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I feed my fish as much as they will eat in about 1 min. I dump a lot of floating pellets (Kens Fish pellets) and they all grab some in no time, they carry it in their mouths till they can swallow it. (I've tried presoaking the food, and it just make a mess of the tank, so I don't bother.) I also have small sinking pellets from NLS for cichlids, those don't last long int he tank either. It seems like my fish are always starving.

I feed them every other day, sometimes every day as I try to fatten them up. I've read that it might be internal parasites but I don't usually seem long stringy poop.

I have some yellow labs in there and they are the ones most affected by a sunken belly. I also have some female peacocks which don't grow at all. It seems something is stunting their growth. They are no bigger than 2" and have stayed that size, geez for maybe a year?

What should I do? I don't like medicating the whole tank, but should i?
 

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Hi,

Well first of all, healthy cichlids will always seem to be starving--no matter how much you feed them so don't ever let THAT determine how much/often you feed them.

Having said that there is likely something wrong if your fish have a noticably sunken belly. Might be bacterial or parasites, (you don't always see the stringy feces). Try feeding them their regular pellets soaked in metronidazole. You can get the powder from Seachem on line. In about a half teaspoon of water dissolve 1-2 measures of the powder, (doesn't dissolve real easy) and then throw the pellets in there and let them soak up the met-water.
The tricky thing with the met-soaked food is that its hard to know if all fish are getting enough.
Another option is to treat the entire tank with Jungle Parasite Clear which has metronidazole in it. There are also pre-made foods with medication in them but not all fish will eat them and the sudden switch in diet isn't always such a great idea.

Whether you go with the met-soaked food, JPC or the pre-made food: if you don't see improvement within a week of the end of treatment then you should probably switch to a med that targets bacterial infections. Maracyn and Maracyn-two used together would be my number one choice.

There's no way to know for certain whether its parasites or an internal bacterial infection without looking at a sample under a microscope so that's why I have to give you both options.

Please post back with any additional questions or concerns and good luck with the treatment.

Robin
 

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Every other day? I feed up to 6-8 times a day in very small amounts. Sometimes only 2 times a day.

Wild fish are constantly eating many small meals a day. So, twice before work and 2-4 times after work and before bed is a great way to ensure their dietary needs.

I would guess they are not getting enough food.
 

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I would not only feed them every other day but at least twice a day... I do twice a day for three minute feedings, you could also do one minute three times a day.

Also consider supplementing your granules with some krill; you can get it at a lfs, and it will help them fill out quickly
 

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I feed for one minute, once a day
 
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