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Lethargic A. borelli

JK91

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
20
Hello,

I have a male A. borelli that seems lethargic and rather disorientated, while he was in excellent health before.

There's no signs of disease, no worms or spots, other than not being able to eat, being lethargic and bumping into plants and wood whenever he tries to swim.

He still gets 'excited' when I feed the fish, but he doesn't seem to be able to locate the food and/or doesn't bite. I feed frozen food, or course defrosted before, and he didn't have any difficulty to get food before.

The female in the tank has no problems at all. They actually had eggs and fry before the trouble began.

Temperature varies from 22C to 28C (unheated). GH is 1-2, KH 1-2, pH 6. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0.

Any ideas?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
What you're experiencing is sadly a common phenomenon in Apistogramma. Nobody really knows what causes it and nobody has brought one back from it yet. At least it's not contagious.
Chances of recovery are slim. Just give it good care but make your peace with the thought of loseing this one.
 

JK91

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
20
What you're experiencing is sadly a common phenomenon in Apistogramma. Nobody really knows what causes it and nobody has brought one back from it yet. At least it's not contagious.
Chances of recovery are slim. Just give it good care but make your peace with the thought of loseing this one.
Thank you for your quick reply.

Sad to hear. Just my luck to have my fish get a mystery disease. I think decline will come fast now he isn't able to eat.
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
736
Location
Clarkston, WA
What you're experiencing is sadly a common phenomenon in Apistogramma. Nobody really knows what causes it and nobody has brought one back from it yet. At least it's not contagious.
Chances of recovery are slim. Just give it good care but make your peace with the thought of loseing this one.
I agree completely. It has happened to me too many times. It often happened after a recent spawn in my own experience. Though unlikely among A. borelli, which are mainly from tank raised strains, I have noticed that among wild caught Apistogramma for them to rally back to good health, spawn successfully but then one of a pair will die not long afterwards.
 

JK91

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
20
I agree completely. It has happened to me too many times. It often happened after a recent spawn in my own experience. Though unlikely among A. borelli, which are mainly from tank raised strains, I have noticed that among wild caught Apistogramma for them to rally back to good health, spawn successfully but then one of a pair will die not long afterwards.
Mine too had spawned not long before I noticed something was off with my male. I was actually scanning the tank for free swimming fry when I noticed him behaving different than before. Maybe there's a correlation with this disease and spawning?
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
736
Location
Clarkston, WA
Mine too had spawned not long before I noticed something was off with my male. I was actually scanning the tank for free swimming fry when I noticed him behaving different than before. Maybe there's a correlation with this disease and spawning?
I agree although whether it is a specific disease I do have my doubts. My hypothesis is that Apistogramma species are the Cichlid analogue of annual killifish. They live out their lives in marginally survivable biotopes and I suspect nature has bestowed a remarkably resilient ability to rally enough to produce that one last spawn when they are given half a chance. I think they draw upon the last of their capabilities for that one last chance to spawn but that leaves them very susceptible to anything capable of doing them in. As I said, it's just a hypothesis but it is one I have long entertained.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
The theory is plausible. I was pondering something like that comparing them to licorice gourami.
In any case while often tetras that barely make it a year in the wild can live almost a decade in captivity, most dwarf cichlids (genus irrelevant) die a very similar way at a similarly early age around 2-3 years.
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
736
Location
Clarkston, WA
It is a remarkable day when MacZ and I agree on something like this. I think we may be on to something people.
I too have rarely kept a particular Apistogramma which lived more than 3 years. I have had slightly better mileage among the Dicrossus filamentosus I've kept when they were allotted sufficient territories.
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
736
Location
Clarkston, WA
Yeah well, I more often agree with you than you might realize. ;)
It actually goes both ways. I sometimes can't help myself by joking a little now and then.
You just happen to be someone on the forum I find who is fun to debate over the finer points of fish keeping.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
It actually goes both ways. I sometimes can't help myself by joking a little now and then.
You just happen to be someone on the forum I find who is fun to debate over the finer points of fish keeping.
Thank you. I'm honoured, this was a bit unexpected. It's also always a good talk nerding out with you.
 

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