Help German Blue Ram, Swollen Left Gill, Hungry But Not Eating

neofyt05

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Hello all,

I'm having an issue with my 1.5yo German Blue Ram.
As per my aquarium details:
The tank is a 15g one, moderately planted, set up sometime in 2017.
Temperature is 26.5C (80F), pH is 7.3
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 15 (15 from tap, drops to about 5 after a few days thanks to lots of plants and denitrate filter media)

Fish: 8 Cardinal tetras, 5 otocinclus, 3 albino corydoras and a male GBR.

So the aquarium was going like a clockwork for a year, I will upload a video and pictures soon. I have never seen more colourful cardinals and GBR in my life! Plus i have managed to keep otos alive for the longest in my life ever (touch wood).

THE PROBLEM:
Two weeks ago I noticed my GBR hiding in his coconut cave and not being overly active.
After a couple of days he was out and about but then I saw my tetras having white stringy poop.
I reduced feeding and then fed them peas, it helped a bit but not the GBR, his left gill started swelling. I suspected parasites and I started dosing Praziquantel. It didn't help, so then I started treating with Metronidazole, the gills look normal immediately after dosing but then swell back the next day.
It might be that the parasites are gone but the fish still needs to heal.
Now what really worries me is the GBRs behaviour.

He is active and colourful and HUNGRY! He's looking everywhere for food, I put food in the tank and he swims fast where the food is and puts it in his mouth then literally split second later spits it. This repeats until he loses interest. He sometimes chew his food and then spits it. He hasn't eaten in a 10 days. All other fish look and act fine.

I have tried many foods. Peas in garlic, NLS theta small fish pellets, bloodworms, Hikary pellets, Tetramin flakes, Tetra microsticks. He is interested in everything and tries everything but eats nothing.

What's wrong with him? Should I stopped treating?
I have the following medications at hand: Seachem Paraguard, Metro, Prazi.
 

Momgoose56

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Hello all,

I'm having an issue with my 1.5yo German Blue Ram.
As per my aquarium details:
The tank is a 15g one, moderately planted, set up sometime in 2017.
Temperature is 26.5C (80F), pH is 7.3
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 15 (15 from tap, drops to about 5 after a few days thanks to lots of plants and denitrate filter media)

Fish: 8 Cardinal tetras, 5 otocinclus, 3 albino corydoras and a male GBR.

So the aquarium was going like a clockwork for a year, I will upload a video and pictures soon. I have never seen more colourful cardinals and GBR in my life! Plus i have managed to keep otos alive for the longest in my life ever (touch wood).

THE PROBLEM:
Two weeks ago I noticed my GBR hiding in his coconut cave and not being overly active.
After a couple of days he was out and about but then I saw my tetras having white stringy poop.
I reduced feeding and then fed them peas, it helped a bit but not the GBR, his left gill started swelling. I suspected parasites and I started dosing Praziquantel. It didn't help, so then I started treating with Metronidazole, the gills look normal immediately after dosing but then swell back the next day.
It might be that the parasites are gone but the fish still needs to heal.
Now what really worries me is the GBRs behaviour.

He is active and colourful and HUNGRY! He's looking everywhere for food, I put food in the tank and he swims fast where the food is and puts it in his mouth then literally split second later spits it. This repeats until he loses interest. He sometimes chew his food and then spits it. He hasn't eaten in a 10 days. All other fish look and act fine.

I have tried many foods. Peas in garlic, NLS theta small fish pellets, bloodworms, Hikary pellets, Tetramin flakes, Tetra microsticks. He is interested in everything and tries everything but eats nothing.

What's wrong with him? Should I stopped treating?
I have the following medications at hand: Seachem Paraguard, Metro, Prazi.
How long did you treat with the Metronidazole? Just the single treatment?
 

Momgoose56

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Okay, I was afraid you'd stopped after one dose of the Met.
Have you tried frozen or live food? He might swallow soft thawed stuff.
If he's got gill parasites or upper intestinal parasites he may have them in his throat or he may have swelling in his throat from whatever is causing the problem.
Can you post a pic of him and a closeup of his gill?
So, he is essentially active, looks okay (except for the gill) and is actively trying to eat but is spitting the food out.
 
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neofyt05

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Okay, I was afraid you'd stopped after one dose of the Met.
Have you tried frozen or live food? He might swallow soft thawed stuff.
If he's got gill parasites or upper intestinal parasites he may have them in his throat or he may have swelling in his throat from whatever is causing the problem.
Can you post a pic of him and a closeup of his gill?
So, he is essentially active, looks okay (except for the gill) and is actively trying to eat but is spitting the food out.
I think you are right about the swelling in his throat.
I think he can't swallow.

I haven't tried frozen/live food but the foods I tried are his favourites and he seems interested. He tries many times to eat the same pellets. Like 5-6 times.
I have even tried a gel like food. No luck.
I'm wondering if the medication in the water makes everything taste funny for him.

Looking from above both the gills seem to be more open than usual. With his left one significantly more open. Also it looks as if the left gill plate has sort of curl outwards!

These are from last week. The green thing hanging from his anus is pea.
IMG_6159.JPG

IMG_6116.JPG

IMG_6121.JPG
 

Momgoose56

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I haven't heard that copper is bad for Otos. Maybe post that question as a new thread or do a search on this site? Copper treatments will kill snails though, and may be bad for some inverts as well. Read the label and warnings of whatever medication you decide to use. That's the best advice usually.
 
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neofyt05

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I tried a dip bath with metro today.
He looks stressed now but hopefully it helped. I decided to deep clean the tank.
50% water change, added live filter bacteria and added stress coat.
I just think if the ram had something too serious it would be dead by now. It's been 2 weeks. So I decided to provide perfect water and see how he reacts to food. I really think that the medication in the water makes food taste funny to him. I'll update you tomorrow.
 
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neofyt05

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Just an update on this in case anyone is experiencing the same problem.
I was waiting to make sure of the outcome before posting this.

The fish was getting worse. One of the gills looked damaged. The plate was open so I could see that the gill was "small".

I had decided to try a dip bath with paraguard and metro as a last resort. I started with little water so that the medication was over-overdosed. The GBR looked as if it fainted. I added more water so that concentration was the recommended he immediately found his balance. I left the GBR in for 45 minutes before I reintroduced it to the aquarium. His fins looked "burnt" and he was covered in very thick slime.

I kept the water pristine with daily 10% water changes for 2 weeks.

The GBR recovered VERY quickly. In a week he started eating (only cheap pellets for some reason) after a month! Now after 6 weeks he is back to normal. Eats like a pig (anything I feed) , the gill plates are closed, he is very active, fins back to normal.

I was scared that I might have killed him with that dip bath but it actually saved him.

Other things I did that might have helped. I used a digital thermometer so that the new water is exactly the same temperature to reduce stress. I kept the lights off for a few days. I use API stress coat and stress zyme (before I was using Seachem Prime). I now feed NLS theta pellets.

Please only do this when your GBR has been in the tank for at least a year and as a last resort. In my experience once a GBR has matured in a tank they are much more hardy. I only did it cos I knew my fish would die. I had already completed treatment with Metro, Prazi, Paraguard. Try these first but with short dip baths.
 
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