Spitting out food

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Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:47 pm

Hello

One of my fish, a male molly, has recently been eating the food, but then straight away spitting it out again. I don't think it is because of the size, because I have seen him spit out incredibly small, almost minuscule flakes of food.

I tried feeding him different foods, like small bits of pea, but he is still eating it then spitting it out.

Does anyone know why he would be doing this?
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby Carylnz » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:19 am

Some fish do this off and on.
If it did not do this before I would wonder about an injury to the mouth.
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:46 am

Have you tried frozen and live food?
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:48 pm

No, I haven't tried those foods. What would you recommend?

Today he was just lying at the bottom of the tank, not really moving. I separated him and put some food in, and straight away he swam up to the top and started eating, like he was super hungry. But after each mouthful he would spit it out. Could he just be a fussy eater?!
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby Carylnz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:37 am

If he was a fussy eater then he would quickly decide to eat what he was given when he got hungry enough! Try a different food and see if he eats that. I know of some fish who like some colours of flake but not others so will spit out the ones they don't like.
Lying on the bottom of the tank is not a sign of a well molly so I suspect it is more than just a dislike of the food.
Any other symptoms? Clamped fins, red gills, heavy breathing, spots?
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:21 am

Try some bloodworm and stuff like that.

My tetras won't eat red flakes! It's annoying coz the current tub I have is dominated by red ones :D
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:36 pm

I got some different food, dried bloodworm tablets, and he ate a tiny bit of that, but most of the time does not notice it. There are no other symptoms, and he is still living at the bottom of the tank.
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby san-ho-zay » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:03 pm

I know some people are cautious about live food but I agree with ItWentWhereverIdidGo -- this is the time to give it a go. Very few fish can resist a wriggling bloodworm or daphnia chugging around the tank. Ask your LFS when they get them in and feed them fresh, rinsed of their bag water.

If you don't want to use live food, you can try frozen or rehydrated dried. I find freeze-dried tubifex works really well if it's hydrated with some near-boiling water. Squidge with your fingers in a little bowl until they are all separated and drop a few in the filter flow. Almost as good as live.
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:18 am

It sounds like the fish could be ill/injured but I would still try live bloodworm and if it doens't eat that then it probably has mouth injurys or some sort of gut illness. How long have you had the Molly? What did the shop you bought it from feed it? Have you tested your water?
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby ssscrudddy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:30 pm

I had a guppy do this. He would go for the food, but just kept spitting it out, didnt matter what food it was, eventually he got skinnier & skinnier until he died. :(

Frozen bloodworms seem to work well, if there is a good water flow, they still wriggle about. Everything goes mad for the bloodworms, including 2 algae eating plecos & somekind of algae eating goby (red neon goby which is blue, I think). Works a treat for my African Dwarf Frogs as well, they only go for stuff that moves.
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:41 pm

I have been away for the week, and had a good, knowledgeable friend look after my fish, and he too is concerned. My molly now has protruding scales on one side, just above the fin. The scales are all raised and stick out; there does not appear to be a bacterial or fungal growth, or parasite, just outward scales, or perhaps a lump underneath these scales.

He is still spitting out food, and I am pretty sure now that this is because there is something wrong with his mouth, because of the scales, and also as he has not eaten properly for over 2 weeks.

I didn't get this molly from a shop, he was born in my tank a year and a half ago.

Would live bloodworm be a good idea? I seriously doubt that he would even eat this, as it appears that he is unable to swallow the food, or perhaps there is something blocking the gullet.

Please help, I have raised him myself since he was just 1/2cm long! Thank you for all the advice already :)
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby san-ho-zay » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Do you have another tank you can use to treat the fish? It's not looking good and perhaps worth trying epsom salts to try and clear a digestive blockage.

Dosage would be 1 level teaspoon in 18 litres (4 gallons) of water from your main aquarium. Bare tank bottom and monitor for 3-4 days to see if anything is produced from the bowel and any food is taken. With mollies being salt tolerant you could also go for aquarium salt as an internal anti-bacterial, raising concentration from 8 level teaspoons per 18 litres (4 gallons) up to whatever the box suggests, probably 5-10g per litre. An off-the-shelf anti-bacterial could be used but mollies are used to brackish and given the choice between salt and formaldehyde I know what I'd go for.

Protruding scales are the first signs of full blown dropsy -- a catastrophic condition where the fish can't expel water, usually because of failing internal organs. If the fish doesn't eat, doesn't produce faeces and completely swells, it's probably time for euthanasia.

But let's hope it goes well. You'd then need to keep the fish in the hospital tank while you bring it back to normal water chemistry with partial water changes from the main tank.
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:49 pm

Thank you very much for your advice, it is really quite comforting to know that someone wants to help me and my fish!

I am suspecting fish TB at the moment, as some of my neon tetras have started developing curved spines, and are starting to fade in colour in places too. The molly is doing okay at the moment, he is still swimming about normally, but is not eating at all, as far as I can see, and additionally, there appears to be a white lump above the fin where the scales are protruding. All other scales on the body are perfectly fine, so I think it is just because he has something wrong with his mouth that is causing him to not eat.

I am further concerned because I am going away on holiday for a month in a weeks time, and although my father will look after my fish for the first week, he then too is away for the next three weeks, so there will be only a friend changing the water and filter every week or so. My friend will most likely not notice important symptoms, or know how to treat a certain disease, so I am a bit worried about this.

Finally, I do not have another tank, so I do not know whether to add salts or not. I have an algae eater in my aquarium, and I have put off adding salts before as I read that they can be rather sensitive to salt. Plus, I live in The Netherlands, so there are no aquarium shops near me at all, and no pet shops sell aquarium salt, so if I was too add salt, is there an alternative type of salt? What would you recommend?

Thank you again :)
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby Carylnz » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:46 pm

To be honest, with the way the symptoms are escalating, I would be putting the fish out of its misery before you head off on holiday. I suspect its chances are not good and leaving it while you go away is not good either.
If you were not going away I would go with san-ho-zay's suggestion, treating the fish in a bowl (or anything else that floats. I use plastic 2L ice cream containers) floating on the surface of the main tank since you don't have a spare one. You could try doing this up until it is time to go as you have a week. If there has been no, or little, improvement by then, I would destroy the fish. :(
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Re: Spitting out food

Postby amelia97b » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:36 pm

Although euthanising the fish would put him out of any pain, I do not actually think he is in much pain at the moment. He is swimming around perfectly normally, and will even chase some other fish if they annoy him!

It breaks my heart though to see him go for food every morning, then just spit it out straight away. He is obviously hungry, but cannot seem to swallow the food. He is also only using one pectoral fin; the fin just under the protruding scales he barely uses.

I read on the internet somewhere else that I can take the fish out of the water for a minute or so, and have a look inside the mouth to see if there was something like a bit of gravel stuck in there. Would this be harmful or incredibly stressful for the fish, and would it be safe to use tweezers to get the gravel out if there was a bit?
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