Bloat - Causes - Cures - and BIG Myths

pops

Alligator Gar
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I agree, great job and thank you RD, we never going to agree with the HITH thing, but that was very well written and understood.
 

RD.

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Thanks Pops.

I wanted to update this thread with a more current link from my initial post, and to add a few key excerpts in case this info is no longer available online down the road.


Diet predicts intestine length in Lake Tanganyika’s
cichlid fishes


http://mcintyrelab.weebly.com/uploa..._functional-ecology-lt-cichlid-gut-length.pdf

There is a striking inverse relationship between intestine length and algal nutrient content among populations of T. brichardi, suggesting substantial plasticity in response to food quality,
and thus a strong dietary influence on patterns of intraspecific variation.

Diet is a strong predictor of intestine length at both intra- and interspecific scales, indicating
that fish adjust their phenotype to balance nutritional needs against energetic costs. Furthermore, functional explanations for trophic diversification of cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes have long focused on jaw structures, but our results indicate that intestinal plasticity in response to diet quality may also be an important mechanism for accommodating trophic shifts during evolutionary radiations.
Our use of nitrogen isotope data to
distill the complexity of tropical fish diets into a single axis
of trophic position provides the first quantitative evidence
that gut length varies in a continuous fashion as a function of
diet. These results suggest that intestine length in cichlids
reflects a trade-off between maximizing nutrient and energy
absorption and minimizing the energetic demands of digestive
tissues.

The nutrient content, energy content and digestibility of
food resources all influence the overall quality of an animal’s
diet. As these components of food quality are often correlated
(e.g. low-nutrient, low-energy, high-fibre plant material
vs. high-nutrient, high-energy, easily-digestible animal tissue),
their relative influences on intestine length are difficult
to separate.

Second, intestinal plasticity has been demonstrated experimentally in perch (Olsson et al. 2007), prickleback fish (German et al. 2006) and Tropheus (P.McIntyre
and Y. Vadeboncoeur, unpublished data), and observations in Lake Malawi cichlids suggest shortening of the gut in mouthbrooding females that are unable to feed regularly (Reinthal 1989). More generally, plasticity in internal organs in response to environmental stimuli has been documented in many vertebrates (reviewed in Piersma & Lindstrom 1997; Starck 1999), including fasting snakes (Starck & Beese 2002), migrating birds (Karasov et al. 2004) and rodents in fluctuating environments (Naya, Bozinovic & Karasov 2008), and the physiological mechanisms underlying gastrointestinal plasticity are well understood in several taxa (Starck 2003).

Thus, we believe that the observed variation in T. brichardi
intestine length is a largely plastic response to differences in
the nutrient content of their algal diet.

Both our broad phylogenetic survey and our intraspecific
comparisons suggest that the intestine length of Tanganyikan
cichlids is determined in large part by diet quality.
Again, this paper clearly shows just how adaptive wild Rift Lake cichlids can be when it comes to their diet, and demonstrates just how great intestinal plasticity can be in response to diet quality of various species of fish found in Lake Tanganyika. As the quality of diet changes, so does the length of the fishes intestines. Remarkable information that was not available many years ago when many of the "experts" were speculating on what types of foods cause dietary issues (such as bloat) with various species of cichlids.
 

Razzo

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Thank you RD. I noticed the alpha male gibberosa in my 240 gallon tank was breathing heavy during a spawn cycle. I dismissed it because he was working very hard chasing the two, larger, beta males (this was the third spawn in two months). After a few days, he stopped eating and started hiding more. All conditions in my this tank are pristine and I was at a loss for what the cause could be. Not knowing any better, I removed him to a 55 gallon hospital tank and treated with Nitrofuracin green for a few days and discontinued it after no improvement. After a water change and running some carbon, I began to treat with a gram positive (erythromycin), started the second dose after five days and added a gram negative (kanamycin) too. No improvement, heavy breathing continued, fish was becoming more listless and I noticed he was starting to swell.

Fortunately, I talked with someone who immediately knew what was going on: These hex... Protozoans you have been discussing. I stopped all other meds, did a water change, ran carbon and then started Metro powder via the bath application. I dose the tank once in the morning and In the evening I do a water change and dose a second time. He is not "out of the woods" but I have noticed a big improvement in his mobility and alertness. He is still breathing heavy but there seems to be a slight improvement in that category too. Btw: I have also been leaving the lights off and have two AC70 filters and three air stones running. I have given him a rock cave to hide in too. Only wish I would have started treating the real cause right away. I just didn't know.

Hopefully, he will continue to improve. I never knew that these protozoans, under normal circumstances, are in the gastro tracts of cichlids. I believe the constant stress of "running the tank" against bigger beta males spawn after spawn wore this alpha down and creating a breeding ground in his body for these protozoans.

Thank you so much for this knowledge. Also, if you have any suggestions on the treatment of my alpha, they would be most welcome!

Thanks,
Russ
 
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RD.

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Hey Russ, sorry to hear about your alpha male, hopefully he pulls through!
 

Razzo

Piranha
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Hey Russ, sorry to hear about your alpha male, hopefully he pulls through!
Thanks RD,

No change this morning. Going to start dosing Metro every six hours vs 2x per day. Also, plan to start adding a Epsom to the tank. Not sure on dosage yet. It's a 55 gallon tank. Also, been doing daily 40% water changes before the evening dose of metro. Thinking about backing off to every other day.

Wonder if I'm at the point where I should shoot the Epsom down his throat like you recommend in your other post.

Thanks again,
Russ
 

RD.

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At this point I honestly don't know if epsom salt is the answer? You could dump a couple of cups into the 55 gallon tank, that may help as act as a purgative agent. But as far as nuking the parasites, if it was my fish I would probably try getting the Metro solution into its gut. Once these parasites travel beyond the intestine, into the blood stream, and/or various organs, epsom salt alone may or may not be effective at totally eradicating the parasite. In more advanced cases I think that getting metro absorbed into the bloodstream may be the most effective manner in which to proceed.
 

Razzo

Piranha
MFK Member
May 18, 2008
365
114
76
Northern Indiana
At this point I honestly don't know if epsom salt is the answer? You could dump a couple of cups into the 55 gallon tank, that may help as act as a purgative agent. But as far as nuking the parasites, if it was my fish I would probably try getting the Metro solution into its gut. Once these parasites travel beyond the intestine, into the blood stream, and/or various organs, epsom salt alone may or may not be effective at totally eradicating the parasite. In more advanced cases I think that getting metro absorbed into the bloodstream may be the most effective manner in which to proceed.
Pipette throat method? Boy, I am in uncharted territory. Any guesses on dosage?
What's a pipette and how far past the mouth-throat orifice would you penetrate into the throat?

Thanks mate!

Russ
 

Razzo

Piranha
MFK Member
May 18, 2008
365
114
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Northern Indiana
...Once these parasites travel beyond the intestine, into the blood stream, and/or various organs...
Is this the point where the fish begins to look "bloated." Thanks! Learning much for the next goround
 
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