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Sick Fish, Need Advice!

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So, here is the story. I have a planted peacock Cichlid tank. About a 10 days ago or so I noticed that one of my most active peacocks was being lethargic and was often hiding under rocks/driftwood. A few days later I noticed that a few other guys had a minor case of "sunken stomach". I immediately started treating the tank with API General care and Melafix thinking that it was an internal parasite. Unfortunately I had to travel out of town this weekend for the holiday and had to leave them unattended. Worried about coming home, I was surprised to see them looking good. The sunken stomachs look a little better and the lethargic fish was actively swimming and eating, but swimming a little weird. I then I noticed some orange stuff coming out of a hole in the side of the once lethargic peacock. I immediately moved him to a five gallon bucket and added more Melafix. Should I be worried about the rest of the tank? What caused the hole? What's going on here? Actions I should take? Thanks guys, I need advice.


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2,857 Posts
Woah, freaky. Can't say I've seen that type of thing before.
Any idea what the orange stuff coming out is? Food? Flesh? Eggs?
Does it look like worms/parasites in the hole?

Just for some background, list you water parameters (pH, KH, GH, Temperature)
Is there plenty of surface agitation and water circulation? Clean tank?

How long have you had the fish, was the hole there when you got it? Has the hole gotten larger?

Melafix might just be treating the issue, preventing it from worsening as much, but it likely is far from being a cure. Stronger meds will probably be necessary if the hole is getting larger or isn't healing.

Could you get more closer pics of the hole?

Might be worth reading into. Treating sooner than later is best.
Aeromonas & Vibrio Disease | Septicemia | Pop Eye | Treatment

25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure, but it didn't appear to my moving/alive. By the time I scooped him out and into the bucket, the orange stuff was gone. You can actually see some of it on the net in my picture. You bring up a good point about the food. My wife actually noticed it about 30 minutes after we got home from our trip, at which time I immediately fed them. The food I feed them is red, but I could have altered color in the water. Possibility?

Unfortunately my camera wouldn't focus any closer but there appears to almost be a small cavity inside the hole(gross). We didn't notice it before we left, but he also wasn't out and about. I thought maybe a parasite could have been eating him from inside and it just broke skin. With that being said, I can't say if it's getting any worse.

I have all males. He was my most colorful peacock(and most expensive), sad. I have had him for about a month and he didn't have the hole. Oddly enough he's swimming around quite a bit in the bucket. I fear for his survival if it was food I was seeing in the hole.

My water parameters:
PH: 7.8 (down to 7.4-7.2 during the day with some Co2 injection)
Gh: 23
Kh: 17
Temp: 78
Canister filter cleaned every two weeks
50% W/C once or twice a week
Low to medium surface agitation during day, high surface agitation at night(Powerhead)

Thanks for any feedback
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