Discus Fish Disease. How to Treat Your Discus When They Stop Eating.

Return To; Discus Fish Disease and Treatments

*I’m frequently asked. My fish have stopped eating, what medicine should I use to treat them?

More often than not, all that’s initially needed is to do a water change, clean the filter including new carbon. Normally this will stimulate appetite and get them feeding again. If the fish do not start feeding after this tank and filter cleaning, then simply raising the tank temperature will get them eating again. By raising the heat stimulate appetite ending their hunger strike. I would start by adjusting the heat up to 88-90 degrees, leave it there for a few days, and if they don’t start to eat go to 94-95 and leave it there for 5 days. Then turn it back down to 88-90.

In the past what has worked well for me is a once-a-month prophylactic heat treatment. Turn the heat up to 94 degrees, leave it there for 4 days then turn it back down to 88. I found after doing this each month all the fish would eat aggressively grow evenly, and diseases were nonexistent. I did not realize at the time that this heat treatment was killing the protozoan parasite that robbed the fish of nutrients and stunting their growth. I found that high temperatures of 94-95 degrees killed the parasite in the gut of the Discus fish. Eliminating the need to medicate. Normally to combat internal parasites you would have to mix medication into their feed to be ingested. If the fish are not eating you can’t get it to where it’s needed, in their stomach. This heat treatment will also work to cure Discus fish which are extruding white stringy feces.

Heat is therefore the medication which kills the protozoan parasite that is causing the fish to go on a hunger strike, and if caught early will work 95% of the time. The added benefit is the Discus fish will eat more and go through a noticeable growing spurt after each heat treatment.

A smaller hospital tank can be used which might be easier to heat. Heat it up to 94 degrees and leave the Discus fish in the warm aquarium for 4 days then lower to 86 and put the treated fish back with the others. There is a reason to put this sick recovering fish back with the others, when the recovering fish sees the others eating it will be more inclined to take interest in the food too. If after a week he is not feeding aggressively then repeat the process. This second attempt will have a greater success rate.

Learn More; Discus Fish Disease, Cloudy Eye

19th Apr 2024 Steve MacDonald

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