Von Rio tetras with big bellys


Hopefully using the template will be helpful, but I am going to open multiple threads for the different fish...


What is the water volume of the tank? 29 gallon tank, but around 25 gal with wood/rocks/substrate
How long has the tank been running? 2 months, 5 days
Does it have a filter? Yes, AquaClear 50
Does it have a heater? Yes, EheI'm 125 Watt
What is the water temperature? 76 - 78 (using Inkbird controller)
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
5 albino corys
4 Colombian tetras (1 died yesterday)
4 Von Rio tetras
3 Oto catfish
3 ghost shrimp
(I know the tetras need to be in larger groups, but I'm waiting for my LFS to get more)

How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 20-30%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I try to vacuum what I can of the substrate, but most of it is planted.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes, I did a fishless cycle over about 6 weeks.
What do you use to test the water? API test kit + GH and KH
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 7.4

How often do you feed your fish? twice per day
How much do you feed your fish? only as much as they will eat in a couple minutes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? HikarI and Sera
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Yes, I feed San Francisco frozen bloodworms as a treat a couple times a week

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 2 weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 week ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Belly is very round
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Yes, API General Cure and API E.M. Erythomycin - I also just fed mashed peas in case it was digestive issue
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Seems to be acting as if nothing is wrong. I originally thought it was just pigging out when it ate, but its belly never gets smaller.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
I don't know if it is an emergency at this point, but I am dealing with other ailments in tank mates (Colombian tetras - posted another thread for them). I also just noticed as I was taking a picture to post here that there seems to be spots on fins of several fish in the aquarium. Looks like the very beginning stages of Ich.

I set up a quarantine tank last night (wish now that I had quarantined the fish before adding them so I guess this is my lesson for being impatient), but it seems like there are multiple things going on with multiple fish and I would have a heck of a time trying to net these guys in this heavily planted tank.

Any suggestions?


Blood worms can cause bloating. I feed my fish BW very sparingly. I’d stop feeding for a day or two and see if the bloat dissipates. Could be dropsey as well. Not too much is known about the cause of dropsey could be bacterial or parasites. This particular issue has been common on this board lately. I’ve struggled with it as well.
You can add some Epsom salts as that acts like a laxative since it’s magnesium based.

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