Bloated Flowerhorn

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Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:44 am

I have an 18 month old flowerhorn that has become seriously bloated over the past week, its stomach is twice the size and its struggling to swim now. Have researched a little on 'bloat' and 'dropsy' and neither look promising when they're this far gone, white/clear discharge is also visible from the anus.

The tank is a 110 gal and its the only fish in there, usually do a 50% water change every 2 weeks. Anyone any experience with these fish or is it too late for my FH?
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby ~RuSh~ » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:44 pm

I've not battled Bloat myself, but I've read a bit about it. You can do the same by reading one of our Oscarfish Magazine articles here: viewtopic.php?f=37&t=74854&p=721930#p721930


My first order of business would be to address water quality. What is your nitrate level? Keeping the water clean will help with any disease/injury.

Second, I would stop all feedings. If he is bloated to the point where he is struggling to swim, then its progressed to a moderate severity.

Third, I would either try the short dip (salt bath) or I would add salt to the tank he is in. The salt dip may be easier since the tank he is in now is quite large.

The white string poo is an indication of a bacterial infection. Has he eaten lately? How is his color? Attitude? Activity?
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:05 am

Thanks for the reply, I've been tempted to try adding the salt but have read that this is a bad idea if it's dropsy and not bloat. How can you tell?

He hasn't eaten in about 2 weeks, colours have faded, and he struggles to swim at the top of the tank with head down and dorsal/caudal fins often out of the water.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby ~RuSh~ » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:00 pm

Dropsy and bloat are similar afflictions, but I believe dropsy results is the scales of the fish being raised. It should be very visible at this stage.

That's why I would assume its bloat. The raised scales are pretty noticeable and quite unsightly.

Do you know your Ammonia/NitrIte/NitrAte levels?

Keep us updated.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Just did a 70% water change, a half hour 'salt bath', and added some aquarium salt to the tank.

Test results as follows:
Am: 0.1
NO2: 0
NO3: 30
pH: 8

Here are a couple of pics:

Image

Image

Hope its not too late for him ...
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby ~RuSh~ » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:02 pm

Yikes, he does look rough. It appears to be just a bloat problem. I'm no expert, but it doesn't look like dropsy to me.

I would do another large water change today. For recovery/healing purposes you want to keep you nitrAte levels below 10ppm. Another 70% water change should put you right around 10ppm. I think the salt baths are the right idea. Keep up with the water changes and the salt, and hopefully you'll see some improvement.

Good luck, keep us updated ~Rush~
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby T » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:07 pm

I would agree that doesnt look like dropsy so it may have a better chance of survival. What were you feeding it prior to the bloating problems? It may also be some kind of tumor. I know this sounds silly but I would try and find a vet that has experience with treating fish and see if they can help.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby Tom » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:50 pm

I don't think it sounds silly.
I think it might be tough though.
I've snooped around a bit and know a vet and a couple people in that line of work, and they said they wouldn't really know what to do if I wanted someone to ever look at a sick fish.
Luckily though, I don't think it would be a problem to get a prescription for meds from them if I told them what I needed or wanted to try.
:D
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:52 pm

Thanks for the advice, will crack on with the water changes and cross my fingers.

He was quite a fussy eater and would only take the pellets (XO brand) so they made up 90% of his diet. Sadly there is little chance of finding a vet that knows fish where I live!
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:01 pm

Hows everything coming along? Is he doing any better?
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:47 am

He's twice the size now so I don't think he'll last much longer ... :(
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby Tom » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:34 am

I recommend euthanizing him with the clove oil/alcohol method.
:(
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby Herefishyfishyfishy » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:37 pm

I know you said he is not eating, but it would be woth a shot to try to get him to eat some shelled peas. They act as a natural laxitive and may help pass whatever is blocking him up.
Have you felt the bulge with your hand? Does it feel firm or soft?
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:39 am

The euthanizing thought had entered my mind, not sure how to go about it though or what the 'clove oil/alcohol' method entails.

Any food forms get ignored unfortunately. Don't think I can get near enough to feel it, there must be considerable pain there as he flaps if I go near it.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby Tom » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:56 am

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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby Al'Thor » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:59 pm

I've never had to deal with bloat, and at this point he may be too far gone. But if you can find it, I know several people have treated it with Clout. It is a strong med, but at this point it might be worth a shot. I hope he does make it, he's a beautiful fish. Here's something I found that describes a treatment regimen.

I found this here: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... hp?t=24132

After nearly a decade in the hobby, I have seen my fair share of fish get lost to bloat. There are a pile of remedies but I found that at best these gave the fish a 50/50 shot. With some trial and error I came up with the following method that has worked 100% of the time with no apparent negative side affects on breeding, health, etc.

== IMPORTANT ==
(1) DO NOT FEED ANYTHING during this process.
(2) Start this procedure as soon as the fish shows symptoms (spitting familiar food, hiding during feeding, etc.)

Medication required: Clout (Aquarium Products)

Day 1: Move fish to quarantine tank and treat with Clout at full strength (1 tablet / 10 gallons--remove carbon from filter)

Day 2: No water change. Treat again with Clout at half strength.

Day 3: Do nothing

Day 4: Do an 80% water change and treat with Clout at full strength

Day 5: Do nothing

**Day 6--?: Return fish to main tank only after symptoms have subsided and the fish has been healthy: (eating, swimming, breathing normally) for at least a week.
Resist the urge to try feeding the fish until after the treatment is over and do not cut the treatment short regardless of whether the fish looks better or not. If at any time during the treatment your fish seems to be experiencing stress as a result of the medication then do an immediate 75% water change.


Bloat should also not be occurring regularly with your existing fish. If it is you should consult some of the excellent articles on the internet regarding diet, water quality etc. For myself, bloat has primarily been a problem with new arrivals up to 6 weeks after their arrival.

Hope this helps save some fish.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:36 pm

Well he's finally gone to that great aquarium in the sky ... :cry:

The swelling burst a day or two ago - I can only imagine it was the swim bladder as he couldn't stay up right after that.

Still he is without pain now. Any suggestions of what to put in an empty 100 gal tank? I don't think it'll be another flowerhorn sadly.
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:02 am

Very sorry to hear of your loss.

If I had an empty 100g, I'd consider V. argentea, or V. regani, or V. maculicauda / P. loiselli, P. motaguensis, or H. carpintis sp Escondido. :D
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby wow_it_esploded » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:44 am

Sorry for your loss, there are some things that even the most experienced fish keepers cannot fix.

An oscar with some dithers?
Maybe a community tank?
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Re: Bloated Flowerhorn

Postby buksida » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:52 am

I was thinking going the community tank route. I had an Oscar for 7 years in there before the flowerhorn.

I have another 45 gal with two young Oscars in it.
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