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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I noticed one of the yellow labs with a classic case of the hollow/concave stomach. Just as bad as is pictured here:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... ve+stomach

So perfectly round and concave that it looks like it was photoshopped. She is also slightly pale.

Today I looked closely and it looks like pretty much all the fish have it, just not as bad - not enough that I would've noticed it at all except that I was looking for it.

I immediately put in 7 tabs of the Jungle Parasite Clear and used an eighth to soak their food (no more flake for them for a while now, only the spirulina pellets - unless flake is more absorbent... I just assumed it'd get too soggy and dissolve). I may have soaked it too long this time since it was really soggy but they still followed them down to the substrate and ate, and nobody seemed put off by the taste. I put the water in with it so the tank is up to 8 PC tabs.

This is the first time I have ever had any issue whatsoever in the african tank... I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. No wonder they haven't been breeding for a while! With the exception of the one fish I feel like I've caught it early enough to fix it, but I just want to be sure of what to do going forward. Right now I have another box of 8 Jungle tabs left (it's a 75g tank - they were recently upgraded from a 55) and I also have a bunch of Praziquantil. Is there a better product I could/should get, especially for the soaking? I have a petco and petsmart both within walking distance and an LFS might have a few other meds (but not pure metro as far as I can remember). How often should I treat the full tank? Should I do the tank with the Jungle tabs (which, thankfully, are quite cheap) and soak the food in something else?

I have not noticed any white stringy feces but I will look more closely, because honestly I am not quite sure if I have ever paid any attention to these guys pooping. Would that tell us any more about the parasite than we already know? The fish are all super voracious at feeding time, which is good.

Tank conditions are the same as they have always been, 82, no measurable ammonia, nitrite, nitrate under 10 (usually close to 0), water buffered up with 1tsp baking soda and 3/4 tbsp epsom per 5g. etc. There haven't been any spikes in temp or anything lately at all, so I'm a little confused about how this was caused. But it is something pretty common and successfully treated, right? (I don't see anyone following up their initial posts about it to say the fish all died, so that's encouraging.) Just wondering how I should proceed with treatment. And how long till I should notice a difference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
sorry for the double post... I checked the forum index to see if the frozen window had posted before re-submitting and it hadn't... guess it just hadn't shown up yet.
 

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There is typical bloat, and then there is something commonly referred to as "wasting" or "skinny" disease.

For a fish to have a concave belly, this may have been going on for quite some time.

Regardless of what is going on, I think you're on the right track.

To make life a bit easier, you could pick up some of the antiparasitic food that Jungle makes, if you can't find metronidazole in powder form. It's the easiest way to feed treated food, and I do believe that's important...If they are still eating, it's best to get them to ingest the med. If you can do this and ascertain that all of them are eating, no need to treat the water column...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, the one fish has a seriously concave one but I wouldn't have noticed on the others if I hadn't been specifically looking for it. It's possible that the one that has it worst is the one I rescued from bad conditions at a petsmart when she was about to burst with 15 fry (but I'm not sure). Seems pretty obvious that either way, she's the first to have it, since it's so much more obvious on her.

It's hard to keep track of 35 fish but they all get super excited to eat and seem to be getting some food, so that's good. I'm treating the water column anyway because a) Jungle tabs are cheap b) I don't have the metro powder so I wonder if maybe the jungle ones aren't quite as powerful/effective for soaking the food and c) I've never soaked food before so I don't know if it's working well.

Is metro powder easy to find? Should I go get that or is Jungle enough? Does anyone know how much actual metro is in the Jungle tabs? The packaging doesn't say (API General Cure, for instance, has 250mg metro and 75mg prazi per packet).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
****, I might just be imagining things and being paranoid but I think that my orange heads and jurupari in a different tank might have it too. Could there be something in my water source?
 

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No, it's probably just transferring from tank to tank with siphons, nets, etc.

Or, it could be your imagination! :wink:

Internal parasites are believed to be spread by healthy fish mouthing feces of infected fish.

IMO, anytime you can get fish to ingest the meds, you stand a better chance of treating the tank. Since they are all eating, that's what I would try.

Obviously, you can obtain Jungle products in your area. They make an antiparasitic food that already has the meds in it. It's dirt cheap, and the bottle lasts a long time. Just remember to soak it in tank water for 20 minutes or so before feeding it to them.
 

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What do you feed them? How often do you feed them?
In my experience this symptom mainly happens to the females. It used to happen to me occassionally. No matter how much i feed them they did not put on weight.
So i stopped feeding them as much. Skipped a few days, then fed them a couple days in a row and then skipped a couple.
My theory is, over fed females cease the production of eggs internally.
If you don't feed females for a few days running you will notice there bellies starting to swell because they're considering breeding and producing eggs to do so.
If you feel comfortable with this idea, give it a go. Fish can go weeks without food
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They get spirulina flake twice a day and lately their portion has been much larger. There is a new addition to the tank, male, that also has this noticeably though, and some of the other males do too.

