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  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Bloated discus ... help please!


    I have a female discus who stopped eating two days ago. She has turned a bit dark in colour, is bloated and hangs at the top of the tank. Please see attached pictures Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a 4 by 2 by 2 tank with a sump at the bottom (total liters approx 530). I have four large adult discus and two peppermint catfish. There is no substrate to make it easier to clean. We have heaps of the expensive stone in the sump that promotes beneficial bacteria colonies.

    The water conditions appear to be pretty stable:

    pH - 6.4 (the water tends to want go acidic for some reason. Tap water is pretty alkaline and use pH down to adjust it to neutral)
    Ammonia - 0 to 0.257
    Nitrates - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Temp - 32 c

    This problem seemed to occur after I fed them live mosquito larvae from a pond that we had just installed in the garden. The pond was teeming with life (very quickly), snails, worms (?), tadpoles, mosquito larvae and I may have introduced something nasty which has only affected her.

    Around a week ago I noticed a white stringy poo and so treated them for fluke and tapeworms (I don't treat for worms unless I have to). They flare their gills a bit like it is difficult for them to breath so I thought it might either be lack of oxygen (plenty oxygen now) - this started maybe two ago. One other discus predominantly breaths from one gill. Then I noticed that she and the other with breathing problem, rubbing themselves on stuff a couple of times two days ago. So yesterday I treated them with Kusuri (fish wormer, fluke and parasite killer) yesterday. I have had the medication for a couple of years now and notice on the packaging that it should be used within three months of opening. The best before date is 05/15. Could the medication be ineffective? My main concern is the female who has stopped eating two days ago (she usually has a very good appetite) and appears to be moderately constipated. The two treatments for fluke worms etc doesn't seem to have helped with the breathing at all. I also did a 25% water change after using the the first lot of medication as per the instructions. I am thinking about treating with epsom salts for the constipation? Not sure if I should be treating with epsom salts while the Kusuri treatment is in the tank??

    Going to set up a hospital tank now.

    Any help would be VERY much appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Moderator scott bowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Ettalong beach
    There might be a few probs you have there but I would teat 1 at a time and do not over medicate them , , for the blot you could try Epson salts as you said but if they had stringy poo then it is most likely worms , so treat for that , if they are rubbing there faces on things you may also have a fluke prob as for the meds you have I aways say when in doubt throw it out , get some new meds , the hospital tank will be a good idea but if one of your discus has all this there is a chance they all will , good luck keepus posted ,

  3. #3
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Thanks so much for you response Scott I feel much better to have some back up..... Thanks so much for this Forum!!!

    Okay, so the flaring gill of the male has improved dramatically over night. Her breathing still doesn't look right. I treated the tank with Epsom salts......13 teaspoons in 500 liters - I hope I got the calcs right. She however is still bloated but appears to be somewhat stable. It doesn't appear to have gotten any worse overnight. Her fins are still in good condition. She hides and has dark eyes. I am betting she won't want food either with that bloated belly. Poor girl! pH is 6.4 and temp 32 degrees. I read on the forum that a lower pH would inhibit bacteria growth?

    I used some of the water for the hospital tank - it has approximately 60% water from original tank with stacks of aged matrix, pH is 6.6 and 30 degrees which is ready to go if needed. I therefore topped up the main tank with aged treated water approx 50 liters. If I need to transfer her, should the pH be exactly the same?

    I noticed that she had a moderate spastic attack where she shook her body and the male had a mild spastic attack. If her belly is full of worms, how do I get rid of that?

    I am tempted to put her in the hospital tank and treat her with metro (71 liters so I'd put in 4 crushed tablets). I am going to give a company here in Australia a call to see if I can get a hold of the product called Clout for bloat just in case nothing else works. But as you say Scott, better to treat one thing at a time and not over medicate. I am just concerned she is in pain and will implode? Do you think I should treat for fluke and tapeworm a third time? It would take time for me to get Kusuri as it comes from overseas.But I can get something like Aquamaster Flue and Tapeworm Tablets today. I have metro (used by date 03/13) and Promethyasul on hand. I will drop by a vet and see if I can get new metro today. Has anyone used Seachem Metrondiazole?

    Thanks for your time and effort guys!
    Last edited by nathanke; Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Any more advice anyone please?


  5. #5
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    My discus has improved greatly .....

    We got advise from a discus breeder to insert 5 ml of tank water with a tiny amount of dissolved Metro straight into her mouth. First time this was done (19/02/14) , she initially reacted badly to it and we thought she might die (swimming on her side, flicking head etc) but after a few hours recovered. We also massaged her belly a bit which she didn't like one bit. The following day (20/02/14) we treated her again this way, and there was no adverse reaction but her belly was still swollen. I did notice a tiny bit of white filaments coming out of her gills. Today (21/02/14) her belly has gone down almost completely. She is interested in food again (although she seems to spit some of it back out) and she no longer hides. Her colour is still a bit dark.

    We have the water temp at 30 degrees and pH 6.4. All other parameters (Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites are 0). Light kept off. The two love birds have been separated from other discus in the same tank to avoid bullying. Her partner has been very supportive... incredible to watch!

    So far so good. Hopefully she makes a full recovery.... looking optimistic so far though....
    Last edited by nathanke; Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:14 AM.

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