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Guest Theresa


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Guest Theresa

We've had this cichlid for over four years. He is one of those "Convict" ones, gray with black stripes. We also have another cichlid that looks just like him, only he's completely pinkish white. There is only one other fish in the tank and he is a catfish that I bought to keep the bottom clean.


So I've got three fish in a 36-gallon tank.


Anyway, the Convict, who has clearly been the dominant fish in the tank became ill well over a week ago. He appears to have lost his pectoral fins, but his major symptom was that he had a huge sore on his side that was infected-looking and he had lost a lot of scales surrounding the wound. He has a tendency to rub himself against the large rocks in the tank and it was my impression that he had rubbed himself sore. Oh, yeah, and he's been swimming upside down mostly. I was amazed to see him hanging out at the top of the tank, lying on his side with his sore side up, allowing the water from the filter to run on his sore (which must've made it feel better or something). He did it for about two days.


So I bought some erythromycin tablets to clear up the "infection". The sore started to disappear, but he still wasn't getting much better (not very active). So I then tried tetracycline, then sulfa...changing the water as recommended between doses.


I checked the PH and it is at 7.5, which is what the guy at the fish store recommended.


Then I read something about fungus and swim bladder disease. I bought some tablets to treat what I now thought was swim bladder disease (because he's been swimming upside down mostly) and it's been several days with this new treatment. His sore is almost completely gone and his scales don't look as bad as they had been looking.


He's still mostly upside down. He's breathing normally and really appears to be hanging in there. He pretty much stays in the same spot all day, with a few swims around the tank if I bother him with water changes. The other fish have no symptoms at all.


Has anybody seen this before? I feel terribly for this guy, but he obviously is trying to fight whatever it is that's making him sick. Will he regenerate those fins that are missing? Could this be why he's swimming upside down? Is he ever going to get better? What should I do?


Like I said, this has been going on for almost two weeks now.



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