seen a fish choke? i have not. not saying its not possible, but i have seen some of my fish grab some items that are pretty big and are able to release them.
i would like to know if it is possible for a fish to get an item lodged in its throat.
 

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I did see a fish choke, but it was a baby synodontis on a chunk of pea. Very depressing. I would have had no idea what killed it except I caught a flash of green in it's mouth.

Chunk was way too big. I imagine it interfered with gill function more than choked him...it really filled his entire mouth cavity. :(

How is the patient doing?

Re the gravel size, the fish like to sift sand through their gills, so if anything I would go finer. But I am not convinced it's a gravel incident. Just don't know what else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well he is still kicking, and actually seems to be better. Any ideas if its a he or she from the pic? I netted it and looked into the mouth and did not see any gravel or other obstruction and then shortly after that he started acting normal again, and is pretty much back to his mean self. I am thinking that he dislodged the gravel at a time that i did not see him, since I can't watch the tank all day long. :) Thanks again to all who helped and responded. I am a newbie, have had the tank about 6 months, and I am always grateful for expert advice.
 

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there is always the possibility that he dislocated a jaw or something. i do not think i ever saw one to last long, but i think they can open their mouths so far or be fighting and they will move the mouth but part of it is oddly placed for a short time.
glad he/she is doing better.
 

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Any ideas if its a he or she from the pic?
Just a guess but looking at the number of egg spots on the anal fin I'm pretty sure its a male
 

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I think this happened to one of my most favorite fish in my tank. Last night he was roaming around all awesome like no problem. This morning, bam, on bottom of tank, breathing hard and looks like a rock or something in his mouth. I grabbed him out and was going to tweeze it out, but I thought nah.. I don't want to make it worse. So back in he goes. He still get's tough to the fish that he can, but he's just chilling at bottom of tank, looking like he's chomping down hard at times and then just chewing look goes on. Weird. It's the fish on my avatar. (Metriaclima fainzilberi (Lundo Is.)) (Male) F1 Got him from Daves... he is awesome. What the ****!

Gonna try to get a video of him. He's not a girl... here's a pic of him this morning. Bummer

 

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Yay.. as of now, he's all back to normal. Wonder what the **** he had in there. That was weird.

Good looking out miD.

No worries. brah!
 
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