View Full Version : swollen mouth? please help!!!!!!!!!!!

09-27-2006, 03:03 AM
hi all! i have a 20 gallon tank. in it, i have 6 neon tetras. 2 female fancy guppies, 1 male fancy guppy, 2 female lyretail mollies, 1 male lyretail mollie, 2 pink corys, 1 algae eater and 1 itsy bitsy snail that i can't seem to find. the salt probably killed him. i have no idea where he came from??? it's the male mollie that i need help with. he and the male guppy are the newest addition to the family by 3 days. the others have been there forever. the water parameters are fine with 20% water change weekly including vacuuming. today the male mollie has a swollen bottom lip. he can't eat. even tho i see him eyeing the food and once he even tried to eat a small bloodworm but couldn't open his mouth. there is also a blister like thing on his top lip. i thought maybe he has cotton mouth cuz it's white and it's on his mouth :), but his lip looks more swollen than cottony. he's a dalmation and his swollen lip is dotty like his body spots. it looks more like his lip skin is expanding, like bloated lips. i'm including some very bad pics of him. my camera sucks. so don't get dizzy looking at the blurry pics too hard lol :) i hope someone out there can help me with this. i've added 10 drops of quick cure (less than directions because of the tetras). but on the bottle it didn't say anything about cotton mouth. it just said ick and parasites. is cotton mouth a parasite? no other fish is sick. all others are normal and eating fine. i don't what else to add, so hopefully someone, anyone, will be able to help me. ANY info/advice is helpful. thank you so much in advance.

09-27-2006, 01:04 PM
Haven't had much experience with diseases so I am not the one to diagnose this for you....but my suggestion, and what I would do if I saw any type of "body" fungus or illness would be to start with melafix (thank you Rollie!), it is a natural medication that helps with open sores, fin/tail rot, eye cloud/popeye, body slime, mouth fungus and open body wounds. It can also be used with pimafix if you suspect something internal. It is safe for all fish and won't harm your biological filter. I would also add stresscoat as it helps the fish fight off body fungus and disease by building up their slime coat, and is another natural source that won't hurt the fish in any way, you can't overdose. I doubt the quick cure will help much since it mostly deals with ick....which looks like grains of salt on your fish.
Keep us updated on how things go and hopefully someone will come along with more info on what it could be.

Lady Hobbs
09-27-2006, 03:25 PM
You shouldn't give your fish meds for parasites when it isn't a parasite problem you have. This will only cause more stress on an already stressed fish. Replace your carbon filter and do a water change and try to get the medication out of there. As Kimmer posted, use the Melafix for now.

I think it's more than likely a fungus.

09-28-2006, 02:44 AM
hey guys! thanx for the replies. My beautiful male mollie died today. i went to the store to get the melafix and when i came home, he was lying on the bottom. he was all covered in white stuff. so apparently, it was cotton mouth. to reply to your post about giving him parasite meds, i gave him what i had to at least start him on something until i got home because i didn't know what disease he had. now i know that it was a mistake to give him meds for something he doesn't have and you're right it probably did stress him out a lot, but i didn't know what else to do. i never thought that cotton mouth could progress that rapidly. it took a whole day for me to see something to when he died. that's pretty fast. well i have a gigantic bottle of melafix, stresscoat, salt and quick cure to the side just in case. i also did an 80% water change with the vacuum, took all the ornaments out and rinsed them thoroughly and put them away. the tank is partially bare save for a cave, a bit of pebbles and the bubble wand. do you think that i should take the filter out and treat the tank with the melafix even tho i've gotten rid of the infected fish? all the others look alright. well, a little stressed from the water change but they ate very well afterward and no one seems to be acting funny. please tell me what you think.............thanx........

09-28-2006, 05:18 AM
When you ask if you should take the filter out....I am assuming you mean the carbon....not the filter pad. Considering that you already removed decor, did an 80% water change, I wouldn't recommend removing anything else at this time because all of that good bacteria that you want and need in your tank may have been damaged by too diligently cleaning the tank. If you don't already have a water test kit, pick one up so that you can monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate....that will go a long way towards knowing things are okay in your tank. If you see any spikes you can head off danger with water changes, avoiding causing the fish any more stress.
As for treating the rest of the fish, I do not know how contagious cotton mouth is so I can't help you there..wait for someone who knows more about diseases and best of luck to you!

