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My male ram cichlid is sick. ADVICE NEEDED QUICKLY!
September 5, 2013
6:02 pm
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george
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January 9, 2013
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While I was away on vacation, my aunt came by to feed my fish. I have no idea how often she came, but I was told the fish were fed regularly. Coming back, I noticed that the male of my ram pair was a bit skinny and spending his time lying on the substrate. However, he fed normally, and attacked other fish when he thought they were trespassing. I did a water-change, and had to leave again for a week. This time too, the fish were fed regularly. When I came back, the ram male was still acting the same way. I went back to my routine, hoping it was only stress causing the problem. I saw the pair going through the mating ritual once for a few minutes.But two days ago, he stopped feeding and went into hiding at the back of the aquarium. This evening, I moved him to a hospital tank I had prepared earlier. I noticed that he had gotten fatter, both his eyes were swollen, he was breathing very fast, his gills were swollen and pale and he was leaning towards the right side and had a small white dot on each fin. What's happening? PLEASE HELP! That fish means a lot to me!

Also, is it bad to separate a pair of ram cichlid? The male was sometimes violent with the female. She ended being stressed and having a ripped fin. I was thinking a little time apart would do her some good. Will it do more bad than good?

PLEASE HELP! Should I bring him to a vet as soon as possible?

September 6, 2013
4:39 pm
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oaken
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September 15, 2008
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Sorry to say this but I don't think a vet will be able to help you with your fish. Diagnosing fish is very difficult and considering this species is not really long-lived it might just be old age that's making it become sick. Probably not the answer you would like to hear but from the description there don't seem to be any obvious symptoms that are easy to medicate. 

September 6, 2013
5:59 pm
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george
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January 9, 2013
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But he's not that old. I bought him last christmas. He's only about a year old. Does that mean the female is going to die too?

 

September 6, 2013
8:49 pm
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mikev
NYC
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January 11, 2011
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Bringing the fish to the vet is a waste of money, the chances of diagnosis are close to nil.

Chances of you diagnosing the problem are not very good either... so you really have two options only: just let it be and move on, or try to cure the animal even if you don't know what the problem is. My SOP is unless I see clear evidence of a bacterial infection, treat for parasites of all kinds. Specifically, flubendazole+quinine cover nearly all of such diseases, and cure rate may with them ime approaches 50%. Quarantine tank, incidentally, is really for quarantine, in most cases it is best to treat the tank rather than move the affected fish, especially if you are not sure how to treat yet.

OTOH, Oaken is correct that some of problems with fish we see are end-of-life problems... the fish does not need to be really old, simply not every individual is designed to live full life span. In such cases no cure is possible.

Good luck!

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