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Hole in the head?


I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with my red parrot cichlid.  He’s developed these white patches on his face.  He’s had them several months and doesn’t seem particularly bothered by them.  At first the white patches didn’t really seem to look ulcerous, but sometimes the one above his left eye looks indented.  It’s hard for me to tell.  The biggest ones on the front of his face mostly just look kind of translucent.  I keep him in a 38 gallon tank with bi-weekly water changes (greater than 50%) trying to get this cleared up.  I’ve medicated his tank with melafix (not successful) and with Mardel Maracyn-Plus with Biospheres Water Treatment (not successful).  He has no other tank mates and never has.  I also use aquarium salt and replenish at each water change (1TB/5gallons).  I alternately feed him pellets and frozen blood worms.  Can you please help me figure out what’s wrong with him?  I use those strips to check his water chemistry and it seems to be okay, but those strips seem very subjective and I’m not ever sure I’m reading them right.  Please help!  Thanks!!

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I may sound like a broken record, and possibly a sales rep, but I would treat the tank ten days with Artemiss by Microbe-Lift. The picture does not show HITH that I can see and I'm wondering if it is some sort of bacterial septicemia. I honestly don't know but since you've been unsuccessful in treating whatever it is, and Artemiss can't hurt, I would try it. I would also continue salti and raise the temp to 85º to help enhance immune response.

I also suggest you contact chrisplosion, who is very knowledgeable on BP ailments.

I hope I haven't been too "mean". I see that you're new.

Really? lol. Come on now, you know what I'm talking about. ON TOPIC: I was not aware that BPs could contract HITH. I've only ever had it with my Oscars. I thought it was Oscar exclusive. Maybe its just more common with them. But that definately LOOKS like HITH. Is he moping? My Oscar moped at the bottom of the tank forever while he was healing from it. I'd go with Broncomaniac's advice here, despite our differences.

Yes Blood Parrots can indeed get hole in the head, one of my older females had it when I got her from a lady. Larger fish can get it very easily and it is caused by poor water conditions. So if your fish is getting hole in the head then you need to be doing much more water changes than you currently are.

I have had my Oscar, Marley, for quite a while now and can proudly say he has never gotten hole in the head.

As for the original posters fish, is does have hole in the head.

I still don't see HITH. All the "new" cases I've seen have been tiny, pinhole-sized ulcers. This must be a more advanced case than glee has conveyed. The pattern in that picture is so uniform and vast that a localized vs systemic problem isn't suggested to me. But I don't doubt either of you, and I would begin treating for HITH if it were my fish. Soon.

Thanks very much for responding to my post.  Any suggestions on how I should treat HITH?

Clean water, dirty water is how they get it in the first place. You need to be doing much more water changes then you are currently doing.

The authors of each of those links state what I have stated here in the past; the cause is a mystery. Dirty water, poor diet, low immune response caused by a pathogen, and protozoan parasites are all suspected,  as are a number of other causes. We just don't know. But HITH and HLLE are seldom seen in tanks with good circulation, filtration, and upkeep.

Chrisplosion wrote, "You need to be doing much more water changes then you are currently doing."

Sage advice.