I've had a pond (2000 Litres) for about 5 years and have about 20 assorted fish up to a foot in length. One of my 3 Golden Orfes has developed a problem. He started out by resting with his head down amongst the plants (back in the spring). I popped into a local aquatic centre and was told it was probably a frozen swim bladder problem and just to keep an eye on him. He has slowly recovered and has become more active unfortunately on returning from holiday I've found he now looks very bloated please see attached photo.
Thats quite some swelling, way out of any league a bladder issue could possibly cause, thats gaseous gut bloating in a serious way, either related to serious constipation or a serious infection of the gut, perhaps something like aeromonas, and some partial dropsy symptoms. Either way, that gut is hyperextended way beyond mormal and a likely cause will be fermentation in the gut, possibly constipation related or down to bacterial respiration.
Thats one for a vet , possibly needing some treatment with antibiotics in a quarantine.There wont be any easy off the shelf remedies for that, especially given the orfes sensitivity to a number of common pond cure-alls.
Well he's been ill a while andyouve not noticed it spreading, so I would imagine the gut problem he has represents a low infection risk, so i'd leave him in situ for now until a decision on treatment can be made, especially if your not used to managing aquaria with large coldwater fish. The segregation would purely to be able to treat the one fish rather than all of them with an element of dosage control and not uncycling the pond with antibiotics. On the pain side, well, its not going to be comfortable, but it has to be worth a try on a cure before giving up.
Normally feed twice a day, mixture of pellets & food sticks (assorted fish mix) from local store. Whilst on holiday I added a couple of food blocks, one paste the other plaster. Also the pond is now well established and I'm sure there is plenty of natural food amongst the plants.
this is just a thought and may not be right, however it is possible that if the orfe is a female, she may be serverly egg bound. i have heard of this happening to some koi. there are egg release hormone availible, however they are expensive and may not be suitible for orfe. using the hormone is a very last resort and i'm not sure if there is a risk of death. as LHG said take the fish to a vet and see what they say. the hormone treatment (i beleive) is only really used with very expensive koi. this is just a thought and may not be right at all.
Hormones are used on many species of fish, if it is indeed eggbound , and the vet knows what he/she is doing with fish, spawning could probably be induced. The injection itself is probably less of a risk to the fish than the actual trip to the vet if performed properly.Seems like a decent sized fish.
Have had a trip to the vets, her opinion was the it was more than likely that the fish has developed a tumor. Risk, low chances of survival and cost to operate mean I don't think I can do anything if this is the case.
However she did say there was a chance that the problem was caused by constipation or a tape worm.
I've isolated the fish and am in the middle of a 5 day anti-parasite course and am buying bloodworms to deal with these possible causes.
My dilema now is whether I should reintroduce the fish to the pond or put it down (it doesn't seem particularly distressed but I don't want to put the rest of the fish at risk). If I did the latter would it be appropriate to send in a picture of a disection so that someone could tell me if there is a possible risk to the rest of my fish? The garden centre fish store have recommended that I dose the main pond with anti-parasite chemicals, I'm not convinced, preferring a natural environment.