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Another sick fish question


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1. Description of the symptoms, obvious signs of disease and behaviour of your fish.

Heres the pics

user posted image

user posted image

Lack of appetite


scale and skin problems (see photos)

Blindness (it seems like it)

2. List the fish that are exhibiting the above symptoms/behaviour: genus and species name.

These are my Tropheus moorii nkonde.

3. When and how did the symptoms/behaviour start?

A few days a go I noticed a few of these guys not eating. No trouble I pulled out the bag of Clout I have just for this reason and started a treatment ( 1 tablet per 40L ) This was monday night. I also had a girl die in the act of spawning. When I found her on tuesday morning she had three or four eggs in her mouth and her tube was extended

Tuesday Morning when I went out to the room to check on them I noticed that the room smelt funny. My wife described it as cat wee dntknw.gif It was a pretty good description. I thought it may have been the smell that clout gives off. I normally use metro, but had picked up some clout this time. This is the first time I noticed a problem with there skin/scales. Their scales looked to be peeling off. Not just raised from the skin but actually slightly rolled up on the ends. They looked to have blisters around their mouths and on their faces. I also noticed that the really sick fish seemed to be blind. They would swim slowly along the tank and the just swim into the end, also when catching them in a net they didn't seem to notice it until they were touched by it and then they would freak out.

Wednesday they seemed atleast interested in their food. When I fed them they swam over to it, but didn't eat. I did notice normal coloured poop on the floor of the tank and was convinced that someone must have been eating even though I never saw them. I continued to treat with clout. I also treated with melafix to try and help with their skin problems.

This morning 6 dead tropheus and two more died during the day angry.gifcryblow.gif

4. How old are the affected/sick fish?

I don't know their age. Some of the fish are adults and some are some younger fish I have been keeping to strengthen the colony. I have had them for around 12 months, the adults were wildcaught so I don't know their age

5. Have any new fish been added to the tank?

I have added other tropheus fry to the group in the last week. The rest of that group are acting normal and eating well.

I added this group to a tank that was housing some Persipax. They were together for a few days before I moved the persipax out

6. Has anything 'special' happened recently?

12 days ago they were moved from their tank inside because of a temperature problem I was having, to the fish room which sits on or about 25 degrees

7. What are the water parameters?

- pH = ?

- kH = 13

- gH = 10

- Temp = 24

- O2 content =

- CO2 additions =

- NH3 =

- NO2 =

- NO3 =

- Metals (copper, iron, lead) =

8. Describe the aquarium and its contents

The tank is 72x18x18. There is no decoration in it and has a sand substrate. Filtration is by side drop. I also have 2 airstones running in it. It has three pieces of 'agg-pipe', for the fish to hide in, floating on the top of the tank.

The tanks has been running for 4 weeks. the filters were 'seeded' with material from my sump (the tank they came from originally) and was run with sub-adult persipax for the first 2 weeks. As of today the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia tested at 0

9. When was the water last changed and how much was changed?

Water was changed before they were added and again on the second day of treatment when I noticed the odour in the tank

I cycle my water in large 200l barrels inside my shed. Buffer is also added here before it is pumped to the tank.

10. When was the filter last cleaned?

The filter is new in this tank. It been running since 25th Jan

11. What brand and type of food has been used over the past month?

OSI spirulina flake

I dont know what to do to stop them dying and fear that this might be the end for them. I don't know what else to do as I feel I have done all I can now and might just have to let this run its course. cryblow.gifcryblow.gif

Any help would be muchly appreciated

Josh And Evelyn

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I am not a tropheus expert, but for what it is worth......

I seem to remember something about clout on the market and treatment in terms of there being different strength products out there.

It sounds like overdose with the blistering occuring.

Maybe try a major water change (,maybe 75% bveing as you have aged good water.

Best I got. I am sure the experts will reply shortly.



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I know there is different strengths in Metro but I havent heard of it from Clout. I will have a look and see if they come in different strengths

Thanks for the reply


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Sorry to hear Josh .

My first reaction would not be clout or metro .... confused.gif

60% waterchange and about 2kg of sea salt!

It sounds more like an external problem and the salt cures just about anything external .

2kg might sound excessive ....but i would not hesitate .

Raise temp also to at least 28 dgrs.

Just my thoughts .

Hope you save the rest mate .

Cheers Kevin

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Thanks kevin

I should have said that I have stopped the Clout. I too am thinking that it isnt Bloat but When I see them not eating for a day or two I always dose them.

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My first thought was ammonia too (given the smell) but it would have to be really high for blistering. I use clout at 1 tab per 40L...what dosage are/were you using?

Andrea smile.gif

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sorry to hear about your dilemma! i really feel sick inside to hear this happening to your lovely Nkondes!

From what u have described it looks like a nasty reaction to the ingredients - mostly antibiotics in Clout. It sounds like u were dosing it according to instructions so it shouldn't be an overdose. But i have never seen this happen to my trophs when they were treated with clout. A similar reactions occurs in humans (rarely) called "Steven's-Johnson Syndrome" where there is total desquamation (peeling off) of the skin!!!! U have already stopped using clout and have done water changes so hopefully it will not progress any further!

I think your fish may have been getting bloat initially so u did the correct thing to treat. The only dilemma now is if bloat continues, then u should use metro instead. If the fish are eating then just don't treat them and continue water changes and maybe salt and melafix.

Good luck and let us know the progress.

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Thanks dave

I have done the water change and am in the process off treating with salt to help the healing and garlic, because it is something else I can try

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I just tested the Ph its 8.4 Kh is 13 and Gh is 10. I know thats a bit low but I don't think it is critical.

I am buffering with the usual seachen salts and buffers and all the other tanks a fine.

I am starting to think the I might have over done it when I treated with Clout and Melafix at the same time. Even though both were done slightly below the recommendations, together, it might have been to much

I have moved them back to their original tank. Even though the move could have done them more harm, I thought it had to be tried. The surviving fish are showing a remarkable improvement and are showing some interest in food again and have some color back. All are swimming up of the bottom of the tank and there is no labored breathing

All this makes me believe that might have been a toxin in the water, Now I have to try and work out how it got there and what it was

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My first reaction to such nasty symptoms was a toxin too. But seeing as none of your other fish are affected perhaps you are onto something by suspecting the medications.

Coincidentally, a mate of mine had some cloudy eye in a snook in his large american tank on the weekened. He put a heavy handed dose of melafix in there. I commented on the smell when I entered the house. Next day, all the fish were gasping very heavily, and close to death. I tested for ammonia right away, and it was through the roof. I suspect somehow the biological process was upset by a sudden heavy dose of medication. Several large water changes, no food, and a BIG dose of easy life and a few days later they are fine. Biological process seems to be re-established.

I'm not saying this happened to you, but perhaps the combination of meds, as you suspect, affected the biological process and made things worse that way? Now they are appearing a it happier, perhaps you were onto something.

of course this doesnt explain the intial loss of appetite, But the cat wee smell made me think ammonia also.

SO maybe not a toxin, but a bad sequence of events???

ANyway, I am just thinking out loud really. Hope all goes well from now, coz I love those fish, and want to see them live!



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Thanks Jason

It sounds like you are thinking like me. Every couple of minutes it could be something different.



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Josh...did u check your ammonia levels? i must say i have not liked using Melafix with my tropheus. Maybe u should avoid using it this time. Water change is the key....provided there is nothing wrong with the water u r using.

I hope this has not lessen your luv of tropheus.

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