Ameiurus melas stop eating

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kiwidu21
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Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

Hi,
my Ameiurus melas don't eat since two weeks. He has normal, not hurt. It has in a 400 liters (105 gallons) with 2200 l/h to filter and with a carp and 2 oscar. I must add two bubblers because I see that they are to difficult to breathe.
I tried wafers, meat and others but he refuse to eat.
Why doesn't he eat ?

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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

What are your tests for ammonia and nitrite in ppm by a liquid test tube kit, not dip sticks?
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

No, I didn't make tests because others fishes in this tank are normal and eat. It can just a catfish that it don't eat.
I can make a test for nitrite, I publish result tomorrow. But I don't have a test for ammonia.

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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Often local fish shops perform these tests for free.

When you have low persistent levels of these toxins, some fish may appear fine while others not at some point, sooner or later. Seeming well being of tank mates is not a good indicator for low levels.
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

My test for nitrite is out of date. I can go to petshop for make the tests.
I don't know for this behaviour.
If the tests see that the ammonia is a low level, what should I do ?
Will a change of water suffice ? Which percentage to renewal ?

Viktor Jarikov
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Again, please, don't rely on dipstick tests but use the liquid test tube ones.

This is just the first step in troubleshooting. Let's see what the tests show, while at it, measure nitrate and pH, if possible carbonate hardness and general hardness and TDS too. Meanwhile I'd increase aeration to make sure it is not low dissolved oxygen that causes discomfort to your fish.

Report water temp please too.
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

My tests are out of date. So while waiting for me to receive the new, I have make tests in petshop:
pH: 7,2
NO2: 0,5
NO3: 25-50

I make others tests upon receipt.

Viktor Jarikov
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

If we take these results at the face value, one thing would be obvious: your tank is not cycled, the beneficial bacteria are not coping with the bioload. Half a ppm of NO2 is pretty bad. NO2 attacks blood making it unable to carry oxygen, which is likely why your bullhead is having difficulty breathing. It won't be long until everyone is sick in that tank. If the 0.5 ppm NO2 persists for weeks, probably all fish will be dead in that time frame.

What you need to do is to add table salt to the water to detoxify the NO2 at the ratio of 100:1 versus NO2 concentration, so you need 50-100 ppm of table salt, while figuring out how to improve your biofiltration or decrease the bioload (take fish out, do better at cleaning and maintenance, improve diet - less feed but better quality, etc.).

One common area of vast improvement is increasing the aeration of the water going into your biofilter. If you double the oxygen concentration in that water, your biofiltration capacity might increase 10x.
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kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

My tank is cycled since november.
In filters, I have many biological support and I don't find that the NO2 are bad.
Aside the salt, what solutions do I have ?

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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

If your test shows 0.5 ppm NO2, the tank is not cycled by definition. In a cycled tank both ammonia and nitrite readings are zero ppm at all times by a quality liquid test kit, such as API freshwater master kit. Whether the tank was cycled before is immaterial.

You probably have non-zero ammonia too.

At 1 ppm NO2, fish don't live over a week or two and certainly don't feed.

If you have plenty of biological media but you are underfiltered = uncycled, chances are, as I said, your oxygen levels are too low. Bacteria are living breathing organisms that need oxygen (and food) to live. You can have all the biomedia you can get but if the water passing over or through the media is oxygen depleted, you might not achieve proper nitrification = cycledness.
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

I was wrong, the nitrite are to 0.05 mg/l. I forgot a 0.
I make a change of water yesterday and a cleaning of filters.
But no improvement.
The carp and two Astronotus ocellatus continue to eat except bullhead catfish.

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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

OK. Let's see the ammonia test result.
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

Ok, I receive test monday.

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

He don't eat but I find that this belly is inflate.
What do you think ?

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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Jools »

Eaten something like a heater suction cap or other plastic?

Jools

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

I don't know.
if he has swallowed something, how can he help him?
If it is a constipation, can I use the castor oil or catappa leaf ?

Viktor Jarikov
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Wow, a leucistic bullhead is mighty rare. I have never seen one.

It appears alright, at least not sickly and not thin at all. Sometimes fish fast for various reasons. I still maintain that we must make sure the basics are ok, like the ammonia test. Fish can decide to fast during certain seasons, when they migrate or court and spawn. Sometimes it can be a latent disease we have no clue about.

At his current state, if the water, ammonia, etc. checks out fine, the bullhead can fast for many months before mass loss starts to be visible.

Does its belly usually look like that? If not and like you said it has not eaten in 2.5 weeks, then it could be bloated, clogged or some such. To help the bowel movement my go-to medication is the good old Epsom salt. Can be added to the tank or given via short term bath.

But again, we don't know if this is the problem. If it swallowed an inedible object, which bullheads are not known for, chances are it will regurgitate sooner or later.

Might it steal the food from tank mates at night? Catfish can pester tank mates sometimes so they regurgitate food, which the catfish then consume.
Thebiggerthebetter

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

Ok. Wafers are eaten by carp and oscars in less one hour and the catfish went go to eat at the same time.
No plastic in my tank so it is impossible that he is eat a plastic.
Usually, this belly is less inflate.
I post the result of amminia test as soon as I can.

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

The catfish is very bad. it floats on the surface and no longer has equilibrium.
what can i give him?

kiwidu21
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Re: Ameiurus melas stop eating

Post by kiwidu21 »

the catfish is dead.
After an autopsy, it turned out that he was sterile (gonads no developped) and his swim bladder was abnormally swollen and hard.
How to avoid swim bladder problems in the future ?

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