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Sunken Belly?

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Ozzie Boss, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Ozzie Boss

    Ozzie Boss Fish Fanatic

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    I was in a conversation with Colin about my Acara being sick. But I can’t send pictures through conversations for some reason. So I hope it’s okay to make a thread.


    Anyway my EB Acara has been successfully through velvet treatment where he was lethargic and flashed. He now is doing much better and now eats regularly. Now that he has been eating I haven’t seen him pass the food. Even when treating him were he only eat tilapia I never saw his poop when changing water. Looking at him I’m not sure if he has a sunken belly? Can anyone tell if it is? Or is this normal? Thank you.
     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Yes the fish has sunken belly. It can be caused by lack of food, an internal bacterial or protozoan infection, or intestinal worms.

    Internal bacterial infections normally cause the fish to bloat up but they can also become skinny, normally bloated tho. They stop eating, breathe heavily, usually sit near a filter outlet or under the surface and die within a few days. Their scales sometimes stick out side ways but not always.

    There is not normally a cure for internal bacterial infections and most fish die shortly after showing symptoms.

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    Internal protozoan infections cause fish to become skinny, sometimes they eat but not as much as normal. They become lethargic and don't move about much. After a week or two the fish dies.

    Metronidazole is normally used for internal protozoan infections. This stuff wipes out filter bacteria so monitor ammonia and nitrite levels during and after treatment.

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    Intestinal worms normally cause the fish to lose weight over a period of time (a month or more), however if fish are heavily infected they can become fat like a pregnant guppy. This is caused by large numbers of worms in the fish's intestine. Fish will normally feed well but not gain weight. They become pale and anaemic and after an extended period of time (6months or more) they might die.

    Praziquantel is used to treat tapeworm and gill flukes in fish. Levamisole treats some thread/ round worms in fish.
    You treat once a week for 3 weeks to kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the tank 24-48 hours after treatment. Treat all tanks at the same time to prevent cross contamination after.
     
  3. Ozzie Boss

    Ozzie Boss Fish Fanatic

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    Okay. Judging by the fish’s actions I don’t think it’s internal bacterial infection. I’ve had the fish for a month now, he isn’t breathing rapidly he is not bloated nor are his scales sticking out ,and he still eats regularly. I don’t think it’s a internal protozoan infection either. Like I said I’ve had the fish for well over a month now, and he doesn’t not stop moving. He is consistently swimming and is never in the same spot. I’m guessing it’s intestinal worms. Also I think it’s important to mention that the Acara was pooping fine when I got him. Ever since I put him with the otos he stopped. So I’m guessing the otos passed this on to him unfortunately. Is general cure okay to use to treat this? Or should I use something else. I ran out of general cure anyhow. Thanks.
     
  4. Ozzie Boss

    Ozzie Boss Fish Fanatic

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    Or simply a lack of food. But him not passing the food doesn’t suggest this.
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If the fish is eating, it will be pooping. If it only eats a small amount it might only do a small poop every couple of days. If it eats heaps then it should poop heaps. If there is good filtration the poop could be getting picked up before you notice it, or something in the tank might be eating it. It could also be collecting underneath something in the tank (rock, plant, etc).

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    Don't use API General Cure unless the fish have a protozoan infection (I don't think your fish does). API General Cure contains Praziquantel, which is safe to use and treats tapeworm in all animals. However, it also contains Metronidazole (aka Flagyl), which is an anti-biotic designed for people. Improper use or misuse of anti-biotics can lead to drug resistant bacteria that can kill fish, animals and people. Only use anti-biotics if the fish have a known bacterial infection that has not responded to other fish medications.

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    Contact your local pet shop (or check online) and see if they have Praziquantel on its own and use that. If there is no improvement after using that then get Levamisole and treat them for thread worms.

    You can treat the tank/s for tapeworm and threadworms in the same week. Treat with Praziquantel one day, wait 24 hours and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the next 2 days. Then treat with Levamisole, wait 24 hours and do a 75% water change and gravel clean for the next couple of days. Then do Praziquantel again, followed by more water changes and Levamisole, then more water changes.

    You do a lot more water changes but you can treat for tapeworm and threadworm during the same period of time. Otherwise treat for tapeworm first and after you have finished the course of treatment (once a week treatments for 3-4 weeks), then you do the same with Levamisole.
     
  6. Ozzie Boss

    Ozzie Boss Fish Fanatic

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    Okay just a quick update. The sunken belly hasn’t gotten better. I have only treated for a week so I’ll give it another week. The fish itself has started pooping a lot more. At first it pooped out clear poop. Then the poop now is much more clumpy. Like little pebbles on a string. But the Acara still has a protruding anus. I did see a white string with a type of round ball attached, but it didn’t look like a worm. I haven’t seen it since. I’ve checked the fish like a hawk and nothing worm like is hanging from the anus. What could this be?
     

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