Blood Parrot Wasting Away - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-16-2008, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Blood Parrot Wasting Away

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 10
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? 6 months
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) blood parrot cichlid, 6 cardinal tetras, 5 neon tetras
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? no
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 78-80
7. What make/model filter are you using? whisper w/ carbon
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? no
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? yes, a little from 5pm to 7pm
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? I've done a 30% water exchange last night
11. How often do you perform water changes? once a week
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? twice a day, cichlid pellets and tropical flakes
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? it's the light that came with the aquarium kit, I turn it on at 8am & off at 9pm
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? I noticed a little over a week ago that the parrot looked pale behind his color. He wasn't eating as much as normal. Then, he started sitting in one spot at the top of the tank, not eating at all. Now he moved to a spot directly in front of where the filter turns the water back into the tank, fighting the current. He won't move from that spot. He won't eat a thing. I have also treated the tank for parasites in case that was the trouble. I can start to see his skeleton thru his skin. He is a young parrot. Only 3-4" long right now.
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I have PH of 7.4 to 7.8. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate show perfect.
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? strips
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? I bought some albino corys to put in his tank to keep the bottom clean about 3 weeks ago. I thought that maybe they brought some flukes or something with them and that's why I treated for that. The medication also treated for hematits (hole in the head) disease too. But there was no change in him. I only treated once and it said you could do it up to 2 times. Do you think I should try again? I don't know what to do for him. He will swim up when he sees me. But then goes right back to his corner by the filter. I have even bought baby size cichlid pellets to see if he would try them, but he won't. I don't see any signs of any parasites on his skin, no sores, nothing. I add salt to the water when I do a water change. I am at a complete loss.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-16-2008, 11:33 AM
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Ok, your wayyyyy over stocked, you need to find that parrot fish a new home effective immediately if you want him to survive.

And you need a liquid test kit, the come back and post your actual results rather then 'perfect' you can't rely on strips and you can bet they gave you an inaccurate reading!

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-16-2008, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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what, if anything, should I keep with him for now? I fully intended to get him a bigger tank as he grows. I got the tetras because he was hiding and I read about getting "dither" fish to help calm him. Which it really did. He was much happier and eating more, etc. I have a seperate 90 gallon tank that I can move the extras over to immediately. The tetras are so tiny that I thought they weren't causing much harm. I will buy the new tests today and report back.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-16-2008, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by STACEYC
I have a seperate 90 gallon tank that I can move the extras over to immediately. The tetras are so tiny that I thought they weren't causing much harm. I will buy the new tests today and report back.
Why not move the parrot to the 90 gallon? Rather then the extras... And I'm assuming the extras are supposed to be the tetras? Although the tetras may look small, they do play a role in your aquarium, for example, if we were to use the gallon of water per inch of full grown fish rule (This isn't the rule you should use while stocking your tank, but it gives you a rough idea.) Then tetras usually max out at about 2 inches. Maybe bigger, But we will just go with 2, then 2 x 11 = 22"s of tetra, and your parrot fish maxes out at 9 inches, you have about 31 inches of fish in that ten gallon tank. Even though your parrot fish probably isn't full grown yet, like I said the inch per gallon rule is just to give you a rough idea, because every fish has a different bio load.

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-17-2008, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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I already have some huge goldfish in the 90 gallon tank. The majority of the cichlid's body could be covered by a silver dollar at this point. He is still very small. I feel it is easier to treat his in the 10 gallon tank right now. I moved the others out of his tank. I will be getting his 55 gallon tank after this crisis is over. I drove 40 miles and spent $35 to get the liquid tests. Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 5-10, PH = 7.6. Today he actually seemed to try to eat some pellets, but they come back out of his mouth. He keeps going after food, but it doesn't seem to go down. I tried flakes too. Could it be something wrong with his mouth or throat muscles? I've looked in and don't see and rocks or anything stuck in his mouth.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-17-2008, 08:20 PM
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I hate to break it to you, but you might be experiencing a common problem with blood parrots. These fish are not a natural species and are instead a hybridized breed created by fish farmers. Due to some weird genetic characteristics and what we now know to be the mutilation of young parrots in order to achieve the shape that the fish as, many blood parrots are actually unable to eat properly and can starve to death as a result.

You said that you haven't seen the fish eat anything. Did you notice this before the physical symptoms came about? If so, I'd say that your fish's symptoms are due to the stress of starvation, and not that the lack of appetite is being caused by some other illness. Your water parameters seem to be in check so I don't think you're dealing with ammonia poisoning. There is always the possibility of some other problem, such as an internal parasite.

Other members might be able to help more in order to positively identify the problem, but if the fish is physically unable to eat due to a deformity, I would say it's probably best to humanely euthanize the fish.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-17-2008, 11:35 PM
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Yeah, batmans right, these fish are hybrid and really un natural, I would stay away from them if I were you.

Check out his mouth and see if theres something that doesn't look quite right. If everything appears to be in check, then try putting some garlic in your tank! Sounds strange I know, but garlic increases a fish's appetite.

I realize because your fish hasn't eaten anything for a while this question maybe hard to answer... But what does your fish's poop look like? Did it look like normal old fish poop (The colour of whatever your feeding them) Or white and stringy?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-18-2008, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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He was eating pellets when I first got him. Now, he actively tries to eat, but it won't go down. All food fits in his mouth and he keeps it in for a few seconds, but it pops back out. I have treated him for parasites in the off chance that that might be the problem. I have not been able to catch him in the act of pooping or noticed any floating around in order to see the color. I, of course, did not know that parrots were a hybrid when I got him. I would never buy one again. I do feel bad for him because of how him mouth is shaped. I will continue to watch him and see if he is swallowing any of the cichlid crisps or flakes that I give him. If not, I will have no choice but to put him to sleep.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-18-2008, 02:43 PM
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Sounds weird, have you considered changing things up a bit? Maybe try some live food? Like blood worms or brine shrimp? I mean obviously this can't be his full diet... But it's worth a try I suppose? If your willing to go to the fish store and buy a few types of food and see if you can get him to eat any of it. But then again you said he ate them when you first got him... This is very weird indeed.

These fish are really unethical and cruel :( Mouth, spine, and swim bladder disorders are all common in blood parrots. It's a shame.

Well, best of luck! Keep us updated.

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-18-2008, 02:52 PM
How long have you had him? If he is deformed, maybe it has gotten worse as he grows and that is why he was able to eat and is now unable. Just what I thought.
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