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Constipation, Sbd


sea

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I am writing this time about Freckles, the fantail I have had about 6 weeks. He has had thin white poop with air bubbles in it for several weeks now which after reading this site I know is constipation. He (And his tankmate) also has minor sbd issues. I have tried everything I can think of to help him, fasting, peas, soaking his progold, etc. but nothing has helped so far. I think I need some help from the experts here. Here is the full story:

Ammonia Level? 0-0.25

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 10

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.8

Ph Level out of the Tap? 8.4 ( I use crushed coral to buffer the tank and only do 25% changes at a time).

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 2+ year, 12 gal eclipse

What is the name and size of the filter/s? standard eclipse filter, biowheel, extra bubble wand

How often do you change the water and how much? 25% 2x/week

How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 fantails, ~1.5 inch ea

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

About 2 weeks after I got Freckles, Nugget, my other fantail, showed a red patch on his body (my bad for not quarantining). I treated ithe bacterial infection successfully using marcyn 2 (2 cycles) and medigold food (for 21 days). During all this time Freckles, the new fish, seemed fine. Shortly after I stopped the medigold food and switched back to progold both my fish started showing signs of mile sbd (doing weird flips from time to time, staying more vertical). Freckles has also had white, thin poops with lots of air bubbles in his poop. I tried fasting, giving peas, soaking their progold but nothing seems to help. This has been going on for at least 3 weeks now. Any suggestions on what to do now?

Thanks, sea

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Hi Sea, I had a similar problem with one of my fish a while ago and what helped enormously was sticking an epsom salt in the middle of half a pea and she ate it nice and quickly. This acted as a purge and she finally pooped. I continued to feed her peas 2 days after and it seemed to fix her problem :)

Also, keep a check on your parameters. It sounds like your cycle took a bump due to the Maracyn so I would step up the waterchanges until you see a reading of 0 for ammonia... also without knowing whether you have nitrites, it'll safeguard against them also :)

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Thans, Jen. That's an idea I hadn't heard before so I will give it a try. Stupid question though - what's different about an epsom salt from a regular salt (which I know is bad for the fish to eat) and more importantly where do I get epsom salt? I never saw it at any of my lfs.

Sigh, my ammonia always reads between 0-025 using the API drop tests (even when the nitrites are 0 as they are now). I am not sure why. I know my tap water has chloramine in it and maybe that has something to do with it. I was told here that it should be ok (there was a great table somewhere on this site with ph, temp and ammonia readings) but I monitor the params 2-3x/week to make sure. I have been afraid to do water changes more thatn 25% at a time due to the pH differnce between tap and tank.

Any ideas onwhere to find epsom salt?

Thanks, sea

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Thanks, I'll look for the epsom salt tomorrow. Just a couple more things - do I need to fast before giving the pea with epsom salt (and if so for how long) or just try it ASAP? Also do I switch back to normal food (progold for breakfast, peas for dinner) after I try epsom salts once?

Thanks, sea

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Well it is good to know this is not that uncommon following the med food. I am surprised though that the constipation has lasted so long for my fish (3 weeks). Did yours go away on its own or did you use the epsom salt trick?

--sea

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:unsure: How many pellets are you actually feeding the fish when you d feed them? SOmetimes just cutting down to fewer pellets help to do the trick. Any other signs/symptoms at all besides what you've mentioned?
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Since the symtpoms of the bacterial infection subsided the fish look ok except for the white poops full of air bubbles and "floatiness" from Freckles. I actually have not noticed any poops from Nugget in a while. The water params are fine as listed above although the tank temp has gotten pretty high (>80). The only other thing I added since then has been a bubble wand as you suggested.

After stopping the 21 days of medigold ~3 weeks ago I have been giving progold, usually 2 pellets (1/fish, broken up into 2-3 pieces to make it easier to swallow) in the AM and the same in the PM. When I noticed the constipation I fasted for 3 days and then switched to giving the progold in the AM and 1 pea/fish in the PM instead of the progold. Does this seem like a good amount of food?

I was going to try the epsom salt that Jen mentioned as soon as I can track it down. Should I fast first? Anything else to do? Thanks.

