Death and Life in the Aquarium

I am sorry to say that the beautiful Rene, my male bristlenose catfish, died sometime last night. He was at the bottom of the tank, lying on his back when we got up this morning. I had a good look at him out of the water to see if I could learn anything about his demise. He was lumpy of belly, but this was all soft with no hard or prominent lumps anywhere. I could see just a few tiny blisters along his back but no others. I did see some yesterday near his tail, bobbing in the water (!) but perhaps these were deflated out of water… Did he have some sort of bacterial infection or dropsy? No one knows but thanks to those who gave advice.

The good news: the community tank is doing well and Big Boi is making his largest nest EVER! The live plant stems bend in towards it beautifully and he is effectively guarding it from his fish buddies. Betty looks the same as usual; I was hoping to see a belly plump with eggs… We will see.








8 thoughts on “Death and Life in the Aquarium

  1. Sorry to hear about Rene. But on a positive note, hopefully Big Boi’s nesting ideas come to fruition. Who knows, you just might get a bunch of tiny little fish, which I can tell you from experience it is fascinating to watch them grow.

  2. Hi there,

    I just found your blog while googling for some help as my son’s Bristlenose catfish has developed the same problem as your Rene had. So sorry to hear that Rene didn’t make it. My son is moving his Bristlenose into a smaller tank and will do as you were advised for Rene. Here’s hoping….

    Btw, what a lovely blog you have!


    • Hi, thank you and sorry to hear your son’s Bristlenose has a similar thing. Have you got a photo? Perhaps if I had set up a better hospital tank with properly ‘cycled’ water it may have helped. Do let me know your progress. I couldn’t find much at all online to help at the time. Thanks again!

      • Unfortunately, my son’s Bristlenose passed away the very next day. Like you, we couldn’t find much info online about the problem either. He seemed to be doing really well up until my son set up a larger tank and added more fish. His Bristlenose seemed to go quiet and rarely moved. I’m wondering it it could have been a stress reaction to all the extra fish in there. Guess we’ll never know. 😦

      • Hi, thanks for letting me know. What a shame, I was hoping for a happy ending. Did he have the same thing as Rene, blisters? This fish keeping hobby is all trial and error. Hope all the other fishies do really well. I like your blog too by the way!

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