My Bolivian Ram turned black yesterday and is not moving

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Tank Photos' started by AlexandraS, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

    Hi, this is my first time posting. I have had this Bolivian Ram for about a year now, he has never been sick, always the epitome of health. Yesterday at about 2:00 I fed him and he was acting completely normal, then when I looked in the tank around 9:00, he was almost completely BLACK and swimming clumsily at the bottom of the tank. I put him in a small quarantine bowl (1 gallon) and heated the water slightly, but he is not getting better. Here is a youtube video I uploaded of him this morning:

    Does anyone have any ideas??

    thanks so much.

  2. Carl77New MemberMember

    hi Alexandra,

    i have several bolivian rams and have so far never encoutered this problem before but someone on this forum will know what the problem is...have u got a quaranteen tank for sick fish set up? i would definitely keep this fish seperate from yr other fish...also i would make sure the water has plenty of oxegen in tank its in now and also well filtered what was yr water readings? is the fish still alive?
  3. Carl77New MemberMember

    It may be a protozoan disease like Hexamita or Chilodonella. Try treating him with a med that has Metronidazole in it. Like:

    or you can even order Metronidazole from DFS:

    found the information on the forum for you hope it helps....if you google the problem you have its not uncommon
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2013
  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    To be honest, it just looks like its stressed. That's not to say there isn't something else wrong, because there likely is or else the fish would not be dark like that. But the color itself is not a problem.
  5. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

    Hi everyone, thank you very much for the responses. I went to petsmart and bought medication with Metronidazole in it and administered it to the tank with 2 sick rams (one bolivian, in the video above and one german ram who had been getting smaller and smaller for the past 3 or 4 days). Petsmart did not have any of the medications posted by Carl77 (but thank you so much for the advice) but the one I did purchase contains 250 mg of Metronidazole. It is called API general cure.

    I just uploaded another video of the two rams in the 10 gallon quarantine tank. I gave the medication about 4 hours ago.

    I am still very worried because he has NEVER looked or acted this way before. I do hope it was the protozoan disease, he is at least attempting to swim now.
  6. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

  7. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    The fish is displaying clamped fins which is a sign of stress. Why the fish is stressed I can't say for certain.

    starhanging.gif If you would, please complete your Aquarium Profile Information. This information will aid others with any responses they may have to your questions.

    To access the Profile, click on Forum Actions in the bar close to the top of the screen. In the drop down box, click on Edit Profile. Be sure to hit SAVE when you are done.

    The more information you can provide, the more likely we can determine what is going on with your fish and tank.

    How long has this tank been set up? Is it Cycled? Can you post water parameters for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH?

    Best wishes for your fish.

  8. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

    Thank you aquarist48, I filled out the profile. The test strips indicate that our Nitrate levels are high. I have been doing 20% water changes daily since the German Ram started losing weight very quickly, but I can't seem to get the Nitrates down at all.
  9. MrsMorocco2010Valued MemberMember

    Have you cleaned the substrate with a vacuum? That's where most of my tank is the dirtiest.
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I just watched the video on the computer - that's one unhappy fish. I hope things get worked out. It looks like it's partially paralyzed.

    I would be doing large water changes, of at least 50%, in the meantime.
  11. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

    I have not been doing water changes because I added the API general Cure, and the package says so leave it for 4 days before doing a 20% water change. Tomorrow will be 4 days. The ram looks exactly the same as he did before. Has not eaten yet. The substrate in this tank is very clean, since it is only used when I have sick fish. There isn't really anything in the gravel.
  12. cichlidmacWell Known MemberMember

    I would call your water company and see if they have done anything different lately. Sounds like a high amount of nitrates in tap and there could be something else as well.
  13. guster730Valued MemberMember

    My bolivian rams are always that color when they first wake up (When I turn on the light) And they sit around for a few minutes but then change to their normal color and get up. They've never stayed that way though. I'd do a large water change, 40-50%, then smaller daily ones, around 20% until you can get your nitrates down.
  14. AlexandraSNew MemberMember

    Thanks everyone. It has been 5 days, which is the amount of time the general cure says to keep the meds in the water. So for the past two days I have been doing water changes. It's only a 10 gallon tank that he's in, so I have bee taking out about 3-4 gallons a day for 2 days. The water changes seem to stress him out. He hasnt eaten in 5 or 6 days, I cant get him to. I guess it's just a waiting game now.

    The nitrate levels have dropped and they are at safe levels as of today.
  15. crackedbackValued MemberMember

    How the Rams doing....Keep us posted.
  16. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    how about the gravel in his normal tank? have you vacuumed that very well? from what i remember, rams can be sensitive to maybe whatever could be in the water (nitrates etc) are affecting them, but not the mollies. idk.

    also, there seems to be quite a few fish in there for a 30g. mollies can be quite the two angels....but whatever kind of catfish there are. maybe there is too much bioload? and the rams are suffering....