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I was looking at my Jack Dempsey cichlid, who is about 6 years old, and I noticed he got a lot skinnier in the region of his backbone, and his eye looks a little different today. He doesn't have much of an appetite but he ate a freeze dried shrimp today. I normally feed him cichlid sticks. The pH is about 7 and we change the water occasionally when it gets low we add more to fill to the top. The other cichlids are fine, but jack isn't happy. His color is fine, he doesn't have ich, and I don't think hole in the head, but his head looks a little different today, but it might just be my paranoia. I would appreciate any help on which medicine to give him.
-Alisha
 

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u need to CHANGE the water about every week or so. This means get a siphon hose (unless u have one already) and vacuum the rocks and suck in the bad water. Your Jack Dempsey is Probably sick because of all the nitrates that are building up in the rocks which can do some damage to your fish. You can get a siphon hose at any fish store. I highly recommend you do so to and CLEAN your tank. :thumb: sounds like a good fish. good luck.
 

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JD man is right on. Changing the water means to exchange the dirty, high nitrate water with fresh clean water. Just topping off only concentrates the natural minerals and such in the tap water. While nitrates are much less harmful than the ammonia and nitrites, but as the levels go up, it does take a tole on the fisges health and can definitely shorten their lives (all the while making them more suceptable to disease by the constant physical stress).

As for the fact that the other fish seem fine, some fish are just more tolerant than others of poor water conditions.

In order to have a happy and healthy tank you should really be testing the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as ph) on a regular basis. Do you have the tests for the other parameters?

But Just in case we are dealing with an actual illness, we would need to know these levels first and go from there. Medicating an already stressed fish can turn deadly.
 
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