I made a random stop at PJ’s the other day to say hello and check out the stock and in a bottom-corner tank found a poor, battered, ancient Jack Dempsey that had been dropped off for store credit. Apparently, the previous owner had kept this full-grown monster in a relatively-tiny 40-gallon tank with bichirs (!!!), an aligator gar and a couple of large plecos. Needless to say, he was in pretty bad shape from swimming near lots of jagged fins. Since the fish manager dude and I are on pretty good terms, he let me take the Dempsey home for a mere $10 and the promise I’d provide some TLC. This post will chronicle his recovery and interaction with a female as the race is on with my original EBJD-JD pair to produce some blue-gene fry!
Day 10/Nov. 19th, 2010 – Improvement?
Day 28/December 7th, 2010 – Initially, he would spit out any food that was given to him, even when force-fed. After noticing stringy white poop in one of the above photos, I prepared a syringe with metronidazole and crushed veggie wafers/pellets to help clear the internal infection, force-fed him and dosed the aquarium with salt. This seemed to work, as I’ve seen him nipping at frozen blood worms over the past few days, and he gobbled some sinking pellets for the first time today! There are still some minor craters that look like signs of hole-in-the-head, but the overall prognosis is good! His fins are starting to shape up and his personality is coming through as he interacts with the female sharing his space.
Day 32/December 11th, 2010 – The hole-in-the-head started to get a lot worse in the past couple of days. The craters were getting, deeper, inflamed and fuzzy with fungus! After cranking the temperature up a few degrees, removing the filter carbon, adding even more aeration, salting the water and continuing with the metronidazole & food, I believe healing has begun. The fungus has subsided and with some luck he’ll be as good as new in no time! That ventral fin is looking pointed again and I’m hoping the tail and dorsal will follow. Still not much improvement on the cloudy eyes though.
Day 35/December 14th, 2010 – Just a quick tail closeup
Day 54/January 2nd, 2011 – Health seems pretty stable now, with a lot more resistance shown to being held and photographed.
Day 65/January 13th, 2011 – This will likely be the last entry in this post. After a juggling of tanks in my fishroom and some bigger quarters assigned, the fish skipped bad and worse and went straight to worst as the internal infections flared up again in a bad way. White stringy poop and bloat set in over the past few days, and despite some metronidaloze dosing to cure this, the fish was found this morning on his side with a severely-inflamed region. I was able to get him through the torn fins and hole-in-the-head and one round of internal infections, but sometimes even all the TLC in the world isn’t enough, and old fish are just meant to swim on. RIP Tyson.