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Sick Parrot

I have an 8 year old blood parrot fish named Benny. For about the last week he has been swimming at the top of the tank and not acting like himself. Today I found him upside down in a tunnel. He is breathing and trying to swim up right but doesn’t look like he has control. He has five other parrot friends that are doing just fine and acting normal. The water levels are fine and I did a twenty five percent change this morning. Before that I did it a week ago. The water gets changed at least every week and the tank is a 75 gallon. I scooped in a net to see if I could see anything visible that may be causing his behavior. When he breathes and I can see inside his gills I notice that there is a whitish yellow growth or fungus inside his gill on one side. His gills are not as red as they usually are either. Growth is the best way I can describe what I see. It doesn’t appear to be normal. Could this be swim bladder or a bacterial infection? Like I said he is about 8 years old so he is getting up there in age. Last year I had a problem with the other parrots picking on him when they were trying to mate. But this doesn’t appear to be the case, they are leaving him alone. I do not see any other thing else on him and his color is fine, he is orange, except for at the base of his fins and his belly is more white than usual. Any ideas or treatments would be appreciated. I am not currently in a situation where I can set up a hospital tank but I can block a section of my current tank off for him, so he can be isolated. If I can not treat him, should I euthanize him or leave him in the tank? I prefer not to use chemicals to treat my fish.



Any comments or advice is welcome. He looks miserable. I am not sure what I should do. He was eating as of two nights ago. Now he is just laying on his back on the bottom of the tank. I dont want him to suffer.

you could add one teaspoon per gallon of aquarium salt to your tank this will help his gill function. i would separate him if possible. you could do a salt water dip too. you can find directions on the internet. basically, you make some very salty water in a bucket the same temp as the tank (tank water is best) then let him swim in the bucket for 10 to 20 minutes. are his gills brownish? that would possibly be nitrite poisoning. the salt will help if that is the case. shaz is good at finding diseases and you may need to treat him with some meds if the salt and clean water don't do it.

Thanks Sunnysdad. I added some aquarium salt to my tank. I followed the directions on the box that was one Tbsp for every five gallons. The fish shows no signs of becoming better. My boyfriend looked at his gill and said it almost looks like his gill is dying. His gills are pink and than on one side of his gills it looks white and almost like fungus. He swam upright for a second and than flipped upsided down again and sank to the bottom. We will see if the salt helps any.

for treating disease you can add as much as one teaspoon per gallon as long as you do not have any scaless fish in your tank.

I'm so sorry Benny isn't doing well. It sounds like you're making some positive changes to help him. I've also used salt in my tank when I think something is not quite right. A really easy way to do it is dangle the salt in a net at the top of the aquarium. Don't just dump it in. It can burn a fish or anything else in the tank. My freind nearly burned her eel so badly he almost died.

I'm wondering if you have two different things going on. I have never heard of a fish swimming upside down because of a gill injury. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I would think swim bladder. The treatment for swim bladder problems is stop feeding Benny anything but thawed, shelled, cut up frozen peas. Make sure he gets no other food but the peas for at least three days or until you see a improvement. Have you seen him go potty lately? Swim bladder problems are from constipation. It puts pressure on the swim bladder and causes it to not function properly. It can be a bacterial problem. But, with BP's it's almost always constipation or sucking in air while feeding at the top of the tank eating floating food.

I feed my BP's a few shelled, thawed, frozen peas twice a week and none of them have ever had a swim bladder problem. I credit the peas.

Are you sure your ammonia and nitrites are zero and nitrates are 20 or below? Sometimes they can change very quickly. Poor water conditions are also a common problem. They can really sneek up on you.

Well, my fish passed away on Wednesday. My water perameters were all fine and all the other fish are doing well. I tested and did a water change the day he got sick. So I am still unsure about how he died. I dont think it was swim bladder either, he just seemed so weak and couldnt move to swim. It was just strange that he layed upside down. But when he was closer to dying he layed on his side. And lost all his color. He turned white. I guess I will just keep an eye on the others. Thanks for the help.

I had one doing this, and the guy from the aquarium store squeezed him gently to flush out the poop. He was fine shortly after. He said I was feeding him too much protein and suggested that I feed them only vegi-foods.

Hows your little guy doing now?