Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jon88 01-09-2010 12:10 AM

Question about my parrot fish! (Pic)
So I notice today my parrot fish has this weird thing on his head. It like a hole with 3 white dots. Any idea of what it is? Here is a pic, If I need to get a better one I can try.

Jill0 01-09-2010 07:21 AM

It looks like it might be "Hole In The Head". Here is some information about this problem (symptoms, causes, treatment):

Freshwater Hole in the Head Disease Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Good luck,

Pasfur 01-09-2010 09:18 AM

I want to communicate a very important message here. Whatever this is, you should not add any medication at this time. So many people add meds and cause more problems.

I agree it is possibly the onset of hole in the head, although you usually see the symptoms appear more on the side of the head than on the top.

I kept a Blood Parrot for over 10 years, and from time to time I would notice 2 things. The first was the occasional black patch that would appear on the body and then go away. The other is the white spots you see on the head.

I would personally look at 2 areas for improvement to allow the fish an opportunity to heal on its own. First, I would pay attention to the nitrate levels in the tank, and consider a series of large water changes to reduce nitrates. My Blood Parrot tank received a 30% water change 3 times per week at minimum. These are large fish and produce a lot of waste. The water changes are a necessary evil when keeping large fish.

Second, I would ensure that the fish had a good variety in its diet to strengthen its immunity and allow it to fight off infections.

Overall, I would not be overly concerned unless the symptoms get worse.

Jon88 01-09-2010 11:43 AM

He has been like that for about a week now and has not gotten better or worse. I will try the water changes and see how that works first. He did have "Ick" about 2 years ago that I treated and he bounced back. How long should I give the water changes a go before I decide to medicate him?

Jon88 01-09-2010 10:14 PM


So I went by the tank today and my parrot fish is just hanging out at the top in the water current. When I did get him to swim he was "twitching" and banging his body off the ornaments in the tank. Now I'm starting to get worried. What should I do???

Pasfur 01-10-2010 08:41 AM

This sounds like a very bad situation. Looking at the fish, I do not have any disease or infection that comes to mind which would cause this behavior. However, water chemistry issues would cause this to occur. We need test results for pH, ammonia, and nitrite. I hope you have these test kits available at home, because we need very quick action on this.

Twistersmom 01-10-2010 08:42 AM

Have you tested the water? How does it test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, Ph?

Sometimes clean water can go a long way. My first action to treat, would be through water changes as Pasfur suggested.

Seems we posted at the same time Pasfur.;-)

Pasfur 01-10-2010 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by Twistersmom (Post 303283)
Seems we posted at the same time Pasfur.;-)

It doesn't happen a lot, but every now and then I get over here to the freshwater area. Usually when Blood Parrots or Tiger Barbs are the topic of conversation. 8)

One other thing I wanted to ask on this thread. Can you explain the process you used when doing your water change? Step by step. How much water you took out, how much you add, what type of conditioner you used, how much, when and where you added the conditioner, did you test the water?, did you add other chemicals, did you check the temperature? Every minor detail is important.

Jon88 01-10-2010 11:31 AM

Test Kit Used: API Freshwater Master Kit

PH- 7.5
Nitrate- 0
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0

I just did a water change and gravel suction real good, took out 12 gallons. The tank is a 75 gallon. The chemical I use when I add new water is called "Cycle".

The process I use when adding new water:

I run the sink water and use my thermometer to get to my proper temperature. I start filling the bucket, once I start filling the bucket I put 2 cap fulls of cycle in each bucket. I then dump the bucket in the tank.

Side Notes:

The tank he is currently in is a newer tank that has been set up for about 3 months. He was in an older 55gal tank that was set up for about 3 years but sprung a leak so I had to get a new tank and transfer him.

Also he is eating, but just does not have the same energy he did when it comes time to eat. I feed him 2 times a day.

Food Question?

What is the best food to feed him? He currently will not eat flake food, nor did he ever because he cant get the flakes in his mouth, so I feed him cichlid floating pellets. He seem to be able to get them in his mouth. What kind of pellet food would you recommend that has some good stuff in it to help boost his immune system?

Pasfur 01-10-2010 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by Jon88 (Post 303382)
Test Kit Used: API Freshwater Master Kit

PH- 7.5
Nitrate- 0
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0

I just did a water change and gravel suction real good, took out 12 gallons. The tank is a 75 gallon. The chemical I use when I add new water is called "Cycle".

What do you add to remove the chlorine from tap water? The cycle i am familiar with does not contain a chlorine remover, unless it has changed.

I'm also seeing something that is impossible in you test results. Your nitrate results were zero?? This is simply not possible, unless you have a live plant tank, which I assume is not the case given the fish.

Given that this started as only a visible mark on the head, and overnight turned into a behavior issue, I am inclined to look for rapid changes in the environment that triggered the behavioral change. This is why i'm asking these questions. I just don't see disease as a factor.

What other fish are in the tank? Are they showing symptoms?

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