Lady Hobbs
09-28-2006, 10:36 AM
My shark had cotton mouth once. I treated the tank with fungual meds and it was gone overnight. But, I had the meds on hand and caught it right away so he was OK. Some fish are more suspectible to some diseases so having the stuff on hand is good. No other fish got it.

09-29-2006, 01:35 AM
thank you guys again for the replies. in answer to you kimmers...i have to get another kit to monitor the water conditions. as of right now, it looks like it's cycling again and i went ahead and put in the melafix just in case. one of the fish is scratching itself against the rocks so something is off. i will get the kit first chance i get tomorrow. maybe the ph/amonia is off or something. i felt bad for some of the fish since they have nowhere to hide besides the cave so i put in some plastic plants and just let them float on top instead of anchoring them down with the little bit of pebbles. do you think i need to do another partial water change? i just changed most of the water yesterday. i'm scared that if i do that, i'll lose all the good bacteria and my fish. hobbs...thanx for your story of your experience with your cotton mouth episode. i'm glad i have a gigantic bottle of melafix on hand. thanx to you.... :)

09-29-2006, 12:44 PM
If your fish are scratching it is probably due to irritation coming from cycling which is causing them to live in high ammonia and nitrite levels. This is very uncomfortable and can be damaging to the fish. The melafix mostly likely won't help with these issues. Without knowing what your levels are it is hard to say if or how much of a water change you might need. But, on the flip side, my understanding of where the "good" bacteria colonize is mostly in your filter media, decor and gravel....very little if any hangs out in the water comparatively. By observing your fish make the decision as to whether they may need some diluting of the harmful ammonia and nitrite. but get that test kit so you don't have to guess anymore. You can do a water change just by siphoning out water and not disturbing the gravel which will allow you to add some fresh water and thus diluting the bad water.
What tap water conditioner are you using? I have had very good luck using stresscoat to dechlorinate, it claims to help the fish with their natural slimecoat increasing their ability to fight off skin diseases and irritations, and my experiences have been nothing but positive with it. It can't hurt anything...you can't overdose, and the fish may just thank you for it.

Lady Hobbs
09-29-2006, 04:08 PM
Melafix may help if your fish has any sore spots due to the fungus but will not get rid of it, as stated by Kimmers. It's good for sores, fin rot, etc. If he is scratching himself, he may also have ICK which can occur once they are stressed due to other conditions.

When I was cycling and got a spike in my ammonia and then nitrites, I changed water daily. Sometimes up to 50% when it really got bad but usually 25-30%. As long as you don't disturb the gravel, decorations or filter media, you will be fine. It "may" make the cycling take a tad longer but still better than losing fish.

The Stress Zyme and Stress Coat are both decent products, I think. Bio-spira will also aid in helping your tank cycle a bit faster as it adds bacteria needed.

10-01-2006, 07:57 PM
thank you guys very very much. i really appreciate all of your advice. i have decided to the water change. i just think they might be more comfortable and you said it won't hurt if i do small changes everyday. i use prime and also stresscoat for water conditioning. the ammonia and nitrites are a little high as well as the ph. but i'm confident that it'll work out. i have some hardy fish and i'm watching them closely. thanx again for everything. this site is the best!!!

10-12-2006, 11:29 PM
ok, now that the cycling is complete along came the ick. it attacked my male mollie, but luckily i recognized it immediately and started the whole tank on quick cure just in case. i also added salt and turned the temp to 84f. it's been 3 days and the white spots are now gone. the question is, how much longer do i need to medicate him? and when can i turn the temp back down to 78f? also, i have a male guppy that can't swim. his gills look a tad swollen, but not by much and he can't swim up to the top although he really really tries. he lays at the bottom; sometimes on his side, somtimes on his belly so i put him in a breeder box just to isolate him from others and also so he can reach the top easier. he's been like this for 2 days. i've done water changes (to get the ick out) and the water parameters are fine. nothing is wrong with the other fish. just him. what else can i do? i've also added extra stresscoat as i was told that i can't overdose the fish with it. i'm at a loss. do you think that the water temp is too high for him? but then why just him and not the other guppies? please please help. any advice or suggestions are fine with me....thank you so much in advance.....

10-13-2006, 01:57 AM
do you have any other fish in there besides guppy and mollies. If not you can lower the temp but keep the the water slightly brackish for a while.

10-13-2006, 02:24 AM
thanks for getting back to me so soon. i appreciate it. yes, i have a couple of pink corys. do you think the heat is what's making my guppy not be able to swim up?

10-13-2006, 03:51 AM
I don't know, could be.