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I am looking for insight & advise on the condition of one of my 8 yr dojo loaches.

He has a buldge near his "pooper" for the past serveral weeks which appears to my wife and I to be slowly growing ever so slowly. When there is strong lighting behind it, it appears to be translucent as if it is fluid perhaps... like a sack of liquid or something. It stikes us both that his behavior is also changing slowly -- toward less appetite and less activity.

I hope the photo provided exhibits the symtomology well enough. If not, here's more....

At first, given the location and translucency of it, I thought maybe it's a bladder infection or something? I couldn't find anything online that seemed similar, but I fed everyone peas for about a week to see if things might clear up. No dice.

I've had 2 of these guys for about 8 years now, so we're familiar with the odd behavior of "weather fish", and the crazy things they do.... They've fooled us a million times looking like they're laying in some odd position seemingly dead. I'm also familiar with their feeding behavior. Over several weeks, this guy seems to be behaving increasingly as if his appetite has diminished significantly and as if he's become more lethargic. The past few days he's been hanging out in a corner behind and air hose & light wire, like they're holding him in place there (see photo).

Now my 8 years with these two have led me to find them very harty and resilliant, even if their behavior is often difficult to read. Because of that, I'm not sure how urgently we should be concerned, but I'd say on balance that he's not feeling well, and it's because of this mysterious bulge.

RECENT HISTORY:

Soon before we first noticed this a couple months ago, I had an algea eater nearly as old as them which had become increasingly agressive. I had to evict him, but to get him out, I had to uproot my whole fully planted aquarium. That was tramatic to everyone to at least some extent, but it really churned up the substrait and restarted the nitrogen cycle all over again.

After a few weeks of nurturing the nitrogen cycle back to health, but still having persistent issues with water clarity (bacteria blooms), and thanks to a sweet sale at a pet store, I bumped the aqaurium from 20 gal to 30 gal, with a 50 gal capacity filter.

Currently water clarity is crytal clear and chemestry appears to be as well.

I would have to confess to having run the 20 gal tank beyond the bio-load I should have (2-3 goldfish as old as the dojos, 2 algae eaters (one got very large), a half dozen minnows and whatever snails could escape the dojos). Current residency is 2 dojos + 2 mature goldfish ... and some snails.

While correlation isn't the same as causation, the timing of events here appear suspect. I just whish I had a clue about what this bulge is and how concerned I should be. We're very fond of these kooky characters.
 

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Can't say that I know where the organs really are but it would look to me that the bulge is in the wrong place for my definition of bloat. I might lean more toward tumor/growth or some sort but also look at parasites. Since tumors are not something easy to treat, I might suggest moving it to QT and treating for general parasite as a try. Given that it is a "try" and may not work but then it is not likely to go away either so something would be done for a favorite fish.
Add a nice log to make them feel better?
 
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