bloodparrot fish illness and challenges
I am a new fish owner and purchased a bonded pair of four year old Blood Parrot Fish and set them up in a 50 gallon tank with other small fish. The male is attentive to the female generally but she is recovering from Cottonmouth and is still eating poorly. He barges in, pushes her out of the way and eats what is offered. The only food I am able to feed her because of her mouth condition at this time (and that she chooses to eat or appears to be able to eat) is shrimp in a gel. She eats very little and he butts in and steals from her as often as he can. I have had them for four months and she has never been a great eater. Physically her mouth does not open as much as his. She had an eye infection for months before I bought her and I spent a lot of time in the store waiting for her to get better. This new illness has set her back and her food intake is poor with her not eating at times. He is growing and she is not. I put a divider in temporarily so she could eat without him stealing from her. I have offered a buffet of foods.......Cichlid pellets of various sizes, Crispy Cichlid flakes, dried shrimp and krill in various sizes, frozen Bloodworms, dried Bloodworms. The only way I can ensure she eats is to offer the shrimp in gel on the end of a piece of a piece of fettucine which she is sometimes able to ingest. Her tracking of food is usually poor but occasionally she seems to be able to track it and attempts to eat something. Her mouth is now healthier looking and free of the cottony look but still distorted and lopsided. I am now able to see inside her mouth when she tries to eat but she doesn't 'suck up' the food as easily as the male and has never been able to. There are a number of issues going on here so forgive my rambling. I am a new owner and want to improve and maintain a good quality of life for these two however the female seems less healthy and not as 'on the ball' as the male regarding her behaviour. I call them Yin and Yang and they are opposites as far as their behaviour goes. She is not afraid of me or territorial and will try to hand feed. He is aggressive towards me when I work around the tank. He appears to be bright and she seems to be a little stunned. Please offer comments, suggestions. Thanks to all who respond.
Sounds as she is not in the best of health and it could have been previous poor water conditions. Fungus and eye infections are an indicator of that. Her bland colors is an indicatior of stress. Mine will eat nothing unless they are sinking pellets. They will not bother with floating pellets at all. I think the floaters are harder for them to catch with them bopping around the tank as they do. Mine don't get a big variety for that reason. I simply stick with some shrimp now and then and their sinking Hikari Gold.
Not sure why your fish is listless and my guess she is not feeling well yet. And the mouth fungus perhaps is not yet completely gone. I wonder if perhaps more fungal meds should be given to make sure it is completely gone.
Have you ever wormed your fish? I dosed tank with PraziPro and will probably do so a couple times a year as prevention. But, I do have to ask if you cycled your tank before adding your fish? Since you say the tank is new, I figured it was a question that needed addressed.
With all fish you will have one that is the king of the hill and the dominate. Not unusal. My big female is the boss of her 4 boyfriends.
Aside from making sure the water quality is pristine, keep up with the feeding. If she is being bullied, I would keep them separate until she heals up, additional stress won't help the condition.
Who is "General Failure" and why is he reading my hard drive?
Thanks so much for the feedback. I purchased the tank (used) and re-homed the fish that it contained as they were quite large and I wanted enough room for the two large Bloodparrots. I kept most of the water from the previous tank setup as the flora was well established. Initially I purchased a few sacrificial (pardon me) Rosy Barbs to make sure the water was balanced and alright (to the best of my limited knowledge). Added a pleco and some green tiger barbs who are still doing very well. The sacrificial fish (rosy barbs) disappeared and I'm thinking that they were ingested by my large male as his mouth could accommodate their steam lined bodies and smaller size. When the female became ill, I separated the two fish in the same tank so I could feed the female on her own which worked for awhile. She seemed to improve with two doses of meds but the two began hanging out together with the divider between them after awhile and she appeared to be depressed so I removed the divider. I medicated twice for the cotton mouth which seems to have disappeared and her mouth is open and I can actually see inside of it for the first time ever. Their body colours change from night to day, depending on the time of day. Yes she did go quite pale when ill which I figured was stress. I agree that eating floaters is a challenge for them, especially the female who doesn't track her meals well. I have added some white coloured gravel to a section of the tank where I feed so they can see their dinner a little better as it was camouflaged before with the natural coloured stones. I am going to give up on the floating food as it just clutters up the tank and will probably grind the crisps and feed them to the rest of the pack.
Haven't heard anything about worms but treated with a meds for hole in the head as she has evidence of that which may be from before brought her home. I spoke with another fish dude and was encouraged to increase the air circulation in the tank and added two small bubblers which most of the critters seem to be fascinated with for some reason. I am not surprised that one of the fish (male) is in charge as our horses and parrots always have a pecking order which can change when you add or take away one critter. I just wanted to make sure that my female is getting enough to eat. She is still showing interest in the shrimp in gel and will take four or five mouthfuls from me twice a day. She also seems to be learning to "graze" at the bottom of the tank which is a behaviour I have not seen before. (When they were in the store, they were fed mini chilids pellets which they ate off of the bottom and the material was a very fine sand which made grazing much easier as well as the food was more visible.) Looking forward to any more suggestions. I will look into the Hikari Gold food. What is it?