They have been happily eating all the food that I have been soaking in the medication for the past three days. How long should it take before I can notice a difference (for better or for worse)? The one female that has it worst is still very pale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
can't edit, but should mention that since this started I am feeding them the medicine-soaked food in spirulina pellets just once a day, rather than twice. To make sure they're hungry enough to eat it. I haven't found the jungle food yet but I think I know a place that has it that I haven't tried yet.

One thing I found on Google has a person who confidently states that it's an internal bacterial infection that he treated with an Oceanfree antibac product. Is it possible that this is it? Or have we seen enough cases that are parasite (and treatment is successful) that I shouldn't bother trying other things.

I guess I'm just antsy about not knowing when I should see an improvement.
 

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They didn't get that way overnight, so you can't expect them to improve overnight, either! :thumb:

The best thing I've found to do when treating fish is to NOT jump from one medication to another without giving them a full treatment of the first med.

I would continue as you are going for now. After feeding them medicated food for a couple of weeks, I would return to my normal routine and normal feeding schedule to see if they started to put back on any weight. Within a month, if they don't gain weight, then you can consider another treatment.

I have to warn you, though...Sometimes, nothing you do can change things if it's wasting or skinny disease. But you should always try!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have found the loach skinny disease to be one of those things that doesn't seem to go away, but am optimistic that these ones will be OK, if only because I have seen lots of threads about it on here and not many people return to say "he died :( "

Today the tank gets a full dismantle and substrate vac after their feeding with a 50+% WC. That should help too.
 

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Good luck, and please post back with your progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
UPDATE:

Well, I have been feeding exclusively Jungle Anti-Parasite food since this post started, and all the fish have been surprisingly happy to eat it. I also started feeding it in the other tank as well, even though I couldn't be sure whether those geos had it or not. Their lack of breeding activity and duller colors made me want to try it anyway.

Last week I also did a full tank treatment on the 75 with API General cure, which has 250 metro and 75 prazi per dose. Actually since there are 10 packets per box I did 5 of those and 3 jungle tabs each dose. Immediately after this treatment I noticed that the largest fish seemed to be noticeably better. None of the others had horrible hollowness either. They certainly weren't getting any worse.

In the past few days though, the big guy seems to be hollowing out more again, and the youngest demasoni are more hollow than I noticed before. Additionally, my male kribensis (also in the other tank with the geos) has a noticeable concavity and three l. dorsigera are losing color and stopped courting behavior. This tank has gotten the jungle food all along as well as the 2-step treatment with the jungle parasite clear tabs.

All the non-cichlids in the other tank are fine, which is good (except the one loach with skinny disease). Tomorrow I am going to do a big water change and the best gravel vac that I can (the problem is that there just isn't very good suction with my python and the aragonite never seems to get clean - and in the other tank the substrate is so light that it gets sucked up easier than the poop does! But I'm just going to yank all that tank's substrate out anyway because it's ugly and I'm going to switch to sand.)

This is starting to get annoying. As best as I can tell (hard to count identical demasoni and labs) I haven't actually lost any fish yet. But the loach and one of the dorsigera are really weak now, and I obviously want this fixed for all the africans as well. I am starting to miss fishing out the holding females :)

I ordered some levamisole hcl. I figure it'll be here in a week, maybe less. In the meantime, is it overkill to dose some prazi-pro at full strength? The fish haven't seemed upset by all the medication they have been getting so I'm not too worried about stress levels. Only a baby leopard ctenopoma has changed behavior at all during treatment (but he is still eating). But that'd make 3 different treatments in 2 weeks, which might be a bit much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2nd UPDATE:

Holy bleep, there's a yellow lab that's holding!

And that would explain why repeated counts were giving me 11 yellows instead of 12 (I got 12 once last night and once today).

This must mean they're better, right? It's entirely possible that I'm paranoid and imagining that it got worse over the past week (it's definitely obviously on the krib in the other tank though). So maybe I'm just wrong and they're getting better?
 

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It sounds like they are on the mend. It takes time when parasites are involved, and it's not unusual to continue to see improvements after the meds are complete.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
should I keep feeding the anti-parasite food? When would I go back to their regular diet? The food is cheap but it's also tiny and I'm sure they miss their flake.
 

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When I suspect internal parasites, I feed medicated food for two weeks. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It has been more than two now. I'll give them a week back with regular food and see if that fattens up those hollow bellies. If no progress, I'll treat again.
 
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