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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone... new member here... have two tanks with malawi cichlids... the bigger tank we have is 60 gallon.. only have a big pleco in it... an ice blue mbuna and a huge tilapia i think heterotilapia...he is probably about 10 inches long, no joke, anyhow he is healthy, actually eats algae wafers... doesnt really eat the pellets, which we use omega color ones, the mini ones because our other fish wouldnt touch the bigger ones, not sure what we should feed the big guy?? anyhow, its the ice blue, his name is bob... the past week he has been hiding inside a big rock and not eating, got him to come out when we did a big water change this past weekend, he stayed out but still not interested in food, and he looks bloated... his abdomen is swollen, although he doesnt look to be breathing really heavy either... i dont see any pine coning going on... he has been out and about the last couple days but is now back in the big rock and still not eating.. unless he ate of the bottom.....read about epsom salt, did 4 tablespoons of it,dissolved it in a bowl and then poured in the tank seeing as how we did a 25 gallon WC... but i put the filters back in... changed out 2 of the 4 ... should i have kept them out?? should i do a dip now for him?? for filtration we have emperors i think 400 or 600,.. 2 of them going... i know the water quality has more than likely been bad for a bit, i believe nitrates were higher because i have not been keeping up with water changes... i know im a jerk, sorry... anyhow, so not sure if its bloat and due to parasites?? i dont know if he has pooed either... i know there is poo on the bottom... but i see brown and some whitish... but i also think the pleco poops whitish too... also leery about going with general cure or clout etc.. dont wanna hurt the pleco or the big guy... just trying to figure out the best thing to do, so he doesnt get worse or die..... if i do a bath.. i know its 1 tablespoon per gallon.. and i was going to put an bubbler in there with him.. and read to leave him in for 10 min or 15 tops.. what do you guys think i should do? please and thanks.. i do want to add we lost bobs girlfriend not too long ago and she was really bloated as well and then was gone.. again im sure water quality wasnt too good.. :(... thanks guys for any advice ... forgot to add, i did try to soak some of the pellets in epsom water but he didnt eat any that i know of..
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum and sorry for the circumstances.

Can you isolate the mbuna in a separate tank?

The Epsom salt can help food pass through the digestive system, check the correct dosage for your tank in the Cichlid-forum Library. But if the fish truly has bloat and needs medication I would get metronidazole overnight delivery.

But first I would isolate him (don't change the water parameters in the hospital tank dramatically from the tank he is in...including drastically improving nitrates...that can kill him by itself.

After isolating see if the feces are white or clear versus food colored. And if they are thick or thready. If the feces indicate bloat I would treat with metronidazole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply... i have a smaller tank but i currently have a fish(jewel cichlid) in it... he has been living in it since he was getting picked on a while ago.. so that has been his home lol... cant i treat the 60 gallon with something like API general cure? or would that put the pleco and the big zebra tilapia at risk??? if he truly has bloat,.. wouldnt he be dead by now?? its been a week probably with this i think.... thanks again
 

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I would not use general cure if it is not bloat, so first you have to observe the feces.

If you can't do that then maybe just see what happens with the Epsom salt.

Bloat can be slow...they don't have to eat for a month and it just depends on how fast the pathogens block his vital systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so maybe do salt bath and see if he goes poo and observe that and go from there?? because even the metro if its not bloat wouldnt be good either?? also when i put the salt in this past sunday should i not have put filters back in?? can i add more epsom to the big tank or??
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello again... so if you or someone can get back to me before this evening, i will figure out what to do with him :).... i asked if i should have removed the filters when i put epsom in the big tank or not?? not sure if matters... and if i should just do a salt dip for him tonight or what?? as i havent seen him poo to see what it looks like.. he is still in the big rock hiding... also if i do the dip, just 10 minutes or try and go for the full 15?? and is it ok if i just put him back in his big tank or do i need to acclimate him?? like i said, i will be using the tank water and just adding the epsom to that in a bucket with a bubbler... thanks again :) anything else, im all ears! btw, for the big zebra tilapia, is it to keep feeding him algae wafers?? seems to be all he likes lol
 

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Never remove filters.

Salt dip might work for something external, but this is internal...no dip.

If you cannot isolate the fish so you can see what the feces look like, then leave him where he is and just try the Epsom salt at right level for the tank in the long term.

General cure has metronidazole along with other things...and either of those might help if he has the clear thready feces, but probably not if he has something completely different.

Nothing wrong with algae wafers for a 10" fish in a 60G is a discussion for another day. What is the scientific name of the tilapia?

When posting questions in a forum, Members may not be able to get back to you as promptly as you like. It would be good if someone else chimes in because maybe they have your exact scenario and can give good advice.
 

