23 March 2017

the swordtails

are named Splishy and Fabio. Yeah, ridiculous I know. I let my kids name the female and that's immediately what they said: Splishy!
So I'm trying to figure out how to help this fish, if I can. It seems to have multiple health issues. I'm not even looking at the ragged fins right now. Most noticeable is the swollen belly. May be a chronic problem- I remember when I first visited the prior owner's house months ago I noticed this fish was always near the substrate and I asked about it. He kind of shrugged, said it was a regular thing, but the fish always came up to eat. When I adopted the fish and first brought it home it was so fat I thought maybe it was gravid, or possibly a "balloon-belly" variety
but the profile doesn't look like it now that I view more pictures- I think they're both hi-fin lyretails.
So my best guess is she's constipated and bloated from overeating. Or maybe has a swim bladder problem. I did not feed them the first two days here, and did 25% water change each morning. Today tried feeding minced peas. (Very small amount- less than a fourth of one pea. Left the bits in there for the snails, will siphon out remnants later today). Nobody ate- serpaes and the male swordtail tried and spit it out, female swordtail didn't even move from her grounded position. Lamp-eyes didn't seem to notice there was food on offer. Tomorrow I will try something garlic-soaked.
I just noticed today that Splishy's right gill looks swollen and lumpy- cancerous? or ammonia damage??
My daughter thinks it's real sweet how the male keeps following her around. If she's laying on the bottom he'll periodically drift down to the same level and nudge her.
I've got my own concern about Fabio. He has pale areas on top of the back and upper lip. I took backdrop off the tank in order to see the profile clearly against the light: it's not fuzzy. Looks like scales are worn off? or color is really faded. I don't know if this is just a mottled color pattern, or if the fish is loosing color due to age (at least 3 years, maybe 4), or does it have some disease. Asking the fish folks on the forum for input.

Wondering if a salt bath would help the female, if it can relieve some swelling, but I'm holding off another day before doing any kind of treatment. Today she is swimming around more frequently and for longer stretches, and breathing rate is normal (yesterday she lay on the substrate almost all the time and was breathing heavy). So I think there is already some improvement.... I realize I probably can't heal all her issues, but if there's something I can do... These fish won't be moving into my show tank, they're staying right here. If they need some strong meds I will treat them after the tetras move out...

1 comment:

Jeane said...

Turns out she's not really all that bloated- and the frayed fin edges are probably because the tetras nip- I've seen them do it now.