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Sylverclaws 01-02-2013 11:29 AM

Swordtail Insta-ballooned, what happened here?
The size of my tank: 55 Gallon.

Test Kit used API Master Freshwater Test Kit. Did one two hours ago Water parameters are as follows:

PH: 7.6

High Range PH: 7.8

Ammonia: 0 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 10 ppm

Tank is Freshwater.

The Aquarium is new. I set it up about five days ago, I moved everything over there from my twenty gallon(6-8 months old) and ten gallon(two years old). Substrate, filter cartridge, driftwood, heater, plants, water and fish. Had no problems until now.

Fish in my tank: Eight Mollies, three swordtails, three platies, three variatus, eight corydoras(four schwartz and four emeralds), one male dwarf gourami and two bristlenose plecos. I've had all the ones in there but one bristlenose pleco and four cories(got them a few days ago) for several months, one molly I have had for over a year. Aside from the babies who will be re-homed once big enough.
Three of the platies and five of the mollies are still practically fry or in juvenile stages, just barely big enough to not be eaten(about three quarters of an inch for most, and half an inch for one molly). One of the plecos is still very young and only about two and a half inches long, the other three inches long. All but two of the fish in there are under a year old(those two being the swordtail and creamsicle lyretail molly) The largest molly I have in my tank is about three inches long, maybe a little bit more, and a male swordtail that is about the same length, minus the sword. The cories and pleco were not quarentined.

The temperature is currently 78 degrees.

There are A LOT of plants in the tank. A few anubias, one I have had over a year, the other I've had a few months. Many stem plants. Some duckweed I got a few weeks ago, one small swordplant. Does aquarium wood count? Had that for a few months now. I cannot remember exact names of all plants, sorry. =/

Filter is an AquaClear for a 40-70 gallon tank, I have it turned down. I change it once a month(I know it says every two weeks, but I was told by several members on here that I should do it only once a month).

I just use the filters and heaters.

The tank does not get any sun. My lighting schedule is about eight hours per day. There unfortunately isn't a set schedule as my own is very hectic and random. x.x But it usually goes on between two am and eight am, and off eight hours later. Occasionally they get an extra hour.

I did a small 5% change this morning, about five hours ago. Normally I do a 25% once per week, vacuum a quarter of the substrate, new spot each week, so I don't mess up my bacterial system.

My fish are fed once per day, sometimes twice(once half hour after lights on, and sometimes once before lights out, small portions only on those days). I usually give them fresh veggies like cooked peas(two to three times per week unless someone has a problem), spinach, romaine lettuce and the occasional green bean(not all at the same time, I switch it up so they don't get bored). I also give them frozen brine shrimp or tubefix worms(defrosted of course) twice per week. I also put two small algae wafers in twice per week for the cories and pleco, but the other fish enjoy them as well if they find them. They are also given tropical fish flakes every other day.
This morning they were given a small amount of brine shrimp. By small I mean about a quarter of those small bubblepacks of it. I also put in a small algae wafer, one smaller than a dime, for my cories. The fish did munch on it as well, but not very much.

I have not seen anything out of the ordinary with these fish in the last three months. They all seem happy, active, and are often breeding. lol

I have not done any treatments, I have no idea what to treat. x.x

Onto the problem at hand....

I was sitting here watching my fish, and my female red neon swordtail started swelling at a rather fast rate, right before my eyes. I didn't see her hit anything or get injured, she was completely fine and was breeding with a smaller male swordtail. Maybe something happened then. He just did his thing and she swam off, he chased after another girl. Five minutes after this she swam into my view in the middle area of the tank and started kinda bobbing side to side a little. Like you'd see them do if they had trouble pooping. Yesterdays feeding was a pinch of flakes and some cooked peas in the evening, I don't think she'd be constipated...Anywho, she swam up top after that and started swelling during this time. And I mean really swelling, it took her less than five minutes to get about the size of a large marble, and it looks like something broke. I am not sure if it is blood or air that is in there, but it looks like a bubble of something. She can no longer hold herself properly and is slapping around on the top sideways.

I have no doubts that she is going to die, and I hope it comes quickly for her as this cannot be comfortable.She cannot swim down, she just hangs sideways at the top and doesn't go anywhere. But I need to make sure this isn't something that is going to hit others in my tank. She had zero signs of anything off before this. No bloating, she was active, mating, swimming and pooping normally before this. She pooped normally this morning, about two hours prior to this, I didn't see anything off with it, kinda hard to miss when she swims by your face. ^^; But hey, I check for things that look off in that too. Oh yes, she was also pregnant. I do not know how far along, she was only just starting to round up. She gave birth about two weeks ago.
Rough estimate on how much she actually swelled? I think it was about...well, let's say she was more than an inch and a half around...she musta gone to about four or five times what she was minutes before.

Ahem...What in the heck just happened?!! Did my male kill her in breeding? I didn't see her hit anything or act in pain, he didn't bite her or really even chase her, she invited him in, left normally like nothing happened. Just cruising around the tank like normal fish do. That freaked me out I thought I was dreaming!

Well, I've got a headache. It'd be great if someone could unbreak my brain(not the cause of it, I'm sure, since brain breaking is mental) and tell me what went on here. ^^;

Sylverclaws 01-02-2013 04:23 PM

Well, I have her in the quarantine tank, unfortunately I still have some new arrivals in there, they show no signs of any yuck though. ^^; She's still ballooned and floating about, but she tries to go down and swim. I still dunno what to do about this. v.v; My best guess is she messed up her swim-bladder somehow or was injured when mating.

Sylverclaws 01-03-2013 08:30 AM

Today she is no longer floating around on her side. She is still ballooned, but I'd say she's around a third the size she was. She is also swimming around better. o_o; I was NOT expecting this. I was so sure she'd die.

Does nobody know what's going on here? ^^; It'd be nice to know so I can possibly medicate my tank and help her and keep my other fish from getting ill. Guess I'll have to ask on Yahoo or something, but I doubt I'll get any valid info. @_@;

Sylverclaws 01-08-2013 10:47 AM

Quick update, for anyone watching....My Swordtail has, by some miracle, fully recovered. Woo! She is being a very babied fish though. lol Her swelling took about three days to go down all the way, and she had some bruising for a bit longer and a funny bump on her side where the scales stuck off, but all that seems to have repaired and she's acting normal as always. She's my favorite swordtail, I woulda missed her a lot if she had died. I'm glad she didn't and that she healed fast, I had no idea what to do. I put her in a QT tank with some salt and a little melafix and pimafix. I didn't know what I was dealing with, so that's what I did. Seems to have done the trick, or at least made -me- feel better. ^^;

She still has a very small amount of bruising, but it's almost gone now. Back to being a happy fish. lol I still wonder just what in the world happened! I've found no answers. I can only assume she was injured somehow, or had an infection blow. I had two frogs get swim bladder infections about a month before this, she was in the same tank with them at the time, I wonder if she caught it and the infection blew causing the bruising and swelling. Well, everyone else's guess would be about as good as mine on this one...let's put it under the "Freak Accident" category. ^^;

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