Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I have a single male Tropheus Duboisi in a tank with some yellow labs and peacocks. Yes, I know I shouldn't have done that. But it is a rescue fish and I feed the whole tank a "Tropheus diet" anyway - light on the protein and high on the veggies. Spirulina flake and New Life Spectrum algaemax. Small pellets. I also include steamed broccoli florets a few times a week. This diet has always kept my Mbunas very happy, healthy and colorful.

But I am learning that Tropheus can be more susceptible to bloat then mbunas. And that I should definitely take notice when they stop eating.

I've had the fish for a couple months, and he as doing really well until about a week ago when I noticed he wasn't eating. Right now, that's the only symptom I can see. There's no obvious outward sign of bloat. No popping eyes, No bloated abdomen that i can see. He's still moving around and is interested when I feed. But he is definitely not eating.

I've never had bloat before so I don't know what to do. I have a ten gallon hospital tank all setup and ready to go with a small water heater, and a sponge filter. I set it up last night and added some cichlid salts and prime. So I think the water is as ready as I can get it.

My question to you all - should I go ahead and start treatment? I'm not certain it is bloat. But something is going on. I was thinking of using the 'Clout' cure that I see in the sticky notes of this forum. I'm attaching a picture but not sure how much use that will be. I also have a pretty good video of him swimming around if anyone wants to see it.

Thanks!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry all. I forgot to add water chemistry details!

If you decide to post a question, keep in mind that the best way to get help/input from other forum members is to provide all the pertinent data in your post.

:!: What is the size and dimensions of your tank and what SPECIES of fish do you have? (This helps identify potential aggression or overstocking problems.)

size: 75 gallon, standard dimensions - 48"x18"x20"

:!: How long has it been set up? Is it CYCLED? (This can rule out cycling issues.)

Setup time: 4+ years - fully cycled

:!: What are your water parameters: Temperature, ammonia (NH3/4), nitrite (NO2), pH, GH, KH and nitrate (NO3)? It's not sufficient to say that your water tests "okay" or "fine." Sometimes a misunderstanding about WATER CHEMISTRY requirements is the root of the problem. If you don't have TEST KITS, you should purchase them. In the meantime, your local fish store will probably test your water for you -- just be sure to get the actual results rather than just a "thumbs up".

Temp: 80.1 Farenheit
Nitrites: 0ppm
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrates: ~30ppm
PH: 8.2 - 8.4

Ans: The water is well water - coming out of the ground at ~6.8 PH. The nitrates can fluctuate up to 80PPM depending on how lazy I have been with my water changes. Right now they are lower because I have done two 30% changes in 3 days. The PH is a bit higher then normal and is right at 8.0. And I just started using the trace salts a couple weeks ago. Is it possible the upward shift of PH and/or salt addition is stressing out my Tropheus?

:!: How long have you had the fish and what symptoms do they have? What do you FEED them? Have you introduced any new fish recently? What is your MAINTENANCE schedule, and what product/s (if any) do you use to neutralize chlorine or chloramines in your TAP WATER? (This helps to determine if a new disease has been introduced to the tank or if it's some kind of husbandry problem.)

Ans: I typically do 30%, Bi-weekly water changes. And when I do them I add:

Seachem: Prime
Seachem: Trace cichlid salts
Seachem: Victoria buffer

Ans: I use the recommended amount on the back of the bottles when I add the chemicals.

Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,487 Posts
Does the fish have thready white or clear feces? There can be a lot of causes of not eating, but this symptom is more unique to bloat or at least an intestinal blockage.

Before the fish stopped eating, did he spend any time lurking below the surface or hiding behind heaters or filter intakes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi DJRansome. Thanks for the response! I have not seen ANY feces hanging down from the fish at all. And I've been looking for it. And absolutely no lurking behind the heater or filter intake at all. He's been out in the tank, and even chases other fish away from him. He does seems a little wobbly when he is static.

Also, I got rid of a couple of the larger fish yesterday. I had a zebra that bullied the others, and a couple larger peacocks. I've never seen the Zebra go after the Tropheus. So, currently, the tank has only the labs, a catfish and the Tropheus. I'm not sure if the Zebra was causing stress, but he was going to go anyway. I'm looking to switch the tank over to all Tropheus + the labs in the coming next few weeks and the zebra just could not stay in that mix.

But I have to get this health scare cleared up first. In my experience, when a cichlid stops eating it's for one of two possibilities. And this guy is definitely not holding. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm wondering if I should just try epsom salts in my 10 gallon hospital tank to see if this is just a constipation issue? Or should I use both metronidazole and epsom salts - just to cover the bases?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,487 Posts
With all those additives, you may already have a significant level of Epsom salts in the tank. Any magnesium listed on the ingredients of the additives? Do you know what your KH and GH are?

If he is not passing waste at all, the issue is urgent. More likely that you have not seen it happen?

Based on his activity, it does not really seem like he is very sick so for the moment I would keep researching and not move him.

When you switch over to tropheus I would go all the way and eliminate the yellow labs as well. They like to be in a big group of their species and 75G is the smallest recommended tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah. I really don't want to stress him out by chasing him around the tank with a net and putting him into a hospital tank. But the lack of waste elimination and not eating are really bothering me. He usually eats with gusto!

Could he be eliminating waste and I'm just missing it? Maybe... I can't watch him 24x7.

KH = 200ppm, GH = 140ppm. The Cichlid Trace contains magnesium - listed at 0.792% on the bottle. Ingredients are: Calcium chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Copper/Iron/Zinc/Manganese Sulfates, Selenium, and Sodium Fluoride. The Malawi/Victoria buffer just says "a blend of Carbonate salts" on the label. When I changed the water out yesterday, I added two caps of the cichlid trace for the roughly 25 gallons of water I took out.

