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Bloated Parrot

I have had 2 BP cichlids for 3 years in a 30 gallon tank. I moved the tank 3 weeks ago and since then one of my fish has been floating upside down. Four days ago he stopped eating. I added epsom salt 3 days ago, although I am unclear how much I can add. 2 days ago I added amoxycillin. He is not better. I fear even if I have treated him properly, the damage has been done. He barely moves and I think he may be suffering, I am. Anyone have any advise? Should I let it run its course, or step in?


It is very difficult to treat something without knowing what the problem is, if your fish isnt eating and has been floating upside down for 3 weeks, Im afraid the outlook is bleak, you can try daily 50% water changes and see if it helps, it may just save him but if you decide he is suffering , drop me a personal message through this site and IL tell you the only humane way to euthanize him

I had thought he was bloated from bacteria or parasite, that's why I have tried antibiotics. He is moving today, but still upside down. He seems to be trying to eat, but cannot position his head to reach the food. Thank you for the advise and I will go back to water changes(had stopped for a few days for the antibiotics)

have you any other fish in with him,are they affected in any way, if not and the problem has been there 3 weeks,is it not likely that they would be if it was parasitic or bacterial? it sounds like swim bladder which can be caused by many things, i would do the water changes, do you have crab sticks where you are, try to shred a long piece of it, you can then dangle it in front of him,let us know how he goes on

Crab sticks? Pet store or grocery? I am in Colorado. I read about swim bladder and yes, that makes more sense.He had exhibited occasional swimming upside down for months, but nothing like the last few weeks. I thought the trauma from moving worsened whatever was wrong. I did, however exchange a large algae eater for a small one(from pet store) the day I moved So, it may be pre-exsisting, or maybe we got something from pet store? I have a smaller BP, his only symptom is he is not eating as well,(he is eating, and he moves around good) he might be sick, but the 2 fish are very close and it is possible he is stressed. The antibiotic did not seem to help, so I have gone back to daily water changes. How about the epsom salt? I have not noticed either fish excreting waste. hmmm, amoxycillin would not help parasite, maybe flagyl?

here we call them crabsticks, grocery store, long sticks of crabmeat for salads etc, but only use a sliver to interest your fish in food, if it could be constipation it is a good idea to stop feeding for a while ,(no one culprit is bloodworm,too high protein food and lack of fiber ),for three days then on the forth, do this,try frozen peas, thaw, shell and stick a piece onto a toothpick to interest him, this is a good thing to feed weekly anyway,expect a bowel movement within two days or so of this, if not then repeat, fast then pea treatment,repeat till better,if this doesn't work, next is epson salt baths daily(bag, don't net him) type "epson salt bath" into this site and look for my previous posts on this)post again if you cant find it ,reduce the water level right down so he doesn't have to struggle to reach the surface,ps are scales sticking out?

His scales on his sides are not sticking out, he is thinning out there. His abdomen is very distended, so much so his bottom stays out of the water 1/2 an inch. It is looking discolored,and unhealthy, I believe due to being out of the water, because I don't see abnormalities on the rest of him. I have had the light off and lowered the water level to reduce irritation, and so his belly doesn't touch anything. He has more energy the past few days and makes several attempts to swim down in the tank, but floats back to the top rapidly. I added an anti-fungal last night, simply because I don't know what else to do. Also I'm thinking I want to eliminate anything that might be in the tank, I thought next to treat for parasites? Just to knock out any possibilities. Can it hurt? I realize though, I have to remove filter and reduce water changes for RX to be effective and he does better with daily water changes. My other concern is for my other BP, he looks well, energetic, stays with sick BP, but not eating much

so its not dropsy,you can take the water right down to just give him room to float,Im nervous about using meds, but metronidazole is a good one if that's what you decide to do, iv found this site may give you some ideas to try,the water changes are probably helping a little if he seems to have more energy,could it possibly be worms, are there any signs of that? read the site,it covers swim bladder caused by many things, also there is some info at which shows some pics of bloated fish and advice,you may have to search a little, keep us updated

do the epsom salt treatment. one tablespoon for your size tank. you don't remove the filter for meds. you just take out the carbon. the filter is important to keep running to help oxygenate the water and the mechanical and biological filter is ok to use. the carbon removes medicine just like it removes toxins and smells. do not feed any high protien foods. if you are not feeding a balanced cichlid pellet, go buy one. parrots need fiber or they get backed up just like a person. medicines are not magic for fish just like they are not magic for people. if you keep throwing different meds in your tank for a day or so and then quitting them, you are breeding disease that is resistant to medication. it is best to get an idea of what is wrong with your fish before just throwing meds in the tank. alot of medications will kill your bio filter and cause a whole new set of problems (new tank syndrome) for you to deal with while you try to save your sick fish.
do a 50% water change and add 1 tablespoon of epsom salt. do not feed your fish anything but high fiber foods. the algae tablets are perfect. they have fish protien for flavor, but are mostly veggie matter. if your fish will not eat, buy some rid ich and follow the directions. for some reason, fish eat more when rid ich is in the water. rid ich will not harm your biofilter if you follow the directions. tomorrow, do a 25% water change and add one teaspoon of epsom salt. this may be too late, but it is worth a try. alot of times swim bladder problems are just severe constipation and can be cured if done quickly. to avoid it, do not presoak food, do not feed bloodworms or other high protien foods as a staple, and feed a varied, balanced diet with a good cichlid pellet as the staple part of the diet. i hope this helps and good luck.
you need to have at least a 75 gallon filter on that tank to filter your water enough for 2 parrots in a 29 or 30 gallon tank. the tank is a little small so you need to make up for it with extra filtration.

i forgot to add to raise your tank temp a little. if it is below 84, raise it to 84. this will help speed up its metabolism and may help with the appetite and help to move the feces through. parrots like algae tablets so this should help if it is not too late.
oh, and since you put the antibiotics in the tank, test your water daily for ammonia to make sure your biofilter is intact. if not, you will have to cycle your tank with your fish in it. it is possible and alot of work. do not buy any fish until all these problems are worked out

Thank you very much. Good luck with your new arrival

He is not better. I am trying all that has been advised. His underside is very discolored and now has sores(his abdomen is above water at all times) He still cannot eat. No BM's. Most of the time he floats and occasionally tries to swim below water, but does not make it very far. He tires easily. He and the little one are beginning to get light brown spots, or patches. They almost look "dirty". I don't know if this is a symptom or a result of different treatments. My little one still will not eat. He still appears energetic, healthy. When I tried the peas he would approach it, but swim away. I still think he is distraught over the bigger fish. Do you guys think he may be sick as well? Also, I have a large stone for O2. Are the bubbles complicating things?

If you have followed everyones advice and his condition is deteriorating,and he now has open sores and is so bloated that his abdomen is right out of the water and as it has been 6 weeks ,and you yourself think he is in a lot of distress ,I think you have done all you can for your fish, much as I hate to say this,I think you should end his suffering, unless anyone disagrees and has any more ideas?