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Sick / Weird Behavior: White Tail Acei (Pictures)

1638 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Robin
One of my white tail acei has been showing some weird behavoir lately and now I'm concerned. This issue was brought to my attention about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Lately he has been laying on his belly in the corner of the aquarium or on a rock / ledge. He just sits there by himself for almost the entire day not swimming at all. No other fish in the aquarium displays this behavoir.

The tank does not have any aggression issues what so ever. I strongly feel this fish is not under any stress.

90 Gallon Current Stock =

8 White Tail Acei
9 Yellow Labs
5 Albino Socolofi
5 Syno Multipunctatus

The fish is eating regularly (NLS) once a day and swims fine when desired. His breathing appears to be a little elavated whilte laying on his belly. He shows no visual signs of disease and still looks fantastic. I perform weekly water changes from 1/3 - 1/2. I have provided some pictures belows and I'm sorry for the terrible photography. Any help / information would be greatly appreciated.

Here he is showing some activity with all the commotion during photos.

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One possibilty is that the fish is overeating/and or has some kind of blockage. Even if you are not over-feeding some fish have a talent for getting more than their share and when this happens they tend to look a little bloated and sit around around between meals.

So try this:

Partial water change of 30% and siphon the gravel. Use a good quality dechlorinator.
Add Epsom salt at the rate of 1 tablespoon per five gallons. Dissolve it first and add it gradually over 6-8 hours time(Epsom salt works as a laxative but it will also raise the GH of the tank--NOT a problem as long as it is done gradually)
Fast the entire tank for 24-48 hours.

You're right to be concerned as its not normal for these fish to sit. Even if it's 'just' overeating it can quickly turn into a serious situation for the fish if it's not dealt with.

Let me know how it goes

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Hi Robin,

Thank you very much for the advice. After reading your response i fallowed the directions below.

Removed approximately 30% of water and vacuumed sand.
Dosed the tank with Epsom Salt as usual after water changes.
Fasted the tank for 48 hours while on a Ski trip.

When i returned from the ski trip exactly 2 days after performing the above changes 3 victims were found.

2 Acei (One being the original concern)
1 Lab

After the return I performed another 30 % water change and dose of Epsom Salt + baking soda. I have been feeding slightly less than usual once a day.

I am now observing another yellow lab displaying symptoms described in the original post. Eating less, elevated breathing, and not swimming lying on his belly.

This fish has a very small sore directly behind his pectoral fin. I am unable to take a picture. I am not sure if this was caused by a fight, a scratch on a rock, or a disease.

The original Acei had no sore on the body. I am not sure what to do at this point. Water chemistry is fine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated :(

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Sorry to hear that Brian.

I don't know what's going on with your fish. Do you know what symptoms the other two fish that died were showing? Did someone take care of them while you were away? Does anyone else help feed them?

ANd the fish that is showing symptoms now: it's eating less--is it swallowing the food that it eats?

And one more question--how much epsom salt and baking soda are you adding? Do you keep a specific amount per gallon in the tank?

For now I would do another partial water change--make it 50% and siphon the gravel. Please report back if the fish shows any change after the water change.
And then we should try treating the entire tank but at this point I don't know if it's bacterial or parasites.

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Sorry for such a late response, I thought my sick lab was doing better but now I think he is worse.

No one watched my fish for 48 hours while I was skiing. No one besides me feeds them.

The two that died while on vacation showed no signs illness before I left. However I could have been distracted by the originalacei lying on his belly to recognize the others.

The yellow lab ate 2 days ago. Now he is no longer eating. Last night he would swallow food then spit up. I do not believe anything was kept down. Today his belly seems a little large.

Could this possibly be Bloat? The lab still has elevated breathing, and not swimming lying on his belly.

During water changes I siphon gravel, and add about 12 teaspoons of espon salt. This keeps my GH around 19. GH is always between 15 - 25.

I do not add much baking soda if any at all. My tab water PH is 8.4+.

I think it might be time to purchase a hospital tank or should the entire tank / all fish be treated?

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I'm hesitant to recommend a course of action because I don't have any experience with bloat, but that's what it sounds like to me. If it is, you should treat the entire tank.
Anyway, going with the assumption that this is bloat, I would recommend that you read the following article and proceed with it's course of action using either Metronidazole or Clout.
I should also mention that the article states that 'Metronidazole has only been effective at stopping the spread of the disease and not at curing fish already displaying symptoms. Clout, on the other hand, has proven somewhat more effective at curing bloated fish.'
You may wish to wait until more opinions are given as to a course of action.
I was thinking it was bloat also, GTZ--not sure about it though since we don't know what symptoms, if any, the other fish who died had. When fish die suddenly with no symptoms then I usually suspect aggression or some kind of toxin in the water. It may be that the other two died because of aggression but now this lab does have bloat.

Since Bloat is so common and can get ahead of you, killing fish before they have time to respond to meds, I think I would go ahead and treat the entire tank. Do a 30% partial water change first and siphon the gravel. Then you can either treat with Clout or Jungle Parasite Clear. Or metronidazole if you prefer. No point in going through the trouble of removing the lab and treating him separately.

Good luck with it--and just in case I would be keep a very close watch on the tank for aggression.

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