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A Few Questions....

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Hello! I recently took pity on a Lionhead I found at bbbb...He is spunky and seems active, eats like a pig...but there are a few things that have me slightly concerned...

1. he rubs his head against the glass a lot as he swims around

2. it looks like there is a hole in his wen :blink: I've read some scary stories about hole in the head disease, but never saw any photos, so its made me worry

3. He seems to yawn quite a bit

Other than those 3 things, he seems fine...so far. I have him isolated in a 10g with a heater set at 75f just in case, and I'm treating with Melafix and salt because his back fins were a little torn and bloody, I'm not worried about that very much though.

I dont have test kits other than ammonia which was at 0, and my ph is about 7. I've had him for about a day now, I got him at 2am last night LOL

I feed him Bio-Blend flakes which I soak, along with dried seaweed.

I have 2 10g filters on the tank, and a bubble bar, its been running for about a year.

I change 30% of the water once a week (I changed the water a day ago, before I got him, because I keep guppies in there, but I moved them to a 5gal.)

Thanks in advance!!!


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  • Regular Member

Hi Sarah

I am glad you took pity on him; I too like to 'rescue' less fortunate fish from the stores. You may find you have a show-quality fish underneath the missing scales and torn fins etc. :)

I'll deal with your points in turn:

1. Is there a chance he could be blind? Does he respond if you make movements near the glass - can he definitely see you?

2. What exactly does it look like? Hole in the head looks like one or more small lesions - black, white or red-rimmed holes and sores, sometimes quite deep, sometimes shallow.

3. The yawning *could* be a sign of gill problems such as flukes, gill maggots or gill disease... can you have a look inside and see if his gills look healthy? They should be a nice deep pink, with no pale, grey or blackened areas and the arches should be uniformly shaped and laid out, not misshapen or inflamed anywhere. Ensure the tank is very well-oxygenated and hopefully the yawning will stop soon. It can also be a sign of hydrogen sulphide or high nitrite in the water; have you vacuumed the gravel recentl? Do you have any heavy or hollow ornaments in there? Can you get a nitrite testing kit and check the level? (NItrite is just as lethal as ammonia by the way and the bugs which convert nitrite to nitrate are by far the most sensitive and prone to crashing, so it is well worth getting a kit for this and testing weekly).

4. How much salt and Melafix have you added? I do not like to mix those together *too* much if it can be avoided.

But it sounds like you are doing everything just right for him. He is lucky to have a good home with you. :)

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Thanks for responding!! I'll write responds numbered so it doesnt get confusing :)

1. I don't think he is blind, he sees the food as it falls, and he doesn't "crash" into anything else. When I sit in front of the tank and look in at him, he swims towards me, so I'm faily sure he can see...

2. There is no discoloration where the hole is...maybe he just has an oddly shaped shaped wen? None of my orandas have hole shaped in their wens, so it did confuse me. It doesn't look like its infected.

3. I vacuumed the gravel a day before I bought him, I can try to go out and buy a Nitrite test kit, but it won't be until Monday when I have a chance to get to the LPS. I have 2 air pumps for the tank, so it should be oxygenated. His gills look healthy, that was one of the main things I checked when he was yawning, I remembered someone here saying thats a possible sign of flukes, or not enough oxygen in the water.

4. I put one teaspoon in of Melafix, and for the salt I did 2 tablespoons. (10g tank)

How come you don't like to mix those two together? Does it cause a lot of stress on the fish? I'll change 30% of the water and vacuum tonight, I don't want to cause the lil guy more harm than good. Would salt or Melafix be better to put in there?

Thanks for your help :heart


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