Female endler blockage while birthing fry, now bloated/pineconed

  • #1
The basics...10g tank, 78 degrees, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, kh 3, gh 8, Whisper pf10 filter, test water params 2 times a week, 30% water change once a week, tank inhabitants are 5 female endler's and a handful of hitch hiker pond snails, java moss and anacharis for plants, fed twice a day with either nls small fish pellets or omega one flakes.

One day ago one of my females started giving birth to fry (this female is at least a year old). After birthing about five of them, she seemed very agitated. She very quickly developed a "lump" in the anal area at the birth canal. She then hid in the java moss. Today when I looked in the tank for morning feeding and her stomach was horrible misshapen, scales around the head are pineconing and her belly looks pink.

I had heard that elb females can die from birthing fry when they get older...but if this is a blockage, is there any way to help her?
  • #2
I have only had Endlers for a short time, so I'm not going to be much help, but I have read about others whose females were unable to successfully birth all the fry and some got "stuck". I think it just happens from time to time. It's not surprising since the fry are rather big. I don't know how you could help her, but it doesn't sound like she has much hope of recovering. I know it's hard to watch the fish suffering, though. I hate to suggest letting her go.

I have heard that Endlers life span is about one to two years in captivity. What would you consider an older Endler?
  • #3
Has she had many batches of fry before? There really isn't a whole lot you can do, she'll probably die.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
ninjuwat...she was a full grown adult when I got her 5 months ago and started having fry two days after I brought her home (not her first batches of fry but her first with me).

cichlidnut...she has had at least seven broods since I got her, hard to tell sometimes with the other females in the tank but I keep a fry journal and she is pretty regular at 22 or 23 days.

I know I will probably lose her, I guess my inner turmoil now is if I should be thinking of euthanizing, trying a salt bath or letting mother nature take it's course. I hate to see her suffer but I would hate to think I euthanized if she had a chance of healing. I turned off the tank lights for her, hoping it will be less stressful.
  • #5
Personally, I'd just leave her alone and see what happens.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I know you keep oodles of endler's...have you ever had anything like this in one of you elb tanks?
  • #7
Yeah, it does happen some times. Sounds like she's had tons of babies and this may be the end of her life span. I try not to get too attached to the individual Endler.
  • #8
Sorry to see she may not make it. How big is her belly now compared to before the blockage? Does it look like she still has a lot inside?
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
cichlid nut...tons is an understatement, those five females have given me over 200 fry in just five months! I am giving them away to people and trading with the lfs for fish food just so I don't get overpopulated.

aquatic...she is not bloated like a typical dropsy, the swelling/bloating is centered around the birth canal and last I checked, there now appears to be some degree of septicemia. I would pull her and put her in a separate tank but I know if I do anything to disrupt her it will stress her to death at this point so for now it is lights out in the tank, keep it a degree warmer and hope for the best. I think all of the females I got at the lfs were probably close to a year old (or if they weren't then, they are now) so with all the broods they have had, the poor girls are probably worn out. So glad I opted for separate male and female tanks, I can't imagine what would have happened if they were chased all the time.

Well, her fight is over. :-(

I checked the lump and sure enough there was a dead fry trapped in the birth canal. Thankfully she went quickly (and I know it is nothing contagious to the rest of the tank).
  • #10
I'm sorry, iwrm At least you don't have to worry about the other tank's inhabitants.

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