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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a young WC pair of Alto. compressiceps that I've had for about 6 weeks. They have both eaten frozen brine shrimp, mysis and krill very aggressively up until about a week ago when the male stopped eating. He will only suck in the food and then spit it out. Sometimes he doesn't even do that. He still acts fairly normal, chasing the female when she gets close for instance, but I know this won't last if he doesn't eat. I had high hopes for this pair and hate to lose him. Any advice on what I should do to get him eating again?
 

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Try adding epsom salt to the tank. Perform a 30% water change and vacuum, mix 2 tablespoons per 10g in a large cup and add gradually over 4-5 hours. If there's a blockage, this may help as it acts as a natural laxative.
If there's no improvement after 48 hours, or his condition worsens, you may want to begin a bloat treatment.
 

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I agree with the above, but would also recommend not feeding anything for a few days. They can go for weeks without food with no long term harm.

Have you been feeding them any flake or pellet food? The foods you listed are very rich, and should only be feed very sparingly.

My guess is that he's got some gastrointestinal issues from eating too much of a good thing. Cleaning out his gut is the best thing- which Epsom salt (as GTZ suggested) will help with. Combined with fasting for at least three days should get the fish empty. In the meantime, order some metronidazole (250g tablets, FishZole is the brand I use).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. As far as his diet, the frozen things are all he and his potential mate will eat. Being wild-caught they turn their nose up at flakes and pellets. I was told this was common. Should I try to starve them till they accept flakes and pellets?
As far as treating him with epsom salts or a medication, I might try that although I might move him to a smaller tank first. He's in a 125 and I'd hate to treat that much water.
Are we talking just regular epsom salts like from a pharmacy?
Roy
 

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Yep- altos are notoriously picky when acclimating to a new tank. But- they will eat just about anything when they are hungry enough. After three days, try a couple pellets- see what he does. If he still mouths the food and spits, then it's probably time for metro+Epsom.

Yes- Epsom salt (MgSO4) from a pharmacy. Treating him in a smaller tank is not a bad idea, just be cautious about stressing him out too much from netting. If he's got a cave in the big tank, transfer him and the cave while he's in it.

The frozen foods should be just treats, fed once or twice a week. Your fish will adjust to new foods when there are no other choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just an update... He has started eating again on his own after about a week of starving himself. I've given him just one whiteworm and a small piece of an earthworm and he's kept them down. I know people recommended getting him off of the frozen food but so far that is all him and the female will eat. I will keep trying to switch both of them over to prepared food but the important thing is that he is eating again. I know they were raised on frozen food but maybe I overfed him.
Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated!
Roy
 
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