Lawnmower Blenny constipated, sick, blockage?

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by mattheuw1, Nov 17, 2009.

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  1. mattheuw1

    mattheuw1 Montipora Capricornis

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    Not sure if the asap is the correct place but I do need help before it dies. Heres my story....

    I've had my lawnmower for about a 10 months, he's about 4-5 inches. Always stayed fat and pooped regularly. He eats anything, feeding has never been a issue. I always get a little diatom/algae on the back glass that he is constantly munching on it throughout the day. I also feed the tank Ocean Nutrition spirulina flakes, Ocean Nutrition formula one flakes, dried mysis daily and formula one tiny pellets. He eats it all. I feed rods reef and frozen brine soaked in zoecon about once a week too. He's always ate everything and still is.

    My problem.....he can't/won't poop and hasn't for at least a week. In the morning, his stomach is almost inside out, its a saggy, stretched dimple, looks pretty bad. Mid afternoon its HUGE from eating algae and diatoms, then he eats his food I feed once a day around 5pm. Then at night (around 8pm) he throws it all up. Its like he eats as much as he possibly can throughout the day, then lets his stomach get the vitamins, then throws it up. I'm assuming he has some sort of blockage and can't pass bowels, maybe a sand granule?. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't wanna lose this personable fish. I heard about increased salinity to get things to move, but haven't been able to find any info on it.

    Should I look into other food sources? Maybe that will help resolve? I'm going to start feeding the tank nothing but rods soaked in zoecon for the next few days and see what that does. Let me know if you can help me out. Issue has been going on for a week and his stomach is looking worse and worse.
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  3. Dr.Fragenstein

    Dr.Fragenstein Panda Puffer

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    Many herbivorous fish, esp ones that eat alot of diatoms will also eat sand to help with there digestion, heck many creatures do this, grit comes to mind with birds.... Anyway, you sure he's not going at all? Its only vomiting?

    I have seen blenny's at the shop have that cellulite looking dimpled stomach before, my O/S tang looks like that all the time but he eats alot of sand and then procedes to "dump" it on my monti caps....

    If there is intestional blockage Matt, either 2 things will happen... He will pass it on his own, or he will die... Sorry to be frank but aside from trying to find a piscine vet that will cut up a Salarias blenny, I don't honestly think anything will help.

    Not trying to be a bummer Matt, but the vitamins might help short term, but not being able to defacate is not a good thing for any type of animal..

    Good luck!


    EDIT. I just reread your post and saw the salinity thing, it reminds me... MgSO4, Epsom salt works well for constipation, in humans and freshwater fish... If you can somehow give him a epsom salt bath or look into that, that might be your cure!!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  4. mattheuw1

    mattheuw1 Montipora Capricornis

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    Not good news Joe! I read a couple things about the epson salt idea but everyone keeps saying its for freshwater fish only. I also read on 3reef about a tang that had similar blockage and the guy said his LFS recommended a salinity dip into 1.033. There was no mention as to how long though. There was also a post on 3reef about the exact same issue with a starry blenny. I woke all of the dead posts up hoping for some replies. And yes, I am 100% sure he is not going at all. He used to love pooping right before I fed them and he always poops right on top of my clowns frogspawn. Hasn't pooped in weeks. I have never in the time I've had him seen his stomach look like this. It has always been round. Do you think its from a bad diet if it is blockage? or sand? You would think people would be posting similar issues with fish that swallow sand.

    This is my favorite fish of all time 3reef! You gotta help me out! This guy eats out of my hand, swims into my palm and allows me to pet and hold him and he's best friends with my cleaner shrimp. Coolest blenny ever, I don't want him to die!
  5. mattheuw1

    mattheuw1 Montipora Capricornis

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    Someone on a local thread I posted my blenny situation on suggested to place the fish in a QT and elevate the Mg to 1800ppm for a couple hours, then place him back to the display. Any thoughts on this?
  6. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    You can dose epsom salt to saltwater fish. Do a google search. I would start there.
  7. 10001110101

    10001110101 Fire Worm

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    cut out the dried foods... reduce feeding for a while (give him a few days off)...

    he'll still eat algae but that shouldn't be a problem since it's not dried.

    i had a similar problem with a fish of mine and I lost it... he ended up developing swim bladder disease and several parasites... just stop feeding for a few days, see if he can work it out...

    try some of those other suggestiosn too

    i dont think salinity will do anything... salinity works in humans by reducing the water potential of the intestine, causing water to flow from the intestinal membranes back into the lumen, (giving you diarrhea essentially) same principle with epsom salts, any form of chlorine or magnesium salt will do this as it makes water flow into the lumen of the intestine...

    adding salinity to the water will not effect a fishes digestion in the same way i dont believe, especially since using a saline laxative in a land animal creates a DRASTICALLY different osmotic gradient in the intestine, raising the salinity 1.023-1.025 is a tiny change by comparison
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  9. 10001110101

    10001110101 Fire Worm

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    this may work
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  10. mattheuw1

    mattheuw1 Montipora Capricornis

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    Google? Never heard of it....

    Of course I googled epson salt for marine use! I have read contradicting info about whether or not it will help with marine constipation. I've been googling this issue over and over for the last week. My last resort is 3reef and my local reef forum. I also cannot find anything on google about dosage. Sometimes its just easier to ask a forum instead of asking google, but trust me, thats where I always start.

    I did slow down on feeding to the tank, I usually fed 1-2 times a day. Mainly feed Ocean Nutrition One flakes mixed with spirulina flakes. I stopped feeding for 2 days. Its just so sad to see the blenny in the morning with his stomach tucked in and I feel like I have to feed him so I feel bad and feed the poor guy.

    So Mr Binary, would you suggest an epsom salt bath or a bath of sea water with elevated Mg? If epson, what dosage? I will stop feeding the flakes for a couple days. Should I try to feed peas? I just feel like I gotta do something. Its hard just sitting back waiting.