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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I have a red spot gold severum that has a swollen belly. I noticed he was not moving much last night. Today was more of the same and I noticed his belly appeared to be swollen. He is probably around 5yrs old or so. No change in feedings, and everyone else in the tank is doing great. If anyone has some ideas on what could be going on or suggestions on what to do that would be great.
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Agreed. That one ain't right.
I'm not sure what is actually wrong with your Severum, but I can recommend treatment with Metronidazole medication that will not hurt.
There is plenty of actual Severum treatment info in this (very) recent posting thread, if you haven't seen it already,


This treatment works by the sick fish ingesting the medication. DO NOT treat the aquarium water. You can quarantine the individual sick fish, if you have a tank available to do that. Or, if you are nervous about the whole aquarium being possibly affected with this problem? Then you should start the medication process for all of the tank occupants. And, like I inform the OP in the other thread.... don't overthink this thing. If you are feeding with dry pellet food(s) already, then continue to use them. Just pre-soak the food you want to use in Metronidazole before feeding..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately he did not make it. I was unable to treat food as mentioned just due to the fact that he would not eat. I did quarantine and treat with API general cure, but he seemed to far gone by then. Just wanted to post a follow up for anyone who may have looked at this thread. If any one has ideas on what could have been the issue I would love to know just for the knowledge.
 

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I'm really sorry your Severum died. That was a good looking Cichlid.
Your Severum showed visible symptoms of this condition called 'Dropsy'. The popeye he had, was also part of that condition. Typically this happens when the water conditions in the aquarium become poor. Stress is caused in the fish kept in those poor water conditions, and that makes it much harder if not impossible, for a fish to heal or recover from small injuries or minor illnesses that would not normally affect it all that much.
Plus, medication efficacy can be diminished to almost zero with high measured Nitrates in the water of an aquarium.
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So, what to do now in moving forward?
  • Check the water in your aquarium with a good (new) Nitrate test kit. If you have high Nitrates in the tank (exceeding 40-50 PPM)....
  • You will need to perform a series of smaller, 25 percent water changes to slowly reduce the Nitrate level in the water. Going 'all in' and flushing out that water at this point in a big, high-percentage water change, might cause water chemistry shock to your fish - causing even more deaths.
  • Perform daily, 25 percent water changes until the measured level of Nitrates is below 10 PPM. With all of the clean fresh water moving through the aquarium, you may notice brighter colors and much more invigorated Cichlids! Keep the Nitrate level at a consistent level below 20 PPM, and you should have healthier fish in the future.
  • Observe your fish closely at this time. It is highly likely that they will have no problems, illnesses or other conditions you will have to treat for. However, if symptoms/problems of sick fish do emerge? You will need to treat everyone in the tank as recommended earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dropsy was one of my first thoughts as well. However the scales did not pinecone like is common from my experience with the disease previously. Just a little back group. He was in a 210 gallon that gets bi-weekly 25% water changes. I actually did a 50% last week. I did test the water and had zero ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. Kit is maybe a year old, so it could be off a little.
 

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Hmmmm... okay. I'm running out of ideas. And, that big ol' 210 gallon aquarium you have, is itself a definite natural antidote to a LOT of 'the usual' problems we get here.
Soooo, just a shot then.
I see you have some pretty small-sized Tetras in that tank. Rummy Nose and Cardinals? Is it possible your Severum was somehow able to actually eat a couple of those things? I mean did you notice any chasing, stalking? Y'know, predatory stuff like he was really interested in those little fish?
Cause with a Severum that size... well, those Tetras in with it would definitely fit in it's mouth. From there it's not too hard to visualize it possibly eating something with fins, that might have been just a little too big to process and digest very well.
An intestinal blockage?
 

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Hi... Sorry you lost your Severum. One thing stands out and it pertains to your test. Even in 200 gals with a light stock, it's virtually impossible to read zero nitrate. Unless you have killed your filters by cleaning the media. Do you mean all media or just the mechanical? But then you should have an ammonia reading if filters were dead. I suspect a bad kit or at least a bad test. Going forward, I suggest a far greater water change volume than 25%, and a frequency of far less than every 2 weeks. Think 75% weekly. Nothing but benefit doing large frequent water changes on a cichlid tank. There is more to water management than ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Fish live in their own toilet. It needs a regular flushing.
 
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