--sea

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Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) comes in little pellet sized pieces. I would give Freckles one pea (or half depending on how big Freckles is) as soon as you can and just push one piece of epsom salt in the middle so he takes the whole thing in. Then I would see if anything happens - it should only take an hour for some poop to appear. Then I would go to a very light diet, something excellent for constipation is spiruline flakes or pellets (presoaked) - it works a little like peas but has a better nutritional content.

Let us know how you get on :)

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OK, I fasted for 2 days and then gave the pea/epsom salt. The first poop I saw was colorless and thin. I did not see any air bubbles in it though. When should I start to see the poop regain color?

I had recently bought Progold and do not have spirulina - would it be ok to give soaked progold for breakfast and peas for dinner?

Thanks, sea

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Hmmm - it sounds like something other than constipation to me.

Are there any other symptoms? I know you've treated for bacterial infection - but constipation is usually resolved with peas, especially with epsom salt encased...

Consistent white stringy poop would indicate it could still be an internal bacterial infection. Do you have any metromeds? What other meds do you have on hand just in case?

You could try feeding the progold and check to see if anything happens...

Also is the poop straight? Or does it zigzag at all?

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Ugh, I was hoping you wouldn't say that (but was beginning to think it myself)!

Just to review the situation, I got Freckles about 8 weeks ago. About 2 weeks after that my other fish got a red patch on him. I treated with 2 rounds of marcyn 2 (one didn't do it) and 21 days of medigold food. All during that time Freckles seemed fine (although I am guessing he was probably the one to bring the bacterial infection into the tank). After I stopped the medigold both fish got what I thought was symptoms of constipation (thin white poops with obvious air bubbles in them - I could see them move out the rear and get caught on the fish before popping) and mor floatiness, weird flips, etc. To counteract this I tried soaking the progold (never had done this before) and added peas to the diet (again never did this before). Oh, one thing with the peas for a week or more I used salted peas and boiled them in tap water (contains chloramines) instead of tank water (I feel really stupid about this now but at the time was not thinking clearly) - could this be contributing to the problem? I also treied fasting for 2 days before resuming feeding. After the pea/epsom salt I noticed that Freckles still had a colorless poop (straight with no air bubbles). I have not seen any poops from Nuget for quite a while. This takes us to today. I am going to do a water change and vacuum and see if I vacuum up anything that resembles normal (or otherwise) poop.

I do have medigold (they had been on this for 3 weeks) and metromed food. The thing is I do not see any other signs of a bacterial infection (as of now at least) - no red marks and they seem to swim ok. If it was an internal infection would there be other signs besides the poop?

Thanks so much for helping me to figure this out.

--sea

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Well, I fed the pea/epsom salt yesterday and then today gave 1 pellet of soaked progold in the AM and 1 pea in the PM. I do not see the the colorless poop but in fact I have not seen any poops! However both fish are now looking "floatly" (they weren't during the 2 days of fasting). Aren't peas and progold supposed to be good for the fish? I am at a loss. :(

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Freckles is now lying upsidedown on top of the water. He can barely swim and I turned off the bubble wand (even though it is really hot) since it was moving him all around. It is really sad and I don't understand how he could have gotten so much worse so fast. I am not sure if this is constipation/SBD or not at this point. I have not seen any poops in many days even after fasting, giving the epsom salt and peas. Any other suggestions - he looks really bad.

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Yes, he is bloated in the addomen - it has been so many days and I haven't seen any poops except for a tiny white speck here and there :( . When I vacuum the tank there is nothing there either :( .

I freaked out when I saw him floating upsidedown like that last night - I thought he was a goner. He is swimming around a little today. I am going to fast him today since he was so bad yesterday. But since soaking the food, fasting, peas, epsom salt all did not work I am thinking I might start medicated food (either medigold or metromed - I have both) after that. Although to be honest I don't know why a medicated food would help with constipation - I just don't know what else to do. I don't know if it could make things worse though.

--sea

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Just been reading your post.Maybe you would like to read this its all about swim bladder disorder and things that you can do and also other things it may be instead of SBD dependant on symptoms.

