My poor Jack...

  1. lotus Member Member

    I have a sick Jack Dempsey (about 1.5 years, 5.5 " size) He lives alone in a 40g tank, water chages every week (10-20%) gravel cleaning every 2 weeks, current water parameters 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrate. Tank has been set up for 3 months. He was always an active fish, and a good eater, taking most of his food from my hand. For the past 4 days he has been not eating, and mostly staying on the bottom of the tank. I 've been doing large water changes, as I didn't want to medicate because I didn't know what was wrong, today I noticed white stringy things which I thought at first were in his gills so I kind of jumped the gun and treated him with parasite clear this morning. Now, this evening, he doesn't look much better, his gills are inflamed and he is breathing heavy. He is still not eating, however, he does swim around the tank now, not sure if that is a good sign or not, maybe he is looking for a spot where he can breathe better? Anyway, I took a better look at him, and the white stuff is not all that stringy, not exactly cottony though, and it is not in his gill, but next to it. Also I saw a white patch under his throat.Fungus maybe? If it was parasites, wouldn't he be breathing a little easier by now? Should I just continue to treat with the parasite clear, or switch to a fungal medication,? Is that wise with the parasite clear already in the tank? The only other difference is he is lightening in color, which I think is usually a bad thing but I remember reading about some disease where the fish color gets very dark... I don't know. I have about 10 years experience with fishkeeping, but very little knowledge of fish disease, I don't want to lose him, especially since I lost my parrot I had for 22 years to cancer:(
     
  2. junebug Fishlore Legend Member

    Fungus is rarely just fungus and is often a sign of bacterial infection. Could you take a picture of him? Might help us with some ideas on a disease ID.
     

  3. lotus Member Member

    Today my Jack is looking a lot better, but he is still not eating (5 days now) and still breathing heavy. I did have an ammonia spike which is between .25 and .50. I dosed with parasite clear Friday morning, the directions say to wait 48hrs (which will be tomorrow morning and then dose again. Should I do a water change now, or just follow the medication instructions? I am afraid the water change will remove the medication, but maybe the ammonia problem is a worse situation and causing his breathing problem???
    I also want to know if these cichlids have some sort of "flap" in their mouth that goes up and down when they breathe. I never noticed this before, I never had a fish open it's mouth so wide when breathing. It looks like the rest of his mouth though, a gray color. I'll try to get a picture, but I'll need some kind soul to tell me how to upload it, I'm really not much of a computer person.
    How long can he go without eating? Please help. Appreciate any advice
     
  4. lotus Member Member

    Could someone please help? URGENT!

    I,m really getting worried now. My Jack looks almost normal now. If it wasn't for his heavy breathing you would never know he had been sick.It's not like he is gasping for air,or coming to the surface. Just opening and closing his mouth rapidly. He hasn't eaten for 5 days. I don't see any obstruction. I am wondering if whatever parasites he had (assuming it WAS parasites, as he responded well to the first dose of parasite clear) already had done it's damage to his gills/mouth? I'm just at a loss here, afraid the fish is going to starve to death! Can I add some melafix with his next dose of parasite clear, or should I go with something stronger or just change medications alltogether? He honestly doesn't seem in distress, except for the mouth thing, which doesn't change no matter what I do.
    Not sure how this "advanced" post thing works. I'm hoping it's attached to my previous posts, if not it's the thread titled my poor jack...
     

  5. Disc61 Well Known Member Member

    Awww, sorry to hear of your troubles Lotus. Fish can go 2 weeks or more without food, so don't stress to much about that.

    I would not mix meds myself and don't think much of melafix to begin with. you said it seemed to show progress after the first dose.
    Soooo, take a deep breath ( your doing great) finish the dosages required by the directions on the package. remember when we ourselves
    are sick we are instructed to finish our dosage of meds whether we feel better after the first couple or not. let the med work.

    then if you are not seeing improvement, maybe look at a higher concentrate Metro treatment like Fishzole.
    but honestly it sounds like things are one the mend. He will not bounce back immediately and his appetite will be one of the last things to come back.

    maybe start soaking his food in garlic guard to help gain his attention, BUT, feed very sparingly while treating him.
    Good Luck, and keep us posted.
     
  6. lotus Member Member

    Thanks so much Tom. Guess you knew I was freaking out, huh
    Anyway, water parameters are back to normal so at least thats ok. One stupid mistake I made, I just gave the 2nd dose of parasite clear and read the instructions wrong- i didnt do the 25% water change between the doses, i thought they meant do the water change after ALL the doses (duh) should I do 1 now or just watch and wait? Fish looks good, but I don't want to overmedicate.
     
  7. Disc61 Well Known Member Member

    Since Jack is doing good I would just let this dose work. Most any med you treat will always require a water change before staring the next dose. (just fyi)
    just do one before your next dose. :;th

    Fresh water is good medicine in itself.
     

  8. lotus Member Member

    Help!Getting panicky again...

    Jack hasn't eaten in 6 days now. Although he looks better, 1 constant that has not changed is his heavy breathing. I looked at him thoroughly with a magnifier and there is white stuff in his gills. Some looks thready, other looks like bits of torn skin. He has no other spots anywhere else, he actually looks pretty good, swims around some but prefers to rest mostly in his log. Since I started him on parasite clear last Friday, he has perked up some and his gills do not look so inflamed, he had another dose Sunday, and if I am reading the directions correctly, tomorrow I should do a 25% water change and I can give 1 more dose. Should I? or should I try something else??? He seems to be responding to the PC, but not helping whatever is affecting his breathing, and he has to eat! Water parameters are fine, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrates.Appreciate any advice.
     
  9. Disc61 Well Known Member Member

    Finish the dosage in full, then rest from Meds for a few days before you start something else.