Uncle Ned's Fish Factory

1590 Main St (Rte. 109), Millis MA 02054, USA, (508) 533 5969

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  MON - SAT noon - 8 pm
  SUNDAY noon - 6 pm

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Phone: (508) 533-5969



unclenedsfishfactory@gmail.com -
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Beware the Ned Fish!

Hints on Preventing and Curing Malawi Bloat

By Ned Bowers

© Ned Bowers September, 2001

The first sign of bloat is failure of the fish to feed enthusiastically.

Cichlids love to eat. Unlike some other fish (guppys and mollys feed even if they’re sick), african cichlids love to chow down, unless they are females holding a mouthful of eggs, or they have already stuffed themselves.

Treatment should be immediate:

Ideally the affected fish should be isolated in a separate small tank without gravel.
Use any kind of biological filter, such as a sponge filter, or an airstone.
The water should be heated to about 82 degrees F.
(Don’t use carbon in the filter because it will lock up the metronidazole, the medicine of choice described below.)
The water should be hard and alkaline.
Add about 2.2 teaspoons of salt per gallon, I use Instant Ocean, but any non-iodized sodium chloride is fine.
Use 2 tabs (or capsules, or 1/8 teaspoon scoops) of Metronidazole per 10 gallons of water the 1st day.
The following day change about 90% of the water (maintain the same salinity of 2.2 teaspoons per gallon, maintain the temperature at about 82 degrees F.)
Now use 1 tab (or capsule, or 1/8 teaspoon scoop) of Metronidazole per 10 gallons of water.
Repeat the water changes and the re-treating with metronidazole and salt for at least 7 days.
If the "Malawi Bloat" problem is diagnosed and treated early enough, the treatment described above works 50% of the time.

Preventing Malwai Bloat:

Feed only green spirulina foods to all herbivorous cichlids.
Make sure all food is fresh … don’t buy more than a 12 week supply.
Keep food covered, clean, and dry.
Always make sure the tank water is hard, alkaline, slightly salted, well-filtered & oxygenated.
Frequently perform substantial partial water changes
Pick fish from a dealer’s tank where all the inhabitants are healthy, active and feeding well.

Ned Bowers -
If you have questions please call 508 533 5969.