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Old 11-03-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
bmlbytes
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Default Paralyzed Fish?

Yesterday I had treated my cichlid tank with Melafix and Pimafix because there was a fungus growing on the fish. Last night, I noticed one of the fish on it's side on the ground. I went to quarantine him so the other fish wouldn't pick on him, and I noticed that the end of his tail was pinned under a rock. I lifted the rock, and he swam kinda weird away from me. I picked him up and put him in the QT. He has been on his side all night, but is still alive. His breathing is normal, and the fungus went away (I put the Pimafix in the QT), but he is still on his side. He uses his pectoral fins to push himself forward and backward when I put my hand in the QT, but he doesn't seem to use his tail. His tail fin is also clamped.

Is it possible that the rock paralyzed the fish's tail. What can I do?
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:00 PM   #2
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Default Sick fish

It is very possible that, something (Hard to put a finger on exactly what)Has caused nerve damage in the back half of the fish, IMHO, this will not correct itself, How you handle that is of course up to you.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:17 PM   #3
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The thing that gets me, is that only the fin part of the tail was pinned (not the meaty body part) and the rock he was under didn't seem like it had been moved from the original configuration. He did have some fungus on him, but it wasn't nearly as bad as one of the other fish who is still swimming around like nothing happened. If he were seriously sick, I would have expected him to die last night, or at least be breathing hard. I will give him a few days to see if he gets better before I make any decisions.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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Good news! Today he is upright like a normal fish. His tail is still clamped, but he is twitching it (still not using it fully). I am hoping that he will get better today or tomorrow. I hate having him in his QT (it's tiny), but I don't want the other cichlids to pick on him either.

PS. I decided to name him Eric
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnq96W9jtuw
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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Last edited by Warmouth; 11-05-2009 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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He got his own tank today. He is starting to swim a little, but he doesn't swim like the other fish do. He kind of vibrates his whole body and swims like that. He still hangs around at the bottom. At least he is getting better!
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:32 AM   #7
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thats good BML hope he fully heals
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:44 PM   #8
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OK so Eric has made almost a complete recovery. His tail still needs a little repair, but he uses it and everything. It just looks like he got some fin rot or something on his tail.

Anyway, I tried to put him back into the 40 gallon with the other fish. The other male in the tank immediately started to attack him. I moved Eric back into the 10 gallon.

Now what do I do? I cant keep him with the other cichlids. Can I keep him alone in a little tank like that? I have a feeling I am looking at buying another small tank lol.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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The traditional thing to do when introducing or returning a fish to a cichlid tank is to take out all the decor, gravel wash to fill all the fish's excavations and put all the decor back differently. Sometimes thats not enough.

The damage to his tail was could be from the other male. Certainly they are capable of inflicting that kind of damage. My P. demasoni get chewed tails on occasion. Then I take out the chewed male, let him heal in a 5 or 10 and then sell one or the other. I think we tend to select for more aggressive fish when we keep the "chewer" rather than the "chewee"

In that size tank, you may only be able to keep one male.

Or you may need more fish to spread the aggression around. It would have to be something different enough not to interbreed, but mean enough to hold its own. Maybe a small Victorian hap trio.

I have this issue with P. sp. "daktari". I bought 4 big ones in Cincinnati and put them in a 40L (4' x 1') now one is dead and the rest are in 3 different tanks. But I have 12 smaller ones (both sexes) in 30L with no chewed tails and even a few fry. Because these are the only ones in the area I know of, I've been reluctant to dump the extra males, but I think they are going to the LFS so I can have the tanks for something else and I'll move the small ones to the 40.

You can keep a fish alone in a small tank a long time. He will get kind of bored and you have to do a lot of water changes to keep the water clean. I would suggest finding someone with a large, display, "bachelor" tank. A pretty tank with all males is a good home for boys who get booted from the harem.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:20 AM   #10
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I rearranged all the rocks in the tank when I put him back in. He acted kind of funny next to the other male. The other male wouldn't leave him alone, no matter where he went to hide.

I don't want to give him away. I have grown somewhat fond of him. Probably because I was able to recover him from being nearly dead. He also has a lot of personality.

I think I will keep him in his small tank until I know he is completely recovered. I may try to find him some suitable tankmates in the future, and get them a larger tank. Are the Victorian Haps equally as aggressive as the psudotropheus sp? I want any aggression level to be equal or slightly less than Eric. He doesn't need to be bullied anymore.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:11 AM   #11
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I keep P. Nyerii in with P. Demasoni so I'd say they are about equal meanness. The is another reason people like us end up with tanks every where they can possibly fit. In a tall tank you could possibly keep him (not the breeders) with livebearers. Goodieds do well in Malawi water. If you knew what they are you could get another 6. IMO tail-chewing is just an attempt to drive fish away, but fish get tails chewed off if the tank isn't big enough for both fish.
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