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Damage or hole in the head?


Priscacara
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G'day, had visitors over today and while showing off the tanks I saw this poor fish. I keep a good eye on all my fish so I am assuming this has only happened recently.

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My first thought was hole in the head but my water maintenance is good and nothing amiss with the water parameters which as I understand is the main contributer to the disease. I read that diet could also be a factoer, I use NLS so that shouldnt be the cause either.

The blue dolphins in the tank have been causing a bit of a ruckus the past few weeks spawning but chasing has been limited to their own species as far as I saw. The fish did get a bit of a scare yesterday when someone came through the doorway too fast so I'm thinking that it struck a piece of rock or coral. Its a bit of a mess, the photo really doesnt show it well but if it was a person I'd say most of the face is bruised (assuming that fish bruise as well).

Its staying out of the way which is a good thing, if its damage caused by hitting something the last thing it would want was another hit.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. The pic is from a phone so not the best but the damage is still obvious.

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Don't know what that is but It doesn't look like hole in the head especially if it happened quickly.

I would guess it is some kind of abrasion. Is there anything in the tank he could cut himself on? Fronny's are very skittish so wouldn't surprise me if he got scared has smashed himself.

Maybe isolate him if u have a spare tank, he is at risk of fungal infections atm, and they can be contagious.

Try treating him with a fungus aid or melifix type product if he doesn't get better

hth Aaron

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There is some coral limestone in there so the damage could easily be from banging into it with force. I'm going to do a water change today and add in melafix. I use it every 2nd change as a preventative.

Tx for the reply, I hate to see any of my fish suffering.

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To be honest, even with "good water" (have you checked the KH?) and good food, HITH can still strike.

I had HITH with my big tank, and it started exactly (though not so large) as your photo looks. Amongst others, there are K1, RR and duboisi. The only fish affected were the K1, no other Tropheus variety nor non Tropheus species were touched.

Increasing the KH helped, though it wasn't that low, it was the only water parameter that needed a boost. Eventually I resorted to metro, and the problem is all but gone. I'm still in watching and waiting mode.

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Tx for the reply Craig, unfortunately the fish didnt make it. I got up this morning to find it dragged into the "nest" of 1 of my big male BN, guess he was saving it for a snack :-( .

I just did the usual tests again before posting, ph 8.1 , GH 240 mg/l, KH 210 mg/l. Its about normal for the tank, GH up by 20 mg/l was the only change.

The frontosa have been in the tank now for almost 10 months and still panic when someone comes in the room, usually setting off the rest of the fish a bit. This is my first fatality so I have been lucky, still always a shame to lose something your responsible for taking care of.

I'm going to have a chat to the person I get all my fish and gear from, it may be time to make the hard decision to replace the frontosa and maybe dolphins but not set on the idea. I wouldnt have a clue what to put in, I know my T. duboisi would love the room they are in an ar980. I'll list whats in with the fronts below for perusal.

5 frontosa biggest approx 15cm, working their way down to about 9cm.

6 blue dolphin 3 M, 3F based on size and shapes, 2 biggest males approx 18cm, other male not too much smaller, females about 12/13cm.

7 lemon chichlid

6 Julidichromis

4 BN 2 x large adult males 2 x adult females

2 orange spot gibbiceps

3 whiptail cats , 1 adult, 2 juveniles

4 upside down catfish

1 hoplochromis catfish

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always a shame to lose something your responsible for taking care of

Agree with that. For it to die so quickly, I'd assume it to be mechanical damage.

Maybe you should think about removing the coral rather than the fish? After all what is the fish tank for? From your photos I see that it is not a branched type of coral, so that's a good thing, but maybe rocks will not be so abrasive. Still hard, but not like sandpaper that the coral will be.

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The rock looks like its been taken from an old reef, made up of corals, sponges etc.......almost looks like the fossils I used to go collect. Some of it is very sharp, I've sliced my finger on it before so I ground down the sharpest areas but its still not good to hit. I'll see about maybe getting more river rocks and add in some shell grit as buffer.

I love the fish and apart from being skittish (I now know thats just the natural way with some) now and then the tank and fish havent had any major problems.

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sorry for your loss

It's a crap feeling when a fish dies from injury. Not much can be done to save them. I recently had the first cichlid I ever own, a kadango red fin, pass away after he got stuck behind a filter intake at night.

I completley agree that it's a shame to lose something that's health and well being is the keepers responsability, but I guess that's part of the hobby.

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The tank with the frontosa in it is a 6 x 2 x 2 . I took a quick pic of the tank location yesterday, it looks a bit distorted due to the angle though. The gap between the red chair and tank corner is only about 3 feet so anyone coming into the house brushes right past the tank. Most times the fish are a bit startled but settle quickly at others it triggers a mass frenzy of panic which is what happened the other night.

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I would do as Colfish recommends, he beat me to it. But in addition I would definitely not have the back open. This can dramatically cause discord in the tank.

I would rather than get shell grit (particularly if it is large/ish), but would use coral sand or better yet limestone sand.

You also have little to nothing (that I can see) that the fish can get under to feel secure. When you change the coral, it's not hard to be artfully aquascape some caves etc.. Couple with doing the side and background coverings, this could solve your problems.

I'd also ditch the wood as it will chemically be doing the opposit to what the coral, shell grit or limestone is doing.

Edited by CThompson
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Tx for the suggestions! The big bit of wood is in there mainly for the catfish, the twisty bits for decoration. The small fish all have nice holes they have claimed as their own but the bigger ones dont have much as you have pointed out.

The pile of limestone in the centre is leaning up against a bunch of pvc pipes, the idea was for the catfish to have places to hide but as far as I can tell none of them even use it so that would give a fair bit of area to build up rocks. Not sure how I'd manage trying to make caves for the larger fish but will have a look for some more river rocks at the landsacapers and come up with something.

The open back wasnt planned I just made the mistake of putting the water in before I got a background for it, then when the fish went in and were so easily scared I didnt try to fit one.

Coral or limestone sand would work well mixed in with the gravel, I think I have too much gravel atm as well so my renovations can get rid of some of that too.

Tx again for the ideas and comments, alweays appreciated.

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I managed to get hold of about a brickies barrow full of river pebbles for free at the local landscapers, 2nd time the guy has helped me out with rocks.

My problem with building up rock formations in my tanks is the fear of them crashing down and breaking the glass so I still tend to keep them too low for decent caves for the bigger fish. Having said that, I'm considering getting 4 or 6 flower pots, stacking and sticking them together with silicon.........I have lots of the clear aquarium/glass silicon but doubt that will stick the pots so will be looking for safe cement/ceramic silicon later. My view is some nice sized caves with height but a lot less weight, I could then build up rocks around the pots to hide most of them.

I'll also lay put all the rocks and have a try and digging out some artistic side of me thats locked away somewhere and see if I can make some formations to add to the tank if the pot idea fails :-).

Edited by Priscacara
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