Posts Tagged ‘Florida flagfish’
It’s been quite a while since I posted about any of my fishes. There has been a lot of activity in the 46-galon tank lately. First, I lost the last of my Florida flagfish (Jordanella floridae).
Florida Flagfish Lost
She had a fungal growth problem that appeared to be healing nicely without intervention, but a few days later, I noticed the operculum covering the right gill had been damaged. Fishes in decent conditions can survive with that kind of damage, but two days later, dead.
So that’s the bad news. The good news I have some new fry in that same tank. The tank is shared by a few sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) and a group of Dickfeld’s Julies (Julidochromis dickfeldi).
While I lost the male molly a while back, I have two fry swimming in the tank. Also, this fish will store sperm, so I may find a few more fry over the course of the next six months. Let’s hope I get another male out of this generation.
About a week ago, I discovered several small Julies swimming near the front glass. Apparently I had a pairing off and they spawned. This cichlid will defent their offspring, so it is not uncommon to see the adults driving away the unpaired Julies as well as the mollies.
I also believe there to be additional eggs because one of the julies is defending a cave under a rock.
While I am disappointed that I lost both the last flagfish and the male molly, I am hopeful that these two lines will continue. I probably won;t know the gender of the molly fry until fall, but with six julie fry, I have an excellent chance to take this group into a third generation.
One of the worst things that can happen to a fishkeeper is to walk past your tank and see a fish bloated with the scales pineconed. Yup, this is dropsy. Unlike many other illnesses, dropsy is not a sickness in and of itself. It is a symptom of something else. Unfortunately, that something else can go unnoticed, or be asymptomatic until it is too late.
Because some illnesses can be asymptomatic, even experienced aquarists can run into this problem. In fact, one of the informal feathers in the cap of an experienced aquarist is recovering a dropsical fish. Alas, this is uncommon, because dropsy almost always occurs near death.
I have recovered a fish from dropys, a siamese algae eater, about three years ago. The recommended approach is to isolate the fish carefully, as a net can tear out scales and perhaps even tear a hole in the flesh. After isolating the fish, keep in pristine water conditions for the species. That means proper temperature, pH, and hardness. It means using an airstone and a filter bag of zeolite crystals to give you a safety net on the inevitable ammonia buildup. It means frequent partial water changes.
If bloating is suspected, a tablespoon of dissolved epsom salt can be gradually added to the water. (see my post on betta bloat, other fish can experience this.)
After all that, the chances of saving the fish are not very good, but it’s worth a try. Recently, I had a Florida flagfish develop dropsy. I never did find out why the fish developed the symptoms. It did not recover, and nothing else in the tank is ill. So it goes.
This is a photo of a female flagfish (Jordanella floridae) with apologies for the hard water stains.
And here is a picture of a male flagfish after I quarantined him to a small tank. Note the pineconed scales. Click on the image to see the symptoms more clearly.
If you find a fish in this condition, you do what you can to save them, but it’s probably best to prepare yourself for the almost certain death of the fish within a day or two.
Dropsy is caused by a fluid buildup inside the body. In my experience, if a fish is going to recover, it will begin to deflate within the first day. I’d say the chances of recovery are under 1%, but that’s just a guess from my own experience.
Once the dropsical symptoms are gone, there is still a job to do. Why did the fish develop dropsy? There is an underlying cause that has to be addressed or it may recur.