Green Terror Cichlid Mouth Issue

Slatts

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I’ve noticed that my green terror cichlid has had his mouth open for awhile and hasn’t been able to close it. Occasionally it has been breathing slightly heavy but not all the time. It also sits on its nest outside of the pot all day and won’t move unless it’s provoked or if it’s feeding time. It also has been eating well but has been eating very slowly. Any ideas what the problem may be? Cotton wool or mouth rot has crossed my mind but I’m not sure.
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Colin_T

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The mouth looks fine and doesn't appear to have a disease.

Check the water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Monitor the fish and if it doesn't start eating normally in a few days, post a video of it trying to eat.
 
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Slatts

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Thank you for the advice! I did exactly what you said last night and I’ll continue to do water changes this week. The problem may have gotten a little worse though… I noticed a small bump on the bottom of the green terrors gills and the inside of his mouth has gotten red and more irritated. Also, I noticed a small sore on my Oscar fish as well. I captured a picture of my green terror stretching its mouth to get a good look inside. I also got a picture of the bump underneath it and a picture of the sore on the Oscar. Any more advice?
 

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Colin_T

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The green terror look a bit red inside the mouth throat are and might have the fish equivalent of a sore throat. I'm not sure where the sore is on the Oscar.

Keep up the water change and gravel cleaning for at least a week, and you can try adding a bit of salt and see if it helps. If there's no improvement to the green terror after a couple of days with salt, it might need something stronger (broad spectrum medication that treats fungus and bacteria).

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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
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Slatts

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After about 4 days of doing water changes and salt I don’t see an improvement on his mouth and it looks the same or may have gotten worse. I was wondering what medicine I should give him? I do have methylene blue, melafix, pimafix, API general cure, etc… i was also wondering should I treat the whole tank or should I put the fish in a bucket and treat the bucket. I also have a completely healthy and cycled 10 gallon tank that’s empty at the moment so I could treat him in that. Any suggestions?
 

Colin_T

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Api general cure is unlikely to do anything.

Melafix might but might not, and you need to increase aeration when using this or any medication.

Methylene Blue kills bacteria and fungus but it also kills filter bacteria and stains silicon (the glue holding the glass tank together) blue. It doesn't damage the silicon, it just turns it blue.

Methylene Blue might be worth a try but move the filter media into another tank or bucket of tank water while you use the Methylene Blue.

Otherwise look for a medication with Acriflavine, Formalin/ Formaldehyde in and that treats fungus and bacteria.
 
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Slatts

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Thank you! Do you have any specific medications that you would recommend for me to try that treat bacterial and fungal diseases? I was thinking about trying melafix and pimafix first and after about 4 or 5 days I could switch to a more powerful medication if there's no improvement? Also, keep in mind I have eels in the tank that may be sensitive to some medications.
 

Colin_T

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I have no idea what medications are available nowadays.

Triple Sulpha (Tri sulfa) is a broad spectrum medication that normally kills bacteria and fungus, and it's safe for scaleless fishes like catfish and eels.

You can try the Melafix/ Pimafix for a few days and see if it helps. If it does, that's great, but if it doesn't, then try to find a medication that contains one of the above ingredients and triple sulpha.
 

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