Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Tracey Kidd 09-15-2011 05:04 AM

Sick Hoplo

I have 2 Hoplo in a 180 litre tank along with several other fish, angels x 2, bristlenose plec x 3, rummy nose x 13, orange barb x 7, pearl gourami x 3.
I do a water change every 3-4 weeks on the tank and it has been running now for over two years. I had issues at the start as all new fish keepers do, but the tank has been running nicely now for over a year. I don't do water tests any more due to that.
I have just noticed that one of the Hoplos was sitting head down in my Java moss. She has a red bulge coming from her bottom. She wasn't like this yesterday. It looks like someone has squeezed her.
Does anyone have any idea on what has happened to her? The other Hoplo is still fine.

Byron 09-17-2011 03:00 PM

What foods are the fish being fed? Both types/brands and amounts/frequency. This may tell us something.

I would recommend more water changes than what you are doing. You have a fair load of fish for a 180 litre (<50 gallon) tank with only a change every 3-4 weeks. Regular weekly water changes will do a lot of benefit in so many ways. While the fish may seem OK for a year or two with this, the nitrates and other "crud" that can't be measured by any test anyway will build up and weaken the fish's immune system, so other issues are more easily contracted. I would be doing 50% weekly. Are there live plants? These help in this respect, though with this great a fish load the water change is still essential.


cathyw61 07-14-2012 09:11 PM

Hi. Ive just found your site and another Hoplo with the same symptoms as mine. I have a female hoplo with a red bulge protruding from her bum. I have no idea what it is, it just appeared. She had a swollen tummy for a few days. she seems to be floating a lot and having trouble diving down the tank. We've had our tank for over 5 years with no problems at all. We have 4 Hoplo's and the rest are happy and healthy.

Any advice you can give you would really appreciated.


Tracey Kidd 07-14-2012 09:53 PM

Hi, I stopped feeding the tank for about 2 days, then lightly feed once every second day for about another 4-6 days. She came right. The bulge went back inside her and she is still alive and kicking now. My Hoplo wasn't floating though. I would also suggest doing a 1/3 water change twice within the next week just to make sure the water is fine. Good luck.

cathyw61 07-14-2012 09:56 PM

thankyou Tracey. I did a water change yesterday. I'll keep everything crossed. I thought maybe she swallowed a stone and had a blockage. I hate seeing her like this and just feel helpless. Do you have any idea what the bulge is or what caused it?

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