Treatment for sunken belly in African cichlid

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macca

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Need help with sunken belly in African cichlid

Hi guys. I've had a hongi cichlid in a hospital tank for about a week now. I moved him there after noticing a slight concaved stomach and the fact that he was spitting his food out.

A litte history. I've had him since setup 2 months ago. Bought him as a pair with another hongi. Equally sized. Now the hongi in the main tank is almost twice the size of the sick hongi. He wasn't bullied, on a diet of fluval vege flake and nls pellets. 50% wc twice a week.
Main tank and hospital tank Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 10, Temperature - 28-29, PH - 7.5-7.8

At the moment, he is still active in the hospital tank but is more, more emaciated as the days pass. There's barely any stomach left on him and I'm surprise he is still active and alive. He has lost a bit of colour now and fins jagged. I've been treating with kusuri wormer plus and tetra paradite guard with no avail. I've got octozin and metro on the way and hoping they will do the trick.

So my questions are, has anyone successfully treated concaved stomach in African cichlids? What am I dealing with here, parasites or intestinal bacterial infection? Thanks.
 

Beeker

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Hi Macca and welcome to Fishlore.

I'm sorry your little guy is sick. It can be either parasites or a bacterial infection. Is he pooping?

The metro should be your first medication as it takes care of both parasites and bacterial infections. If that doesn't work, you'll want to switch to a different, stronger med that targets only bacterial infections.
It is unfortunate that nothing has worked so far. Definitely go with the Metro and post back.
 
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macca

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Thanks Beeker. Yeah he is actually, weird white poop. He is now eating very little as well and still swimming as normal.

I'v got metro now and will treat the little guy after he has a little break from the other meds. I'm thinking it could be a bacterial infection but am not sure why he got it in the first place. I have cichlid half his size and there isn't any bullying in the tank (I did have an aggresive flameback which I've sold), the tank is over-filtered and well aerated, do two water changes a week with carbon filtered water. Simultaneous water change and fill so ph and temperature does not change. Good mixed diet, weekly treatment of cichlid trace and a huge pond uv sterilizer running 3 times a week. I check on every single cichlid daily since my hongi got sick and they all look healthy. I hope this is a one off situation and what ever it is isn't contagious as I'm assuming it would have spread by now if it was, as the sick hongi had been in the display tank for at least 3-4 weeks before I removed him to the hospital tank. I initially didn't think it was an issue with the hongi being skinny, thought he just needed to be fattened up.

Thought I'd point out as well that the hospital tank has heater, established filter, light and Texas holey Rock. Same maintenance routine as display tank, if not more.

I'm not fussed about having a sick cichlid as I rather learn and have experience in being able to treat it. It's just that I'm not sure what im dealing with here and why I have in the first place.

Thanks for you help Beeker. Looks like I have the right meds this time.
 
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macca

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Just an update: looks like metronidazole has done the trick and the little guy is now eating again for the first time in probably 4-5 weeks. I was leaning towards an intestinal bacterial infection after a treatment of tetra parasite guard did not improve his condition which I thought was due to internal parasites. Could be both, which is why I couldn't recommend Metro more as it treats internal and external protozoan parasites as well as anaerobic bacterium in the intestinal track which are known to cause concave stomach in african cichlids.

Hopefully this will help anyone dealing with a similar problem, but only after thorough husbandry and maintenance which I believe I take very well care of.

I'm not sure what caused the infection/parasite or if I bought the hongi with it but I will now get into a routine of medicating my cichlids every few months as a method of prevention.
 

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I'm glad your little guy is doing better.
Keep up the good work!
 
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macca

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Thanks Beeker. I wish I had come across your comment earlier. I would have ordered metro before the others but anyway, it's alway good to have extra wormers thanks for your help.
 
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