Luckily I have yet to have to deal with bloat in my own tank. A friend of mine who recently got into keeping africans about 3 months back has developed bloat. By the time he called me and I saw the fish it was very late in the bloat cycle so to speak. He told me he first noticed about 6 of his fish not eating 3 days prior. 2 of his fishes bellies were extremely swollen and about half his stock was effected, not eating, somewhat hiding and hanging out at the bottom of the tank lifeless.
I did a bunch of research and decided to try the following....
"DO NOT FEED ANYTHING during this process.
Start this procedure as soon as the fish shows symptoms (spitting familiar food, hiding during feeding, etc.)
Medication required: Clout (Aquarium Products) or any medication containing Trichlorphon as the main ingredient. If you cannot find something with this drug, then a cure with Metronidazol is recommended (ie: Jungle’s Internal Parasite Guard or Jungle Parasite Clear Tablets.) Metronidazol is also known under one of it’s brand names Flagyl. Clout (Triclorphon) is the most widely used cure for bloat, though.
Day 1: Move fish to quarantine tank and treat with Clout at full strength (1 tablet / 40 litres–remove carbon from filter). The water should be heated to about 28°C.
Day 2: No water change. Treat again with Clout at half strength.
Day 3: Do nothing
Day 4: Do an 80% water change and treat with Clout at full strength
Day 5: Do nothing
Day 6: Return fish to main tank only after symptoms have subsided and the fish has been healthy (eating, swimming, breathing normally) for a week."
I found the above treatment all over the net but here is the link and more info I copied the above text from... Malawi Bloat | dreaded Cichlid disease
I have read that treating bloat is really a 50/50 chance of survival if caught early own and less then 10% chance if caught late like these fish were. I have read that if their bellies are very swollen the fish will probably be dead within a day. We are on the 5th day of treatment and all fish are begging for food and active as usually. The 2 fish whos bellies looked like they were ready to explode have made a full recovery IMO. The above method may be aggressive form of treatment compared to other options but it works even in the worse cases IMO.
Would like to note that clout will stain your silicone. He has a hagen tank with black silicon and didn't have this issue. Also with preventative measures malawi bloat can easily be avoided.