Bloated/Fat Black Skirt Tetra
I have a 29 gallon planted aquarium, a couple months old now. The tank has 6 tiger barbs, 4 of the black skirt tetras, 6 corys, a snail, algae eater, and a pleco.
Two of the black skirts have developed fat/round bellys. One of them is just freaking huge in the stomach area, the other one is just slightly larger than it was originally. They've been this way for what seems like the better part of 4 weeks or so. I'm mostly worried about the huge one. I'm pretty sure it's not dropsy, it swims fine, goes all around the tank, eats, breaths, and it does not look like porcupine. What i can't decide is if theses fish are heavy with eggs or constipated. The two that have gotten round are the 2 larger ones, if that means they are female, I don't know.
I started off by fasting the entire tank for 48 hours, then I moved to on to castor oil soaked flake food, with broccoli and cucumber on the side. The black skirts wont touch the veggies, they haven't since i've had them, the rest of the fish will though. So that isn't helping much. However they have been eating small amounts of the soaked flakes for the last 2 days. However, I haven't notice them poop any, and the huge one is still large. I may try this routine for one more day then switch to a strick peas and veggies only diet for a couple more days.
Is it constipated? Or am i wasting my time because it's full of eggs instead?
It is most likely a female full of eggs. Can you post any clear photos for us so we can get a better idea of what you are describing?
Also, I must ask... I'm wondering where you got the idea to soak the flake food in castor oil?
Unfortunately, I don't have a camera that can get clear photos, up close, of my fish. I'll see if i can borrow a friend's camera sometime soon, see if it works any better.
I got the idea from a few random websites after i searched something like "fish constipated treatment" in google. I found a few articles that suggested it, do you think it was a bad idea? It does seem to make the tank a little cloudy, but the filter clears it up overnight it seems. The fish eat it, and I've noticed the tiger barbs crapin after they eat it. I've never noticed them poo before until I started feeding them that over the last couple days, too bad they're not the ones I'm worried about.
I think the castor oil is a bad idea for many reasons. That is not a safe way to treat a constipated fish. Typically if a fish is constipated that is a symptom of another problem. To treat constipation without finding out what is causing it can cause long term problems and damage to the digestive tract of the fish. If you need a natural laxative, try daphnia, but don't overdo it.
It sounds more like your black skirt tetras have eggs, then the only problem to watch for is that they reabsorb the eggs into their body and do not end up egg bound. Laxatives will not resolve that problem.
Alright, I'll lay off the castor oil. I'll just put them back on a normal diet and keep and eye out for the thing to lay the eggs.
Thanks for the advice!
Please don't be alarmed if you don't see eggs. If there is not a male to fertilize them or if the fish is not mature enough, or various other factors, the fish's body will reabsorb the eggs on its own. That is normal. You may just notice some day in a few weeks or a month that the swollen abdomen is no longer swollen.
If you see other symptoms during this time just let us know and we can then provide more help to you.
I read lots of threads regarding constipation problems/complication. I would find diagnosing constipation be a very difficult task.
All I know is when fish are fed variety of food, be it dry, froz, FD, or even my own cultures of insect larvae/worms, and given Ideal Condition for fish being kept, less chances of developing problems/complications.
Only live/FD/Fz food i never bother with was Brine Shrimp, be it for f/w or s/w, unless hatched myself to feed variety of tiny offsprings.
Just a thought.
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