You transferred the water which did no good. That does not transfer bacteria because that is only in a filter and a small amount in the substrate.
But before the tank was able to get established again, you added all these other fish. I have to assume your tank did not get a chance to cycle if you added a new filter and then you added all these other fish as well.
Do you have a test kit for checking for toxins?
When I set up the tank I kept some of the water, stones and gravel, filters, biowheels, fake plants...everything except the fish and one ornament that took up too much room. The system ran for about and week, then I added the first fish. About a month later I purchased the first clown loaches and the pleco. Then after a month, the parrots came home.
I test the water on a regular basis with good results. I use well water but treat it for heavy metals prior to being added and put in an additive that encourages healthy slime on the fish scales.
There is quite a substantial difference in the growth of the two parrots since moving in. The male continues to increase in size and the female remains smaller, probably due to stress? Does laying eggs cause more stress and is there a need for a change in diet with egg production?
They were much closer in size when I first saw them in the store last spring. They were kept in a very small, confining holding tanks with some fine sand in the bottom. Prior to that they were in a larger tank, not sure what size. In the store, the female was separated from the male when she developed her eye infection but once she got healthier they put them together again before I brought them home.
I am sure that they were pleased with the new surroundings when they arrived here, in comparison to the store. Three batches of eggs were laid in the first two months they were here. Then her condition worsened and I have been dealing with it.
What a learning curve and I am at the lower end of it at this point. With your help I will gradually swim towards the middle. I thought parrots were a challenge to care for but fish concerns worry me even more.
Any more suggestions and queries are welcome.
Bubbles and toys
Hello again Parrotfish Lovers,
Things have settled down and the female is eating more aggressively. I am wondering about the two bubble makers that I installed. One is a small bubble disc and the other is a scuba diver who is more decorative than functional. How do I decide on the amount of air flow to these two items and is there a way to keep the air flow moving in the tank without all the bubbles sitting on the surface? It almost looks like a school of male Betas have been busy make bubble nests. lol
Also wondering about interactive items in the tank. I read that some fish like to 'play' with items. I put a small woofle ball in the tank which is being ignored by all at this point. I know that with other species of critters, some are playful while others are not. My LSF Cockatoo has toys in her cage and after 20 years will now play with a couple of rattles. She is attracted to bright yellow items and placement of the toys is crucial to encouraging interaction. Many folks don't give animals and fish in particular any credit for having intelligence or the ability to learn as you know.
It took my fish about two days of feeding to learn that I am the only one who provides goodies so they respond to me but not my husband. lol
So, any stimulation suggestions are welcome and if you know of any other forums where the topic of fish play is discussed please let me know.
Thanks from marg and her finned friends.
Down One Bloodparrot Fish
I am sorry to say that I lost my female Bloodparrot fish about a month ago. There were no warning signs and the water tests showed everything was balanced. I spent the night watching her and eventually put a divider in to separate her from the male as he was concerned and kept pushing her around the tank. Around 3:00 a.m. she passed.
I am now concerned about the male who seems to be doing alright. I would like to find another Bloodparrot for him however he is so large that I am certain he would bully smaller ones if I added one or more to the tank. I keep putting out queries in the hopes that someone else is looking to re-home a mature one with the understanding that if aggression is a problem I will not keep the new one. (I am sure that he is male due to his aggressive behaviour and the fact that no eggs have been laid since the female died.) Any suggestions regarding this plan?
I have also been searching on line regarding the preferred Ph and hardness for Bloodparrots to keep the environment at its best . Could someone please help me out with this?
Marg and Mr. Lonely
I have added full grown with babies before and it was quite fun to watch. The baby was just all over the adult like it was mama all over again. These fish are very good in groups and as you notice very hardy eaters.
I would suggest that all cichlids be dewormed, tho. Your other parrot may have been in poor health due to internal worms. The other medical problems may have been from a weakend immune system due to parasites. PraziPro is very mild but works very well without destroying the bacteria in the filter.
But I would not be afraid to add another one or even two little ones.
I am still in a quandry.
Thank you for the response. I am confused but hopeful. I have spoken with numerous folks in different fish/aquarium shops and all of them discourage me from introducing smaller bloodparrots with my large male. He is about 8 inches in length and when feeling well, will act aggressively towards other species. Granted the others are green tetra barbs and young bottom feeders but I hesitate to introduce other parrots into his territory in case of aggression. He was always somewhat attentive towards his female but also very pushy, always 'fining' her out of the way at feeding time. On the brighter side, he would push her away to keep himself between danger (me working around the tank to clean etc.) and his lady fair. I am also limited to the size of the tank which is 50 gallons so adding too many more parrots would be a heavy load on their environment....any other thoughts or comments Lady H