Hi, This is a run down of what has been going on with our jack dempsey. I noticed a change in his behavior around the 5th of June and i have been keeping a close watch on him and this is what has happened over a 3 week period. I have not had a good response with a different forum and so i am coming to you in hopes that i will get the help needed to stabalize my tank and hopefully get my dempsey's health back to where he needs to be. We talked about the possibility that something may be wrong with him and then the next morning......
June 5, 2006 through June 13, 2006
We found "Jack" in a curled up position one morning and just floating on the bottom of the tank. He could not swim and when he tried he just swam in circles and nose dive to the bottom of the tank. We did a partial water change and an hour later he seemed fine and was back in his cave, just hovering in his cave, but he did lean towards the left side at 11 o'clock.
I have done partial water changes each day(only 4 gallons)each day since the onset of his erratic behavior and purchased a new bottle of Aqua Plus and today he was swimming around and looking fairly happy. I dont know what is normal for him though because a few weeks ago we removed the Placo that was latching onto him, before the dempsey just kept to himself and now he is swimming as if he is in marineland, swimming like he is doing tricks and twirling around the tank. He is not bumping into stuff though and seems like he knows what he is doing.
i have tested the water each night and the Nitrate level is as far as i can tell by the color chart is approximately 40/ 80 its hard to tell the color as they look so close to the same, it's pretty red though, i can't seem to get the level to go down.I have been vacuuming the bottom as well to remove waste. All other tests are at the recommended levels.
He acts hungry and when he eats he nibbles the flakes which he likes best and then spits it out and he has never spit out his food, same goes for a few snails we gave him, he spit them out which is beyond me cause he loves snails. I gave him an OmegaOne Veggie round last night and he nibbled away on that too, hoping he will get some kind of nutrition because it doesn't seem like he is getting any food in him. i think he sees himself in the glass and he goes to the glass like he is looking at himself and then he rolls over and over and over and swims up and down the glass and then returns to his cave. Is this normal? He is yawning again!! I think its time for treatment for parasites as he is freaking out, like siezures or something, he just takes off like a flash of lightening and flips, spins and twirls, then sinks to the bottom. Gasping, breathing hard and non-responsive. Then after a few minutes he swims to his cave and i in turn shut off the lights so he can sleep it off. There is no visable signs of parasites, gills look fine. I am out of sorts!!
*June 14, 2006* Time for Treatment
Temp: 76 degrees
Species: 1 Jack Dempsey "JACK" He is 2 1/2 years old
Tank: 30 gallon
Tankmates: 4 Neon Tetras
1 female rosie
Diet: TetraMin Flakes
Omega Veggie Rounds(once in a while)
Did a 25% water change and vacuumed the bottom of any waste or left over food. Removed carbon filter and bumped up the heat 2 degrees.
Began Tx with Lifegaurd all-in-one Therapeutic Treatment (attacks broad range of external diseases- bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic). 1 tab per 10 gallons so he gets 3 tabs daily for 5 days at 24 hour intervals. Keeping lighting to a minimum. I can not do any water changes until 24 hours after day five of Tx.
Still have no diagnosis as to what is causeing his erraric behavior. He appears to be fine and then next thing you know he is freaking out and swimming all over the place and has hit the top of the tank hood a few times and has dive bombed the rocks when he is having an episode. He curls up as if he is having a siezure and then sinks to the bottom of the tank and he is breathing hard and he looks dazed and confused, then he just starts swimming normal and goes back into his cave. He does this 8-10 times a day!
He goes to the top of the tank to retrieves food and eats face up, straight up and down towards the tank hood, like he is trying to keep the food in. Sometimes he still does spit the food out, but he is getting some of it in him anyways.
He does yawn a few times a day, i have a mirror in front of me so i have been keeping an eye on him quite a bit! If he sees me watching him, he retreats into his cave so i watch him in the mirror.
*June 16, 2006*~ This is day three and have seen no signs of improvement. Everything that i described above is still going on today, although yesterday i did see some kind of white stringy stuff floating around the tank, assuming its fishy's poop. I am not sure , i have never seen his poop!
I do have some close up photos of him and i think he looks somewhat yellow,or maybe even a gold color to him,and sometimes he even looks like a peach like paleness from the middle of his body to his tail fin. I tried to take photo of his belly , dont know what normal is for that but he has white spots,perfectly round and in a straight row going from where his gills start on the bottom of his mouth to his pecs.
It is very saddening to see him erratic and out of control like that, and today he was pretty steady at flippin out.
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*JUNE 18, 2006* ~ Last day of treatment
*JUNE 19, 2006* ~ 24 hours after last dose of LifeGaurd, did a 25% water change and put in a new carbon filter, appetite is good and he has flashed only a couple times today and glanced off his cave a couple times as if he was scratching.
*JUNE 20, 2006* ~ He has a good appetite today, and has made an attempt to catch the rosie and he hit the top of the tank really hard, startled me. I turned off the light and he stayed in his cave for a long time after he did that. He did glance on his cave a few times, but other than that he appears to be doing alright. He ate some shrimp pellets and ate it all, did not spit any out! Later i noticed he had stringy poop hanging on his undercarriage, clear with dark in it. Like i said earlier, never seen his poop until now.
*JUNE 21, 2006* ~.
First time testing water since treatment
ammonia 0.5 ppm
nitrites 0 ppm
appetite is good, swimming around normal now, yawned three times today, and he is trying to catch the rosie again. He is much more content now, comes and retrieves food from me at the top of the tank. Will test water daily and do necessary water changes and will let you know how it goes. I am relieved that he is getting better. I have medication in case he starts acting up again. I just wish i knew what was making him sick. He is no longer going to be getting snails from the other tank.
*JUNE 22, 2006* ~
Our jack demsey only ate a bite today.He remained reclusive and isolated in his cave most of the day I did a water change and vacuumed the bottom of any waste or excess food tonight (4 gal. only) to try and get the elevated ammonia level down and am still trying to get the nitrates down to acceptable levels.
*JUNE 23, 2006* ~
Ammomia is going up and Nitrates are going down, i just cant get it to balance out!!
Today he has been taking in food, chewing it up and then spitting it out again. He has also had an increase in yawning, it use to be just a couple times a day but it is increasing and i am wondering what would be the cause of the yawning. I know that they do this sometimes to stretch there mouth, but he seems to be doing it alot for a fish that has neons for tankmates, but don't eat them, or the lone rosie that has been in with him for months now. actually he ain't a very agressive cichlid if you ask me. Right now he is swimming up and down and back and forth and up and down in the corner of his tank, then he stops and looks at me and his mouth is opening up and snapping shut as if he is trying to tell me off or something! If he could shake a finger at me he would!! He is very smart and knows when i am watching him, even in the mirror.
My question for today is why is he yawning all the time, is this normal or is this a warning sign that something may be creeping back up??
I'm sorry this is so long but i thought you needed to know the whole story as to what is going on with "JACK"
Hope to hear back soon, i want to get this tank stable ...
Thanks...Michael & Ruby
P.S. If there is anything i left out, let me know!!