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Hey everyone,

One if my yellow labs looks skinny relative to the other cichlids (two other yellow labs and four yellow tails) in my tank. Some observations I have made include: it is not spitting out its food; it is not as active as the other fish; it has some red markings on/behind its two side fins and near the mouth (which were not there previously), and it has some discolouration. I can't find anything online about this. I'm totally lost because all the other cichlids look healthy and are growing well.

Also the yellow tails look super healthy but I sometimes see them do this weird shivering act. Not sure what that is all about, nor if it is related.

How do I tell if the problem is because of some sort of parasite, and what products would I need to solve this?

Thanks.
Water Fin Underwater Fish Seafood
 

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The red behind the fins is septicaemia. I’ve lost a few fish to that over the years. I think they can recover from it, but I’m not sure what medication to use.



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IDK what medication either but agree on septicemia. Erythromycin is probably the most available med, and metronidazole is a little harder to get, easier on your benefitial "bacteria" and expensive but is said to work. Isolate the fish in a hospital tank.

In your main tank, your groups are not large enough to manage aggression. What are the dimensions of your tank and what is your stocklist?
 

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Septicemia for sure! You got a really good chance with this fish if you can feed it antibiotics. MOST aquarium infections are gram-negative and can be treated with antibiotics IN THE FOOD ONLY. If a sick fish will eat, you got a really good chance. I use Maracyn Two - this is a gram negative broad-spectrum antibiotic and have cured a fish that looks just like this one from the septicemia by feeding her maracyn two mixed with some repashy. Indeed- when I make such food, I mix in some metronidazole and praziquantel (API general cure) as well. I always feed this to my fish. Dogmatic statements to follow:
Fish Don't Drink.
Adding medications to the water column can only harm the tank.
Antibiotic molecules are too large to pass into the fish through the gills.
Antibiotics in the water WILL kill your filter.
A dead filter will make your fish health worse.
 

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Although I agree with Strum that medication in the food is vastly preferable, I have had a different experience with meds in the water over the past 10+ years.
Adding medications to the water column can only harm the tank.
Antibiotics in the water WILL kill your filter.

Metronidazole in the water (not the food as fish were not eating) did cure the fish on the several occasions when I have used it. Not sure why, FWIW.

Metronidazole should not harm your tank/filter...on the several occasions when I have used it my tank/filter/bacteria were fine.

Erythromycin is reputed to harm your tank/filter and warnings are given on the med...on the several occasions when I have used it for cyanobacteria, this did not happen to me. But in this case I was expecting it and did have a plan to transfer established media from another tank. Turned out to be not necessary on all occasions.
 

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Those are all super good points of clarification.

Metronidazole CAN be safely added to your tank, and this will likely only harm your pocket book. I did learn something today though... My original response was going to be "Of course you can do that, Metro is not an antibiotic." But... it absolutely IS an antibiotic. It really bothered me then, why one was OK and the other not (Yes, even in my personal experience. I HAVE treated whole tanks with general cure) Since I had to learn today, y'all gonna learn today...

Erythromycin is a gram positive-antibiotic in the drug class macrolide antibiotics. This family was what I had in mind when I mentioned "Antibiotics" which should never be added to the tank. This family will hurt the biological filter (unless you take steps like DJR did when treating cyanobacteria... the harm must be planned for, but that's beyond the scope of this particular pontification).

Here is the reason Metronidazole can be added directly to the water and won't harm your filter. Metronidazole, on the other hand, is in a family called Nitroimidazoles. This drug class is used to treat ANAEROBIC microorganisms. Your biological filtration is decidedly NOT anaerobic, so it doesn't hurt your filter. This fact is actually why it's so effective at treating bloat (when the patient will eat it). The critters that cause bloat (most of the time) are anaerobic in nature and have grown to an extent in the fish's intestines such that intestinal wall responds by becoming inflamed and the whole intestine blocked. Metronidazole in the fish will kill the offending anaerobic organisms. Must get it in the fish though...
 

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Yer killing it here today, El Hefe'. :cool:
First the ammonia gill thing.... and now, an explanation of why Metronidazole doesn't kill off your beneficial bacteria. I had wondered about that, but thought it would take pounds of the stuff or something to do much damage, so I didn't worry too much about it...
 
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