I hear you on the labs. I've been debating those. I really like the yellow and they tend to get along with everything. But I'll be upgrading to a 125 gallon later this year as well. So I may just get some Lamprologus leleupi in the tank to take up the mantle of "yellow fish" instead.

You think it would hurt to add some epsom salt to the tank he is in? I found a few forums online saying it is really safe and shouldn't hurt the other fish. The most common dose I've seen is:
1/8 tsp / 5 gallons = ~.65 grams / 5 gallons = .13 grams / gallon

I was thinking about adding just 6.5 grams?

Thanks for the advice so far!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,487 Posts
You already have added magnesium...the cichlid salts. The dosage you see is for people like me who do not add cichlid salts with magnesium in the mix.

I would isolate him and watch for feces. But if it is really bothering you, go ahead with the metronidazole in the hospital tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey! Just saw some poop - white thread-like as you described. Picture attached. You think this is more definitive?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
I would treat the tank with Kanaplex. I would normally say metro soaked food but he's not eating. I would also leave the tank lights off until he's eating again. I have found huge changes in sick Tropheus when the lights are turned off.
Stress could be coming from the fact that he's isolated from a group. There is a pecking order and a hierarchy within a Tropheus colony that he doesn't have.
That could be the cause of the stress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Noddy. I've never heard of Kanaplex before - can it adversely affect my good bacteria colonies? And I'm working on getting more Duboisi for him to hang out with. But they are super expensive at my LFS at $30/fish for juveniles. I usually just find other folks in the hobby and trade/buy/sell with them. Not many of them in my area have Tropheus though.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,487 Posts
It does not look thready (like a baby hair) but I see white portions as well as food-colored portions (maybe the pic?). I would still do metronidazole in the hospital tank. I have had success with metro when the fish are not eating.

Lots of Tangs are expensive...but if you are going to spend $30/fish better to get the big group so they can all live 8 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
zablalbaz said:
Thanks Noddy. I've never heard of Kanaplex before - can it adversely affect my good bacteria colonies? And I'm working on getting more Duboisi for him to hang out with. But they are super expensive at my LFS at $30/fish for juveniles. I usually just find other folks in the hobby and trade/buy/sell with them. Not many of them in my area have Tropheus though.
I've never heard of it affecting the bacteria. It's basically metro that can be absorbed through the fish's body from the water column. $30.00 is a lot for juvies.
Where abouts in the U.S are you?

Edit. Just saw D.J's post. I too have had lot's of success using metro. I usually soak the food in it with a little water then dump it in the tank so that the fish are swimming in a cloud of it. P.S, I would never use clout. I feel it's a last resort and has never worked for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks DJRansome/Noddy! I'm going to get him in the hospital tank with some API General Cure I picked up at a pet store this afternoon. It has a combination of metronidazole and praziquantel. I looked but couldn't find any products containing 100% metronidazole. I'm looking online now for some pure metro, but I hope this will help in the meantime.

Also, the picture quality wasn't the greatest. But there is definitely no food colored feces in that string. It just looks darker in a spot where it was thinner and translucent and in front of the black tank background. The fish had another string of white feces coming out of it later this evening with no brown and is still not eating.

I'm curious to know the procedure for soaking food in metro though. Do either of you have a recipe you can share? Sounds like that would be useful for treating a whole tank of fish without having to blast the whole tank?

I'm in Raleigh, NC. You can get 'assorted' malawi cichlids at the big box pet stores here, but I've never seen Tropheus at them. Only place you can get them are specialty fish stores where everything is expensive. You get better fish, cheaper down here by joining clubs, building networks, and looking on Craigslist.

Thanks for the help so far!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
To soak food in metro I always treat for the entire tank. ie: 1/4 tsp per 40 gallons.
So in a 75g tank I would use 1/2tsp of metro and let the food soak in the slurry for about 2 mins.
There used to be a prolific poster on here from Raleigh, N.C. Can't think of his name now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not sure if you guys are still monitoring this post, but if so I could use a little more assistance.

I decided to go ahead and treat my Tropheus in the hospital tank yesterday after repeated water changes in the main tank didn't seem to help any. He was still not eating, swimming a little wobbly, and definitely had thready, white feces. So I took him out and put him in the 10 gallon hospital tank last night. I dosed the tank with a pack of API General Cure and left him in there per the instructions.

He seemed to be doing okay this morning, but then this afternoon, I noticed he was at the top of the tank mouth up, and appeared to be gulping air. In my experience, this means poor oxygen or high levels of ammonia in the water. So I tested for ammonia and found it to be at .25ppm! I didn't really expect it to go from 0ppm to .25ppm in less then 24 hours from one 3.5 inch fish but I guess I was wrong there. Nitrite level was 0ppm but no surprise there since this is a hospital tank and has no nitrifying bacteria colony. But I was surprised to also see a small peak in the Nitrate level. Not much, probably about 3ppm but still a darker yellow then 0ppm.

Anyway, I've done a 50% water change and I have added some prime to the hospital tank now. But he's still gasping at the top of the aquarium so I have also added another air stone to help with gas exchange at the surface. I'm wondering if any of you can offer more advice? I was thinking I should add more of the API General Cure now that I've done the water change? Some of the instructions I have seen in the forum indicate that treating with double the dose may be beneficial.

Thoughts anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the advice! The gulping behavior is really concerning to me.

Any pointers on where I can get pure metro? And do you think it would be okay to just treat the tank again with General Cure tonight while I am looking for pure metro?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also wondering if I should try boosting the temp in the hospital tank to 82 or higher even? I've read where some people do that and it seems to help. Currently, the temp in the tank is ~81 Fahrenheit.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top