Heres the link for you :)

http://www.geocities.com/swimbladderhelp/index.html

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Thanks Blue, I actually read that link when you provided it in another thread - it has a lot of good info. I think the only thing that I still did not try is the medicated food for several reasons: since I did not see any other signs of bacterial disease, since I can't soak the medicated pellets and since I need to be careful not to overfeed so I am concerned with being able to give enough of the food to have it help. Howver I think at this point it is worth a try - is there an advantage of medigold vs. metromed or vice versa? If not I'll probably try metromed since my fish were on mediogold about a month ago (before all of this started).

--sea

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:) Update!

After over a month of trying fasting, peas, epsom salt, etc. I tried Metromed yesterday and within 3-4 hours I saw a nice tan looking poop! Ok, I know that sounds really weird :rolleyes: but I after 4 weeks of no poop and thinking my fish was dead when I saw him lying upsidedown I was very happy to see it. I am still not sure why this worked - does that mean the constipation/sbd is due to parasites and/or bacteria?

I am not sure what will happen now as I fed the metromed this AM and now see more short, clear poop with air bubbles but it is a start! By the way there seems to be a lot of constipation/sbd posts these days - I wonder why? Could it be related to the heat? My tank is up to 84F but my params are good.

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Hi Sea..sorry about your troubles. I know it's hard - one of my fantails sounds just like freckles, but instead of floating, she isolates in the corner nose down and does not move for hours and hours! I treated my tank with the Maracyns and fed the Medigold for 30 days, no change. I then got my water in the best condition I could and just yesterday treated the tank with Parasite Clear, and now, for the first time since May, she is swimming around instead of isolating! Will it last? I don't know? She still has the stringy poop, and I thought that was from a baterical infection, but how can that be since she had Medigold for 30 days? It's frustrating..my thoughts are with you!!

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Hi there,

I just wanted to update you and see what folks think of my situation now and what I should do in terms of coming up with a feeding schedule and menu that works for my fish. Just to review they have had constipation/SBD (colorless, thin white poops, floaty behavior, one very bad bout of upsidedown swimming that made me think Freckles was dead) for almost 2 months now. I had tried everything including soaking the food, fasting, peas, epsom salt, treating with medigold/marcyn2, parasite clear, etc. and nothing completely helped. I started metromed a little over a week ago and since I started the metromed (a couple of broken up pellets 2x/day), Freckles poop has changed so that he now has them ~30 min after feeding. They come out long and colorless for about an inch or so and then I start to see a more normal looking brown poop towards the end (sorry to be so graphic :rolleyes: ). He swims better - I notice a little floatiness but nothing like before (the really bad time was probably because I gave too many peas at once trying to help :( ). I have not noticed any poops from Nugget - I am hoping this is because they are normal and fall off before I look but I cam not sure. Nugget doesn't look floaty anymore (and was never as bad as Freckles) but does have periods of lethargy when he just hangs out in the tank for long periods of time not swimming (in the middle though, not on the gravel nor on top). I have been changing the water 2-3x/week and the params are fine (amm:0, nitrite:0, nitrate:10).

I will continue the metromed for a total of 2-3 weeks but was wondering what to do after that - specifically:

1) Can these long, colorless poops followed by normal brown parts be considered "normal"? If this is how it is going to be forever is that ok?

2) What kind of menu/schedule would you suggest? I have jumpstart, progold, peas, spirulina flakes (although these are over a year old - are they still ok?) and am not sure what combinations to give and in what amounts. I know I should be careful not to overfeed - is it better to give very small amounts once or twice a day? Should I give one type of food at a time? Should I have a regular fasting day? I would appreciate all the advice I can get.

Thanks much, sea

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Sea,

We are both in the same boat. You know, it's so hard because I think that once this happens, it is highly likely that it will be a permanent issue and you just have to keep an eye on your fish at all times now to watch for any slight symptoms. I think that one of the Mods told me to fast and feed peas once a week to help with the SBD - it's so hard to know what's best - let's see what the experts say..I'll be checking back with this post... :)

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I'm so pleased your fish is recovering nicely :)

Like you said in your post once its all cleared up feed peas twice a week instead of their normal diet also try keep tank temp slightly warmer it helps keep SBD at bay. :)

Good Luck

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Thanks - that is an interesting perspective! I guess I didn't think of him as recovering since he still has the long thin colorless poop. But since there is some normal looking brown poop and he is acting better maybe I should just stop worrying about him and enjoy my fish :)

Do some fish just live fine with the long thin colorless poop - is this normal for them?

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