Is It Bloat?


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I'm not sure, but I think I might have bloat in my tank. Ive had some fish die over the last month or so, some seemed a little bloated, others had no visible signs of it. When I came home today, my albino rainbow shark was in a plant, his face was red and swollen, and he had red marks on his body with a little bit of swelling. My water tested fine, no amonia, no nitrites, very small amount of nitrates. Can anyone tell me if it is bloat, how long does it usually take to effect other fish? Does it spread quickly or can it take weeks and weeks to go from fish to fish? I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong, but feeling a little defeated with stocking issues, that I'm currently fixing, to unexplained deaths. Any info would be appreciated. Thank you


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I'm not familiar with Bloat not on cichlids, but I can try to help.
If your buddy is not eating or has white stringy poo, it is probably Bloat.

Bloat is more like a symptom to different causes (parasites, bacteria, etc.). In general, stress is the main reason bloat occurs (when fish's immune systems weaken).
How long has your tank been up and running? Have you made any changes (new fish, diet, decor, lights, etc.)? Even not having enough cover for your fish can cause stress, too.

It sounds a bit like your entire tank is infected with something/something is stressing all of them. You can protect the healthy ones a little more by soaking their food in garlic juice (boil some cloves) to boost their immune system. You might have to take the medication route to save your shark if he's no longer eating.

Maybe you can try providing some more cover? Change to some higher quality food? Maracyn-2/Melafix/Kanafix are medications that can help bloat, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's causing bloat. I spent quite a lot of money on a treatment that didn't solve my fish's bloat before. It's great you're fixing stocking issues; it could also be the source of stress.

You'll want to quarantine your shark and watch your other fish for health issues. I hope it's not bloat. Good luck.
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