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I don't think you will find much success unfortunately, because you need to address the underlying condition which is poor water quality. You have admittedly slacked on tank maintenance- not judging you, it happens. But that would be the first step imo and you can treat at the same time. Do smaller, frequent water changes and get yourself test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. You can get the API Freshwater Master Kit on Amazon for a good price. I would start off with 25% daily water changes with a good water conditioner. Don't know if you'll be able to save this fish but at least you will be improving the water for the tilapia. I'm sure the filters need to be cleaned as well but don't overdo it and clean both at the same time because you will lose too much of your beneficial bacteria. Any sponges or bio media that you have in your filter should be squeezed out and rinsed off in a bucket of tank water so you don't kill the bacteria. Are the bio-wheels still functioning? By that I mean are they still rotating? Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for both of you guys... so I did the big water change on sunday… do another water change tonight then?? add more Epsom again or? because like I said, I put 4 tablespoons of it in there on sunday with around 30 gallon water change... I do have a water test kit at home with the dyes and tubes etc.. its a good one, haven't tested in a while though.. def slacked big time, and it caught up on me ughh.. :(…. so ok, game plan for this ice blue again would be?? I would obviously like to try and save him as much as possible... he did take 1 pellet the other day I was informed by my wife.. also you said no dip , but I read all over the dip would help with any swelling , or so its suppose to?? but if its bacterial , then the metro OR even feeding it Epsom soaked food, or the hex shield food.. and if they are not eating then treating it with clout or the metro etc.. sorry, im babbling a lot, but there is so much info out there.... and of course everyone says something different to add to the confusion lol... the scientific name for the Tilapia is Heterotilapia buttikoferi.. and he may be a little bigger than 10 inches... has teeth on him too and will bite if you put your finger in there lol... , fishboy, I just saw what you said, so do 25% water change tonight then?? and do them daily for how long?? the filter was cleaned this past sunday… the elements were changed out, we did 1 for each side and lightly rinsed the others off... we also have ceramic rings filter media as well in both our emperor filters... so both on each side are filled with them too... and you say water conditioner? we always used the stress coat when we would change water.. prolly stupid thing to do? lol... oh and yes the the bio wheels are functioning... we took a toothpick and cleaned out the crud in the holes and made sure they are spinning... thanks again for everything chiming in to help out! lastly, Fishboy, I believe that is the test kit I have, the API master one... thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
one more thing I would like to add again is that he does NOT have any pine coning going on AND also there are no red marks near his anus or anything … just throwing that out there.. thanks
 

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Ninjasteve, what is the expiration date on your API Master test kit? If it is out of date, you won't get correct results. If it is within date, please test your tank water and post the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok.. I will do look at the expiration date when I get home and then test it all and then post it … give me a couple of hours :) thanks!!
 

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I would test the water and see what the results are if the test kits haven't expired yet. If nitrates are over 20 ppm do another water change. Since you already did a large one and the fish seem OK besides what's already happening, I would do a 50% water change. Thats assuming nitrates are high. If your mbuna does have bloat you can treat with a medication that has metronidazole in it, which Clout does. How old is the Clout though? I believe that product has been discontinued. General Cure from API also contains metronidazole and should help. As far as Stress Coat goes, I used that about 25 years ago when it was supposedly the best on the market. But it definitely is not. Prime by Seachem is generally regarded as one of the best water conditioners but there are plenty of good ones. You need to know if your tap water is being treated with chlorine or chloramine. Prime will take care of both so can't go wrong there. The most important thing is maintaining good water quality so the water changes will take care of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok I will test it when I get home and let you guys know the results.. I don't have any metro or clout at all.. im thinking the nearest pet store by me may have the API general cure.. I believe they carry that stuff.. will need to check.. it would be ok to dose the whole tank with the general cure even with the big tilapia and pleco in there?? just making sure :) thanks!! talk soon
also, after do another water change, should I add more Epsom to the tank or?? I think I have regular aquarium salt as well.. will need to look.
 

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I think you said you don't have another tank to treat him in, correct? The General Cure should not bother any of the fish but Clout would kill the place or at least severely stress it out. I have never used Epsom salts so I can't comment on how much to add but yes, if you are removing water and adding new water you would want to add more Epsom salts. I don't see the Aquarium or any regular salt helping out much in this case so I wouldn't worry about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK thanks for the feedback... so best i could do is use the expired test kit i have.. its expired about 6 months.. it is API master one... readings are High Range PH is 7.4
Ammonia low, looks like 0 or between 0 and .25..... nitrite is 0 and nitrates are...wait for it... yup prolly around 120 ppm or close to 160... and that is even with the big water change i did sunday... looked around and no water conditioner... nothing is open around me right now... is it ok to do the water change tomorrow evening or still do it with the tap water tonight??? he is still in the rock... big guy is fine looking and pleco is fine looking of course... will def add more epsom when i do the change then... also if im going to get conditioner tomorrow after work, should i get the general cure and just run with that tomorrow?? thanks again
 

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Better not to use general cure and/or metronidazole if you don't know what is wrong with your fish. The clean water may cure them without other actions. BUT...….

Do not do big water changes and do not do them without dechlorinator. Dramatic changes in nitrates, even for the better, can kill your fish.

Do 25% water changes 2X daily...like morning and night. After the first day you can go to 30%, then 3rd day 40% and then 4th day 50%.

Keep doing 50% 2X daily until your nitrates are 10ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok about the metro... i will just get the conditioner then.. but i can tell to you really dont have time in the morning to do water changes sorry.. i can do them at night.. can that work?? like tomorrow night do 25% change for now and increase per day?? and i forget if you said so or it was fishboy but do replace the water with epsom mixed in or?? thanks again... so confusing getting different inputs and advice lol
 

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I did say in my original post to take care of the underlying issue first which is water quality. I advised partial daily water changes of 25% but OP stated he already did a major one. More frequent and gradually increasing the amount of water during each change is definitely the best method. You can definitely wait to treat since you're not definite on what your fish has but General Cure is used by many professional fishkeepers as a preventative medicine during quarantine so i don't think there would be any harm using it. As long as the fish doesn't seem to be getting worse, DJ is correct, improved water quality through water changes might be all it needs. I do disagree about the difference in nitrates harming the fish, though. It would more likely be the difference in general hardness or total dissolved solids that could potentially shock the fish. But thats for a different day. I'm not one to ever advocate for just throwing medicine or salt in the tank and think it will cure everything. 99% of the time there's an underlying reason why a fish gets sick. And hopefully these water changes will take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks really appreciate all the feedback...so then to clarify, i will stop tomorrow and get the conditioner and do a 25% water change tomorrow night... and increase to 30 the next day and then 40 and then 50... how many days should i do these changes? like check the nitrates again after a couple days or?? no general cure for now..?? i know dj says no but fishboy says ok.. just want to be on the same page :) ....
 
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