Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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gilfish 06-09-2007 03:36 PM

Bala Shark looks to have mouth stuck open UGH!
I have had 2 large bala sharks for few months and they have been thriving and growing fast. Now one looks on the verge of death as his mouth is stuck open - infected? It looks like he got punched in the mouth and it's all swollen up. He's started to spend much time vertically and looks like he will be dead soon. No whiteness or spots - no ich.

Other fish are picking at him as he dies. Any idea what caused this or if it could have been prevented. He was FINE 24 hours ago. Scroll below "tank" below for all info.


mHeinitz57 06-09-2007 06:44 PM

could be a bacterial disease such as mouth rot. Generally you would see a fungus like growth around the mouth but it is possible it can occur on the "lips" or inside the mouth (so you wouldnt see it and it would cause discomfort to close the mouth". This can be caused by infections due to existing injuries, incorrect pH, high Nitrate, low oxygen or vitamin deficiencies. An antibiotic such as tetracycline (maybe used as a bath dip instead of treating the whole tank) could work if this is the case. Otherwise, I know as fish get sick, they get lathargic and do not move as it really could be a number of things. I would recommend the dip instead of treating the entire tank if you are unsure though. If he is beginning to "stand" upward, there could be an imbalance internally and an infection of the swim bladder, which is often a result of bacterial infections. It sounds as if it is pretty serious already but if you want to try something, I would do an antibiotic bathdip.

gilfish 06-09-2007 09:01 PM

Thanks a lot Mike. My bala died a few minutes after my post. Really weird. The other bala is fine and water tests have been great for weeks. I guess sometimes fish just die. :-(

mHeinitz57 06-09-2007 09:29 PM

yeah it happens. bacterial infectious aren't too contagious but keep an eye on your other fish just in case. I'm sorry for your loss though.

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