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Hi ron,
 As I saw in other posts my EB jackd dempsey is spitting out the flakes for a couple of days now but don't think he is eventually eating it. He is also pretty black to dark purple a lot, so I changed a lot of water last night, he is in a 60g with other fish. I'm worried if he might have a rock stuck in mouth, he and my tiger oscar both 3" long tend to pick them up while eating but barns illy spit out after awhile. How do you check or get out? Will it harm him to hold in hand and look or something?

Hi Mike,
  The spitting out of flakes is very normal particularly if this is a new food. This is how fish "taste" new food items. Eventually (days or even weeks) they will eat it.  It is highly unlikely he has a rock stuck in his mouth. You can gently catch him and hold him in your wet hand to take a look.  Be sure your hand is wet.  

-- Ron C.


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Ron Coleman


I am an expert on cichlid fishes, particularly New World cichlids. My broader expertise includes the behavior, ecology and reproduction of fishes in general. (I am NOT an expert on Goldfish). Please do not use abbreviations, such as "my GT has a swollen eye" because I don't know what a "GT" is. The more clearly you can explain your question, the better chance I have of understanding what it is that you seek. I keep fishes both as a scientist and as a hobbyist and I currently maintain about 140 aquariums.


I am an Associate Professor at the California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Biological Sciences, and I run a website, called the Cichlid Research Home Page . I also write for many popular aquarist magazines, and I was editor of Cichlid News magazine for several years. I am a scientist and I spend my time teaching fish biology, ecology, behavior and evolution and doing research on the reproductive biology of fishes, particularly cichlids. I do research in the laboratory and in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico. My main interest is understanding the evolution of parental care in fishes. I am interested in encouraging greater public awareness, understanding and participation in science.

Cichlid News, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Science, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Copeia, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, AUK, Environmental Biology of Fishes

PhD (Toronto, 1993) MSc (Simon Fraser, 1986) BSc (British Columbia, 1983)

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