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is this normal?

I have noticed my blood parrots above their noses and between their eyes seemed to be missing some skin and exposing their flesh. They both seem fine. I dont recall seeing other blood parrots have this. Is this normal? Its beginnging to worry me. Attached are pics one of them.







Fish have tiny pin-hole pores called the lateral line - they are some sort of sensory apparatus, I think. They can become eroded for reasons I am not certain of. Here is one sight with the opinion that it is nutrition related. Others say it is an infection or whatever, but I am not inclined to think your fish have an infection from the look of them. Read up on hole-in-the-head and keep careful watch on them and water quality.


I did further research about lateral line erosion. My water quality is superb 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, last check 15 nitrate. And I started doing 50% water change every 3 days due to my smaller bp with that white spot on her lower inner lip which today had completely healed. Prior to that I was doing 50 % water change 5-7 days. I feed them mix diet: hikari cichlid gold pellots, weekly frozen brine shrimp and thaw peas. I have noticed the small pin holes on both of my bps. My smaller bp have 2 sets of those pin holes above her eyes and below. The bigger bp on these pics attached only have 1 set of those tiny holes at which I thought they were like human nostrils located on her nose. They both do not seemed to be bothered at all and act as normal as I know them. After I run out of carbon filters that I use on my aquaclear power filter I dont plan to use them any more unless need to absorb medications or tanine if I get driftwood in the future. Some sites stated active carbon may have caused later line erosions. Because there isnt enough research to support this I plan to use carbon as part of my filtration. Saving money is the main reason that I will stop using carbon later even though they have certain benefits. I will keep monitoring my bps and hope for the best.

Today I bought api melafix and started treatment. Hopefully the eroded skin will grow back. They both are still doing fine.

It probably is nothing serious to worry about. Sounds like you have it in hand.

I hope its nothing serious either, but better safe than sorry. They have the eroded skin on their heads for many months and all those times I thought it was normal because it didnt bother them at all. The melafix indicated to treat for 7 days and do a 25% water change after. Because I have a full bioload, I'll feed every other day to control water conditions. I will see if any skin will go back in a week.

I'm not sure if it was due to melafix or from fighting with other tiger barbs. My 2 bps seemed to be fine but I don't see any skin regrowth from their heads. They look like that for several months now and probably will be scarred for life. I will stop using melafix today just in case if more fish dies.

I didn't know that.

BUt my tiger barbs Were stressed the whole time. As with any medications you never know how the fish will react to it. I just did about an 80% water change last night and 70% today. Added carbon filter back to remove any remaining melafix.

Their skin looked kinda pinkish red while the rest are normal color. I hope they will recover.

I got a new tiger barb yesterday. Most importantly my 2 bps are still doing fine. I dont know if their eroded skins will ever grow back, but Im more relieved now because it doesnt seem to bother them. Time will tell. I still have plenty of melafix left, but as long as I have my tiger barbs im wont be using it. I will stick to api aquarium salt which all of fish are used to when I add it routinely during water changes.

A big chunk of its stomache was missing like it was being eaten. Wonder this was caused by my blood parrots or the other tiger barbs. The one that died before had a bruise on its side. Still not sure if melafix had something to do with this causing my fish to be stress and agressive. Can my blood parrots have really done this?

7 more died today with 2 in critical condition in a hospital bowl in api salt. Only 1 left in tank looking normal. My blood parrots thank goodness still look normal, but im pretrified if they may be affected by something unknown from the tiger barbs. This all started when I used melafix. I really hope its not something deadly.

Melafix appears to be made from Tea Tree oil, so it is a relatively natural antibiotic. I had always considered it pretty safe. But a lot of people on the internet say it killed some of their smaller fish. I don't really know what to think. Tiger Barbs seem to be susceptible to a variety of issues - search for "tiger barbs died suddenly" to see what I mean.


The blurb on the Melafix product says (this doesn't necessarily mean it is perfectly true...):

MelaFix is safe for all aquariums
MelaFix is a safe and effective antibacterial medication for all freshwater and marine fish. Laboratory studies proved that MelaFix is safe for even the most delicate fish species including tetras, discus fry, and scaleless fish like the clown loach. MelaFix can be used with all marine fish. Repeated treatment of sensitive clownfish fry proved harmless. MelaFix has been tested and found to be safe in reef aquariums containing invertebrates such as live coral and anemones.

Treating with MelaFix will not harm the biological filter in freshwater or saltwater aquariums or ponds. MelaFix will not color the water and will not stain ornaments or silicone sealer. MelaFix has no effect on pH. MelaFix is harmless to live aquarium plants. If using with a protein skimmer or pumps in your aquarium, the water agitation will cause bubbles, or foam, when MelaFix is added. This is not an indication of MelaFix not working.

I did do research before using melafix. The tiger barbs dying research i found could be internal parasite infections, but its hard to say the exact cause. The 8 tiger barbs that died yesterday was one after another. They would each swim to the top of the water and go upside down. I brought one by one to a hospital bowl filled with api salt with an aeration stone for oxygen. And one by one each died slowly until there was no more movement. Even the new one bought a few days ago died the same way. Then I found all 3 of my snails later that day died. I just checked the first tiger barb that went into the hospital bowl is still alive and swimming well. She is the smaller one and I thought she would not make it. Maybe because she was in there first before something unkown went really bad in the tank. My blood parrots are still in their flower pots resting. All I can do now is wait and keep doing frequent water changes.

He is doing fine and somtimes would swim close to my 2 blood parrots. But he would never get in their way and neither would the blood parrots bother him at all.

Tiger barb is pretty much full grown and doing very well. He was lonely about 7 months living with my 2 blood parrots. So i got 2 small rainbow cichlids about 2 weeks ago. The rainbows tend to bully my tiger barb and they are not that afraid of the blood parrots. But they get along fine, nothing serious.

Ours got along great with the BPs, not too aggressive, not too shy. 

The blood parrots dont even notice the rainbows are in the tank. Sometimes they will bump into each other like nothing had happened. The tiger barb would not get in the blood parrots space. The rainbows are also getting along better with the tiger barb. They dont chase him as much as before when they were first put in the tank. I was afraid at first that my tiger barb would nip my rainbows, but it turned out to be the opposite. The rainbows were the aggressor.

She is doing great and got bigger a little over 5"in length. And chubby loves food. The skin issue has stayed the same.